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Setting of Observation Essay

A specific area in a large park. 2:10: Two (2) women stood beside a picnic table over which was covered with a blue plastic tablecloth. They put their purses beneath the table to the far right hand side leaning against the leg. One (1) woman placed rocks at each corner of the tablecloth so it would stay in place. She joked that the weather could be unpredictable. She asked the other woman if she thought they might need extra chairs. She called the woman by name (Susan; I later learned the other woman’s name was Nancy).

Susan said that they could decide that later, depending on how many children showed up for the party, and if needed, she had extra chairs in back of the van. Susan went to the van, and returned within a minute carrying two plastic bags. In each bag were two litter bottles of No-name Cola. She placed them on the table, wiped dust from the plastic bottles with her hand. She said that she saw a television documentary that stated pop bottles were sources of germs. “Especially the small cans,” she explained. “You should always clean the entire top. ” Nancy listened, but did not respond.

Instead, she said she would go to her car and get the “other stuff”. She asked Susan if the cake would be all right left in her car, or if it would melt, because it was very warm outside. Susan said, “We should have brought a cooler. ” After discussing this, they decided that since Nancy’s car was parked in the shade, it should be okay. Nancy went to her car, sat in the driver’s side and lit up a cigarette. She put the window down half way. Susan glanced over at Susan in her car, frowned, then sat down at the picnic table. There was a squirrel in a tree nearby, making noise.

Susan looked at the squirrel and said, “Don’t have anything for you, little guy. ” About eight minutes later, Nancy returned to the picnic table, holding a square, cardboard box in her arms. She put the box on the table and withdrew an unopened bag of whistle blowers, a bag of balloons, and cut pieces of string. She said she had grab bags in the box for later, as well as surprises, Styrofoam cups, paper towels, and Band-Aids if needed. 2: 24: Both women began to blow up eight balloons of various colors, and attach string to each one. There were still balloons left in the bag.

Nancy said, “I think this is enough. ” She laughed. Both women tied each balloon to nearby tree limbs. One balloon got away. Susan chased after it, then attached it to a tree. When this was completed, Nancy put the opened bag of balloons in her purse, closed it and put the purse back in place. Nancy said, “Krista should soon be here. ” She looked at her watch. Susan said, “Hope she knows what park it is. ” Susan assured Nancy that Krista had been to this park on a number of occasions. Susan withdrew a cell phone out of her sweater pocket, just as a silver van pulled in. Susan put the cell back in her pocket.

Both women took a few steps forward toward the van. 2: 38: Six (6) children burst out of the van. All the children yelled “Surprise! ” The children then ran toward the picnic table. There were five girls and one boy. One (1) child, a girl, who looked to be about eight years old, hugged Susan. She said, “I had a feeling about it. Where is my cake? ” Susan said, “Oh, you’ll get it in a bit. Happy Birthday! I’m ordering some pizza first. ” The child clapped her hands. Two other girls (2) came up to the Birthday girl, and the three (3) girls went to look at the balloons in the trees. The one boy sat at the picnic table.

He said he didn’t like girl parties. Susan rubbed his head and laughed. She said that’s how it was to be a little brother. ” The boy folded his arms and asked when the pizza would arrive. Susan and Nancy sat at the picnic table. Krista called the children together and said they would play a game. Nancy got up to help. Susan and the boy remained sitting at the picnic table. Susan took her cell phone out of her pocket, then stood up and walked a few feet away. Krista told the five (5) children that they would be playing a game. She said she would sing and then she would say freeze.

She said that the child who was caught moving was out of the game. The game would continue until the last child remained. She said that the last child would get to pick out a prize from the box on the picnic table. Krista half hummed and sang, then yelled, “Freeze! ” She pointed to one girl and said that she had moved. The girl said, “Au,” and stood away, still watching. This went on until the last girl was the winner. The winner went to the picnic table, and Susan moved the box close to her and told her to shut her eyes. The girl did so, and withdrew a small white bag with the words ‘Happy Birthday’ decorated on it.

The girl ripped the bag open. The contents of the bag were a pencil and sharpener, a bag of candy, a small red yo-yo, a movie certificate. Nancy came over to the table, and explained that ‘Ashley’ had picked the wrong thing. “That’s the grab bags, not the prizes! ” Ashley asked what the movie certificate was for. Susan said that she had hoped all the girls would go to a movie soon. The other four (4) girls saw what Ashley had and stood around her. “This is the surprises? ” One girl asked. Susan explained that they were the grab bags and there was a mistake. She said they all would get one later.

