My work thus far hasn’t changed much content or topic wise from this past Fall’s ENVS 350 class. I’ve always wanted to do my capstone on the conservation of endangered species, specifically situated in the Hawaiian Islands. That hasn’t changed at all. However, looking back through my previous Madlibs, the process in which I went about my capstone has changed tremendously.
My first Madlibs form that I completed was obviously very vague and empty. I had no idea what to write for the methodologies section and beyond. In short, I was only able to answer the questions that related to the top of the hourglass, and the middle and bottom of the hourglass were practically blank. The second Madlibs form I completed was much better, but still different from what I ended up doing for my draft thesis. I had multiple methodologies, my focus question slightly changed, and my results were not what I ended up with.
I had a really solid idea of how I was going to write and communicate my capstone by means of a thesis paper. I made an in-depth outline of my thesis so that when I actually started to write my paper, it would’ve been smooth sailing. I think what stopped me from moving forward for a really long time was my methodologies and results section. These sections, arguably the most important, were the ones that I felt the least confident in. I had so many different paths that I could’ve gone with my capstone that I think I became really confused and tried to find a way to incorporate all of these different paths into one thesis. The entire process became really overwhelming and honestly really frustrating. My focus question went through a lot of transformation. I was never really satisfied with it, but I knew I couldn’t spend all of my time perfecting it and needed to move on. With the help of some of my classmates and Jim, I was able to finalize my question. I had about 3 different methodologies, and ended up using none of them. My content analysis stayed the same, but I performed it differently than originally intended. This content analysis took a lot longer than I had intended, so I felt as if I had a lot of catching up to do. Lastly, the bottom of the hourglass for my capstone still needs some work. I have a much better idea of what I want to do with it, especially compared to my previous Madlibs forms.
I think that looking back at my Madlibs forms was actually really helpful for me in terms of finalizing my paper because it gave me the confidence I needed to keep moving forward with my capstone. To see how much progress I actually made from my first Madlibs form gave me a lot of satisfaction. At first, change scared me. Whenever I had to change something about my capstone from what I previously had or thought, I was worried that I would fall behind or that I would have to change everything. However, I realized that sometimes, change is good and necessary. I’m happy with the changes that I’ve made to my capstone so far and I can’t wait to see what the final thesis looks like!