Thursday, February 12, 2009

Brainstorming What to Write for Graduation

To get certain types of degrees at MSU, students have to complete a Capstone project. This can be anything from a vigorously reworked paper from one of their classes to an independent study supervised by an MSU professor. I'm choosing the latter, and I have a meeting on Monday with a professor I had last Spring for both an Asian literature/writing course and a Korean culture/history course who has accepted my request to supervise my Capstone. I told her I was thinking of writing a paper of fiction based on what I write in this blog, and she asked for some more specific ideas. So, here they are. What do you think? Do you have any other ideas?

Capstone Ideas

1. Memoir

- Reflect on personal revelations, even if the revelation is that there were none

- Condense blog into compelling and insightful flashback journal

2. Observations of cultural differences

- Family

- Business

- School

- Bias: I’ve only lived in suburbs in America

3. Interviews/surveys on my area of interest: Korea-Japan relations

- This is ultimately what I want to observe and try to understand

- Compare generations, social classes, location, gender, travel experience

4. What I did well, what I could have done better – advice for international travelers

- Preparation

- First month

- Friends

- Living situation

- Amount of work vs. play

- Budgeting

5. Poetry anthology

- Write in both English and Korean

- English poetry: insight about experiences

- Korean poetry: language improvement in an abstract way (translate into English)

6. Fiction based on my life and the lives of my fellow ex-patriots

- Create a short realistic fiction revolving around a character modeled after myself

- Integrate themes that reflect life lessons I will learn from my experiences

- Integrate cultural aspects I will have observed in the setting

7. Education in Korea vs. education in America – compare/contrast

- Difficulty of different levels of school (high school vs. college as hardest)

- Effect of intense study vs. part-time job on development

- Brain knowledge vs. life knowledge: wisdom of university students

- Discipline in education: how strict is just right?

- Age, gender, level of education differences of teachers and administrators

- Budgets: who’s in charge? Where does the money come from? How much?

8. Learning and teaching a second language in that country vs. in home country

- Tutoring experience in America

- Teaching experience in Korea

- Learning experience (French, Japanese, Korean) in America

- Learning experience (Korean) in Korea

- Grammar vs. function


  1. I'm not a big fan of #4 for whatever reason. I especially like the options involving creative writing. I think that would be a cool way to do a capstone. By the way, is the professor in question Ryu-sensei?

  2. #4 depends on the particular experiences I have there. If something goes terribly wrong or terribly right, I can write about it. And yes, good guess.

  3. I like #3. It is relevant to your area of study!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.