May
12

Updates and Alterations

March 21, 2016

Time for some updates! Towards the end of last month, I decided to cut the portion of the study where participants would complete the Stand Up and Be Counted Survey (http://www.wm.edu/as/charlescenter/scholars/wmsure/scholars/becounted/index.php). This change was made to accommodate the schedules and needs of my participants, and also because participation for the survey was low. Thus I decided to evaluate the data for the Stand Up and Be Counted survey that was already in existence.

The survey has been open since the Fall 2014 semester, and is a measure created by Professors Charity Hudley and Dickter. It is essentially a collection of surveys that seeks to quantitatively examine personal, social, racial, and academic perceptions students hold regarding their experiences here at the college, and also asks information about their personalities and academic histories.  More specifically, the survey includes bias measures that evaluate student experiences of discrimination and stereotype threat, as well as identity measures that evaluate students’ comfort levels with their ethnic identity, their self-esteem, and self-efficacy. There are currently 107 responses to the survey, but I’m sure that number will change once the data is cleaned.

Furthermore, the number of interviews to be conducted for the study has also changed, due to the fact that participation on campus in the Black community more generally seems to be waning, and it has been difficult to recruit participants. Thus instead of 20 interviews, I anticipate completing between 16-18. Thus far I have completed 14.

This month, however, I’ve focused on writing up creative profiles (poems) to be included in my final paper. In writing the poems for this project, I relied heavily on my experiences as an avid reader as well English major, but I also drew from the expertise and examples of some of my favorite poets. Lucille Clifton (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/lucille-clifton), Gwendolyn Brooks (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/gwendolyn-brooks), and Maya Angelou (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/maya-angelou) proved to be wonderful examples for me in this stage of my project, as their works combined capture the soul, grace, and honesty that I hope to incorporate into my own poems. And as a young Black woman striving to capture and explore the Black experience, their lives and examples have been immensely effective in helping me to produce the kind of writing necessary to move readers and evoke change through the written word. Specifically, drawing on Brooks’ powerful bluntness, Angelou’s use of vivid sensory information and diction, and Clifton’s tendency to begin poetry in medias res aided me in producing poetry that strives to allow the reader to make connections between themselves, the poetry, and the world.