News flash: I have resumed work on my capstone!! After a somewhat lengthy vacation away from the land of ENVS 400, I have returned and am ready to get back to work. I had a chance to meet with Liz today, though her office hours are a hot commodity these days. I had eight questions that she graciously and very helpfully discussed with me, mostly concerning the feedback she gave me on my first draft. The work I need to do is mostly in the top and bottom of my hourglass. In the top, I skirt around the larger situated context of my work: the U.S. and most likely other post-industrialized countries. I’ll add that into the introduction, which currently implies USA by mentioning FEMA but does not explicitly say anything about it until I write about my situated context of Nextdoor and Portland. I also foresee tweaking my thesis statement to be more assertive or just bigger in scope, if that makes sense. Currently it’s pretty specific because I was feeling insecure about the validity of my results, but I think I should make some bigger claims since I have all this data! We’ll see how it goes.
In the middle of my hourglass, I need to expand on my results more. In my first draft I got somewhat overwhelmed with the amount of data I had to present and only included the top few values of each question, which I now think is ridiculous! I also need to write about patterns, and not necessarily duplicate the information on the tables which is what I did previously. Additionally, I need to find someone who knows how to find statistical significance so I can compare my pre- and post- snowpocalypse data. I have a few potential helpers, but need to figure out what kind of data I need to compile to run that kind of test.
The bottom of my hourglass definitely needs some love, which is something that I’ve known since I submitted it. In my discussions with Liz before submitting my draft I mentioned that the Collins View fascination with animals was a major point of interest for my thesis. However, when all the categories were tallied up, animals didn’t have very high rankings quantitatively. Qualitatively though, those were some of the richest posts I would read — they almost always have multiple responses (one had over 60!) and people like to know when the animal is reunited with its owner. Similarly, hummingbirds during the snowstorm were a huge point of community interest. There were multiple posts expressing concern over their hummingbird feeders freezing in the storm, and people devised all kinds of creative mechanisms to keep them warm for the tiny birds, from using hand warming packets to chicken lamps. In a similar vein of expanding on my discussion, the snow storm deserves some more attention. Liz suggested exploring the relationship between information-giving and helping each other — according to a risk perception article we read in (Un)Natural Disasters, information seeking is an important step in risk awareness, and so providing that information could indirectly be helping people in some way as well.
I’m excited to pursue these additions, but sitting down and actually writing it all down is another story! This weekend will hopefully be productive since I know what I need to do already (and of course made a to-do list). Perhaps Festival of Scholars tomorrow morning will be inspiring, but I’m also worried I’ll be tired of thinking about my capstone after explaining it 34 consecutive times. Only time shall tell!