March 1, 2009

Participant Observation

Yesterday, I did participant observation for a collaborative project on Venice Beach vendors. Here is our Saturday cookie stand. It was a very intense and humbling day and I am still processing everything. One good thing is that we sold all the cookies!

On a personal note one of the most important findings relates to our project on money. This is the first time I have ever had such a direct relationship with earning money. I have had plenty of jobs where I work and get a paycheck for my labor or thoughts. As a vendor, I paid for all the ingredients and made the cookies from scratch (and I worked really really hard). The money that I earned is mine, and I will use it to reinvest back into more ingredients (or other things to sell) in order to keep working as a vendor. Somehow this money feels different to me. It feels precious. I have it in a special envelope and don't want to spend it on anything else. Having such a direct relationship with money really changes the way I think about it.

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