She then took the grab bags out of the box, took out a bag and instructed Ashley to put her hand in and pick something. She chose a Hannah Montana lanyard. She said, “Oh, I love Hannah Montana! ” She showed it to the other girls. 2: 57: Krista asked if they wanted to play another game, a scavenger hunt. The girls all said yes. Krista said that the first person to find the items would be the winner, and that they should work in pairs, or threes. Krista said they were to find a pine cone, a feather, a pretty rock, and something unusual. She said that they had twenty minutes and the winner would be the team who found the most.

She said that they were not to go far, and that in twenty minutes, she would holler out to them to come back. The boy decided he wanted to play, too, and the six children went into the woods. When they were gone for five minutes, three large pizzas arrived. Susan said that was a fast delivery. She paid the delivery person who was a young man, and gave him a five dollar tip. She thanked him, and he left, getting into a car. Nancy put out Styrofoam cups, and said to Susan that Krista should call the children back before the twenty minutes were up, so the pizza wouldn’t get cold.

Krista shrugged. Susan said that the kids wouldn’t care if the pizza was warm, and that it wouldn’t get cold that fast. The three (3) women sat at the picnic table saying very little to each other. Then Nancy went to her car and lit another cigarette, while Nancy and Krista watched her. 3: 07: Nancy finished her cigarette, and said to Krista, “Just call the children now. They can continue their game after they eat. ” Susan said that would be best. Krista got up from the picnic table and yelled for the children to come back now. She yelled, “Pizza’s here! ”

3:09: Four (4) of the six children returned, some of them holding objects like a rock, a feather, sticks. They put their scavenger hunt treasures on the ground in separate gatherings, then went toward the pizza. Susan said they had to wait until the other children returned so they would all eat at the same time. 3:10: Krista said she would go into the woods to find the other two (2) children. Nancy poured pop into Styrofoam cups, and said they could have a drink while they waited. 3: 13: Krista came back with the two (2) children running ahead of her. The children dropped what they had collected and went toward the table.

Susan said they would need more chairs. While Susan went toward her car, Nancy said that they had forgotten plates. She said they would have to eat off of paper towels. Observation No: 2 Specific store in a shopping mall: The store owner, Mrs. Peach, operates a boutique selling eclectic wares that include aromatherapy and other items designed for personal well-being. She also sells a small amount of clothes that have new age symbols on them. 11:05: Mrs. Peach put dust cleaner on a cloth, and wiped down her counter, which is made of wood. She then cleaned the sides of stands. She adjusted her sign near the entrance that said ‘50% off Today’.

She looked at a few people walking by and smiled at them. A woman from the next store came up to the entrance, and began talking with Mrs. Peach. She kept folding and unfolding her arms as she spoke. She said, “Even for a Monday, you’d think there’d be more than this around. ” Mrs. Peach said, “I know. With the holiday and all. ” The woman then began to tell Mrs. Peach about her niece who was recently married. She described the wedding, said the cake was just beautiful. She said that she didn’t care for her niece’s husband, but that she would probably warm up to him in time. Mrs. Peach nodded. She kept looking beyond the woman.

A man walked by, and the woman stopped talking. They both watched him go into the La Chateau store. 11:15: Two (2) customers, a man and a woman, came into Mrs. Peach’s store. The woman she’d been talking with went back into her store. Mrs. Peach greeted them with a smile. She said, “Can I help you find something today? ” The woman said, “It smells nice in here. ” Mrs. Peach said it was an oil that she puts into a tiny dish. She said she would like to burn oil, but the rules of the mall prevented her from doing that. The man didn’t say anything. He just stood beside the woman. The woman then asked Mrs. Peach if she sold vitamins.

Mrs. Peach said that she didn’t, but she could recommend a naturalistic store across town. The customer asked the name of this store. Mrs. Peach told her, adding that it was next to a grocery store, and easy to find. 11:18: The customer said she would like to browse. Mrs. Peach said, “ If you have any questions, let me know. ” Then Mrs. Peach went to a clothing rack that held long gown dresses. One of the hangers was faced the opposite way from the others. Mrs. Peach fixed it so it would be presented correctly. Mrs. Peach went behind the cash counter and straightened some papers, and turned on a stereo.

