This here is something I posted today on a private blog for one of my university units, HUMA1902. Give it a read, and see if you can give me a hand!
Also, it tells you a little about me that you might not know.
Take it away!
Hey guys and gals! My name's Robert, and I have no idea what topic to do for HUMA1902.
Instead of stressing over ideas, or lack of them, I'll fill this blog post with stuff about me. My hobbies, my interests, my subjects, and finally a couple of ideas that I've been toying with. Hopefully one of these can give you some ideas that you can post and help me out with.
I have several things I like to do for fun, such as watching YouTube videos. But my hobbies, for me, are different from that. They're things I do to develop my identity.
I have always been a musical person, making sounds, playing with FL Studio (a song-making programme), and singing, which I've been told I do very well. In the last five months I also picked up an instument, a guitar that my parents had kept since my sister moved to England. I've been practicing whenever I've had time or interest, and have gotten quite good at playing two songs ('Top of the World' by Greek Fire and 'Unwell' by Matchbox Twenty), and I've been getting closer to being able to play another two ('Impossible' by Aviators and 'Demons' by Imagine Dragons). In time I hope to learn to play a lot more of my favourite songs, and to learn to sing along to them while I play; At the moment I have trouble projecting my voice, especially with low notes.
Since July 2014 I've had a passion for writing fan fiction for some of my favourite movies and TV shows. I have many ideas I wish to write out, including a set of superhero stories I've been planning with a friend of mine for years. However, I haven't quite managed to get this hobby off the ground, due to effort it takes up and the fact that finding a regular free hour every day in which to write had been hard to come by since I started taking the ninety-minute trip to and from UWA. I'm hoping I can finally find the time to work on that, now that I'm living in UniHall. If you wish to find my works, go to www.fanfiction.net/~toaaerrow (Toa Aerrow is my online codename and nickname. Call me Aerrow for short).
I have a couple of interests I don't currently have as hobbies.
I'm a bit of a gamer, and I enjoy playing games like Minecraft, Ratchet & Clank, and Kerbal Space Program, which is a space-flight simulator that uses real physics to simulate real rocket science. You can build a rocket and launch it, and attempt to reach the moon and other planets. You can even build space stations with this game!
Like I said above, this is more of an interest than a hobby at the moment. In future I want to start playing the game again, but for an audience, through livestreaming websites like Twitch.tv. Furthermore, I wish to use these livestreams to try to raise money for Charity:Water, who work to help people in developing countries get clean water, so they don't have to travel for hours every day to take back dirty river water.
My problem is that I need an audience in order to raise any money at all, and I'm not sure how to raise an audience of any size. I have a collection of people who read my fan fiction, but not many other people who know about me or any close friends I'm in contact with who'd be interested. (This is a separate issue to finding a topic for this unit, but if anyone has any ideas on how to build an audience and backing for this, please let me know).
As for other interests, I do like making people laugh. Recently I've been putting together a jokebook full of one-liners and puns of my own invention, inspired by the British comedian Tim Vine, self-described as The Pun-slinger. I don't really have anywhere to go with this interest apart from just being an overall fun guy, but if there are any small comedy shows in pubs or restaurants in Perth that anyone knows about, I would love to try my had at them when I have enough jokes.
Here's one: The other day I overheard someone talking about this young psycic person that was running from the police. There was a small medium at large.
And now for my subjects, which you may have been expecting to have come up earlier.
I am doing a double major in Physics and Chemistry, or as I like to call them, “the big stuff”. I’ve always been fascinated by how the universe works, from the tiny particles that make up everything, to how these particles react to form gasses and life and everything on the planet, to the great force of gravity that shapes both the Solar System and the stars.
I don’t really have very specific interests when it comes to “the big stuff”. I just love learning about how everything works, and as a result, I don’t have a clue of where I really want to go with what I’m learning. Most of my knowledge goes into planning for my stories actually. For example, in the superhero series I’m planning, I want to make everything as realistic and scientifically accurate as you can when you’re working with super-powers. I have to take liberties in places, I already know that, but a lot of how some heroes’ powers work takes input from what I’m learning in Physics and Chemistry.
One career path I’ve always had an interest in is the space programme (which you might have gathered when I mentioned Kerbal Space Program). In my childhood I’ve wanted to be an astronaut, a rocket engineer, planetary scientist, astronomer, mission control, you name it. Every one of these is a career path I might want to take one day. However, I don’t really know yet how to get into any of these careers, either at NASA or otherwise. One day I’ll do the research and find my way, but until then I’ll just keep learning.
I only have one semi-concrete idea for a topic, and I’m not entirely sure where to go with it, or even if I even actually want to do it. My idea that I was going to work with last semester (before I dropped out of the unit out of time management issues), was to look at hands-on learning vs taught or on-paper learning.
You see, I have a chemistry model set called Snatoms, developed by Derek Muller, a Canadian-Australian scientist who runs the YouTube channels Veritasium and Sciencium, and worked on the TV show Catalyst. Whenever I’m doing chemistry, working with equasions or looking at molecules, I wind that referring to Snatoms, holding a molecule in my hand and looking at it from all angles, gives me a better idea of what I’m doing.
The same goes for Kerbal Space Program. I’ve learnt so much more about rocket science and motion physics from playing that game then from all of three years doing high school physics. And I imagine that even the university physics I’ll be doing during the year will barely add to the understanding I have gained from maybe a month of total in-game hours.
So I’ve been wondering whether having a toy, model, game or simulation may in fact be a good supplement or even a better learning tool than teachers and lectures in some subjects. My problem is that I don’t know where to go from this idea, or how to research for it. Any help would be appreciated, but I wouldn’t mind suggestions for other topics.
Thank you for reading this far (if you have, you’re an absolute legend! ). Please consider my dilemma, as well as my ideas and what I’ve discussed above. Give me your feedback, as well as any ideas you have, and I hope I can put then to good use!
KUTAW, and Aerrow out!
(Keep Up The Awesome Work)