Senior Thesis… Beginning Thoughts
I’ve been thinking about my senior thesis for a while, but I haven’t had a lightbulb moment/epiphany that has suddenly given me insight as to what topic I want to research. This senior thesis sounds a lot like my event in Speech and Debate, Original Oratory. Original Oratory requires that I pick a topic and prepare a persuasive 10 minute oration (on said topic) that must be backed by research and evidence. I was thinking that I could potentially focus on the same topic for both Original Oratory and my thesis, but I’m not sure if this will work. My topic for Original Oratory was inspired by a podcast called “The Problem With the Solution,” which talks about how “solving problems” for its own sake isn’t always a good thing, and how, in rushing to wrap up a complicated situation, people can oversimplify solutions and ignore nuances, effectively creating a more devastating problem than there was to begin with. In terms of a thesis, I thought that I could apply this general idea to something specific… Possibly how grade-based educational systems force students to focus more on providing answers than they do asking questions…? I think this idea is stemming from the fact that I just went to Governor’s School (where there were no grades) and had one of the best educational experiences of my life. In terms of contact hours, I could interview teachers/administrators and also contact Governors School faculty members and professionals who work at schools where grades are not assigned. If I don’t proceed with this idea, I thought maybe I could write about something else related to the correlation between educational environment and student performance (i.e. the effect of stress and even rhetoric like “Bring your A Game” and “The Croatan Way” on teen health and mental well being). I also thought that I could write from a more humanistic standpoint about the true value of “balance” and “happiness” in life — are they really worth it? Should we compromise our talents to achieve them? And why do they always seem to exist independent of work? Right now, I feel kind of lost and directionless, but I am thinking a lot about this and I hope that the more I do, the more clear my thoughts will become.
P.S. I just had a thought — maybe I could write about political false hope. I am interested in the extent to which a person’s life is predetermined by their financial status, and whether political rhetoric reflects this reality accurately. I think I am being inspired by our deer poems here, because I have been thinking a lot about how much we as humans can actually, truly change things. This idea is also coming from the 2008 documentary “Enjoy Poverty” produced by Renzo Martens.