Attempted Intro and Research Synthesis– I’ve got a ways to go…

How eye-opening. Trying to write an introduction after what seems like barely any research or interviews was painful. It felt wrong and maybe a little selfish, but I don’t think it was totally horrible.

The inspiration from my project stemmed from the “Why I Write” piece in the Minor’s Gateway course. I wanted to include it, or at least some of my ideas from that paper, into the introduction.

Here are some of the questions that I’m struggling with when it comes to getting started and including myself in this series of stories about small town people transitioning to big schools:

  • Is it selfish to include myself in my series of narratives?
  • Should I let my readers know that its me?
  • Should my “Why I Write” be my introduction or my story at the end?
  • In the introduction, should I introduce what will happen throughout the series of stories (e.g. You’ve heard my story, now hear the stories of others students who have…etc.) or just let them figure it out?
  • I’m planning on including photos into my narratives. Should I place them throughout the stories or give them a separate space to tell their own stories?
  • Should I include a more academic portion in the beginning (rather than a narrative portion) to set readers up about the disparities of SES and low-income families at big universities?

Okay, sorry. Lots of questions I guess. I have some time to think about it, but I really need to get my interviews all set up for the week or two weeks after spring break. There is still so much research to do. I’m dying to get in contact with someone from the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP) to be my consultant, mentor, person, etc. But I recently heard about a program called Wolverine Pathways that helps kids from low-achieving towns get accepted to colleges. Unfortunatley, I’m not sure that this program completely correlates

Other than mentorship and interviews, I really need to look more into the intersectionality between SES and small towns. Because, let’s take a good look around Ypsilanti and Detroit, big schools or neighborhoods are not directly correlated to big income. I’ll be so interested to see how the two of these things intersect, and how they play into (or don’t play into) the transitions of my interviewees.

Something that is always so prevelant in my mind is how much money students spend here. Whether it’s on food or drinks or clothing or the amount of Ubers they take, students here have money. Coming from a family with far less than an investment banker’s or doctor’s income, I know that my class has affected the way that I interact with other students. I’m interested to see studies surrounding this, but also if this has played a role in the lives of other small town students during their time at Michigan.

Over spring break, I’m hoping to read another book by Chuck Klosterman (one of my two patronuses (??)); his work heavily revolves around abstract narratives and adopting the voice of a certain time, place, and culture. This will be huge for me during my project, as I’m aiming to take the voice of those that I’m interviewing.

Okay, off to do a disgusting amount of laundry and pack every bottle of sunscreen I own into a backpack! Enjoy spring break everybody.

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