An essential piece of my capstone project on free will and determinism will be gathering information from different “experts” on the various subtopics I will discuss. As of right now, I am planning on doing this in an informal, informational interview setting. A few of the subtopics are basic background, religious viewpoints and opinions, and racial factors. Within the first subtopic I plan to interview a Michigan faculty member who has studied topics like these in the past. For the religious viewpoints, I plan on interviewing a Buddhism professor as well as a Christian pastor. Finally, for the subject of how race affects feelings of free will and determinism, I will have to interview someone who is not white.
In my gateway project, one of the experiments I considered was presenting Stephen King with a letter and an interview request (I knew it wouldn’t happen, but I also knew that this wouldn’t be my fully realized project). Regardless of who I interview, whether it is Stephen King or a Buddhism professor, the most important part of an interview is being prepared. While I did not execute the interview, I did execute the preinterview work for my theoretical interview with King. This is going to be of great use to me as I interview the people involved with my current undertaking. It was useful practice in developing questions that are not only interesting but also can lead to and play off of each other to keep conversation smooth. Additionally, I learned the value of putting myself in their position and asking myself the questions to ensure they weren’t too elementary or off putting in any way. Finally, one of the most important things I learned from the prep for King’s interview was to give the interviewee a purpose. This is why, amongst other obvious reasons, I did not pursue this as my gateway project further: he had no purpose to ever do an interview with me. I need to ensure that by doing interviews with me, the people in my current project are feeling as if they are furthering research in a topic they are interested in, or feel as if, for one reason or another, they are somehow internally or externally benefitting from giving me their time and knowledge.