Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection
As for the Management Project topic, I was wondering if there would be any sort of hands on type or working along side someone type of work, or is it just shadowing a worker?
In the Body Language and People Watching topic, would this only involve body specific types of research or would it also include facial expressions and the way they act in general?
I was also wondering if the Clothing topic would be similar to people watching, or would that be its own individual topic?
For the Life Rituals topic, do we only research a specific ritual?
Is there any way I could combine a couple of the topics that I have chosen?
Does the Clothing topic only include modern day clothes or can they be from a different era?
As I was first introduced to the long list of topics and scanned through them, I took an interest in many of the given, especially: Local Spirits and Legends, People Watching, Life Rituals, Clothing, Wood Carving and Local Businesses. The descriptor had such a variety of subjects that it was difficult to even narrow it down to these, but eventually I chose three out of the thirty given. Through reading countless numbers of Almuni reflections, the three that I finally chose were Clothing, Life Rituals, and Local Businesses.
To choose these topics I first had to make some objectives that each would pass. One, they had to be a unique opportuniuty that was hard to come by any other time. Two, this would be the topic that I would be spending a whole month on. Three, they definitely had to be interesting and something that I had some sort of enjoyment doing.
Clothing at first, did not seem like a topic that I was interested in and was much more intrigued in People Watching, but the longer I thought about it, I realized what specifically about people watching I enjoyed so much, and that was what type of clothing people wore to define themselves. This topic was something that I had observed for the majority of my life and is a chance to do something that I had oddly enjoyed for 13 years. At microcampus, I plan to compare and contrast their way of defining themselves through clothing to more busy and bustling areas, such as, Shanghai or a downtown area in the U.S. I could definitely see maybe going around the town just observing people and talking to different types of people, like a shop owner, student, farmer, or craftsman.
Life Rituals was a topic that I was quite hesitant about choosing as I did not seem that interested in it; eventually I chose it because of the fact that we spend our lives celebrating certain events every year. I find this topic quite important because of when I moved from the U.S. to China and saw how differently we celebrate special occasions. Just like how I mentioned before, I would also want to look into contrasting and comparing the different ways we celebrate special occasions. I would really hope to be able to talk to locals about their unique ways of celebration and in the best circumstance, be able to see first-hand something that they use, wear, or eat in the celebration or commemoration.
Local Business (Final Choice):
Looking into a local business was the final topic that I had decided to pursue due to reading and looking through more relflections and pictures from the Microcampus Alumni. Although, I was definitely the most hesitant about this topic because of the lack of knowledge I had of it, I chose it because I looked up to people who were able to make a successful living from what they built up. Because of my family's history, I, without a doubt, developed an interest and found an importance in running my own business or at least being a part of one. Given this unique oppurtunity for a whole month, I would definitely enjoy being able to shadow someone that runs their own business and conversing with them about their product and financial choices.
As of now, I am interested in all three topics, but the one I find to be most interesting would be, Clothing. Unfortunately, I am torn between two topics that I find a bit less interesting, and those two would be: Life Rituals and Local Businesses. I am still not sure about this list though.
Update: After a couple days, my final choice of the topics would be, Project Management, then would be the study of Clothing, and at last, are Life Rituals.