"The whole movement of life is learning" (Krishnamurti). "To be an act of knowing, then, the adult literacy process must engage the learners in the constant problematizing of their existential situations" (Freire). "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free" (Douglass). "I can learn anything I have the desire to learn" (White, S.G.).

Monday, April 7, 2014

On Inspiration

If you have talked to me since Friday you know I took the day off to catch up on some schoolwork and I was really really excited about it. Last week, I had begun analyzing my qualitative data for the 1-2-3 Project but that was as far as I had gotten. My eyes were crossing and nothing was making sense to me--I was too "in" the material and couldn't get perspective.

Caitlin happened to be off Friday too and she brought her computer over in hopes she could get something done as well. I was pleasantly surprised that we used the power of social constructivism to work through our project. We helped each other hone in on themes and find supporting quotes in our interviews. Within two hours I had most of my presentation and hand out complete. I’m impressed with the connections I’m making and quite proud of the work I have done this semester.

Since it’s such a short presentation, I feel like there will only be time for themes, supporting quotes for the themes and a few overall implications. I’m closely following Dr. Muth’s rubric. Is that how it’s working for everyone else?

Right now the hardest task for me is to get images for the slides and handout. I just don’t feel this project lends itself to anything except borrrrrinnnngggg screenshots of the pre-approval form. Usually I have no trouble landing on the best images but something about the nature of this project is leaving my visually uninspired. I already tried to add gifs to my PowerPoint (my favorite source of visual inspiration, thanks to tumblr) but they only work as movie clips.

How do you get inspired to complete not-so-inspiring projects?

Gifs: Bob Ross, Bob's Burgers


  1. I just blogged about how I get inspired: I borrow frameworks from people smarter than I am! Ha ha ha!

  2. Melissa, do GIFs work in Prezi? I haven't tried it... so I probably should and just answer my own question. I have confidence you will find many appropriate images reflecting your and other people's opinions about paperwork! ;-)

  3. Well, while maybe you're not feeling artistically inspired at the moment (or maybe that's changed since) your post inspired me! Sounds like you and Caitlin were productive and I like that you used each other to bounce things around. Themes, quotes, implications sound right to me...maybe a pizza woman (re:Capstone) could spark a new idea or different way to present? Though I will say, I can imagine you may be putting pressure on yourself because historically you're presentations have always been so visual and fun :)

  4. Melissa, I am actually quite interested to hear your presentation. In my previous position at VCU, I was required to fill out many travel pre-approval forms, and NOW I am training someone else how to do them. I can't wait to see if the experiences that you collected are similar to mine.

    For a visual, maybe you could take pictures of people filling out the travel authorization form and their dazed expressions (maybe during one of those travel training sessions..haha)

  5. I like Rachel's suggestion!!

    Your presentation will be great - can't wait to see it!!

  6. Melissa-I am inspired just by hearing about your subversive collaboration with Caitlin! The visual dimension could be challenging given the "mundane" nature of these practices...But that is the the surface issue with most ethnographic work--its in the "cracks" of ordinary small processes that the deeper cultural energies seep through and surprise us. So, maybe in addition to the cool ideas above, you could simply 'get through' the basic parameters quickly and use the preponderance of the time to present puzzles or curiosities and let the group "play" with them in some way? :)


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this post. Diverse opinions are welcomed.