Well…here we are, finalizing our capstone project proposal which elaborated our interest, intent, and most importantly, the topic or central question we each want to spend the next two months intensely investigating.
In my Psychology research lab, my research sponsor once mentioned that we should drop down our inspirations or questions that crossed through our mind in a notebook. So I did. When I learned about our Capstone Project, I took out the notes I had scattered across scrap papers (I am not as organized as I should be in collecting those random thoughts). I stared at them and thought to myself, “Many things seem equally exciting? How should I pick which topic to pursue?” Some of the ideas I have include: How do one recognizes beauty? Why do we have intuition? What does it mean to face grief early in life? How do we make quick judgements on Arts in the blink of an eye?
While many of these topics are things that I would like to answer, I thought to myself, “I have the chance to explore something with a lot of ownership and flexibility. Why not untying some knots that go beyond what research and academic could tell me?” And therefore, I settled on my topic on the cultural differences amongst mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan through the lens of their cultural products. I want to understand the place where I grew up in and my cultural heritage thought a combination of academic research and creative expression, something that I’m yet to try.
Now, I have to say that the formation of this idea and after going into office hour to discuss this topic with Ray, I was thrilled and excited, ready to tackle this topic. I ended up watching two movies produced by Taiwanese directors. However, as I draft the proposal, I realized that I needed variety in the presentation of my findings in other to truly explore the topic beyond the academic research I am familiar with. I also realized that I wanted to study this topic out of care of people around me, a personal relevance that seems not significant or strong enough, but by the end of the day, when I thought about the culture of these places, I thought about my family and friends scattered in these areas. I thought about wanting to meet them or return to my hometown someday. I thought about the gradually unfamiliar feelings I had about them when they discussed about the future of these places. As graduation is approaching, I thought about how actively understanding and appreciating their perspectives, identities, and experiences are probably more important than bringing my Bachelor certificate back, especially to my grandmother.
So here I am with the project, ready to run.