Adventurer Pathway

Adventurer Badge
Adventurer Badge

“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.”
― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

This badging pathway sends you on an adventure in CMU’s backyard!

Based on the idea that places have a profound impact on our experiences and our identities, this badging pathway gives you the opportunity to share your unique perspective on a special aspect of CMU or Mt. Pleasant with other students .

After reading and analyzing examples of travel writing, you will choose a theme that uncovers some hidden, unconventional, unfamiliar, weird, or offbeat aspect of CMU such as “Historic CMU,” “Queer CMU” “Sporting CMU,” “Counterculture CMU,”  or “Natural CMU.” Then, you will find and visit several locations around campus that fits your theme, taking field notes while there that detail your observations and ruminations (aka reflections.)


Final Project for Adventurer Pathway

For the Adventurer pathway, your goal will be to summarize and analyze existing scholarly and popular sources surrounding the topic (Level I), engage in your own inquiry around the topic (Level II), and create a multimedia project that represents your critical interpretation and new understandings about the topic (Level III). In particular, you will develop an online multimedia guide via StoryMap JS to share your travel experiences with other CMU students.

Your group will be collaborating around your topic, and your final project is meant to be an individual effort. That said, I know that the creative process — as well as the affordances of the digital tools and culture — may lead you toward co-authorship. In fact, I imagine that this will happen many times for us.

So, if you plan to develop a co-authored final project, you will need to articulate that clearly in your research plan and get approval from Dr. Hicks. Otherwise, please plan to collaborate with your group around the topic, but to develop your own final project.


Group Reading, Viewing, and CMU Contact


Level I Activities

Level I, Task 1: Learning more about Travel Writing

  • Discuss the video and article with your group. Annotate these and keep thinking through what you have found. Do some more searching on the topic through the Library and Google Scholar. Save what you have found to Zotero.

Level I, Task 2: Writing-to-Explore Travel Writing

  • Travel guides vs. travel essays
  • Learning about StoryMap JS
    • Your travel writing — both the information kinds of writing about the place as well as your interpretive essay — will be housed in a complete presentation through StoryMaps. Take some time to learn about Storymaps by viewing this brief tutorial. Also, view this StoryMap from the Minnesota Post, “Hockey, hip-hop, and other Green Line highlights,” as an example of how one journalist created a travel essay through Minneapolis/St. Paul.
    • Once you have completed the tutorial, and viewed the sample, login to StoryMaps to create an initial slide in your presentation, with one location at CMU that you find interesting. Write a description in this slide (apx 100 words). Share this link in your summary.

Level I Submission Items:

  • LI,T1: Links to your annotated article and TED Talk
  • LI,T2: Writing to Explore (500 words, GDoc or Word)

Stop Sign ImageSTOP: Submit your work to Bb and check in with your instructor. 


Level II Activities

In Level II, your main goal is to engage in your own inquiry around the topic.

With your group, brainstorm a list of possible “travel” themes that would work for CMU and/or surrounding communities (feel free to use the ones in the introduction above but also add your own). Make sure that you can identify the audience for the theme (i.e., CMU students who love nature and want to find the best spots for outdoor activities). Brainstorm a list of places that you should visit to represent a possible “tour” for your theme.

Level II, Task 1: Immerse Yourself in Research

Find additional sources about the specific place and social phenomena you want to explore. Get as much information about it as you can. Use at least four credible sources. At least two of these sources must be academic or trade sources found via CMU Library research and two can be from other sources, including popular media. Include an MLA or APA style bibliography of all your sources.

Go on your adventure and create a double-entry field journal (about 3 pages in each location, or 12-18 total pages of notes) of your findings. This process will take at least a week, as you should make multiple visits over the course of at least two, preferably three or four, different days (to the same place) OR visits to 4-6 different locations (multiple places). Screen Shot 2018-05-20 at 2.10.13 PM

