Senior Proposal

Fall 2016

JJay | Rough Presentation



JJay | Presentation Outline


  • “I am a Leaf”
  • Nature should be about interacting with it rather than capturing it.
  • Which story makes you, personally, feel more present? Which do you get more from?
    • I went on a Creative Retreat this fall…
    • I went to Vail this summer…
  • Society tells us it’s popular to see nature in one way, but I’m telling you that there’s so much more to “see”


  • Our society’s response to something beautiful is often to share it with someone
    • We want to share that we’re going to beautiful places, doing cool things, and having a good time.
      • Instagram is a social media platform used to share photos; therefore, it is perfect for this type of thing.
      • By searching some popular hashtags we can see how many people decided it was important to share what they were seeing
        • #optoutside is an initiative from REI encouraging people to enjoy nature
        • similarly, #neverstopexploring is an initiative from The North Face encouraging people to go find new places
        • Getting more vague, #adventure is a general term for doing interesting things
        • As broad as I could get: #nature which could be almost anything
    • I have not met anyone who does not have some desire to be “liked” and it is easy to seek that sense of validation by posting photos on Instagram. I do this too.
      • As part of my research I went to Garfield Park Conservatory
      • I took over 200 photos on my phone but they were quick snapshots of cool colors.
      • When my phone died I resorted to sketching which took much longer and allowed me to reflect in the moment.
    • I don’t want you to mistake this as a bash on photography
      • Photography can inspire
      • Posting it online makes it infinitely more accessible
      • Through social media it allows you to meet new people and have fun
  • If you are “living in the moment” through a viewfinder, you likely aren’t in the moment at all.
    • We disconnect from our circumstance in order to take a picture.
      • I went to the Shedd Aquarium to see nature that I don’t usually have the opportunity to encounter
      • Instead, I saw a lot of people taking pictures.
    • The response/interaction becomes more about having a well-composed photo or absorbing what you’re seeing as quickly as possible so as to be on to the next one
    • By disconnecting from the moment, we miss out on the true beauty of it
  • As an alternative, I intend to create an avenue for a user to engage with more personal responsive techniques
    • Personally engaging in your surroundings as an individual roots you in that moment, deepening your connection to it
      • It becomes something you can look back on in reflection rather than simple remembrance
      • It becomes more about how you feel rather than simply what you see
      • This could look like writing, sketching, praying, songwriting, dancing, or any other “heart response”
    • These are opportunities to connect with yourself as well as with God
      • See how much care he puts into is creations
      • See how everything has a purpose
    • This personal response is nothing something that MUST be shared
      • Sometimes, knowing that someone else will, for example, be reading what you’ve written, you may be less inclined to be fully honest in that writing.
      • Knowing it will be shared affects the quality of the response


  • Even though it may be popular to share nature from your viewfinder, it limits the ability to engage and connect with the moment. Instead, I’m encouraging the exploration of more emotional, personally invested response techniques
  • Interacting with nature and its creator is more beneficial than simply capturing the moment in a glass cage
  • After all, I could tell you a lot more about my connection to the moment at the Creative Retreat than with Vail because, well, there actually was one.

Presentation Video – NW

Video presentation

Pdf presentation

Recker_Rough rough rough presentation

Slides: proposal

KC-(very) rough presentation video

Slides: sound_test_interactive5

Link for video:


Outline // AW


What is adventure? What makes someone “adventurous”? What is it about humans that we have an emotional or even physical response to the thought of “adventure”? Why do some of us get excited or giddy, others of us scared and nervous?

Historically, storytelling overlaps with adventures. Moby Dick, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, The Odyssey, Gulliver’s Travels…the list goes on. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by these tall tales of adventure; they become paralyzed where they are at. I’ve come to realize that what is considered adventurous is different from person to person. Being adventurous requires us to step outside of our comfort zones, and our perception of what is adventurous grows with experience and exposure. I want to use story to do the exact opposite of intimidate people to take adventures themselves. I want to use story to encourage people and to make adventure more accessible for individuals at various places on the adventure spectrum.


A. Because people can be intimidated by going on adventures they miss out on being challenged, growing in independence and problem solving skills, as well as the scientific benefits researchers have discovered those who go on adventures can receive.

1. Adam Galinsky is a professor at Columbia Business School and the author of numerous studies on the connection between creativity and international travel. He and his team conducted a study on the correlation between time spent abroad and creative output, and they discovered there was, in fact, a strong correlation between the two.

