With the dreaded “Senior Capstone” project behind me, I can only give my advise on how to go about this project to the future capstoners.
1. DO NOT sit in class everyday and not get anything done… class time can save you a lot down the stretch of getting the project done.
2. Keep your work cited updated so you can do your works easier.
3. Dont kid around about getting work research done.
4. You should work on getting your interview as early as possible because sometimes it can be difficult to set up.
5. Never underestimate how much work you have yet to do. You may feel like you are close to done, but chances are you have a lot to do.
6. If you have the option of not taking this class, don’t.
7. Dont fall behind, because you always are getting more and more work to do.
There are not too many more tips, it just takes hard work and do not procrastinate!!
Although I thought not getting a grade on Capstone night was stupid, I still think the experience of presenting in front of strangers is great. It was neat to talk to knowledgeable people on my topic and hearing there honest, fresh opinions. Their feedback was unbiased and better than kids in our class because they just heard my project and not twenty others. They were able to give individualized feedback and that just made the experience better. Also presenting to people I did not know was a neat experience too. With people I know I thought it would be easier to present, but talking to two strangers who new about sports i felt really comfortable with everything I had to say. I feel like my overall presentation was better because of the in-class practice presentation. That practice gave me an overall game plan of what to say for the real deal. Although the real presentation was a little less formal, I felt like it was very easy to talk about my topic the second time around. The pressure was off and I was able to comfortably give my presentation. Another cool part of the capstone night presentation was the questions that my particular community reveiwer asked me. Instead of tips for presenting or base level questions he asked me a couple of great open ended questions that made me think. I could not go to my presentation and look for an answer, I had to think about everything I had done and work that into the answer for the question he had asked. To me, I felt like I did my job correctly if his questions were that complex!
In the future I think that there should be a little more riding on the second presentation. Maybe a smaller grade on how well each person was prepared and how they spoke in front of strangers. It seemed like we were just doing capstone night for the fun of it. Overall it was still a great experience but I feel like there should be more riding on something that we worked all semester to prepare for.
In today’s world, where everyone pretty much has easy access to the Internet, I think that websites should be created more easily to help the user. This sounds like a very novel idea, I know, but funny enough there are still websites that just are not easy to navigate. After browsing through TEDS 100 websites you should know, I saw that the easier to navigate websites were just better overall. Nothing makes me, as the consumer, happier than to be able to get from place to place without have to think about how to do just that. One of the websites I liked was a site called Esty, which is an online shopping outlet for clothes and accessories. They layout of the website was phenomenal with pictures of products to categories very clearly labeled and easy to find. Even the sub categories are sectioned out with pictures that are the appropriate size and easily seen. Another awesome website I found called entrepreneur. com, has a fantastic layout with information everywhere! Everything is sectioned and grouped so it is easier to navigate. Cluttering everything together makes site navigation difficult because you have to read each individual piece of information to know what will be inside.
Web designers realize when designing a website to make it visually appealing as well as functionally. If it is not, the user, or in some cases customer, will take their money and their time to another site.
After finishing the first draft for the first four sections of my research paper, I am beginning to realize I have a lot to fix. Firstly, my section three was especially difficult to write before writing the actual research section. In section three the goal was to establish credibility as a researcher, as if I am not already credible enough. Though I had some sources and people to talk about I didn’t really know whom I would be really using for the bulk of my research. So after completing my section for and I used more of my sources I can go back and add better information about the people I cited in my research.
The next important thing for me to do is get an interview. I started out big and tried to land one with two decorated TV hosts who are involved with ESPN and NFL Network but that did not pan out. My new approach, thanks to my teacher, is to talk to someone who has knowledge of the game and has played long enough to have experience before use of the Internet. My teacher actually was talking to her brother in law who has been playing for many years and truly enjoys the game. This will be perfect for my research about how technology has influenced the game. I have to say my work has come along way since the start and I can truly say I learned a lot on a topic I thought I new a lot about.
And I am off into the writing of the research portion of my capstone project. I have not really began that actual writing so I will talk about what I need to get accomplished this week. First off I need to gather any last information for my questions to have a good starting base when I start to get my thoughts onto paper. Also I need to find someone to interview because my first choice, Mathew Berry, has yet to respond. Maybe I will look into someone that works in a professional sports teams marketing department and see if they have any insight on my topic. finally i really need to fine tune my first three sections to get them into the best possibly form because we really get two tries to turn them in. I need to plan out what needs to get done each day so I do not get overwhelmed. All my research and outlines have built me up to this point and now it is time to get into the game.
After reading some of the ways Gerald Egan describes the transition to maturity in children, I strongly agree with what he says. To me, being able to live in a college environment is my next step toward adult maturity. Easier said then done, this is a large step for a lot of people in this country. We know of people who get to college and go crazy, just because they can. Egan thinks that just following directions isn’t a sign of maturity. Going beyond that, is the real stepping-stone. Actively taking control of all of your actions is where he thinks the maturity comes from. I find this interesting because throughout high school I just tried to get by instead of challenging myself and pushing myself. Though I am not “sorry” I did not do that, who knows where I could have been…
Another topic that Egan touches on is dependency. Maturity is like riding a bike. You start with training wheels to help you learn and guide you. You learn how to ride a bike with the training wheels as your safety net, then you take them off and you’re alone. Teachers, parents, and friends are all there to help you succeed when you are finally on your own. Then, it is only up to yourself if you can succeed. My parents really helped me with independency. You really cannot realize how dependent you are until your parents stop doing things. For example doing my own laundry may sound very small and something you take for granted, but that is something that I dread doing every time it needs to be done. Them just making me do those little things and not paying for my stuff, taught me to be self reliant and gave me good work ethic in the workplace to be able to have money for things I want.
Lastly he talked about how kids need to widen behaviors and learn diverse ways to handle life’s situations. I think this is very important because as a child your parents try to teach you how to act appropriately when it may be easier to act the way you want, but in reality you need to grow up and handle yourself. I find this in my life when I seeing myself react more maturely to situations I would have found myself dying of laughter a couple of years ago. Being an adult comes with acting like one and knowing when it is appropriate to act in a certain way.
At Sycamore, one of their cliché mottos is “freedom with responsibility”. They really think they give us freedom when to them it means driving to and from school. Through the four years I have been there, I’ve seen multiple rule changes hampering our freedom when we are at school. Obviously it is a school and they will do whatever they want. Though in the classroom, I have learned a lot about preparation and organization that is important in the real world. So I don’t think that Sycamore gives me the same opportunity to mature like Egan has described. That is unfortunate, but I am ok with it.
After finishing the first three sections of my capstone project, I feel pretty good about what iI have done so far. Though those sections are not the demanding research section, but still challenged me when writing them. I think the research question will be more fun to write because I enjoy fantasy football. Im waiting to hear back from Mathew Berry about a potential interview. If that does not work out I will have to go a different route and find someone a little easier to get ahold of. As far as my research goes, I think I have a decent amount but will still need to find a little more. For me it is easiest to sit and do as much as I can before needing to stop because with this kind of writing its nice to get into a grove!