Capstone Journal: Am I even creating something worthwhile?

My biggest issue throughout this whole capstone process has been the worth the project has both to me and to others. As I have progressed in writing and designing, I have become excited and slightly obsessed with every minor detail pertaining to my project. But now that I have more, I look at it and I wonder if it’s even something, well, good.

I guess its hard to classify something as good or not when there is no model for exactly how it is supposed to look. Simply put, it’s so subjective it kind of hurts. But despite whether or not people enjoy my color palette choice or the placement of my paragraphs, is the content even going to help anyone, or even me? Obviously I’m writing something I care enough about that I have chosen to spend a disgusting amount of time focusing on it. So for me, yeah there has to be some kind of benefit to spending all of this time on these ideas. But what about others?

I am most definitely not the only female athlete, or woman in general, who struggles with body image and self worth within sports and fields of life. Body image and the way women are looked at by men and other women is pretty dense in itself as a topic. But in knowing so much about it through my own personal struggles and pains, I felt that writing about body image and snarky comments you hear a dumbass say to your best friend while out at the bar in comparison to what a bitchy judge deducts off of a gymnastics routine was relevant and actually unique. The ten point scale of attraction and just general value sucks. We judge food out of a ten, people on Tinder, that hot guy in the coffee shop, trips, sometimes exams, situations, and even accuracy (I make a three point shot 1 out of 10 times. I am a 1 in basketball). And most of the time, there isn’t a specific perfect situation for any of these things because it is, don’t say it Liv, subjective. But gymnastics shouldn’t be subjective because there are skills being done that have specific expectations, but it really just is so subjective. So hopefully someone reads my website and realizes that maybe we do make numerical judgments a lot and maybe we should start to realize that numerical judgments of people is just not it. We can’t change gymnastics judging (or can we, muahahaha), but we can change how we judge others just by the awareness of using less numerical ratings.

Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

5 thoughts to “Capstone Journal: Am I even creating something worthwhile?”

  1. Hi Liv! Nice Ted Talk!

    What you write here is really interesting! As a science student, I love numbers and quantifying things. Without quantifying things, science just could not happen. I find that putting something on a scale makes me understand things so much better. But what is often taught in science is that numbers can be deceiving and inaccurate (that’s weird to say) because at the end of the day, they’re just absolute numbers. Like usually, research uses statistics to make sense of their numbered data because those calculations take into account other things/variables/factors as well. And I think this has been helpful. Also, while I think using numbers makes something more objective, it really doesn’t have to be. I guess what has helped me is thinking of number scale as a tool. It helps me to understand things but it is not solely the reason I make my judgements on.

    But, as you mention, sometimes scales are needed such as in gymnastics because there are skills being judged for. I agree. As in research as well, we make meanings about numbers based on what we expect out of the numbers, such as the p-value and stuff like that. I guess what matters is what expectations we want to have from these numbers. I mean who get to decide that on a scale of 0 to 10, 10 means perfect? Why can’t 0 means “no mistakes”? I guess interpretation of numbers is nuanced and absolute things such as numbers are not so absolute after all.

  2. Hey Olivia,

    I definitely can relate to this particular anxiety. I’ve chosen to spend the last couple of months obsessively pondering the distinction of video game narratives, which I have to assume is objectively less important than what most people in our cohort are covering. As a result, there have been times throughout this process that I’ve felt utterly ridiculous, which hasn’t helped with my motivation to keep on working.

    Despite these doubts, though, I’ve pressed on, and have been quite happy with the work I’ve done. I’ve had an absolute blast engaging with a topic that I have a true passion for, and while what I’m doing isn’t important in a ‘solving the world’s problems’ kind of way, it’s become important to me personally, and – with any luck – may even prove important to others who share a similar passion for the medium. You’re absolutely right to say that the way these things are judged is subjective, and as much as that can be painful for a writer who just wants to do things right, it’s actually the greatest thing we could hope for, because all that is necessary to make the effort you put into the project worth it is for you personally to be invested in its goals.

    Of course, I don’t really need to tell you that, as based on this post you have a pretty strong sense of why your project matters in a larger context, and a confidence in how your position may contribute meaningfully to a reader’s understanding of that context. What I have to ask, then, is to what extent do you see it as your responsibility as a writer to make your position heard on a wider scale? Is it adequate to make the website, perhaps share it to a few friends or social media feeds, and call it a day? Or, if one is to really put such a dense amount of work into something, does that come with a responsibility to make sure the product of that work is effectively distributed, if that makes sense? These are questions I’ve had to ask myself as I’ve toiled away at my work, so perhaps you’ve wondered similar things in regards to your own project.

    Best of luck during these last few weeks!

  3. Hi Liv!

    To be frank, anxiety is one of the only feelings I have grown accustomed to pursuing this project. I spend a majority of my time conscious (and honestly sometimes I dream of this project, creepy) thinking about it. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean I’m making any progress, but I certainly have been completely taken over by a fear that my work matters and that I will be able to execute my final project the way that I hope to. I feel completely insane spending time thinking about heroism, and what it means, and honestly this process is just as exhausting as you mentioned.

    Despite my fear, I feel like I am creating something that could matter, at least to one person. That being said, I think that your project does matter. While I am neither a gymnast nor an athlete (I wish), I have found the idea of rating women based on numbers and evaluating their looks based on such completely appalling. I think that using the lens of gymnastics and your own experience has allowed me to see how this idea carries on throughout more than just a little rating scale some boys made up that evaluates the way a girl looks. Your project matters to all those girls who have thought about this larger issue before, even if you can’t see it yet!

    Going along with Henry, I am curious to see what you will do with this project. Will you be satisfied just posting it and receiving a grade for your work? Or is this something you want people to see and think about? I have been thinking about this with my own project, and I really don’t know the answer. But sometimes creating something that matters makes it worth sharing.

  4. Hey Liv!

    I found this post to be very interesting and also something that I have struggled with in the past. For me, I write much better when I truly believe that my writing has meaning, a larger purpose, if you will. I can assure you that your topic is one of those things that will have an effect on any man, woman, or gymnastics judge that reads it. I think that oftentimes when people read something about the way we judge / treat others, it causes a genuine self-evaluation into how we as individuals contribute to the problem. I do want to ask whether your project has kind of a “why you should care” section? Not that I think it needs one necessarily, but if you are struggling to see purpose in your work, it might help for you to write one out, even if you don’t use it.

    Hope this helps! Can’t wait to see your finished product.


  5. This is me!!!

    I have written all my content by now, so now it is time to re-read and edit. I am so terrified by the thought of it just not being what I want it to be. The idea of it not being worthwhile is an interesting one, especially with how much time and effort has gone into this project. I feel we all think there is high stakes and we need to be successful in achieving what we set out to do in order to be satisfied. What a wild concept… a whole semester spent on something we may not even love!

    I have read some of your content and I think it is doing a great job thus far drawing the necessary parallels, as well as, giving you the authority to do so through your experience. I look forward to the final project.

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