Soft new age music could be heard. She adjusted the volume, turning it down slightly. 11: 22 The woman customer stopped at the aromatherapy stand, and began smelling the bottled testers. She asked Mrs. Peach if the oils could be used as perfume. “No, they’re not diluted enough for that. It could bother your skin. We can make perfumes, however, even mix scents you like. ” The customer said that she especially liked the mint smell. Mrs. Peach said she liked it, too. She said it was invigorating, and smelling it gave energy and cleared the mind. Mrs. Peach held up another bottled tester.

She said, “You might like this one, too. It smells like nature. ” The woman held it and read aloud the name of the oil which was called ‘A walk in the Forest. ’ She asked the man with her to smell it. She asked him if he liked it, and he said, “I guess it’s all right. ” The customer gave the bottle back to Mrs. Peach who put it back beside the other testers. The customer picked up the mint smell again, and put it close to the man’s nose. “Do you like this one better? ” she asked. He said that it was okay. Mrs. Peach chuckled and said that scents usually only appealed to women. The customer smelled three more scents.

Mrs. Peach went to the counter, then returned with a bowl of coffee and said, “Smell the coffee between smelling the oils. It will help you not mix up the scents. ” The customer smelled the coffee, then continued to smell the testers. After a few moments, the customer told Mrs. Peach that she’d like a bottle of the mint oil, and Mrs. Peach brought a sealed bottle it to the counter. The customer paid for the bottle. She said she didn’t need a bag as she would put it in her purse. Mrs. Peach said “Thanks for coming in. See you next time. ” The customer left the store 11:40: The phone rang. Mrs. Peach answered it.

She said, “Thanks for calling Sun and Moon, Laura speaking. ” She said, “Yes, we do,” and “Anywhere from ten to twenty five dollars,” and “We close at six today. Look forward to seeing you. ” Mrs. Peach put the phone back in its cradle, looked under the counter, then stood up again. 11:41: A woman walked into the store and went toward Mrs. Peach. Mrs. Peach said, “Not much business here today. Might pick up after lunch. ” Mrs. Peach then told the woman that since there wasn’t much business, she could use the opportunity to straighten and clean the store. She said that had already done a little dusting.

She pointed to the 50% sign, and asked if the woman could try to keep it straight, as it kept falling to one side. The woman said she would try. The woman said, “Can I go to the bathroom first? I’ll be quick. ” Mrs. Peach said, “Sandy, your shift doesn’t even start until noon. ” They both laughed. Sandy, an obvious store employee left the store, said hello to the woman in the next door and went toward the bathroom. 11: 43: Mrs. Peach took her purse from a shelf under the counter, and put it on the counter. She took out a tube of lipstick and put it on her lips. Using her thumb and forefinger, she wiped the edges of her mouth.

She took out a little mirror and examined herself. A man came with a delivery for Mrs. Peach’s store. It was three (3) boxes. She told the man to put them beside the counter. The man did so. He asked Mrs. Peach to sign for the delivery, and she did. Then Mrs. Peach said than you, and the man left. Mrs. Peach tore off an envelope that was attached to one of the boxes. She put the envelope beside the cash register, then reached for a paper cutter knife. She used it to cut the tape off one box, then put it on the floor. She looked inside the box. She picked up a small square pillow that was embroidered with the word ‘Peace’.

Mrs. Peach smelled it, then put it back in the box. Then she withdrew a bag that held colorful rocks. She put the bag on the counter. 11:48: Sandy, the employee woman came back from the bathroom. She said, “Oh, new stock. Great! ” Mrs. Peach said, “We finally got our stones. ” She instructed the woman to do her best to put out the stock. Then she took her sweater, put in on and said she was leaving, and that she was starving for lunch. She said, “Call if there’s a problem. Bye. ” Observation 3 Classroom Setting: 1: 30: The French teacher, Miss Horne waited by the door for the next class of students to arrive.

The hall was noisy. Children were laughing and talking loudly. They came into Miss Horne’s grade four class, some of them running. Miss Horne waited until all the children were inside, then stood at the front of the room. Most of the children settled down, but two (2) boys kept laughing and talking. Miss Horne said, “You two want extra work? ” They smirked, but stopped their noise. She said she would give the class five minutes to be quiet before they began. 1:34: Miss Horne went to the board and said, “We’re going to review what we’ve been learning about the last few days. Can anyone remember what that is?

