Hello everyone! So it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve put anything up hasn’t it? There’s a reason behind that. This semester has been super crazy. I know that most of you are thinking, well yeah, it’s college, it always is. BUT I’m a senior this year and at my school that means senior comps. Now, different colleges and universities have their own versions of this. Some call it comps or senior comprehensive projects; others I know call it a senior thesis or capstone. At my college, each department is different but for my major (Communication) the comp. sequence is spring of junior year and fall of senior year. Within the Communication department, there are three different track options for the senior comp-quantitative, qualitative, and rhetoric.
Now, for my year and the year before us, the quantitative track didn’t make up. The professor who is in charge of that track was on sabbatical the year before (so my junior year) and so when it came time for us to choose tracks, the other girls and I weren’t aware that it was an option again so nobody signed up for it. Though I’m sure the professor didn’t mind because she got a little break. The quant. track deals with surveys and numbers and things as far as I’m aware. The rhetoric track takes a specific thing like a speech or movie and analyzes it using one or more criticisms. I personally found the qual. track the most appealing. Currently it’s the hardest track of the three but the professor is really good and we conduct our own study by conducting interviews.
So as you can image this took up the majority of my free time over the last two semesters. Last spring, the other girls and I in the qual. track spent our time doing background research, writing our first draft of our literature review (the first major part of our paper) and developing our study. This past semester, we conducted our interviews, transcribed those interviews and coded them, and wrote and edited the rest of the sections of our paper. So it was very busy to say the least. We also had to present our study to the entire department and whoever else wanted to stop by since the presentations were open to the public. Mostly though the audience consisted of our professors, the other seniors, a few juniors, and then whatever friends or family members wanted to come see their friend/daughter present.
Watching others present was interesting because we didn’t really know what anyone else was doing. Some of the things the girls in the rhetoric track analyzed were Frozen, Calvin Klein ads, Scandal, the role of racism in Orange is the New Black, etc. Girls in my track conducted studies on romantic relationships and romantic comedies, Tinder, sibling rivalry, why women go to the gym, the “L” in Chicago, Chipotle, etc. My study looked at plus-sized and overweight women and how they viewed themselves.
The presentations were difficult in the sense that we had to condense a year’s worth of research into 8 minutes. It’s an 8 minute presentation and then there’s 4 minutes for the professors (and other audience members if there was time) to ask questions about your project. It was nerve-wracking to do but my friends and I got through it and now we’re done!! We’ll hear back if we pass our comps or not either at the end of finals week or when grades come out over Christmas break. The professor who does the qualitative track though has basically assured us that we’ve all passed since she has a personal policy that she doesn’t allow her students to go through with the presentation if she doesn’t think we’re ready to do so.
So. In a nutshell, that’s what my life has been consumed with the last several months. Lots of late nights, even earlier mornings, mini-panic attacks, pages of sources and pages upon pages of writing. BUT IT’S DONE! The gigantic wave of tiredness that hit me as soon as I was done with the paper and the presentation though was unreal. UNREAL. No joke. I took a nap two days after I finished and I dreamed about being so tired that I couldn’t physically keep my eyes open. I DREAMED THAT. So that’s how my life is going currently….and I seemed to have lost all motivation and drive to do the studying and paper-writing that needs to happen to get through finals week. I mean, parents, don’t worry. It’s going to happen. It just might more reluctant and/or painful than it necessarily has to be.
Hopefully after next week, I can start updating on a more regular basis again but until then, I just wanted to give you guys a little glimpse into what I’ve been doing during this internet silence.
And because I’ll be studying for finals and writing papers, an early Happy Hanukkah! For those who aren’t aware, Hanukkah starts a sundown on Tuesday, December 16th.