Final Blog Post

As with every big assignment that I complete I have had a love/hate relationship with the HOA project.

However, the reason I have had overall positive feeling regarding this project is that the topic is something that has been nagging me for years. The men in my family are all very technologically involved, while my mom and I are more on the artistic side. Conversations between my Dad and I have often revolved around computer science, and my dad has tried to relate CS to art so that I am more interested in the topic. Sometimes this works, and sometime it doesn’t.

Recently I traveled to northwest Illinois with my Dad to hear him speak about computer science to a bunch of college students. Earlier that week in the dentist’ office I had a chance to see his presentation ahead of time and help think of connections and examples for his talk. His presentation was along the lines of explaining technology as a powerful tool that the average person could pick up and use. He gave examples that were very visually pleasing and had a lot to do with design.

It actually wasn’t until I wrote this blog post that I realized that my Dad’s presentation was the reason that I even though of doing a project on this topic in the first place. His presentation helped articulate a lifetime of connections between computer science and art.

In terms of the project process:

I really enjoyed fleshing out my thesis and figuring out exactly what I was going to study, even though it got stressful at points when I felt my topic was impossibly large and had no direction.

My initial research was not nearly focused enough, and I struggled to get a thesis that I could- and wanted- to prove. Once I figured that out I had to come up with a way to present my information- and that was a rough process.

I spend hours trying to come up with a presentation style that both embodied my thesis and presented my information well. Ms. Minyo was really a lifesaver on this front. Multiple times after school I stopped by the art room to discuss my project with her and get her opinion on presentation style. I figured if anyone could come up with a visually pleasing display it would be her.

During our discussions she once mentioned to me that there was a difference between technology as a tool, and technology as actual art- and I, in my ignorance, waved it aside, saying that that wasn’t really the focus of my research.

Even with all my brainstorming with Ms. Minyo I still didn’t have a presentation style that worked. However, I looked through the storytelling slides that you (Ms. Park) posted and saw the website option. It wasn’t the perfect embodiment of my thesis, but it was something that worked well and gave me the perfect platform to present my information.

I realized at this point that my thesis was incomplete- I hadn’t really broken up my topic into categories. During some initial brainstorming I remembered Ms. Minyo’s comment about technology as both a tool and as art, and from there it was mostly a straight shot.

It took a little while to figure out how to use the website, and to get over some of my slightly OCD tendencies regarding the design, but once I started inputting my information I was really happy with what I was creating.

Looking at my final product, my only regret is that I didn’t come up with my finalized thesis sooner; if I had I could have devoted much more of my time to researching examples that fit those categories, instead of figuring out those categories in the first place. Quite honestly I would rather have started working on this project than watch movies after the AP exam, (although I know a number of students would disagree, so it probably was better that we didn’t).

I’m extremely glad this was our final project in APUSH. For the most part I really enjoyed the process and I never thought I would ever design a website. It was always something I though about, but I never had any idea of what to put on it.

Thanks for giving me a reason to make a website, and, among other things, a reason to advance my thesis writing, researching, and presentation-giving skills.