Learning Contract

                                                               Learning Contract


                                                        Mana Abdi & Donald Hutchins


                                                    Drs Yvonne Franke & Janet Wesselius

                                                        Making Strange in America

                                            A COPLAC Digital Humanities Project

                                                                Mission Statement

It is our goal to further our understanding of the American perspective of strangeness by analyzing and engaging various aspects of “normal” and “alternative” cultural forms. We will actively observe and reflect on the inter-workings of our daily routine and their socio-cultural implications, and then will immerse ourselves in alternative manners in order to compare the perspectives. Afterward, we will compare our findings and deduce the similarities and differences, and extrapolate a deeper lesson relating to strangeness in our culture. For example, the two of us have different religious views. We will analyze our own individually, and then will explore an alternative or alternatives; then reflect on our experience. We will then bridge our experiences with the underlying lesson/moral/findings/etc. By first framing our pursuit in our personal realm, we set the standard by which we can measure strange. Our alternative, then, exemplifies key aspects of both perspectives, which brings out the strangeness in them both; allowing us to focus in, quantify and qualify those qualities. From there, our experiences will be meshed, in a sort of peer-review, where the common particulars will ideally provide us with a universal foundation for understanding the phenomena of “strangeness”.


Our research will entail interdisciplinary collaboration, potentially including faculty, student, and community members from our campus and the surrounding areas. We will also utilize course materials, personal and campus resources, including but not limited to campus databases, library stacks, personal experiences and materials, and audiovisuals(i.e. art or media). We may also employ a journalistic style interview to obtain information, which may require the use of audio recording and/or word editing resources. Further, we may also utilize video or audio in various forms(music, art, video, podcast, etc.), which would either require audio/visual recording and editing software or permission from the owners of original materials. As we move forward, some resources may change and ideas for easier alternatives may arise that alter the route we take to achieve our goals.

24 Feb 2017: Learning contract due; “Who’re You?” exercise(pick your brain for starting points)

This piece contextualizes who we “are” since no one truly knows us– possibly including ourselves.

27 Feb – 5 Mar 2017: Outline and draft “You” from before college– highlight points of strangeness

6 – 12 Mar 2017: Brainstorm and collaborate for “College Strangeness” exercise

13 – 19 Mar 2017: “College Strangeness” exercise; alternatives, interviews, and results

This exercise refers to degree that our expectations pre-college were/were not met throughout our service.

20 – 26 Mar 2017: Bridge pre- and post- college Strangeness– “what does it all mean to you, for you?”

27 Mar – 2 Apr 2017: Begin meshing/peer-review process; begin to illustrate or highlight universalities

3 – 9 Apr 2017: Conclude and finalize research findings; condense information in business report format

10 – 16 Apr 2017: Finalize report and findings; be sure data is organized and placed properly

17 – 25 Apr 2017: Final editing/instructor feedback (presentation?)

26 April 2017: Last day of class: Presentation(?)

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