Challenge Journal #1

The last day of Gateway was the first day I can remember thinking about the topic of my Capstone, but honestly, I was probably stressing over it way prior to that. I have lived life as a planner: my 10-year plan has been followed to a tee, my to-do lists have taken up the pages of many journals, and my mind is always thinking about the next thing I need to check off after I finish what I’m currently working on. And while I wanted to have a magical moment in which my Capstone topic appeared in front of me that last day of class, it never came. It still hasn’t come. And to me that is utterly terrifying.

I can say, however, one thing about my Capstone project I have known is that I want to write fiction. Anything fiction will suffice. And the reason for this is not because it’s my favorite genre to write (although it is), it’s because my entire education since middle school has been dedicated to developing the skills to write an academic report. It started with three paragraph essays, then evolved to five, then ten, then God knows how many paragraphs in a 50-page strategic analysis. The education system, in my experience at least, completely ignored the realm of fictional narrative. While I did have some opportunities to write more casual essays, they were still based on a scholarly topic. For example, during my sophomore year of college, I indulged in writing a Sutra for my Intro to Buddhism class. The assignment was to change the main message of the Lotus Sutra to reflect a different meaning of enlightenment. The overall form resembled that of a narrative, but the way in which it was presented was strict and the message was deeply rooted in the beliefs of Buddhists. It allowed some avenue for creativity, but ultimately controlled the boundaries of its path.

Thus, we end where I am today: forming an entire project on the basis of rejection for my previous experiences. To say my prior work has influenced my Capstone is an understatement. My prior work is the reason for this Capstone. Although unplanned and terrifying, the potential for creativity and learning the ins-and-outs of fiction is part of my education that I’m finally excited about.

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