Capstone Challenge 4: Project check-in

It’s April and it’s still cold. That’s the norm now I guess.

Anyway, my capstone website is up. It’s far from being done but it feels more surreal now that I am actually doing a project, like it’s not just a writing class. I find that tackling a big project is overwhelming. Even while doing the project, I still get overwhelmed by it. I think about the project everyday, drawing inspirations from what I see and heard while I was walking to class or back to my apartment. This project has consumed me.

Now big project always scares me because I am afraid of starting and not making progress and not having a good enough topic, etc. I’ve done other projects in my life before but none of those feel as scary as this one. To be honest, I am the slowest when it comes to researching and typing up my project. Besides other school work, I guess I was too scared to start writing because it’s just unthinkable that I can produce such a long and huge writing project. But my site is up and there are some writings on it. What I find helpful is to just start writing, even if that means I write badly. This reminds me of what Jim said to Pam, that is to get the bad ideas out first so that more brain space can be freed up for good ideas.

So once I started writing, I find that the process is not as hurtful as I imagined it to be. It still sucks but it sucks my soul less. Sometimes I find it weird that I’m a writing minor but I really hate writing long papers. I’m not good at writing long papers because I don’t have many things to say. I mean there aren’t any better way to say “I hate oranges” than “I hate oranges.” I’m not a fan of “I find that I have a strong aversion to the citrus fruit by the name oranges.” That’s just unnecessary. (side story: I had to read a few application essays from my friends and wow filler words everywhere. If I only learn one thing from science classes, it is that being concise is better than being sophisticated)

This is all I have for this post. Write on, everyone!

(side story 2: I’m bummed that I will miss the showcase but I’ll be sure to visit everyone’s websites!)

2 thoughts to “Capstone Challenge 4: Project check-in”

  1. Hi Alia,

    I really appreciate the quote from the Office here. I completely relate to this feeling—capstone is scary. I have found myself writing slower than usual as well, and I find that this is rooted more in fear of the unknown than in the usual “second semester senior procrastination.” I also have been thinking about my project constantly, but this does not always translate into having a large amount of writing.

    It is easy to fall into a trap of using filler words or “sophisticated language” to try to mask this fear of the unknown. If my ideas sound good, and have nice words around them, they will fall under less scrutiny. Right?

    Last night, I read George Orwell’s “Language and Politics” (http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit/) for a class, and his thoughts hit a little too close to home. He argues that the frivolous nature of the English language can detract from our ideas, from politics, from culture, etc. rather than strengthening them. I am going to try to keep his ideas in mind as I complete my capstone (although he is pretty radically opposing the English language, which we cannot completely do as writing minors). This may be an interesting read for you as well!

    Matisse

  2. Hey Alia!

    I thought your intro line was witty and showed some personality, a great opener to the blog post. Also, yay that it’s not so cold anymore! I think we can all relate to this feeling of projects and papers at the end of a term. I have four or five staring me down right now and it’s definitely overwhelming to think about. But I agree with you that sometimes you just have to start. Once you get some words on a page they can lead to other words, and soon enough you have a little story. String a couple of those together and you have a bigger story. The snowball effect. Anyways, I wish you the best of luck finishing your project!

    Lucy

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