Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection
Phase 0 is just the start of the my experience, I will be spending 28 days in a village investigating the photography of domesticated plants and animals. There were many topics that I could have chosen, out of them, I narrowed it down to three, with some feedback. Eventually I decided on a combination of two topics. Photography and plants and animals. Originally I was going to investigate on wild plants and animals but, after receiving feedback, I changed to domesticated plants and animals.
After hesitating an extremely long time, the three Inquiry Project topics I have chosen are, plants and animals in and around XiZhou, photography, and silver smithing. When I was looking through potential topics, I was mostly skimming through the projects and looking for particular topics that interested me. I am most interested in plants and animals of XiZhou, and photography.
The topic I chose for my final inquiry project is photography of plants and animals. I chose this topic because I have always been interested in plants and animals, but I never really got the chance to pursue this passion because I grew up in a city. I plan to find out more about domesticated plants and animals or perhaps ceremonial trees in the area. This will help ensure that I have meaningful interactions with the locals. I imagine that I will have to go to the locals to find out more about the kinds of plants and animals they have domesticated and how they care for them.
I decided to investigate photography. Photography is a hobby of mine that I enjoy very much. When looking through old photos, they always bring back great memories and stories. I think capturing snapshots of life is something valuable and important. I would like to find out how the people of the village think of their scenery. I would very much like to know if any of the locals know places that they think are worth capturing, and if there are less known locations that could be brought into the light. I imagine that I will probably start out with a few typical locations such as the lake there, but I hope sooner or later, I can go to the locals to find out where their favorite places are.
In the past, there have been 18 other trips to Microcampus, after gathering much information, most of the reflections boiled down to the same under lying theme of understanding. Many people said that they wished they narrowed down their topic more. Multiple times, I read that they did not truly understand what they were researching or what they wanted to research until later on. Advice such as making sure that the topic chosen was as specific as possible. Another thing that came up very often was to stay on top of inquiry project work and do as much work as possible, while still in Shanghai. They also mentioned preparation as being a very important element.
In Phase 0, I have been choosing and deciding which topic I would like to investigate. Next, in Phase 1 I will be researching and understanding more and digging deeper into my inquiry project.