Lest you think that only the women of COMM 350 courses past have produced good work, I present today a double feature of notable work from male students. While the execution wasn’t as solid as other projects I’ve highlighted, these two projects stood out because they forced the fellas to open up about very personal challenges they’ve lived with all their lives.
In Challenges Associated with Scoliosis, Ewan Headley first set out to share information and advice on scoliosis, a spinal condition he lives with. However, a post or two in, Ewan realised how much he enjoyed sharing his experiences growing up with (and receiving treatment for) the condition. His stories, the most compelling of which recounted the sacrifices his family had to make to pay for his treatment in the US, proved to be much more focused and interesting than his original plan. Ewan also started a Facebook group for people living with scoliosis in T&T.
Triston Palmer’s Heart Talk blog dealt with a topic arguably more personal than health. Triston set out to openly discuss the impact that the absence of his father has had on his life. He candidly shared how he coped as a boy, the anger and sadness he still deals with as a man, and the people who filled that void in his life. Like Ewan, Triston used a Facebook group reached out to other people who could relate to his situation. His blog was even highlighted on another Facebook group run by the Single Fathers Association of Trinidad and Tobago, leading to some (amicable) dialogue between Triston and a few of that group’s members. That sort of connection is what social media facilitates.
What this post can’t convey is the therapeutic effect blogging had on the two young men. They discuss it a bit in their posts, but it was during their end-of-semester presentations that they really shared much their projects had helped them deal with these personal issues. As you’re deciding what you want to work on this semester, keep in mind that an effective project can be either personal or broad in scope and focus.