2. Julia Zimmermann, a professor at FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany, conducted a study on how extended travel influenced personality development in a large sample of German college students. Some of the students in their sample studied in another country for an extended period of time (one or two semesters), while the control group was in college, but did not study abroad. The researchers were interested in how this period of extended travel influenced personality as well as how the new social network people developed influenced any observed personality changes.

3. Prior to the travel period, all participants were given a personality inventory to measure the “Big Five” personality dimensions (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, and Emotional Stability. Participants also gave an extended list of their social network. After returning from travel (or after an equivalent period of time for those students who did not travel), these measurements were taken again.

4. Participants who chose to study abroad were generally higher in Extraversion than those who did not. Those who went on a one-semester trip tended to be higher in Conscientiousness (which reflects a need to follow rules and to complete tasks) than those who did not travel. Those who went on a full-year trip were generally higher in Openness to Experience than those who did not travel.

5. After returning from their trip, those who traveled tended to show an increase in Openness to Experience, Agreeableness (which reflects a need to get along with other people) and Emotional Stability relative to those who did not travel.

6. What does this mean? Extended foreign travel takes people outside of their comfort zone. Travelers have to adapt to new people and new cultural practices. Even people going from Germany to another EU country had to adapt to differences in language, food, and outlook. The more that these travelers engaged with new people from different countries, the more that promoted goals related to Openness. It also helped travelers to gain perspective on life, which made them less emotionally reactive to day-to-day changes (which increased Emotional Stability).

B. People don’t need to travel internationally to challenge themselves. There are other forms of “adventure” that still get people out of their comfort zones and provide challenges that people can benefit from.

1. I created a survey and asked sixty people from all different forms of relationship to myself (not just Judson students) if they considered themselves “adventurous.” Their options to choose from were, “Yes, I’m constantly seeking out an adventure!”, “No, I’m not adventurous at all,” and, “I like to be adventurous every once in a while.” 42% said they seek out adventure constantly, while 58% said they like to be adventurous every once in a while.

2. Not one person out of sixty people said they did not consider themselves adventurous at all. I know everyone longs for adventure at some point in their lives, some more often than others, but it is the act of going on an adventure or doing an adventure that often leaves people stumbling.

3. I then asked people what they qualified as an “adventure” and asked that they check all that applied. Their options were, “a vacation,” “any kind of new experience,” “something that involves ‘adventurous’ activities,” “going to physical places,” “meeting new people,” “doing something out of your comfort zone,” and, “traveling.” The most chosen option was “doing something out of your comfort zone” at 83%. The next two after that were tied at 80% and were “any kind of new experience” and, “traveling.”

4. This demonstrated to me that adventures can be defined in several different ways and can vary greatly across a spectrum. What may be adventurous for one person may not be enough for the next, and vice versa.

C. Where often storytelling of adventures intimidates people from going on them, I want to use it as a method to promote being more open to challenges and exploration. I want to make adventuring more accessible for individuals at various stages of the adventure spectrum. I want to explore various forms of sharing stories for this project.

1. This includes researching creative forms of storytelling and looking into the relationship certain methods may have with certain forms of adventure.


We as human beings are passionate about adventures regardless of the level of challenge they possess. We are storytellers and feel emotional connections to topics through the use of story. We are eager to tell others our stories of our adventures after having experienced them. We are designed to desire our own adventures, and I want to encourage people to discover their own purpose in seeking out adventure through the use of story.

Outline (Draft) – NW


  1. Introduction
  2. Body
    1. Point 1—Rising Action (this) as they get older, students ask fewer questions
    2. Point 2—Climax (means that) students are fearful – they are less engaged in school and less prepared for life
    3. Point 3—Denouement (so then, I propose this) I want to encourage curiosity in students by giving them tools for asking more and better questions.
  3. Conclusion

Once you have a very basic outline, you can begin filling in more details:

