If Projects Could Talk

My project has the potential to say a lot about me–but it’ll definitely depend on where I go with it and specifically, where my research takes me. In general, I think the fact that I chose to focus on turning points as my topic reveals my curiosity about how we reflect and make meaning from experiences in our lives. I have also always loved non-fiction books with psychological or sociological foundations (for example, Freakonomics and Outliers) so I think using The Tipping Point as a core source for my project will reveal that specific interest of mine. And finally, this semester I’m taking English 325, which is a class about creative non-fiction, and I have already realized how much I enjoy this type of writing. I want to include some personal essays and creative nonfiction pieces in my project, which I think will reveal a lot about my personality, opinions, and feelings towards how I think about my life in terms of turning points.

In terms of my portfolio as a whole, I want it to showcase more than just my academic or professional interests. My ultimate goal is to seamlessly intertwine my personal thoughts and opinions (about life, writing, and myself as a writer) with the more structured elements such as my MIW projects and works from other classes. I also want my overall persona to be professional, not necessarily in the sense that employers will look to my portfolio during the hiring process, but more that I want my work and beliefs to be taken seriously and feel like they do not only exist because of a class project.

After looking at my annotated bibliography and various social media accounts, my Instagram caught my eye immediately. First, because I think photos are a very effective way of thinking about our lives since they immediately take us to a specific place or moment in time. I also started thinking about the nature of Instagram as a whole. Users curate their lives and choose which photos they want to share with the rest of the social media platform–which is usually photos that are the most visually appealing or hold the most meaning. Since my project focuses on turning points and important moments in our lives, I think Instagram makes for an interesting parallel to this. People decide what is important enough to share via Instagram and can also use it to reflect back on their memories. I plan to look back through my Instagram posts and see if there is any correlation between the photos I posted and the moments I think of as significant in my life so far. Who knows where this will take me, but I think it will be an eye-opening experience regardless, and hopefully contribute to the beginning stages of my project in a meaningful way.

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2 thoughts to “If Projects Could Talk”

  1. Hi Sara,
    I am so excited about your project. I do not have much experience with creative non fiction, but from what I know about it, I feel like that will be a perfect genre for you to analyze turning points. It will allow you to discuss how you feel, without limiting you to proven facts and figures. I am also very excited about your decision to make your portfolio “professional”- I think I want to do the same.

    I really like how you incorporated instagram into this post. You make a great point; Instagram really does parallel what you are trying to say with turning points (in that it captures moments and instagrammers presumably want to share those moments- at least, the happy ones- with their followers). I think it was really brave of you to decide on this topic. It is something personal and vague, which requires a lot of time and effort to create a seamless capstone, but I think the final product will be incredible. I can’t wait to see it!


  2. Sara,

    This project has so much potential – honestly, I wish I could steal it and do it myself. Turning points are such interesting concepts. We’ve all gone through a handful of them, and they’ve all differed in terms of staying power/actual change brought about in our lives. Your investigation of these enigmatic moments is super interesting.

    I especially like your observation of the relationship between social media and turning points. Maybe this is something you want to investigate further – the effect that turning points have on one’s social media. For myself, a major personal turning point led to me not posting on social media anymore. Others can probably see a notable shift in content/focus in accordance with their current phase of life. Overall, turning points are very abstract concepts, so finding concrete implementations of them very well might be your biggest challenge. That being said, social media could be a great place to start looking for observable turning points.


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