A Dramatic Twist

Today, Julia and I were finally able to conduct our first interview.  We met with Darin Waters in his office at one and proceeded to try our hand at gathering oral histories.  Almost immediately we encountered a problem, as the microphone we checked out from the library wasn’t working.  Instead of delaying, we decided to make due with the microphone on Julia’s phone.  I was worried at how the audio would turn out, but it was honestly much better than I expected.  As for the interview itself, Dr. Waters was an incredibly good interviewee, and I’m very pleased we were finally able to schedule this.  While a little hesitant at first, he quickly opened up and provided us with an incredible amount of knowledge about his life, the future of the campus, the Asheville community, and how the school interacts with it.  Something that I’m still processing is his response to one of Julia’s question of “How much interaction did you have with UNCA growing up in Asheville?” to which he replied “Almost none whatsoever.”  This was the aforementioned twist, as this completely rocked the narrative I had been mentally building of the history of our campus.  I had always assumed UNCA to be similar to how the campus is now, with a heavy community involvement.  To further that, many of the sources I read on the history of the campus seemed to confirm that, but it was very interesting to hear it from Dr. Waters’ perspective.  It has really made me consider how I view the narrative process and made me understand the importance of having diverse sources and oral histories.  Our meeting with Dr. Waters has really eased my mind about the subsequent interviews.  As a final note, I’d encourage anyone with an interest in Appalachian history to look into the Isaiah Rice photo collection.  It is a compilation of over a thousand pictures from Dr. Waters’ grandfather from his life in Asheville, and very much fits the scope of our class.


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