Quick & Dirty updates, Pivoting, and other growing pains

April 23, 2019 Thesis

So, it’s been a moment since I’ve updated. Since March 14th, I’ve pitched my thesis to friends and to folks at the Quick & Dirty, pivoted to a different execution, met with some fantastic people about ideas, and was fortunate enough to sit down with friends & classmates to get their stories & experiences for my thesis. All in all, it’s been a busy time, even if it hasn’t quite been as productive as I would’ve liked. Oh. And the fact that final presentations, thesis week, and graduation are all coming up soon, has finally kicked in.

Quick and Dirty was both a nerve-wracking and useful experience. It was a good wakeup call that I still had a lot of work to do, and helped to confirm my thought that a pivot to a different execution was probably necessary. For quick and dirty, I had an older tech prototype for 360 video, and a mockup of a web app I was considering making. The web app’s audio portion, as well as a particular image I was using received the most positive feedback.

Lola was kind enough to sit down with me and help me hash out a revised (and better) production schedule. She also helped me to solidify the pivot that I was making in regards to the execution of my thesis. It was out of this conversation that the idea of a sound walk felt like a more appropriate thing. The web app, while perfectly capable of conveying the information I wanted to share, wasn’t personal enough. It was serviceable, but not narrative driven, nor immersive enough for my liking.

So, I’ve been talking to classmates and friends, reaching out to see if they’re able to either sit down and record with me, or, send a short voice memo talking about their experiences about being Black in America. I’ve widened my scope of what ‘the talk’ is, and I think it’s been a good decision. By not focusing so tightly on one aspect of those conversations, I can give a more in depth look at the what the Black experience contains. Will my thesis be all encompassing? No. After all, there’s no singular Black experience that we all have. Instead, I hope to give the user a glimpse into our experiences.

As it currently stands, I’m learning how to use Audacity by trial and error, recording the ‘guide” bits, editing the recordings with people into clips, and working on stringing them into a cohesive narrative. I’m working on having a rough cut by Friday, with a refined, final version by 5/1. I have a feeling that my struggle will be in the editing. There’s a lot of good conversations that I feel are important to include. But I also realize that there’s room to cut it down to a tighter, not rambling narrative.

Still, it’s doable. I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect. But it does have to be cohesive and understandable. But hey, progress is being made, and overall, I’m happy with the direction it’s going in.

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