Research Writer Interview With Cheri
Research For Fun
Why student research and writing?
Like many creative people, I'm flighty. I want to make anything, want to try everything. A documentary moves me, and suddenly, I'm producing a documentary. I have fingers in numerous proverbial pies. But no matter what peaks my interest today or tomorrow, writing has been with me the longest. Even if it's not what I'm most focused on, it's something I started early, something I've always known I can do. I enjoy writing and perform consistently; therefore, no matter where I stray, I always return to writing.
Why academic essay writing?
I enjoy research, I enjoy learning, I enjoy writing. So, why not? I research for fun. I research on my own time. I research anything that peaks my interest. I like knowing things, maybe in a pretentious way (who doesn't want to feel smart?), but also because knowledge is magic. It seems like the slogan for a cheesy Public Service Announcement, but it's true. The more you know, the more you know how much there is to know. Your world simultaneously shrinks and expands. You can define yourself through knowledge. I think understanding how the world works is essential to understanding your precise place in the world, to forming and cultivating your ethics and beliefs.
Okay, well then, why other people's academic writing?
I haven't yet ruled out grad school. In fact, all through college, it seemed the logical next step. But the more that I see, do, and make on my own time, the less appealing grad school becomes. Because, as mentioned, I'm flighty! There's so much here, and a lifetime's not enough. So I have to try and live as many lifetimes as possible in a single lifetime. I travel a lot, and when I can't actually go somewhere, then I read about it. I test different mediums, talk to everyone (I'm idealistic. I still believe every perspective is valuable), explore beyond conventions and graduate school seems small and esoteric. Yes, I would leave knowing a very lot about a very specific topic. I'd rather know a little about a lot. So instead, I do other people's research, which keeps the topics (and my self-education) varied.
So what are your passions?
I have a liberal arts education. I'm programmed to deconstruct. I can't simply watch a movie; I must analyze a film. I look for metaphor and symbolism, subtle director's choices in an ambiguous situation---Which face is in shadow? Which head is placed higher? This approach goes beyond film and art; it's really my approach to life. But I hope I'm not as exhausting to other people as I sometimes am to myself! And I try not to sacrifice the experience of living among others to living inside my own mind... which is part of why I have thus far avoided grad school.
Therefore, deconstruction is a passion. I'm also a sucker for pop-feminism, sloppy art (i.e. zines and graphic novels detailing angsty-teen tragedy), music and it's cultural context, and especially, myth, fairy-tale, and the concept of things unseen.
Another big thing for me is a sort of "myth of place." Sometimes I get hooked on a particular city, culture, or neighborhood. I'll seek out the stereotypes, the history, etc. through literature, film, and as often as possible, physical presence.
And I love contemporary poetry.
Thank you very much for your time!
No problem, anytime.
Random writer: /writer-emma