    1. Attention-getter: Have you ever been on a date, or met up with an acquaintance, and they only talked about themselves? Afterward you realize how uninterested in you they seemed. Come to think of it, did they ask you anything about yourself?
    2. Central Idea: Question-asking is a skill set that should be developed and encouraged so that they are better prepared for today’s work world.
    3. Establish credibility and relate topic to audience: Studies show that people who ask more questions are more successful in breaking down barriers, and yes–they are even better liked.
    4. Preview the main points: However, today’s students ask fewer and fewer questions as they grow. This means that they are less engaged in school and less prepared for the challenges they face throughout their lives. I want to encourage curiosity in students by giving them tools for asking more and better questions.
    5. Transition: So, why do we stop asking questions?
  2. BODY
    1. Main Point: (A declarative sentence about the first main idea for your topic) as they get older, students ask fewer questions.
      1. Supporting point: we don’t think it needs to be taught
        1. Sub-supporting point: seen as innate skill, but we stop at age 5
        2. Sub-supporting point: information age / age of answers on screens
      2. Supporting point: we don’t know how to teach it
        1. Sub-supporting point: teachers lack the time “just getting through the lesson” mentality
        2. Sub-supporting point: monopolization of question-asking
      3. Supporting point: self-censoring questions based on cultural pressures like stereotypes-minorities and gender groups
        1. Sub-supporting point: students who perceive themselves the target of a well known stereotype (ie. girls aren’t good at math) are more inclined to play it safe rather than risk the possibility of confirming the stereotype (*college age study!*)
        2. Sub-supporting point: lower income students also are less encouraged to ask questions
        3. Transition: even kids who know how to ask questions aren’t asking in the classroom.
    2. Main Point: (A declarative sentence about the second main idea for your topic) Students are less engaged in school and less prepared for life
      1.  Supporting point: While our schools value those with the right answers, there is far more value in what you can do with knowledge through inquiring.
        1. Sub-supporting point: “One good question can give rise to several layers of answers, can inspire decades-long searches for solutions, can generate whole new fields of inquiry, and can prompt changes in entrenched thinking. Answers, on the other hand, often end the process.”
        2. Sub-supporting point: “Questions not only open up thinking–they also can direct and focus it.”
      2. Supporting point: question asking = success in “today’s” information-saturated world (pg. 25)
        1. Sub-supporting point: filtering information
        2. Sub-supporting point: keeping up with rapid change
      3. Supporting point: (If needed)
        1. Sub-supporting point:
        2. Sub-supporting point:
        3. Transition:
    3. Main Point: (A declarative sentence about the third idea about your topic, if needed) I want to encourage curiosity in students by giving them tools for asking more and better questions.
      1. Supporting point:  shifting the paradigm that those who know (teachers) are the ones who ask the questions
        1. Sub-supporting point: “maker movement” peer-to-peer building
        2. Sub-supporting point: spaces outside school (because schools are still not reforming): museums, libraries, etc.
        3. Sub-supporting point: “teachers must be willing to give up control to allow for more questioning”
      2. Supporting point: security within uncertainty is key
        1. Sub-supporting point: online offers this anonymity, but it loses the unpredictability of group collaboration.
        2. Sub-supporting point:
      3. Supporting point:
        1. Sub-supporting point:
        2. Sub-supporting point:
        3. Transition:
    1. Summary of the main points
    2. Restatement of the central idea
    3. Closing lines that relate back to the introduction

KC-outline draft



Often times when I am stressed or need to be reminded of a happy experience to make me feel better, I often use images. Based off of an image I can remember a variety of information about what I was doing, sometimes what I was wearing, who I was with, how I felt, and usually this improves my mood. However, I love the moments when I am going about my day and because of a smell, sound, taste, or tactile experience, I am taken to another time and place and remember something. For example, allow me to play an audio clip. This is sound instantly reminds me of my grandpa’s bright red Ford pickup. I can remember the soft red interior, where there was always a roll, or part of a roll of Lifesaver mints-always spearmint but sometimes peppermint because both my grandparents would drive the truck. The live on a farm so there were many trips to elevators with wagons full of soybeans or corn hooked on to the back of the truck. Or, when it came time to do sweet corn, we fill the back of the truck up with corn then bring it back up to their house to shuck it and clean it. I remember the numerous times when I was able to ride in the back of the truck, which was had various tools that my grandpa would use and was a little dirty from the gravel dust and field dirt, but it was really fun getting to ride in the back of grandpa’s truck on a hot summer day partly because of the breeze, but also the noise that the truck makes. Another thing I enjoy remembering is how we could see the gravel dust and hear the truck coming.

Central idea:

Powerful and exciting memories can be relived when a familiar sound, scent, image, location, etc. causes a person to “travel back in time” and remember an experience.

Relate topic to audience:

Many people remember past experiences multiple times throughout the day. You may be sitting at your desk, listening to a professor talk and your mind drifts elsewhere and even possibly back to a memory. Or, you may hear a song that reminds you of high school or smell something that reminds you of Christmas. Also, I’m not sure if anyone can relate to the exact sound that I played, but I bet some image came to your mind as you heard the familiar sounds of keys jingeling and then being turned in the ignition.

