The Happy Medium Between Science and Personality

For my past experimentation, I took a more scientific approach on a personal experience. While, the insight gained from this process was extremely useful, something was missing when the information was presented in a purely scientific format. The voice and personal experience that was cultivated through the series of diary entires was lost. So, for this next experiment, I plan on combining the personal experience of the diary entries and scientific basis of the literary review paper into a comic. I think this will be a great platform, because in cartoons and comics, authors convey current events, controversies, or historical events in a comedic or personal manner, which amplifies a reader’s reaction to the piece.

Traditional comics have relatively the same overarching characteristics of creating an argument or claim, usually through humor. They are usually published in online or print magazines and newspapers, and therefore lend themselves to an intended audience of people who are interested in the subject, so scientists, professors, and students for scientific comics. However, I think comics are so powerful because their audience invoked is so large. Anyone who reads the magazine or newspaper where the comic is located is exposed to it, whether they are originally interested in it or not. In fact, some people skip straight to the comic section in the Sunday news.

Here are some traditional comics that caught my eye:

After researching some examples for formatting a comic, I found that there are a few variations in the genre:

  • Color vs. black and white
  • Multi-strip vs. single strip
  • Comment blurb vs. words throughout

This helped me narrow down what I want to do for my piece. Looking at different examples, I find the color comics more eye-catching and will use that technique in my own piece. I believe that my message will be better suited for a single strip, rather than multi, comic. Also, having words throughout my comic will flow better than containing them to blurbs.

While many comics use humor to further their claims, I feel like this might be inappropriate to talk about such an impactful disorder like depression. Therefore, for my experiment I am choosing to go against this norm of the comic genre, and instead attempt to draw deeper and more emotional reaction from the readers, while still keeping the same formatting structure.

I think what I hope to emulate is more along the lines of a project that my friend, Kathryn Rossi, a student at FIT, created for her math class which she shared via her Instagram @kathryn_rossi:


Research Papers

I have always hated research papers. Always. Throughout high school I bullshitted my way through every research paper I wrote, rarely ever concluding anything worthwhile or unique. Once I even wrote a 15 page research paper in one day and got an A. That’s either an insane skill or my teacher was just oblivious to how little effort I actually put into the assignment. Either way, research papers were, and still are, the enemy.

But you know what they say: keep your enemies close. So, I guess that means I’ll take a stab at a research paper for this experiment (Ha, get it? Stab the enemy?).

But, in all seriousness, for every high school research paper I wrote, I was missing a crucial component: research. Research for a topic, no matter how simple it is, cannot all be collected and analyzed in a day’s time. When I did this, I undoubtedly compiled a couple of worthwhile sources, but definitely did not find multiple perspectives in order to deduce anything significant. So, after my K-12 education plus my short time at college, I have decided that research is indeed important for a research paper. Who would’ve thought?

Research papers usually have a few more consistencies, regardless of topic, such as:

  • An abstract, or a summary of research project
  • An introduction, with a clear purpose
    • Including a thesis statement, usually at the end of the introduction
  • Body paragraphs, with a strong argument, a stronger argument, and a strongest argument, accompanied by in-text citations
    • Including a review of the literature and how it supports the claims
  • A conclusion and/or discussion, with a summary of the arguments and how they connect to deduce a significant claim
  • A call for further research, when there is a need to delve into a topic further
  • A bibliography, to cite the sources used

Looking at aspects other than formatting, research papers often have a professional, formal tone in order to appeal to the norms of academic works. Often, they work off of already existing research and are a stepping stone for research in the future.

The following examples, while differing in topics, all include the components of a research paper stated above, and I plan on using these as templates for my own work:


My research paper for experiment two will focus on the effects of heartbreak on mental and physical health. Many people think of a break up as something that you just have to get over, but, coupled with depression and other health effects, it isn’t as easy as it seems. I hope to call attention to this  phenomenon as a stressor for health, rather than a simple hiccup in one’s personal life. I hope to build on my diary entries from experiment one which tried to highlight this, but lacked the research to back-up my claims in any significant manner.

And, yes. I promise to put more effort into this research paper than the ones I wrote in high school.

How to survive the “bubble”

From initial research, to call the present college situation a “higher education bubble” may seem an overstatement. There are issues of students taking out loans to pay for overpriced schools, and that their degrees won’t turn into jobs that will help them pay back said loans. That’s easy enough to understand. An article by Andrianes Pinantoan, published on the America’s Future Foundation’s website, details ways that students can combat this fear. That’s why this article spoke to me- by evaluating the claims of major news outlets and being optimistic.

Going to a profitable school, picking a major with an “eye toward the future”, always research scholarships and working during college are all feasible ideas for most. They all depend on one’s situation. But in the end, college is an investment toward what is supposed to be a promising future. It’s not a time to … not plan.

In the end, as Pinantoan writes, “In conclusion, the college bubble is largely a myth; instead, it’s a reflection of fears about the high rates of student defaults. Comparisons to student loans to sub-prime mortgages, however, are faulty: the value of knowledge gained in college does not depreciate the way a house does.” This is what I’ve been thinking. Those who go through 4+ years at college without learning anything of importance are wasting their time and money. But many of us, myself hopefully included, will be able to avoid the bubble.

