Newton Park Reunions, July, August and October 2013
Each reunion group which returns to Newton Park carries with it, new opportunities for research, further oral history chances and time to wallow in a little more historical atmosphere.
I've noticed that every aspect of these events can be fruitful. Talking with alumni, listening, watching, watching the current students reactions and interactions, analysing memories, seeing old photographs - the list of possibilities is seemingly endless.
The experience is overwhelmingly positive, which leads me to also wonder about contrasts, opposites and negative experiences. Are these the people who had positive experiences at Newton Park, or those of a lifelong positive frame of mind? Are they outgoing people anyway, or does each returning student have their own different reasons and motivations for coming back? Are the ones who don't come, the ones with negative memories, or simply those who prefer to keep their memories to themselves? These questions are also seemingly endless.
The exploration of these aspects of my research will continue, informed by secondary reading, further reunions and analysis of oral history interviews. For effective contrast, it seems necessary to find someone with a negative experience, but by definition, they are not the people who are likely to surface...
There is a great deal to consider here. For now, I carry on thinking about it.