Field Trip - Pro's Ranch Market

Field Trip One - Pro's Ranch Market
(Rio Grande Nature Center Trip rescheduled due to smokey conditions)

Directions from UNM:

1) Go West on Central Blvd. and Cross the Rio Grande via the Central Bridge.
2) At Atrisco Blvd (light) turn right. You will see Pro's Ranch Market on the West side of Atrisco NW.
3) Proceed into the store. I will be setting up shop at the Restaurante inside.

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Exploring the possibilities for creating a vivid sense of setting using Pro's Ranch Market

Your job is to explore and experience Pro's deciding how to create a story setting that is accurate and compelling. Do some of the exercises below. There is a restaurant with tables. You can sit and write there and use it as a staging area for explorations.

1) Your first task will be to do an initial, attentive exploration. Most of you will be arriving with other students, sharing rides. After you park, however, Stifle all conversation. Each person should give the store an initial solo exploration. Do not enter the store conversing with comrades. Instead, take a walk through the store in attentive silence. Be aware of sensing the setting and people. Notice sights, sounds, smells, skin sensations, and the situation of your muscles and organs. Make notes. The first time you are in a new and rich setting is very special.
2) Pro's is, for most of us, a cultural novelty. There are plenty of aspects of the Market setting that are familiar. List several of these: ie. Like other grocery stores it offers products, mainly food and food related products for sale to the public.
3) There are other aspects of Pro's that most Americans would find surprising, things we do not anticipate. List Several of these.
4) Imagine Pro's as the setting for a story or story segment. What aspects of Pro's would you choose to mention if the story was about:
  • A polititian who was there to meet constituents and shake hands
  • An undercover INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) officer investigating human trafficking.
  • A gourmet chef buying supplies that are only available at specialty ethnic stores like Pro's
  • An artist enamored of Mexican art and culture.
  • A young couple meeting discretely, evading parental scrutiny.
  • A clerk at the store with an in-law who is coercing him to help him get a job at Pro's
  • An American woman who is hoping to hook up with Mexican Men.
  • A Mexican woman with a sick child and no access to the traditional remedies available in her home village.
  • A man who has won money on scratchers and plans to send almost all of it to relatives in Mexico.
5) Imagine Pro's as a setting in a genre piece (Romance Fiction, International Thriller, Murder Mystery, Science Fiction, etc.
6) If possible have a conversation with someone at Pro's who is not in the class.
7) After awhile, touch bases with me and your peers in the seminar. Compare notes, share stories, note comparisons and contrasts in terms of what you noticed and how you focussed your attention.
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