Main points:

Memory is much more complicated than just a word used to describe the way we store past experiences. There are different types of memory and the type that stores memories of events and experiences over a long period of time is called episodic. Through sensory input, a sound, sight, scent, taste, or texture, we can recall a memory unintentionally. This experience is called the Proust effect and is what triggers involuntary autobiographical memories. These experiences can be intense and emotional and often have an impact on a person’s mood. While involuntary memories are enacted with PTSD and negative memories, they can bring up positive memories. Just the experience of suddenly reliving a positive event and then realizing what made you remember can be an exciting experience that lists your mood.


To start understanding this type of experience and the memory it stems from, it is helpful to define the other types of memory and briefly explain how memory works



  1. We encounter so many different sensory, emotional, and physical experiences and events throughout the day that to remember it all would be impossible.
    1. In order to store what is important and discard what is not, there are three basic types of memory are sensory, short term, and long term.
      1. Sensory memory last for less than a second.
      2. Short term memory, also known as working memory, lasts for less than a minute.
    2. Long term memory holds a variety of important information with or without our conscious acknowledgement of it. This information ranges from skills to life events.
      1. We are unconsciously able to remember skills that we need for everyday life without having to think about them in our implicit memory. We are able to use past experiences to remember things. For example, a professional musician has become so familiar with their instrument that they don’t have to think about how to accomplish basic tasks.
      2. The phrase “It’s like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget” is an example of how our procedural memory works. Procedural memory holds our motor skills.
    3. Within our explicit memory lies memories of facts, events, and experiences.
      1. We often have to think about these memories, which makes them part of retrospective memory, and from there, we can engage our semantic memory to remember something such as how many days are in the month of December.
      2. On the other hand, episodic memory is the area where our personal life events and experiences are stored and is the area that is affected by involuntary memory experiences.


  1. Involuntary memory experiences are when a person suddenly remembers or relives something from their past without thinking about it.
    1. In contrast, a voluntary memory experience would occur when if someone asked me to tell them something specific.
      1. Often times, involuntary memories occur when a person is daydreaming, spacing out, and just lets their mind wander. This was discovered and repeatedly confirmed by Dorthe Berntsen, a psychologist who has done many studies on autobiographical memories.
      2. They can also be triggered by a sensory input.
    2. The Proust effect, named for Marcel Proust, is “the vivid reliving of events from the past through sensory stimuli.” The Proust Effect by Cretien van Campen
      1. One day, while Proust was relaxing and eating a madeleine cake dipped in tea, he was suddenly overcome by pleasant memoires of his childhood. The taste the cake reminded him so strongly of the madeleines he ate as a child with his aunt Leonie. Due to the amount of studies and research that he did on memory and sensory triggers, this phenomenon was named after him.
      2. Any of the senses can contribute to the Proust effect, as different senses may be evoke stronger memories for one person than another. While Proust had seen madeleines, the taste of the cake, rather than the sight or smell, was what evoked such an enormous response.
  • When a person is experiencing this, they are not just remembering the memory but are experiencing it in high quality, causing it to feel like they “travel back in time”. In addition, usually mood is influenced based on the emotional content of the memory. (quote by Esther Salaman)
  1. Due to the nature of involuntary memories, sometimes called intrusive memories, they are enacted in PTSD.
    1. However, involuntary memories can be used to bring back positive memories at unexpected times.
    2. Studies have shown that positive involuntary memories occur more often than negative. (Thompson, Skowronski, Larsen, & Betz, 1996)
  • Utilizing this type of memory to its full potential, it can be fun and exciting to realize when a memory has been brought back up because of a trigger. Reliving positive memories can not only remind us of fun times but show how the past has shaped, why we are interested in certain things, and why we are the way we are.



  1. Due to the stories that memories can hold, the positive effects, and excitement of memories, I propose to create a reflective experience engaging the five senses to evoke different memories within different visitors.
    1. By focusing on evoking positive memories, hopefully the audience will be able to recall memories.
    2. Creating a space where people can relax is key to helping memories come naturally.
      1. As stated earlier, word cues result in voluntary memory recall.
      2. In addition, making a person feel pressured is only going to stress them out and possibly resort to voluntary memory recall so they can say they remembered something.
    3. Ultimately, this space should be neutral yet inviting, in order to help people relax, slow down, let their mind drift away from whatever they have going on, and remember.
      1. Personally, I have a hard time trying to get my mind to calm down and stop thinking about work when I have so much.
      2. However, when I am able to and I let my mind wander or I listen to a song, look at some photos, it is very relaxing and I almost feel rejuvenated after I have remembered some fun times.


  1. Conclusion (in the works)
    1. Powerful and exciting memories can be relived when a familiar sound, scent, image, location, etc. causes a person to “travel back in time” and remember an experience.


