So as I approach the end of this project it dawned on me that I am asking my reader a ton of questions, like maybe too many question which is good I suppose. A reader should be pushed to think about things that they rarely think about. One of my worries is that, as my reader sifts through my project, that reader will get burnt out and feel overwhelmed by all of the questions. For instance, this is the beginning of one of my sections:
“Homeless. What do we think of when we throw that word around? Do we think baggy clothes, ungroomed appearance? Disheveled, dirty, filthy, disgusting way of life? Does our mind go straight to cigarette in hand, begging for a light? Or maybe we think undeserving, lazy, writing a sign and spelling the words wrong. Do we imagine someone using the sidewalk as their mattress, the moldy rain as their blanket, the nearby alley as their bathroom? Do we feel empathetic or apathetic? Do we think of men? Old men? Does the way we think about homeless people alter how we treat those that appear to be homeless? Whoa, that was a lot of questions. Let’s take it from the top. What is homelessness?”
And that’s just the beginning of one section, one page among 10 or so. Does this feel like too much? Do you see this as a huge issue? Or do you feel like it’s a thoughtful and engaging way to guide the reader through my project? Do you like that I agrees all of the questions? Do you think people will become fed up with not knowing answers? Do you feel like a solid solution is to provide more statistics or facts about homelessness? (lol, sorry for again asking so many damn questions. Maybe it’s just a me-thing).
As I have so many times, I want to again return to my gateway project, one where I use the first person and delve into a number of questions. Perhaps, I have to narrow in on the types of questions I am asking. For example in my “Why I Write” essay for gateway (where I write about my identity as a Jewish writer), I say:
“I write to conjoin the traditional standards and values of Judaism with contemporary progressivism. I write with a Jewish head on my shoulders, but refuse to do so with outdated values, tools, and ideas. I write to understand the conflicts I encounter as a Jew and as a human being living in 2017. How do I maintain my Jewish identity in a secular world? How do I experience the fullness of society as a committed Jew? I write to find out. I write to explore my unplanned, indecisive, never-ending thoughts.”
Here, I am asking a set of questions, but they feel different. I am asking questions that begin with “how,” implying that I am seeking a certain way of accomplishing a certain thing. “How do you” questions feel different than a “do you” or a “what do you” question. They feel broader, more expansive, and have more room for discussion and debate. I also provide a brief answer after my series of questions. Does this framework of “how” questions followed by my personal thoughts feel like a better framework with which to approach my capstone project? Does this feel like something you’d like to see as you’re reading. If not, do you have other suggestions with which to approach it?