Graham Livingston's Capstone project 2013

Reflecting

Senior capstone was not what I was expecting. I thought I would learn more about how to do successful research, but instead I learned that doing successful research is a non-communicable skill. it involves networking, organizing and patience. I was not expecting how active I would have to during the research portion.  the only thing I found to be disheartening was the class time. I was a part of the problem as I am easily swayed to apathy, something I am working on, but the group environment seemed to promote such a work ethic.I feel that I could have better used my time out of class. Capstone night was… interesting. The people who were presenting  in my group did not seem to be very prepared. This made the community reviewer very lackadaisical on the grading aspect. From what I observed of my  own presentation, it was very similar to the one that I gave during class. I went in with pretty much the same anxiety, and a little bit more confidence. The presentation went smoothly and I got the information across that I needed to. All in all I think I have learned a fair amount from this class, it just came at a bad time considering all the work that is assigned at the end of  senior year.

Motivation

The ideas explored in the lecture that we watched seem very obvious. After all, what most people want is fulfillment. The lecture took me back to the moment I realized I could  define success from a fulfillment aspect and not from a monetary stand point. At the time it was the first time i had been able to put words to what I felt was important to pursue. The lecture also brought up the interesting point of how the incorrect reward for the work can actually devalue the importance of the work in somebody’s mind. It is hard to be creative or innovative when you feel like a Pavlovian dog. This kind of work is much better served by a fulfillment  based reward then a monetary based one.

Capstone so far, (again) (again) (again) (again)

A good week! Momentum is catching on, the interview with Steve Hampton of The Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation is coming up, and the paper is almost finished. Part four was a bit hard to get started,  but as soon as the first paragraph or two was written the rest went fairly smoothly. At it’s current state the paper needs a lot of editing and that time will come very soon. I think that the Interview with Steve Hampton will add a lot to the project, both in credibility and in detail. From what I can tell by the plan The Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation came up with, Mr. Hampton is probably one of the most involved persons with the revitalization of Over The Rhine. This will add another voice similar to that of 3cdc’s, but I think it will be a bit more from the general view of the community. To round out the project, I would like to still get an interview with a group similar to The Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless.

Capstone So Far, (again), (again), (again).

It would seem that this week was actually a very positive one. I sent my interview questions to 3cdc via email and also contacted Steve Hampton who is a local expert on Over the Rhine. So far I have heard back from 3cdc with a lot of good information. Anastasia, the director of communications for 3cdc talked about both specifics and long term goals and dates for redeveloping Over the Rhine. This has so far been the biggest source of information concerning part four of the research paper. I hope that I will hear back from Mr. Hampton about the interview but If not I have found some other people that would also be good to talk to for a counter argument to 3cdc’s views. If Mr. Hampton does come through I think I will try to have a person to person interview because what I got back from 3cdc’s email was seemingly robotic, email does not allow very much ability for follow up questions.

                On a personal level, I am feeling a bit rejuvenated about the project because of the positive momentum I see to be experiencing. If only this paper would write itself…. but it’s manageable. I’ve also been spending more time actually in Over the Rhine which has helped to get the feeling of exactly what is going on.  There seem to be a few factors that are making the biggest difference in the neighborhood and they are actually very noticeable from the perspective of the residents.

Response to “Egan: Moving toward adult maturity”

The word adult carries many definitions  I’ve heard the word used to describe people who are lacking curiosity,but also to describe people who are moral and wise. So what is an adult? By law an adult is anyone at or above the age of eighteen, but Egan describes an adult as something different. He says an adult is someone who has completed six specific accomplishments.

“1.  Assume an active role in life rather than a passive one.  The student must actively direct himself, rather than merely following directions.

2. Change to relative independence from a state of dependency on others.  The student must take charge of his own learning rather than depending on a teacher to feed him knowledge.

3. Widen one’s range of behaviors. Act in many different ways, rather than only a few.  The student must learn diverse ways to approach life’s experiences, rather than depending on the old comfortable ways learned in childhood.

4. Develop a wider range of interests — moving from changeable, shallow, and casual interests in mature, strong, and enduring interests.

5. Move to relationships as equals or superiors from solely subordinate relationships with others.  The student begins to leave much the child’s world of always being “lower than” the adults in his life and enters into relationships as an equal or even as a “leader.”

