Title title title title

Blog Post: what was it like to put proposals together?

  • We split up into our own heads during the proposal section; the whole process was basically us retreating to our interests, doing our personal research and finding our own sources and figuring out which methodologies would be the best. This meant that each of our proposals also had a different focus: Marie’s was in-depth, with many many words on her thought process –  Seanna’s was all bulletpoints of possible questions and paths of inquiry; Daniel’s was an example of the process he would use to explore a comparable question.
  • I decided to softly pursue two proposals because of my initial understanding that we would require to do 6-8 proposals EACH. Gladly, I found out that we had to do only  6-8 TOTAL. God bless.
  • (We still only have 5?? Perhaps we should make one more just to have more options?)
  • My two inquiries were, naturally, following my interests: architecture and Orra’s drawings (visuals, mon ami!)
    • Hitchcock obviously influenced the college, yeah, old story. However, how much of his legacy is PHYSICALLY present on campus, that we must interact with every day and deal with? Yeah, dinosaur tracks, cool, but what of his do I actually have to see? This brought me to the fact that the iconic view of Amherst – College Row, complete with JChap, South, North, and Appleton – got built during his era as president. The Octagon too was a love of his, and an indisputable part of the college’s unique architecture.
      • I realize after typing and deleting the phrase ‘and so the question remains’ that I have no concrete question concerning this research – it would just be an exploration of the college’s architectural history and how Hitchcock’s decisions then affect our current student lives.
      • Part of me is also superinterested in hearing what people thought of it all THEN – Hitchcock’s contemporaries. What did students think of his hatred of dorms, citing them as “evil?” Did faculty care about having their own academic buildings, or were they content with the multi-purpose rooms of the South attic?
      • Anyways, questions that are terribly Amherst-important rather than irl important.
    • My other inquiry dealt with the forgotten variable of Orra White. She had fallen off our vision board a couple weeks ago; after answering all our initial questions about her, we sorta stopped… caring about her. There just seems to be nothing else that can be found out.
      • Criss, one of the interns last year, told us to just write SOMETHING on paper to feel as if we’re exploring new territory. Missy also warned to add Orra into the equation one last time and conclude decisively  to not drop her form our inquiry. Out of the four of us, I decided to take that path.
      • So I took a couple paths. First I took OW’s Herbarium and decided to do a side-to-side comparison to a couple different things: her drawn specimen, her contemporaries’ drawn specimen, a modern drawn specimen, and an actual photograph of the specimen. Second, I would take her lecture drawings for Hitchcock and compare them to modern scientific illustrations. I know at some point Orra drew this creation.
      • I hate to tell her that she's a bit off with that plan of the earth.
        I hate to tell her that she’s a bit off with that plan of the earth.
      • But yes; that is the general idea. To think about her drawings, their accuracy, and their place in the history of scientific illustration.
  • What I am concerned about is how these various proposals will fit together. The one on the relation of science and religion could possibly extend to analyzing citations; finances  of the college could possibly be related to the effects of Hithcock’s architectural decisions. Otherwise, all these fall under the realm of ‘legacy’ but even through 3 separate concept maps we have not found a way to  fit the four together in a cohesive manner. Perhaps that will come with time.

What questions do you still have?

  • None really right now? Mostly this urge to create something out of these loose ends.

What do you find exciting about moving forward?

  • I’m curious about the deductions we will make from our proposals. Yes, we know that Hitchcock’s financial abilities were enough to lead the college out of ruin, ~by the grace of God~, but I’m looking forward to finding out the numbers that allowed that to happen. Same goes for my idea about the architectural plans. I know that the college was slowly built; seeing how much WASN’T there is also something that I’m very looking forward to.
  • Basically, I’m interested in seeing results. : /

Reflect on moving from individual proposals to the group project.

  • Ooooohh suddenly I understand the difficulty that last year’s group had with reconciling their differing project ideas. If we have such a softcore attachment to our projects after a couple days, I can imagine what a month can do. Hopefully our group project will evade that issue and instead for one cohesive project instead of four disparate ones.

What concerns do you have and how do you think you can allow for one another’s interests?

  • I’m willing to scrap my ideas; I know they’re of the weaker variety (already my first proposal, Orra, has fallen out of the conversation) and I’m willing to let them go if they are unnecessary.
  • Another thing: we could switch roles in our
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tDjYuqJRJQ
  • On a completely other note, I’ve been scouring Bioshock playlists on 8tracks and have completely fallen in love with this one playlist about the protagonist of the sequel and have listened to this song on repeat for days on end. My current music mix is sad emotional duets about water, pumping electroswing, and this weird southern gothic/Americana style that I have never been attracted to but cannot let go of now.
  • There’s something interesting about creative energy – when it’s there, its sheer force makes it hard to use or direct. When it’s not, it’s hard to get going. I’m not quite sure what to do with this thought; I’ll keep it for now.


Leave a Reply