If this wasn’t written for me… I don’t know what is

Here is an article I found about the higher education bubble. This article was perfectly written. I’m really sick and want to go to bed so when I saw this was a two page article I was not pumped. But then I read the first sentence and before I knew it I was done. The article gets the general idea of higher education bubble across to me in a simple, clear concise way at the end of basically a funny/interesting Caddyshack article.


this article seemed (just by the title, I could barely read 3 paragraphs) targeted at recent college graduates. so people who already have paid their dues as far as higher ed bubble.


anyway two articles with contrasting styles and one that worked great for me and one that didn’t



Aren’t bubbles supposed to be fun?

I was particularly intrigued that I had never heard of the “higher education bubble” until last class.  It was astounding to me that here I was investing thousands of dollars in addition to countless hours of work and the reality of the situation is that it is very likely that my investment may not pay off.  Unlike past generations, a standard undergraduate degree no longer holds the same weight it once did.


I found a PBS short clip on the Higher education bubble particularly enlightening on the subject.


What surprised me the most was not that the net worth of my diploma is less than what it used to be, but rather that this was my first occurrence encountering this theory.  Being a currently enrolled college undergraduate student, this debate over the value of diplomas implicitly includes me as a member of the audience.  That being said, as far as I understand, there is little I can do to change this trend with universities’ tuition raises other than voice my complaints to a higher power with the hopes that they will appeal to my requests.  Seeing as I have little/no power in influencing administrators who influence college tuition rates, it would appear that this dilemma is more about me than directed at me to solve.  At this present point in my college education, I have already committed close to half of my investment in college, and as such it would be a poor decision for me to drop out.  However, if tuition rates continue to rise and the calculated value of a degree does not, this bubble may burst faster than anyone could have imagined.

Higher Education Bubble

Here’s a link of the most informative article on the Higher Education Bubble that I found:

Here is a link to an article on the Higher Education Bubble that is targeted to my age group, as the HEB is compared to Caddyshack:

Higher Education Bubble

As I’m sure at least a few other people have found, one of the interesting articles I’ve come across is relating the higher education bubble to the movie Caddyshack.

This is the article I found that seemed most directed toward me. I felt I could relate the topic more to my life when thinking about it in the sense of the movie, as opposed to a political problem or something directed toward my parents.

My next link is for a video that explains the higher education bubble, and I think watching a video makes the concept easier to understand. I think this is the most informative piece of information I can find on the topic, and I really encourage everyone to check it out if you have a chance.

A Bubble That’s Bursting!

After exploring the idea of The Higher Education Bubble, I feel that the youtube video I have chosen portrays the definition better than most of the articles I have read. Also, I was entertained by the video, which shows a hand-drawn diagram of the concept in fast-forward speed (also including captions here and there next to the pictures). From this video I learned of the increased value our society has placed on education and how this has created huge debts for college students and families. At the very end of the video, the male’s voice in the background states, “the bubble is going to burst.” And if we continue on this path, he is so right!

Click the link below to watch the youtube video:

EncounterBooks – The Higher Eduction Bubble Youtube Video

However, I do feel that the audience of this piece is more of the parents of college students or moreover, parents of “soon-to-be college students,” rather than the college students themselves. I searched a bunch of articles to try and find one that was directed solely to us, the students, but it was difficult to really find one true article that’s subject (college students) was also its audience. I think that we, as college students, are already invested in our education for the most part, or at least I believe that here at Michigan we are. Thus, I feel that the writers are trying to reach out to parents of students that will soon be applying to universities in order to warn them of the bubble that is about to burst.



Higher Education Bubble

The article linked below definitely appeals to the audience of college kids, who have probably seen Caddy Shack. But even if they haven’t, like me, the language and explanation is easy and accessible so you still understand what’s going on. I thought it was a creative way to analyze this phenomenon and I think more students my age and students thinking about applying to college would understand this concept when presented in this way.

I also chose to include the link of this video because I think it does a better job of explaining what’s actually going on. The fact that it’s a video definitely helps to appeal to the audience , however I don’t think it’s necessarily as accessible as the other other article. The only reason I say that is the voice is obviously a middle aged man who no longer has to deal with this and for the majority of the video he doesn’t address the actual subjects, just discusses the phenomenon. He does address at the end however so that helps.

The “Higher Education Bubble” isn’t the fun type of bubble, is it?

The first, and most informative piece of writing on the higher education bubble is actually a blog. Although it provides some extraneous details, the article does explain why it is referred to as a “bubble” and not something else.

The second article, directed to students, is done by the Harvard Crimson with heavy emphasis on student experiences. It lacks some of the basic information we might want, but it does have a student-directed feel to it. Using perspectives of students and using their voices to tell the story helps me identify with the piece because it feels more direct than other pieces.

But regardless of which one you may read, the overarching idea is that students like us are in a very delicate spot to be on the wrong end of this bubble.