” A girl put up her hand. Miss Horne nodded to her. “Names of animals,” the child said. “That’s right,” Miss Horne said. “Let’s see how much we remember. Turn your brains on. ” The children laughed and some made a key turning action with their fingers on their heads. Miss Horne said, “Now then. You must answer in French. What kind of an animal goes, “Hiss, me-oww. ” Several of the children yelled out, “La Chat! ” Mrs. Horne told them that they had to put up their hands. Most of the children then put up their hands, but she didn’t choose any of those children who had called out.

She picked a girl in the front row. The little girl said, “La Chat. ” “Very good, Nakita,” said Miss Horne. She wrote the words ‘La Chat’ low on the board. A boy put up his hand. “Yes, Paul”, Miss Horne said. The boy said that his mom said they would be getting him a kitten. Mrs. Horne told the boy that was wonderful. Then she asked him, “Now can you tell me what animal you often find people walking in the park? ” 1: 37: Paul said, “Cats? ” The (2) two boys who had been causing trouble at the beginning of class laughed and gave each other a high five. Paul yelled, “Shut up! ” It looked like he was about to cry.

Miss Horne walked to where the two boys were sitting. She told them that they were being very rude, and very disrespectful to interrupt their class for other students who were interested in learning. She added that she would be sure to tell their homeroom teacher about how they had misbehaved. She asked the boys if there was anything they wanted to say to Paul. One boy said, “I’m sorry. ” Miss Horne said he needed to say what he was sorry for. The boy said, “I’m sorry, Paul, for laughing at you. ” Then she asked the other boy if he had anything to say, and he said he, too, was sorry for laughing at Paul.

Miss Horne told one boy to sit in an empty seat on the other side of the room. Then she told a girl to switch seats with the other boy, so they would be separated. She told the entire class if there was any more foolishness, she would be calling parents. 1: 46: She went to Paul’s seat, and told him not to pay any attention to them. He said okay. She went back to the board, hesitated, then said, “Who would like to do the teacher a favor? ” Lots of hands went up. She walked around the class for several moments, looking at the students closely, in a fun fashion. Then she went back to the board and said, “I don’t want any talking.

Neil, come on up here. ” He went near her, and she whispered in his ear. He drew a bird on the board. Miss Horne said, “What a great drawing. Boys and girls, who can tell me what this is in French? Several hands went up. She said, “What is it, Rayden? ” He said, “oiseau”. Miss Horne said, “Real close. Want to try again? ” Rayden thought about it, then said, “L’oiseau? ” Miss Horne gave a little clap with her hand. “Great going, Rayden. ” 1:51: There was a knock at the door. Miss Horne went toward it, then opened it. It was the secretary from the principal’s office. The secretary asked if she could talk to Miss Horne for a few minutes.

They stepped outside the room, keeping the door open. They talked quietly. Ms. Horne stepped inside the class and said, “Miss Horne needs to take a phone call, and Mrs. Brown will stay here with you for a few minutes. Maybe she can read you a story. Mrs. Brown said, “Not a French one, I hope”. Miss Horne asked one of the children to pick out a book from the English shelf, and then the teacher left. Mrs. Brown sat down at a seat at the head of the room. Some of the children asked if they could come sit on the floor, because that’s what Miss Horne does. Mrs. Brown agreed, and all the students by her.

The book was called, ‘Arthur Cluck’. She read to them, and they were very quiet and intrigued. 2:09: Miss Horne came back. She said it was okay if Mrs. Brown finished the book. She agreed, and Miss Horne went to her desk and sat down. 2:16: Mrs. Brown finished the book. “What do we tell Mrs. Brown, boys and girls? ” They said in unison (Thank you, Mrs. Brown). “And thanks for watching the class,” Miss Horne added. Then she whispered, “I used the time to go to the bathroom, too. Thanks! ” She turned to the class. “Looks like we didn’t get a whole lot done today. Let’s hope tomorrow will be better for us all.

” Then she explained that they may as well do a little more of their review. She said, “What animal eats grass, weighs a lot and lives on a farm? ” Someone said ‘horse’. She said that wasn’t it. Paul put up his hand and said, “An elephant. ” Miss Horne said, “I guess it could be an elephant, but this animal goes, “Nayyy. ” Paul chuckled and said, “a horse. ” Miss Horne said she needed to hear it in French. Paul said, “That’s means un cheval. ” She then asked the French names for other animals, including cow, pig, wolf, and goat. 2:27: Miss Horne said it was almost time to go back to their homeroom.

