Week 10: Final Farewells
Hey everyone! We’re almost at the end of this project! I may write another post after next week’s presentation, but until then I’ll consider this my last.
While I’ve only been writing these blogs for the past two months, it feels much longer and I’m honestly surprised at how quickly the last three weeks have gone by (and maybe a bit relieved). I think I’ve gotten more comfortable blogging and hopefully at least one post caught your attention whether it was analyzing ancient artwork, making Medea playlists, or reviewing Wonder Woman and Webtoons.
This week I’ve been entirely focused on writing my paper (first draft mostly finished!) and trying to consolidate a large amount of research, spanning 80+ pages of notes, into a cohesive analysis of my sources. While I’m mentally drained (periodically refueling with caffeine) I’m happy to see my tangled web of connections coming together, so this post will mostly be a reflection of my overall project, some ups and downs, and general takeaways.
If I’m being honest, my original aim for this project was to do something literature-based and take a break from STEM (sorry bio research), but even then I don’t think I was aware of how much reading I had to do, some of which I’m not officially incorporating into my paper but all of which was necessary for the writing process. I gained valuable lessons in designing my own research project and learning to narrow my focus: starting from three Greek figures, to Medea in different media, to Medea in contemporary literature, to my final two sources. Another challenge was figuring out which scholars were relevant, which texts to read, and how to filter massive amounts of information to that applicable to my project. While it was initially frustrating to read pages into a paper or essay, just to realize that it has nothing to do with what I was looking for, the process eventually helped me become more efficient when skimming information and sometimes provided me with a broader context for something I would later look into. After I became more comfortable with the reading and decoding the dense texts of theorists (half of the time I think they confuse themselves too), I had fun making connections across arguments and having those “light bulb” moments when an idea immediately connected to one of my sources. While I might not pursue research in the humanities, I’ll definitely be doing some kind of research based on my science-related interests and will draw upon these skills to get me through future projects.
Aside from diving into theories and analyzing my sources, I enjoyed reviewing other forms of classical receptions in popular media and listening to others’ presentations on anime, manga, and movies and their relation to classics (also a great excuse to read webtoons). More so than just relating to Medea, I’ve come to value the concepts I learned about in postcolonial studies and feminist theories. Postcolonial scholarship was my personal favorite since it displayed the relevance of history and effects of colonialism while allowing me to connect to my heritage by reading about British colonialism in India, something I think I unconsciously needed to learn about to better understand and reconcile with my family’s culture. I also loved reading about other mythologies, whether it was learning about Medea’s epic journey, smiling at her witty comebacks to Jason in Euripides’ play, or introducing myself to Aztec mythology from The Hungry Woman. The element of this project that I’ve appreciated most is the diversity in the material and the ways in which it has challenged me to not only construct my own syllabus and write a conference-worthy paper, but also to remain open-minded in research and explore perspectives I may otherwise have overlooked.
My remaining time will be dedicated to finishing my paper (already over 20 pages) and practicing my final presentation for the Senior Showcase next Saturday. I’ll admit that I’m a bit nervous for the presentation and on a tight schedule for refining my writing, but I’m sure it will work out in the end and I’m looking forward to ending this project on a strong note.
And perhaps for the last time, thank you for reading!