A large part of my last semester will be filled with thoughts, anxiety, and excitement about my Capstone Project! My fall semester professors did a great job of debunking any myths and calming down some of the panicking students who were nervous about this 40-50 page paper that was standing in the way between them and graduation. In fact, one of my classes in the Consultation and Collaboration course was dedicated to appreciative inquiry and brainstorming positive, strengthening ways we could view the Capstone Project and our process of completing it. Some ideas still stick in my mind, such as increasing self-care (spending time with friends, family, pets, exercising, massages, etc), talking about positive aspects of the research with other students, instead of feeding off of each other’s anxiety, and not procrastinating.
So far, I’ve had three Capstone classes this semester. The classes are kept small, similar to the Practicum and Internship Seminar courses, so that everyone has time to share important news, voice questions, and get personal attention from the professors. My first Capstone class took place before winter break in order to get students on the right track and give them time to collect materials to begin preliminary research over our month off. Each student discussed the topic they were interested in, and students gave feedback and asked questions to help narrow down the topic. In my second class, we learned how to properly critique a research article (an assignment that was due the following week) and then each student got to discuss where they were in their first stages of research and how their ideas have changed. In my third class, we learned how to write annotated bibliographies, which we need to do for twenty of our sources, and then checked in about our personal projects.
So far, I’ve read about 15 articles and have a good sense of where I am heading. The next big challenge will be making note of which specific studies I want to use and major concepts that I need to start jotting down on paper. On a scale from 1-10 for anxiety (10 being the most anxious), I am probably at a 4 right now because I feel confident in the amount of research I have been doing, and I know that with the help of my professor, I will be breaking down the paper into small steps to prevent myself from becoming overwhelmed!
Here are my 30+ articles and my sad cat who is upset that it is still snowing (January 2011 came in #3 for most amount of snow on the ground in January...with this rate, February will be record breaking!)