Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco

Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco
Information Source for the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Friday, December 3, 2010

Students Share Their Experience at NJAHS: Serena & (Internment camp & Crane ornament)

My name is Serena and I am a student at San Francisco State University. I had a great time volunteering at NJAHS organization in Japantown. Most of the people who volunteered to transcribe oral histories were also students from SF State. I was surprised to find out so many things about the organization such and what they offered to the community. I volunteered at the NJAHS because one of my classes at SF State gave me the option to volunteer in a community based organization. I worked on transcribing Kazuo Inouye's oral history.

NJAHS offers internships for students and events for children and adults. I learned how to transcribe, which was a first for me. It was not an easy task because I had to listen very closely to the interviewer and interviewee and type everything word for word. Usually, I would repeat the audio and listen twice before typing the correct word. Some parts of the interview were unclear and in some areas I could not hear them speak. The computer program we used to help us with the transcribing process is, Transcriva.

I learned about the World War II and the internment camps in Tule Lake. There were a lot of hardships during the past because people were poor and times were difficult. The interviews talk about the camps and how the people lived there. People in Japan moved to America because they were able to make more money in America and had more opportunities than in Japan. Kaz Inouye, the interviewee of my transcription had many great memories of his past and about his family. Also, every time I finished my transcribing, I had to tweet and comment about what I learned during that day.

I also volunteered at NJAHS peace crane ornament workshop. I learned how to make beautiful holiday ornaments. I had a wonderful experience making this ornament, and also I was happy to help because it was a fundraiser for the organization. I also learned how to fold a paper crane, something that I had forgotten. First, I took a glass ornament, removed the top lid covering and then put the crane inside the ornament. Second, I put the lid back on and tied it with beautiful holiday ribbon. There are many steps to this procedure so I am keeping it short. There is a lot more to what I just described. The ornament looked beautiful when it was finished.

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