Before, I had a rule that I would not do any schoolwork at my house. This was meant to keep my studying, and home life as separate aspects of my life that never had to meet. This was intentional, and in all honesty, quite healthy. It’s also completely been thrown out the window. So when I reflect on my evolving perception of my capstone, it seems a bit foolish to exclude the massive changes we are all currently undergoing. Sheltering in place has meant that I now am being asked to consider my capstone in the one place that I had previously sworn to never let it cross my mind. Attempting to meld my home life and schoolwork has resulted in me returning back to my previous promise to never do work here, a shift that has provided me with minimal motivation or interest in academia.
As I look back on a Google questionnaire I completed in 2019, and reminisce to a time when these problems didn’t impact every aspect of our lives, I am struck by the similarities between my current, completed thesis and my old ideas. I continued to study the same two radical environmental groups I named in 2019, though my resulting thesis admittedly focused less on the philosophy each group is centered on, and instead analyzed their actions to examine the utility of radicalism in the larger environmental movement. Overall, I do not consider this to be an enormous shift. I am thankful for this, as it allowed me to revisit texts and resources used back in 2018, 2019, and for my other thesis that was completed last fall. I had always intended on writing a conventional thesis outcome in an attempt to be granted honors, so I do not feel as though my communication of this work has evolved much either. After a fair amount of tinkering, I can say that my communication of my results via graphs and charts has improved substantially as I have mastered Excel.
This week, as I prepare for my defense, I am being forced to communicate my capstone work in a new way, with minimal guidelines or instruction. This challenge will certainly force me to further consider my communication skills, and reevaluate the parts of my argument that are weaker. In comparison to my last thesis, I feel there are many more weaknesses in this final product. This can reflect differences in my attachment to the topic, lack of motivation, or can be connected to a variety of other factors. With all of this in mind, this defense will be a challenge.