The cemetery visit should last 2-3 hours. Try to find a cemetery with a mausoleum, places for ashes to be buried or put in a wall, and a
children’s section. While you are there, write down/take photos of, at least 30 observations. Note your emotional reactions and thoughts about
each one. Include as many of the following as possible:
1. 2-3 different epitaphs; religious symbols or images; styles of headstones; crypts, vaults, niches, both indoor and outdoor styles.
2. the marker of an infant (under 1); a young child; a teenager; someone close to your age; someone with your first name, and/or your last name;
someone who was born or who died on your birthdate or in the year you were born; the very oldest person you can find; a family plot; a husband-and
wife plot; a headstone that mentions the cause of death; one that mentions occupation.
3. 2-3 indications of ethnicity or national origin.
4. anything that you don’t understand (other than a marker with a foreign language): a symbol, a custom or practice, etc.
5. anything that surprises you, for whatever reason.
6. a conversation with someone who works at the cemetery.
7. 5-6 different things left on or near a grave by visitors (note the date of death).
• Write a paper (using college level English) about your visit with:
1. an introductory sentence saying WHERE you went and the DATE and TIME.
2. your 30 observations; all annotated, tying in some of the concepts from Blumer (SEE BELOW), the text and web-sites, as relevant.
3. a concluding paragraph that describes your overall reaction to the assignment, particularly if you went with someone else, and/or if this was
your first cemetery visit (or to a cemetery of the particular type you chose).
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