  • Grab a pen, a notebook, and your smartphone or camera and travel to a beginning point.
  • Set up your notebook so that each page becomes a double-entry space for recording observations and ruminations. Each page should have a place for your site or location and the date and time of your observation as well as one column titled “Observations” or “What  I observed” and another titled “Ruminations” or “What I think and feel about the observations.”
  • At each stop, pull out your notebook and write what you see. (It’s helpful to imagine you are an alien from another planet, and you’ve never been to this place and you have to report back to your leaders on everything you see, hear, smell, touch, taste.)
  • Try to fill at least three pages with details, images, and observations. At each stopping place, write more than you think you will need! Look for the unlikely, the surprising, the odd, the sublime, the disturbing, the jarring—the sights, smells,  textures, and sounds that create a specific sense of place. Shoot for the level of descriptive detail that you read in the works that you read in Level I.
  • Take photographs and record audio/video clips of your travel “destinations.” Make sure you capture different angles. Think about what features of the destination are most important/interesting to your theme. With what images best capture your theme? Of which features should you take close-up shots? What is better shown at a distance? Do you want people in your shots? Take more photographs, videos, and audio clips than you need.
  • Be sure to get GPS data for the location, so you can use it to add the location to StoryMaps.
  • When you are back “home” at the end of each visit, do some additional library and internet research either on your theme or on your travel stops—find out whatever you can and add that information to your fieldnotes.
    • Add at least a paragraph per stop to your field research offering some background on the stops themselves or on your theme.
    • Make sure to save citation information to credit your sources.
  • After you have completed your visits, write a brief response:
    • What insights (aha! moments) have you gained from taking the slow time to really experience the places connected to your theme? What insights might matter the most to your theme and might appeal to your audience?
  • In a few sentences for each, write about two or three possible directions, each focused on one main impression, that your Story Map might take.
    • Now, highlight each of those directions in your response in a different color highlighter.
    • Carefully read back over all your fieldnotes looking for evidence that supports each of the possible directions you brainstormed.
      • When you find good evidence to help you develop your direction and focus, highlight it in the same color that you used in your brainstorming paragraph.
      • If certain observations, ruminations, descriptions, or photos could be used to develop more than one angle, highlight them using multiple colors.

Level II, Task 2: Project Proposal

  • Review information about Project Planning from Writing Commons.  Describe the Story Map that you will make in detail in a project proposal (at about 250 words). Answer the following
    • Mode: What are the characteristics of the genre of a Story Map? What are the types of structures that writers use? What counts as evidence in this community?
    • Media: What do you need to learn about using audio, video, images, maps, hyperlinks or other digital writing tools? How does this media enhance your overall argument?
    • Audience: Move beyond a “general audience,” and describe who, specifically you are writing for. What do they believe? What counts as evidence for this audience? Considering the demographics (age, regional location, income level, etc.) and psychographics (values, interests, concerns, affiliations, etc.), carefully describe the rhetorical audience for this object and set of instructions.
    • Purpose: Choose an active verb. What are you trying to do with your writing? Write more about this verb and how your project is going to guide your work on this project.
    • Situation: What do you know about this genre? This topic? What will you have to learn about the technology that you plan to use?

Level II Submission Items:

  • L2,T1: “Immerse Yourself Essay” (Summary and Analysis Paper or approximately 750 to 1000 words, GDoc or Word). Include info from:
    • Additional sources, academic and popular
    • Your experiences from the field, including highlights from your field notes, your photos, videos, and audio recordings
  • L2,T2: Project Proposal (250 words, GDoc or Word)

 

Stop Sign ImageSTOP: Submit your work to Bb and check in with your instructor. 


Level III Activities

In Level III, your main goal is to create a multimedia project that represents your critical interpretation and new understandings about the topic. For this pathway, you will create a Story Map.

Level III, Task 1: Prototyping

  • Using everything you have learned and experienced, you will make a draft of your StoryMap. It will have at least five (5) locations/slides, and no more than ten (10).
  • Bring your Story Map to class. Give a group or group(s) of students in the class your stories and ask them to read/view it. Ask for their impressions of each.
  • Carefully observing what people did, answer the following in a Google doc (500 words):
    • Summarize their reactions to using the Story Map
    • Describe your purpose, audience, and format
    • State some of the most important choices you made about production and revision
    • State how you used peer and instructor feedback to revise
    • State whether or not you think mapping provided useful context for your story/argument. Why or why not?
  • Ask for peer review on your Story Map. See peer review guidelines.

Level III, Task 2: Finalizing your StoryMap

  • Revise and polish your StoryMap, according to the feedback you received.
  • Prepare any additional materials you may need for the teach-in.

Level III Submission Items:

  • L3,T1: Prototyping your StoryMap and documenting feedback (500 words)
  • L3,T2: Final, published StoryMap
  • Reflection in Flipgrid

 

Stop Sign ImageSTOP: Submit your work to Bb and check in with your instructor. 


Required Artifacts For Submission:

Level I

  • LI,T1: Links to your annotated article and TED Talk
  • LI,T2: Writing to Explore (500 words, GDoc or Word)

Level II

  • L2,T1: “Immerse Yourself” Essay (Summary and Analysis Paper or approximately 750 to 1000 words, GDoc or Word). Include info from:
    • Additional sources, academic and popular
    • Your experiences from the field, including highlights from your field notes
  • L2,T2: Project Proposal (250 words, GDoc or Word)

Level III

  • L3,T1: Prototyping your StoryMap and documenting feedback (500 words)
  • L3,T2: Final, published StoryMap
  • Reflection in Flipgrid

With sincere appreciation to my colleague from the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Stephanie West-Puckett, I have adapted many of these materials from her Writing 104 course. Adapted from a project by Genoa Shepley and Stephanie West-Puckett with generous support from Heather Johnson, Kim Evelyn, and Jim Henry.

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