Capstone Project: What am I confident/worried about moving forward?

What I feel confident about: I am actually feeling fairly confident (at least compared to what I typically feel regarding this project) upon the completion of my Production Plan.  So I am feeling confident that I will be able to stay on schedule, task, etc. and that I will not fall behind. I also finally feel confident in my subject.  It has been a long road of indecisiveness, and it is funny because I basically ended up where I started, but I feel confident in what I am researching and how I am choosing to research it – but I also feel confident in the fact that I will be able to adjust my production plan as things change throughout the remainder of the semester.

What I feel nervous about: I guess what I feel most nervous about is finding the right interviewees to interview.  Hypothetically I could continue interviewing people until I find a myriad of perspectives on my topic, but I think we all know that this project takes up enough time (and we have plenty of other things taking up other time) – I would prefer to hold interviews with a select few only, but I understand that may not be a possibility. I also am nervous about the use of media in my project. I am mainly apprehensive for two reasons: 1) I have never been much of photographer, to be quite honest, even in my group of friends, I does not take the pictures, so it should be interesting and exciting, yet still a lot of hard work trying to learn enough about photography in such a short time period, 2) I am nervous a section of my project will end up looking too much like Humans of New York. I originally got the idea from that blog/Instagram, but obviously want the end product to be vastly different. I see that being an issue I continue to think about throughout the project and handle as the production of the website gets closer.

Picking a Proposal

It is always the same. The initial excitement of finally coming up with an idea wears off, and the reality sets in.

As I sat at my computer about 5 days ago, I came face-to-face with the all-too familiar feeling of “wait, do I actually like this idea?” “Am I sure this is something that will work?” “What are other things that I like better?”  Despite the fact that I let my mind race off thinking of a few new ideas (concept of reality T.V., some sort of idea about music…not sure where I was going with that one) I did end up completing my proposal on my original idea. An absence of multiple openings, an absence of multiple topics – if you know me or my writing process at all, this was a pretty big win.

Even though that was a win, the writing process itself was not easy.  I had to force myself to really thing through my idea, even when it got rough. Fortunately, this process led to me to develop my idea much further.  Originally, the thought behind my project was to focus 80% on self-improvement (a term I don’t really even use anymore) and 20% on individuals who feel they don’t need/want to improve.  Upon my workshop in class, it was brought to my attention that I was missing narrowing my project by 1) saying all evolution needs to be “improvement” – evolution can very well be negative as well as positive, especially in an environment such as a college university.  Thus, I changed my main topic to “human revisionism” to encompass all types of change. And 2) the increasingly more interesting aspect to this topic are the individuals who feel that they don’t need to improve, who are going against the grain.  So I feel I have now switch the amount of time I plan to spend on each “type” of individual to an even 50/50, if not 40/60.

Although working through the proposal was by no means an easy task, I feel that it was necessary. I now know more about where I want this project to go, and how I will realistically be able to get it there.

“Greatest Hits” of Reflective Writing

  • Common argument of five paragraph essay
  • Something that you are naturally good at, something that you do because you’re not good at anything else
  • Chronological order as a form
  • Very literal examples
  • Writing about challenges you overcame
  • Writing in an academic sense
  • Go-to examples rather than creative examples
    • Demonstration of obvious growth
  • Use of PowerPoint rather than coming up with more unique approaches
  • Use of first person
  • Making claims that can be applicable to other forms of art (i.e. drawing, paint, etc.)
  • Trying to make experiences relevant by use of filling in the blanks
  • Using childhood experiences
  • Using recent experiences
  • Using classic quotes
  • Creativity v. analysis arguments
  • Expressiveness arguments
  • Constraint arguments
  • Assessment arguments (response to..)

Capstone Project Idea

The infamous Capstone Project: Ah, where to begin. If you don’t know me from Gateway, I am the girl who said she would spend a few months of her life studying Game of Thrones. That definitely was sparked by Ray’s story of Worlds of Warcraft, but still, I am wildly obsessed with Game of Thrones – the themes, the symbolism, how it reaches such a range in audience at such a large amount.  As someone who only started watching GoT less than a year ago, I have already watched the entire series twice (hmmm…) and have started George R. Martin’s novels while waiting from the next season to come out in April. So, like I said, obsessed.

could write about Game of Thrones, but I think that may have just been a knee-jerk reaction to Worlds of Warcraft.  Not too feasible. If I really think about it, and I have, I think what I am really interested in is the Psychology behind Game of Thrones. Which led me to my more-than-likely topic: influence.

As of now, this word, “influence,” can stand to mean so many different things: the influence of people on other people, the influence of TV shows (hola GoT) on how people think, the influence of seasons on people’s positivity. I have so many different ideas, and I think the main problem is going to be narrowing my thoughts enough to come up with an outline that is clear, concise, and with a point of reason.

I have thought about making this a personal account – how I have been influenced by positive and negative events? But right off of the bat, that sounds a tad boring to me…

I have thought about studying the Psychological term of Influence and the science behind it for one aspect of the project and then using the second half of my project for the creative twist.

I have also thought about it making it completely focused on just relationships – could be all relationships, including parents, friends, romantic, even professors, or just romantic relationships, and how relationships influence one’s perspectives (or I should say can can influence…)

I think it is pretty clear that I have many a thought running around in my head right now. But I believe that it will come together as I continue to think and process these ideas and as the writing process begins.

Anyways…

Discipline: Psychology, Sociology, Communications (if I choose to work on GoT at all), Creative Non-Fiction

Focal Subject: Self and Influence/Society and Influence

Confounding Variable: I think this is the largest “?” I have at the time…but for right now I would say optimism v. pessimism in light of experiences

 

— Much more to come

Three Lists

In our last class, we were tasked with coming up with three separate lists of skills we have used, need to use, or need to learn how to use for our repurposing and remediation projects.