She wanted them to clean up around their desk, and put their books away. ” 2:29: Miss Horne said that she would walk the students back to their homeroom. She said, “Now use your hall voices, boys and girls. ” They left together. Scenario 4: Inside a fitness center: 7: 21: Two(2) adult men, approximately 30 – 35, and a younger teenage boy, approximately 17, entered the gym. It was a fairly small gym. They began stretching their legs and arms, and talking among themselves. The youngest male said, “Dad, I don’t think I locked my locker. ” His father told him that before they really got started, he should go and check, just in case.

The boy agreed. He left. The father said to his friend, “Swear he’d forget his was, he’s so forgetful. God, kids today. ” 7:22: The father sprayed the weight bench with a cleaner, one of many that were in the fitness center. He took a white towel, wiped down the bench, then put the cleaner and the white towel away (there was a bin for used towels and another for clean towels). 7: 23: They went toward the weights. The father suggested they do their usual routine. Then he lay on the bench, and his friend put a 130 pound weight in his grasp. He lifted the weight easily. He counted down from ten to one.

Then he stopped and they talked for a few moments, and the other man took his turn at the weights. 7:33: The father’s son came back, and announced that he had indeed locked his locker. When the man did his weights, Shawn watched, then he also did three sets with a lower weight, while his father encouraged him. 7: 42: When Shawn finished, his father adjusted the weight bench so that it was on an incline. They each took their turns doing the weights this way. At one point, Shawn’s father’s friend said he was getting a cramp, and he said, “This is my last set for tonight. ” He said he had to go to the bathroom.

Shawn and his father sat on the bench. Shawn’s father told him about a story where a guy dropped the weight across his chest, and that he couldn’t get up, or barely move. He yelled out for someone to help him, and two (2) women each held an edge each. They lifted the weight, but then dropped it. The man’s ribs were broken and he could barely move. Shawn listened, his mouth opened. He said that he wasn’t sure he believed that. “You’re always making up stories, Dad. ” A group of people, mostly women, went into a room. An instructor (1) came out and said, “Aerobics, last call. ” Shawn said he thought they should go in, too.

His father laughed and told him that he only wanted to go in because of the women, and part of getting fit was not letting anything distract you. Shawn rolled his eyes and said that he hoped there would never be a day when women didn’t distract him. Shawn watched the last woman go in, a slim woman about his age. He gave a low whistle only he and his dad could hear. 7: 54: Shawn’s father said that he wondered how his friend was doing. He said, “Maybe I should go check on Cal. ” He told Shawn not to continue the weights until he came back. There were other men there who said they wanted to use that bench, and Shawn’s father said that was okay.

Shawn said he would go and run on the treadmill until they returned. 7: 56: Shawn walked to the right where the treadmills were, along with stationary bikes and other equipment. Shawn walked around, and all treadmills were in use. He walked back to the weights, then returned again to the treadmills. 7: 58: A woman (1) noticed Shawn. She asked him if he was waiting for a treadmill. He said that he was. She said, “I’m almost finished. About five minutes more. Sign your name under mine. ” Shawn said “Thank you,” then signed his name on a list on the wall. He walked around for a bit, then came back to wait.

8:02: The woman got off the treadmill, wiped it with a towel that was around her neck. She said, “It’s all yours,” and Shawn thanked her. He got on the treadmill, and adjusted it so he was at a fast walking pace. He did this for a few minutes, then increased the speed so he was jogging. 8:16: Shawn’s father and Cal came up to the treadmill. Shawn’s father said they couldn’t see him right away as he was the last one against the wall. Shawn asked Cal how he was doing, and Cal said, “Ah, it was nothing. Gas, I think. ” Shawn slowed down the treadmill. He said, “Are we going to finish our sets?

” Cal said yes, and Shawn stopped the treadmill pace and let it slow down. Then he got off, and sprayed it with cleaner and a white towel, then put the cleaning items away. 8:17: The three (3) went toward the weights, but the other men were still on the bench they were previously using. Cal said, “This isn’t our night. ” He suggested they do lengths in the pool instead. The others agreed. But then Shawn said that he didn’t have his swimming trunks with him. The three of them laughed, shaking their heads. 8:20: Shawn said they should just go have a coffee somewhere. Cal said he was just going to go on home. They left the gym together.

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