Oral History: Leah Henry

For this project, I decided to interview my mother who is an interior designer within the marine industry. She has spent a great deal of her time working on what is known as mega yachts, with her most recent project involving a 63 meter (206 ft) yacht. During my interview with my mom it was quite easy to start up a dialogue with her as we were able to consistently talk with each other. Going into this interview, I did not know what to expect, but the topics we discussed were very intriguing. Something that surprised me the most was learning about how different my mothers experience with technology has been compared to mine. For example, I found out that she used typewriters all throughout grade school and college. I had never truly realized that this was her reality in school, and it’s remarkable how much technology has changed since then.

One of the main themes seemed to be computers and the ways in which they have developed and altered everyone’s lifestyles. My mom talked about how she used computers in her line of work and about when she first used them. Also, she told me about how email specifically changed her workspace. Another theme that appears is how cellphones have made our world smaller. We briefly talked about phones and when they started to play a large role in her career. I found it interesting how at one point only certain people, like managers, tended to receive a cellphone for work. In addition, my mother stated that the one piece of technology that has impressed her the most throughout her lifetime would be the cellphone.

While editing this project, taking roughly 35 minutes of audio and shortening it down to 5 minutes was quite a difficult process for me. After introducing my mom, I chose to first include a bit of background information on her career, to then lead into the technology that she uses in her work. Then, I transitioned to when she first started using computers and eventually email. Next, I wanted to make sure to use a section where she talked about using typewriters in college and how we compared our experiences. Once again, I was able to smoothly transition into talking about cellphones and her perspective on technology as a whole. Overall, I feel confident in how I transitioned from one topic to another and am happy with what I chose to include.

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