6. Move toward some kind of control over one’s destiny, rather than merely understanding oneself.” -Egan

After reading these I can see that there is one theme that runs through all of the rules, independence. This list of rules reminds me very much of the book Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. The story is one of searching and results in the conclusion that some learning is noncommunicable. I believe that this is what Egan is also getting at. That to be an adult a person must begin to challenge the ideas that they have been told about how the world is, and rely more on how they define their observations of the world. I  would say that the ideas that Egan brings up are completely correct, but that a lot of people don’t ever learn these lessons and cannot be taught these things from other people. It is not enough to hear the ideas, a person must actively practice defining their interpretation of the world.

Capstone So far (again) (again)

First draft… done. Last week was surprisingly productive. The first draft of parts 1-3 of the research paper went swimmingly, and 3cdc responded to my request for an interview. While the first three parts of the research paper are truly only an introduction it was good to start moving my research from being simply catalogued to actually being applied to the structure of the final project. This step helped bring back the motivation… a bit. Which is much better than where it was at the beginning of the week.

I am currently working on wording my questions for the 3cdc interview. This is a surprisingly difficult task I am finding out. When they wrote back to me granting the interview, they specifically mentioned that they would be only able to spend a little bit of time on answering the questions, so I have been trying to set the questions up to get answers giving as much information in a short answer. One example of a question I am asking is, “What demographics does 3cdc represent?” 

If you have any feed back on this question, or others that you think I should consider please feel free to leave a comment on this post and I will try to include it in the interview and get back to you with the answer.  

Capstone So far (again)

It’s getting harder. Not the work but finding the motivation to work. The days of this class have started blending together and have become a kind of white noise in my memory. I can’t remember when I switched from thinking of a project to studying the topic, but I will trudge on and hopefully find some sort of positive motivation… or negative.Looking at my grade is no longer doing it for me.  Anything at this point would help, so if you know of anyway to work on motivation please let me know! ughhhhh….

As far as research goes i’m becoming a bit stumped. The online sources are almost all personal accounts where the author is giving their opinion of the situation with little statistics or facts to back them up.The proof that is employed by these authors tends to be specific events such as the removal of one building, or the restoration of Washington park. I have submitted a comment to 3cdc asking for an email address or phone number to possibly give an interview. So far there has been no response but these things tend to take a while. I do believe that the interviews I do will have the largest impact on  my final project and really shape my research. I’m currently looking for the person who I should email at DAAP to ask for an interview.  Any help on this topic would also be greatly appreciated.

Capstone so far

I came up with my topic about a month or so ago and as we start to go deeper into them and actually start research, I’m finding I may have chosen a topic that is a bit broad. I am considering changing my question to dealing specifically with the urban renewal in Over the Rhine. From what I have seen OTR is where most of the dramatic and noticeable changes are taking place. Most of my sub-questions either directly address OTR or can very easily be applied to it instead of Cincinnati as a whole. So i am pleased with my topic and my questions and have been able to find plenty of source material on the internet alone. The most important source I think I will have is the interviews with 3cdc, the daap professors and activist groups opposing urban renewal in Cincinnati.

As far as the group discussions go I haven’t found them that helpful. I think that  the groups will be more helpful now because, as I stated before, I had made up my mind on what topic I was going to study a while before we had to. But sense I do not know how to effectively do research or branch out of my own thought process, I think the group will become a crucial aspect to the project.

Response to Brain Gain

Performance enhancing drugs are a fuzzy line on the spectrum of ethics. The new generation is now faced with the dilemma of deciding what will be the social receptiveness to neuroenhancers. There are obvious positives to the individual but will it take away from others ability to pursue happiness? It is a core belief in American culture that if you work hard enough you can earn your way to a better career/general lifestyle, but what if the other competitors are hopped up on Adderall or another form of neuro enhancing drug?

 

Western culture places a very heavy importance on achieving goals. It is engrained in our self-image and how we perceive others. These neuroenhancers can help us achieve these goals but at what societal cost? In my opinion I believe this will cause a major distinction between classes, leaving the impoverished further behind and with less ability to compensate by applying themselves.  I agree with Greg Carapanzano who says that neuroenhancers will “create an unfair advantage…”  As Americans we are taught to value the idea of equal opportunity and these drugs help destroy that opportunity for some.

Another important question to ask when looking at ethics of neuroenhancers is what have we done about other types of performance enhancing drugs? Obviously as a society we do not condone using steroids or doping in sports, just ask lance Armstrong or Barry Bonds, and when so much of our culture is competition based; standardized tests, college applications, positions at work, etc… is it cheating? I personally believe that it is cheating to use neuro enhancing drugs to give people an advantage over others in a competition.  In noncompetitive situations I don’t think there is any problem with using these drugs to help in your everyday life.