FOURTH QUARTER SELF EVALUATION
March -- May
As the year is ending, most of my time has been syphoned away from research back to fundamental academic classes and getting ready for graduation, however in the last quarter, I have contributed to planning the final two conferences of the year: the APL SLC as executive board leader and the Glenelg Annual GT Fair as event coordinator. This past year has been strange in that I have felt a definite pull towards the role of management, group organization, and leadership over the requirements of research, my personal projects, and even my own thesis. Both roles are difficult and rewarding in their own ways, however I am very glad to be going to Hopkins next year as a freshman, where I will have to start over, build up my research, and reinvent myself in whatever leadership opportunities I find best. Mentorship has been an endlessly useful tool for the past 4 years and I owe quite a bit to the program, but it is definitely time for me to go and try something new.
SECOND QUARTER SELF EVALUATION
November -- January 2011
This quarter, I hope to earn an A grade, because I have maintained my research timetable and completed all required assignments for the class structure. Please see journals and summary reflection for full dictation.
FIRST QUARTER SELF EVALUATION
September 31st -- November 5th
Over the summer, I began brainstorming for possible projects for this year, and finally articulated two plans. I did background research on both to establish both theses' validities including interviews with potential mentors. A week or so before the start of school, I finally decided on one of the two ideas because its success was dependent only on me, and there were more escape options if something went wrong.
From that point, I explored several options for potential mentors, eventually finding Dr. Chai after about a month or two. I articulated my purpose, audience, variables, hypotheses and reasoning. After more deliberation, I decided on more specific components of the methods. Now I am prepared to begin data collection.
I completed my fundamental goals. My research has progressed to a stage of credibility. I place the development of understanding above superficial presentation, and though documentation of my progress is not as thorough as I would have hoped, it will soon reach that point (within the next 4 days). I spent more time developing ideas than expressing them, which should be the order of things. For this reason, I believe that this stage of research should be awarded an A class credit.
SECOND QUARTER SELF EVALUATION
November 6th - January 22nd
This quarter, I've put my theoretical methods into practice, though not as efficiently as I'd hoped. Though I did collect data, I did not complete nearly as many trials as I would have liked. I had to adjust my analysis process multiple times, because the original system I devised was much too rigid in its interpretation of the subject. I am undertaking the summarization paper of my work so far, though it is still behind schedule. As I'm writing the final report, I've been taking any extra time I can find to get more trials.
Honestly, I do not think I have gathered enough data to credibly support my original thesis either way. I knew from the beginning that I'd never be able to prove anything, but only indicate the credibility of The Story Template as a diagnostic test and creational tool. I do not believe there is enough data to suggest anything yet. I allowed what I thought was an excessively generous block of time devoted to data collection, but still it took longer than I expected. I really am convinced that The Story Template is a potentially revolutionary product, because it is a revolutionary idea. I can see its truth every time I see or read stories now, even when I'm not officially analyzing them. I just cannot support what I've seen with enough data yet. There are aspects of The Story Template with which I am not entirely convinced as well, but I have no proof to support that skepticism yet. The Story Template is easy to use as analysis tool when not interpreted as rigidly as I am using it to collect points.
In summary, I have not completed my goals. I will say that I've learned many aspects of story that I suspect very few people, even those immersed in the study of literature, are familiar. Through exploring story I've gained a deeper understanding of human nature and its manipulation, but unfortunately can provide little tangible evidence for all I've done. The Story Template's effect on the approach to modern story is the same as my goal to analyze methods like The Story Template itself. Aside from the project, for myself I've validated a concept I already knew: art is impossibly impractical. I budgeted the time to try it out in high school, because it won't hurt me yet. I'm glad I'm doing this, because it is likely the most fascinating thing I've ever learned; unfortunately I have nothing real to show for it yet.
I am pulling something together of course, but I do not have time to finish anything that I think is really worth presenting. In conclusion, the grade I deserve depends on whether the class puts a greater value on practical results or self-proclaimed enthusiasm.
UPDATE: January 20th
I have discovered something! I was saying I would, but I didn't really think I'd find anything. I hate that I can't say it, but there's one component out of the sixteen that I found to have a statistically significant ability to separate classics from non-classics. I now know what my next hypothesis is!! The moral pillar is key. My project actually worked! I should have made it work sooner, but I can still pull it together. I need to pay closer attention to deadlines next time. I was always aware of them of course, but things were always so busy, I didn't get a focus on my project as early as I should have. This is not an A project yet, but I definitely think I can turn it into something incredible. I really didn't discover anything all that new last year; most of that was a learning exercise. This is too, but I think I really have something now. I didn't work as hard as I should have this quarter, but am just now realizing how amazing this could be. I deserve no more than a B this quarter, but this really could be perfect. It's wonderful when science works. I expanded the sample size from the original range that was used to develop the Template. My research actually contributes something valuable to an already unique idea. Unfortunately, I didn't do the work this quarter to discover it early and articulate what I've found, so people will understand. I chose The Story Template, because it uses a radical new approach to understanding story. My research is the first step in validating its credibility. I feel like the first person investing in ipods. This could work!
THIRD QUARTER SELF EVALUATION
January 23 - March 1
I was originally planning on doing a trifold board as my presentation format (SLC), and had already gotten started on it, though fortunately not so much as to be too wasteful when I found out that my project had been alleviated to a 25 minute instead of 10 minute slot (requiring a PowerPoint). Even before all this I'd begun designing a virtual abstract, which has been mildly helpful in creating the basic structure, but it still requires a huge amount of cutting. I'm seeing how everyone else interpret