REC 340i: Leisure Exploration Assignment # 2: Activity Analysis

REC 340i: Leisure Exploration Assignment # 2: Activity Analysis

The purpose of this assignment is to participate in a leisure activity that is completely new to you, and analyze this experience through the lens of a leisure anthropologist.

You must select an activity that you do not have any previous experience with. Use this assignment as an opportunity to engage with an experience and individuals, groups, or settings with whom you may not normally interact. To complete this assignment, you must “step outside your comfort zone.” Of course, your personal safety must be your top priority and you should not put yourself in any danger to complete this assignment. However, do not try to “play it safe” by selecting an activity that is not new or different enough to challenge you (e.g., you already surf and choose paddleboarding as your new activity, you are a guitarist and choose piano lessons, etc.). Do something truly new and different. What you have you always wanted to try, but haven’t yet had the opportunity? This assignment is that opportunity!

View your experience of this activity through the lens of a leisure anthropologist. Your analysis will include reflecting on your own thoughts and feelings during this activity, observing and describing how others engage and interact within this activity, and examining the role of culture in your experience. Be careful not to presume to understand other’s experiences, unless you explicitly ask and they willingly share. Also, consider who is not there, who is not experiencing this, and the possible explanations of why. We live in a complex and dynamic world that is constantly formed, informed, and controlled through social norms and expectations. This assignment presents an opportunity to critically assess and expose these influences.

1) Choose and engage in a leisure activity that you have never participated in before.

[Some sample activities from student papers include: rock climbing, poker, target shooting, horseback riding, archery, yoga, weight lifting, surfing, salsa dancing, painting, kayaking, etc… ]

2) During or immediately after your leisure experience, generate a page of ‘field notes’ that captures your reactions to the following:

a) – Describe the emotional and cognitive experience of participating and learning about an unfamiliar activity. Was this process uncomfortable? Embarrassing? Empowering? Enjoyable? All or none of the above? What did you think and feel in the moment?

b) – Describe the culture related to this activity. In other words, describe the unique vocabularies, apparel, behaviors, and/or social networks associated with this activity. Did you feel accepted by that culture when you first began your participation? Did you feel more a part of the culture at the end of your participation? Why or why not? How did culture influence your overall experience?

c) – Did you experience flow while participating in this activity? Why or why not?
(see p.71-74 in your textbook for a definition of flow)

d) – What other concepts from the course material relate to your experience of this activity?
What insights, if any, did you gain from this assignment?
3) Use your field notes to compose an essay that reflects on the new leisure activity that you experienced. You must present critical observations of your experience, and make connections to course material. The use of course content and demonstration of your own critical observations is required. Summarizing and describing the experience are necessary, but the bulk of your paper must be a critical analysis that connects the experience to concepts from the course material.
Only the final essay must be submitted. Submission of field notes is not required.

Papers should be double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1- inch margins and be 2-4 pages long. No cover page or abstract is required.

REC 340i Leisure Exploration # 2 GRADING GUIDE (50 points)
Requirements:
1. Choose a new leisure activity that :
o you have no prior experience with
o highlights both leisure choice and cultural/diversity issues within those choices
o requires you to “step outside your comfort zone” 10pts
2. Discuss your observations about :
o the emotional and cognitive experience of participating and learning about an unfamiliar activity. Was this process uncomfortable? Embarrassing? Empowering? Enjoyable? All of the above? What did you think and feel in the moment? 10pts
3. Discuss your observations about :
o the culture related to this activity: unique vocabularies, apparel, behaviors, and/or social networks associated with this activity. Did you feel accepted by that culture when you first began your participation? At the end of your participation? How did culture influence your experience?
10pts
4. Discuss your observations about :
o Did you experience flow while participating in this activity? Why or why not?
o What insights, if any, did you gain from this assignment? 10pts
5. Your paper demonstrates the following:
? Synthesis of course content
? Critical and independent thinking
? Adequate (breadth and depth) analysis 10pts

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