Capstone Project Idea

For those of you who don’t know me from the gateway course, I am the girl who claimed she wasn’t interested in anything. For those of you who do know me, you know that this is not true. When first discussing this project, a predictable topic came to me very quickly: dance. I have been a dancer since I was six years old and still continue to do so – quite vigorously – here at Michigan.

I’ve done countless projects on dance at this point in my college career, whether these be in my gateway course or in my Communications classes, and I’m even enrolled in Dance 100 this semester (senior year, amiright?). Considering this fact, I decided it was time to try out something new. I want to challenge myself this semester and think outside of the box. That said, I can say that I didn’t want to get too crazy or too out of my comfort zone because I still want to focus on something I’m interested in and can stand to study for the next three and half months.

What has always been of interest to me are the things that people are the least willing to share: secrets. I love secrets. In a more general sense, I just really love people, so the more I know about a person the more excited I am. I need to know everyone’s business all the time. Coincidentally, I’ve somehow managed to become a “trustworthy” person (as told to me by those around me *insert hair flip*) so people love to tell me their secrets. It works out wonderfully. An avid reader of Post Secret, I look forward to Sunday mornings when the next round of secrets have been posted. I haven’t missed a single post since junior year of high school. What I want to do with this project is learn more about secrets. How are they projected? What constitutes a “secret”? How do people value or measure secrets? Who do people tell their secrets to, and why do they chose to do this? Do some people do the unthinkable and actually KEEP their secrets? Is there anyone who actually doesn’t have any secrets?

How exactly to turn this into a project is escaping me in this moment. I am obsessed with creative non-fiction, and I think this project lends itself to that style of writing. I’m unsure of what direction to take or how to give it a unique spin so that this is something that only I have done (ideas welcome). I definitely want to interview people (of all different ages), do some research, and write from personal experience. I’d also really like to do audio and work with podcasts because I think significant anonymity can come with only using a voice, but it also gives just enough of a hint to who the person is that will keep you hooked.

Discipline: Psychology, creative non-fiction, creative writing, sociology

Focal object: Secrets, regrets, individual people

Confounding variable: Age (is this interesting enough?). Does someone’s age affect how they view a secret, or is it more about something else? How do secrets and definitions of secrets change with age?

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