I am an unfortunately indecisive person, when it comes to myself. I dread having to come up with plans, or pick a restaurant, or even decide which shirt I want to wear on any given day. But making decisions for another person is usually much easier. So, I loved working with Jamie to come up with possible ideas for each other’s projects.
From the questions she asked me, I felt that Jamie got a good idea of what means a lot to me, and I felt I understood a little more about what was important to her and important to understanding who she was. Because of that, I trusted that what she suggested were legitimate things that she thought could be successful and interesting to devote my entire semester to.
I came into class knowing that I would really like some aspect of my project to focus on my passion of animal rescue, but I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to take that. After talking, Jamie gave me some great suggestions. One of her best was using my favorite book, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, as a model for my writing style.
Keyes creates a character that undergoes a life-changing operation that changes the way this character thinks and subsequently writes. However, I’m not sure I’m up to the challenge of mirroring that, and I’m not sure how I would encompass my animal rescue passions into that.
I did really like the idea we came up with together of creating a series of magazine articles or yearbook stories (as I’m the editor-in-chief of the university yearbook — shameless plug, we’re still hiring one more writer!) that cover human interest pieces intersecting with animals and animal rescue. I think Jamie really managed to understand that animals and yearbook were both important to me, and that I’m pursuing a career in journalism, and she managed to help me tie all of those together into a project.
I mentioned that I love writing children’s fiction as well, but I don’t think I want to pursue a story featuring human and animal interaction, only because I’ve done it once before and I would love to explore something different that might challenge me to think outside the box a bit. That’s why I’m leaning towards creating a “mini-magazine” focused on animal rescue, and particularly the Humane Society of Huron Valley (where I volunteer in Ann Arbor).
Reflecting on the actual process of getting to know someone and help them make their decisions, I think I definitely want to bounce ideas off of people more often. A lot of times I go into a project with a pretty clear idea of what I want to do, which I think is good, but I also don’t get any of the insights someone else could offer me. I would have never thought of connecting Flowers for Algernon with experimenting with writing style, and even though I most likely won’t take that route, the suggestion got my gears turning in a different direction and helping us spit out ideas a little more easily.
I’m actually super intimidated by this project, but I think that’s the point. I wanted to make sure I got out of my comfort zone, even though I know it’ll be a lot more work than experimenting with a medium I’ve already done before. I’m so excited to get started, and to see where everyone else takes their ideas.
(PS sorry for posting this half an hour late, Shelley. Festifall and the sun got the best of me today.)