Got momentarily disoriented during one of my grocery shopping trips, when, cruising the aisles and having just picked up a packet of powdered orange juice, I suddenly got accosted by a ghost from Comm. Res. Past:
next to the Tang shelves
The Practice of Social Research by Earl Babbie
One of those staple books in our Communication Research major subjects (Comm. Res. 115 if I’m not mistaken), one of those books that got photocopied to death chapter by chapter, as students compiled those thick sheafs of “readings.” Reserve book sa Mass Comm library, meaning you can only take it out after five in the afternoon then return it by nine the next morning, per hour ang multa pag late ka so good luck na lang.
There it was, hard-bound and looking hardly used, selling for P150 at, of all places, Puregold Makati. I was like, damn, we would have killed for this in college! Well, I couldn’t help it. I was so amused that I bought it. Some of the concepts and methodologies are naturally outdated (I mean, who still uses mailed-in questionnaires, right?), but I’m guessing some are pretty much applicable through time (basic research design questions, survey sampling procedures, etc.). Of course, there’s also the nostalgia factor. It’s like a time-space portal suddenly opened up right there at the supermarket. I would have been more tickled if it had been one of the more iconic books, let’s say, Gravetter’s book on Quantitative Analysis, or Mass Comm Theory by Dennis McQuail (I had to Google the author name, basta ang alam ko Mac- or Mc-something, haha). But this will do. It can be a useful resource for those times when I’d get faced with a seemingly basic research question and couldn’t do anything except helplessly mutter, sheesh, I used to know this in college.
Maybe I can bring the book in one of our dinners among college friends, so that when the conversation goes to the inevitable recalling of embarrassing stories, past loves, marathon overnight group work sessions and such, we’ll actually have a prop, he he.