One of the constants that I’ve brought up in previous journals is my worry that my Capstone will be boring. The topic can feel very niche – I’m not convinced that a broad amount of people purposefully seek out stakeholder perspectives on the I-375 Freeway improvement project. And when I think other people will be bored, I get bored of my own topic. That’s an experience that I’ve been having for the past couple weeks but I think I’ve finally broken out of the feeling that my capstone is just something I have to do to graduate with both my major and my minor, and that it’s returned to being something that addresses the fundamental questions about policy and society that interest me.
Another assignment that could have been boring but actually ended up interesting (to me) was a policy memo I wrote about infrastructure and President Trump’s potential infrastructure plan. I think the piece became a lot more engaging because I was able to make recommendations and include my own opinion. Here are some examples from when I moved on from facts and analysis to opinion:
“Federal private financing would be a disaster, so I suggest shifting from federal advocacy to local and regional initiatives”
“A public advertising campaign to address the previous failures of PPPs in providing infrastructure investments and profits for Wall Street instead of the government and the public will help to sway public opinion against public financing, while acknowledging infrastructure as a vital concern. “
Even though those ideas are similar to what I wrote in my last journal, this assignment helped me to think about ideas that I thought were important and then turn those opinions into something succinct and readable. Hopefully, my capstone does the same as I address larger issues of representation, “stakeholder” involvement, and impacts of past and present planning. My capstone process has helped me mold my thinking about my issue in the same way my memo did, but has also given me the flexibility to be more prose-based and evocative in my writing unlike a basic policy assignment.