Repurposing:

  • Creative Writing (in the form of a letter) – 30%
  • Psychology – 40%
  • Sociology – 35%

Remediation:

  • Writing – 10%
  • Psychology – 10%
  • Sociology – 20%
  • Music – 30%
  • Media/Technology – 10%
  • History – 20%

What I Need to Learn: 

  • Literary Humor
  • Making claims that I can support without hard, statistical proof
  • How to make my personal message applicable to everyone
  • Translating my love of music, and power it provides me, to others

 

Remediation Resources

Although I have close to no experience working with technology, I have chosen to either make a video or a podcast for my remediation project.  After doing a little research on my own and reading through a few of my classmates responses on this blog (thank you, everyone) I have found a few different resources that I think will be key to my success!

1. The Instructional Support Services center on campus! Although before this project I had never heard of such a place, its seems supportive, easy enough to navigate, and may even have staff willing to help out a tech newbie like me.  You can rent out different machines you may need for given projects (video cameras, audio devices, etc.) with just your MCARD and return them with you are through! Simple enough I would say.

2. I will also be utilizing iMovie on my my MacBook Pro. Although (and I know I keep saying this) I do not have a lot of experience with this application, I have used it a few times before and I am pretty confident that with a few hours under my belt of navigating around, I will be able to figure it out.

3. I will be conducting interviews for a large portion of this assignment – whether or not it is a podcast or a video.  As such, I will need both iMovie and equipment from the ISS.

…I am planning to continue researching as I develop my plans further!

 

Remediation Station: A blog I think..

For my final piece of work in Writing 220, I believe I will make a blog.  I change my topic (again..) for my repurposing paper and decided to rework my final assignment in English 325 – a paper about a process. My process was how I found my sense of confidence. I repurposed this/I am continuing to work on this by making it into a letter to all freshman year female students.  The letter has a few personal anecdotes, a few moments of humor to lighten up the topic, but it mostly consists of the importance of maintaining and wearing one’s confidence throughout college, and really, life.  I truly enjoyed writing the original piece and have enjoyed the beginning stages of this one as well.

I believe a blog post would be a great way to remediate this piece of work.  Blogs are personal, can be funny or serious (depending on the topic), and can be as often as necessary.  I believe for a topic such a this, I want a very personal form of communication with my audience and a blog post would be the perfect opportunity.

As of now, I have never actually written a blog post (besides for our lovely Writing 220 class), but I sometimes feel I write small blogs in my head…..

I am really looking forward to starting this process. I think it will be a great learning opportunity as well as truly fun experience!

Stressful Wakeup, Inspirational Work

I woke up this morning way earlier than I had intended to – in fact, my alarm clock has still not gone off. This usually happens to me when I’m stressed, when I have a few too many things weighing heavily on my mind, circling their way through the passage ways of my thought processes – what could go wrong? but what if ____ happens? Did I get ___ assignment done? Will I have enough time to do ____? I woke up with a bolt of energy, grab my computer, and got to work.

200

Within less than a half an hour, I completed more work than I had gotten done within two hours last night. No coffee, no drugs, nothing – just my mind, slightly stressed out.

After scheduling the rest of my day, finishing a paper, and saving the world (just kidding I didn’t save the world…) I started thinking about this phenomenon in terms of just writing.  There have been instances in the past in which I have a moment of inspiration: I am living my ordinary life and BAM! I have feeling that I should start writing for whatever reason and within an hour or so, 6-8 pages are in front of me.  There are other instances I can remember, many actually, in which I am sitting at my desk (at the library or in my room) pleading with brain to please please help me write the paper that is due in the next few days. I sit, stare, and beg at the computer in front of me for hours – and nothing. Am I the only one who finds this strange? Wouldn’t be nice to have a clock on your wrist letting you know what time of day you are going to feel inspired so you can plan accordingly?

I think the real interesting aspect of this debate comes about when you question the quality of the work you are writing. If you can write quickly, but it is subpar, are you truly feeling inspired? Then again, if you can’t write a decent five page paper, even if it takes you hours and hours, are you a writer at all?

Just some thoughts I had at 8 AM this morning….

 

Random Thoughts in Random Places

I find that my best work is written at the most random times. Whether it be in the middle of night, in the midst of a conversation I am having about a completely arbitrary subject (inspiration will hit, I won’t drop the conversation to start frantically writing), or when I simply sitting, thinking alone in my room. So is it not interesting that we are always forced to write at specific times? We have due dates, which are necessary for society (college, really) to continue on schedule, but what if those due dates do not fall in line with your personal mojo – yep, I just used the word mojo.

I guess that is what is so beneficial about our class – Writing 220.  If my mojo (there it is again) isn’t present one week, it may be there the next, and I can turn in my paper for a revision that week. Greatly appreciated. This specific instance came into play when I was writing, re-writing, and completely changing my topic twice. The re-purposing essay, the assignment I was most excited to write, was simply not working. My mojo was just not there. I sat by my computer for hours upon hours. Typing just to erase, reading what I wrote just to think some alien who had never taken a writing class (or english class for that matter) had actually written it. Nothing was working.

I have spent my week at home thinking deeply about my topic – well, my two vastly different topics. I have thought about it’s structure, purpose, and my opinion of it thoroughly. Although I still am not 100% sure, I am 99.9% – a lot closer than I was last week. My mojo is back and I can start writing again – and I did, last night at 12:37 AM.  Thank you again for the opportunity for revisions.