Last semester I took English 225 and made a mistake I don’t want to repeat. Okay, it honestly wasn’t that bad, but let me explain. The whole course was centered around a thirty day experiment in which we could choose to immerse ourselves in any sort of community that we wanted. Afterward we had to create a multimodal project based on the experiment, present it on a panel, and write a research essay about it- a lot of work. To make a long story short, I somehow ended up asking professors and students about their opinions on taking gap years, which wasn’t something that I initially intended to do, and it wound up being pretty dry. In the end, the motivation to finish was hard to muster up. This is a problem I’d like to avoid, if possible, with my Capstone project this semester.
Among the consequences of poor planning, one key mistake that hurt me in 225 was choosing a topic I assumed to be “practical” over what I was actually emotionally and intellectually invested in. This led to a teeth-pulling-esque writing process as I tried to convince myself that what I was doing was important for me, when now I can see that I actually didn’t fully believe in it. This is also something I plan on changing.
So, onto the topic. I am still in the very beginning stages, but, as someone who loves the arts (music in particular) more than most things, I have been thinking about looking into the concept of art and artistic creativity. In particular, I have been interested in the philosophical and ethical side of things: What is the purpose/value of art in our societies? Is it ethical to devote one’s life to artistic pursuits? Is artistic talent/creativity innate or can it be learned? I could examine these questions from a more theoretical stance, such as in the light of the Effective Altruism movement, but I also see a real-world applicability, such as fund allocation in educational departments, or the practical decisions that both established and aspiring artists have to make in their careers. I think combining these ideas (eventually through a more specific lens) and maybe adding some creative work of my own could make for a challenging, argumentative project.