For one of the projects I'm working on, we use a Livescribe SmartPen. [No one is paying me for the praise I am about to heap on this pen. Let's face it, I'm not the type to take someone's money and then tell my little corner of the Internet how wonderful the product is. I'm more the type to take someone's money and then tell said corner how awful the product is. PR folks, move along.]
It is the project that can't be discussed, except in the vaguest of terms. I observe a personal interview about sexual behavior, recording it with my SmartPen, and then I go and do a follow-up, free-flowing interview with the respondent, asking questions about...sex. And I play back portions of the interview to prompt the respondent to remember precisely what was said about...sex.
Sex, sex, sex. It's all we talk about.
The SmartPen is freakin' phenomenal. It records from a distance. SPY PEN! And no one knows you're recording a conversation. SPY PEN!
Invaluable as it is for talking about...sex, it is even more amazing when listening to, say, school board members and superintendents and PTA members and Site Leadership Team members and so on and so on and so on. My biggest regret was that I didn't take the damn pen with me the day of the now-infamous meeting where the parents and students of the soon-to-be-defunct middle school were screwed over by the superintendent and other district folks.
Live and learn, folks. I have ordered my very own SmartPen, opting not to wait until the sex project is over before stealing one of the pens from work.
Next up? CAMERA SHOES!
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