  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Point 1—Rising Action (this) Anxiety and negative emotions are so often suppressed.  From youth to adulthood, we are taught to suppress expression.
  • Point 2—Climax (means that) It is reserved for those with extreme situations.
  • Point 3—Denouncement (so then, I propose this)  I propose the development of a toolkit for adults to be able to use artistic expression as an everyday means of promoting positive mental health.
  • Conclusion

  • Attention-getter:  Story from my youth.  
  • It was three years ago.  Just after my freshmen year here at Judson.  It was summer, and it was my brother’s wedding day.  All morning I felt nauseous, a pit in my stomach.  I figured I was just nervous.  The day carried on, and pressure on my chest only got worse.  Before I knew it, I was laying on the floor of the bathroom screaming for my mom in a cold sweat, genuinely believing that I was going to have a heart attack on my brother’s wedding day. The scariest thing about panic attacks is the physical feelings that comes from your mentality.  So what happened next?  I forced myself to get up, go outside, walk, and breathe, and the paralyzing feeling left me.  I remember thinking, What is wrong with my mind?  Does it really have that much power over how I physically feel?  That’s when I decided I needed to study and work on my own personal mental health.  
  • Central Idea:  Art allows us to live out our truest selves.  Therapy, especially with art often seems reserved for those who have experienced trauma and loss.  But everyone is capable and often in need of an outlet to be expressive.  Artistic expression provides a healthy way, and sometimes the only way of revealing unknown and often suppressed emotions in an individual.  Artistic expression is healthy and needs to be accessible to all.  
  • Establish credibility and relate topic to audience:  Studies show, Despite its high level of treatability through therapy and/or medication, 2/3 of adults with anxiety do not receive treatment. Surpassing even depression, anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the United States. It’s estimated that approximately 10 percent of teenagers and 40 percent of adults suffer from an anxiety disorder of some kind.
  • This applies to you, this applies to your loved ones. This applies to everyone. If you’re not an anxious person, you still have feelings and emotions.  You have good days and bad days. You have personalized ways of dealing with stress, anger, sadness, whether they be healthy or unhealthy outlets.  
  • ?Preview the main points:  Negative emotions are so often suppressed, and expressive ways of coping are usually reserved for the “damaged,” but I propose a toolkit for adults to be able to use artistic expression as an everyday means of promoting positive mental health.”
  • Transition: Let’s start by exploring human’s natural tendencies to suppress or express emotions.  ? ? ?
  • BODY
  • Negative emotions are often suppressed.
  1. In our youth, creativity was encouraged and available to us.
    1. Coloring outside the lines was a way of exploring and learning about the world around you.  As kids we were free.  We were expressive, and encouraged to do so.
    2. Growing up, we started being told to color in the lines, and study about things that “really matter in life.”  So we hit the books.  (NOT saying this is wrong, but where’s the creativity in this still crucial part of our lives?)
  2. (Suppression of feelings) Why do we suppress how we feel?  We are either uncomfortable or we suppress them without knowing.  Or we put things on the backburner because in the moment we feel ok about them. Why is this?
    1. Humans are complex.
    2. We don’t always handle the negative in healthy ways.
  • Art therapy is reserved for those with extreme situations.. Those who go through trauma, loss, injury.  
  1. Supporting point
    1. Art therapy’s purpose… allows the affected explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
  • Why is art therapy for everyone?  Creating art provides a distraction, giving your brain a break from your usual thoughts.
  1. Even art itself seems reserved for the skilled.
    1. An art therapist said, “Many are afraid that since they aren’t very good at something, there is no point and they won’t get any benefit from doing it.  Another myth is that you have to work with an art therapist to get any therapeutic benefit from doing art. [insert transition]
  • I propose the development of a toolkit for adults to be able to use artistic expression as an everyday means of promoting positive mental health.
    • Whatever the reason, an inner compulsion exists and I continue to honor this internal imperative. If I didn’t, I would feel really horrible. I would be a broken man. So whether attempting to make art is noble or selfish, the fact remains that I will do it nevertheless. Anything past this statement is speculation. I would be afraid that by proclaiming why I make art would be generating my own propaganda”
    • We are all born with an innate desire to express ourselves and art encompasses a wider range of activities than you may have ever imagined.
    • Sub-supporting point
    • Art encourages creative thinking and lets you come up with your own unique solutions.  Out-of-the-box thinking also stimulates your brain to grow new neurons.
    • Summary of the main points
    • Restatement of the central idea
    • Closing lines that relate back to the introduction
    • “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Pablo Picasso


    Continue reading “Outline”

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