Inquiry Projects! Wassup with that!
Of the sites mentioned in the assignment outline, I derived the following “main guiding questions” from each:
- Seeking revenge in the underworld of stolen bikes: Who stole my bike?
- Humans of New York: What brings us together as people?
- NYT photo essays- Work Spaces: What do labor union offices look like around the globe?
- Serial Podcast: What really happened here?
- Ancestry.com: Where/who do I come from?
- Mapstory: Can we map that?
It’s funny, but when we first started discussing the inquiry project the first thing I thought of was the Serial podcast. It’s incredibly nerdy to admit, but the song they play at the beginning of each episode used to be my ringtone. I love Serial and I want it to come back for a third season RIGHT NOW. All of the projects on the assignment list felt like real passion projects for those working on them, but I especially like Serial and Humans of New York. There’s something so compelling about reading or listening to a piece of work that feels so deeply personal to whoever composed it. It’s amazing, like getting a glimpse into their diary.
I actually think a diary is a pretty good example of an inquiry project in and of itself. When I write in my diary, I often feel like I’m inquiring into myself. What makes me tick? Who do I love? What do I hate? These sorts of questions bring out other inquiry topics that lead me to investigative work. Writing is how I find out what I’m interested in and why I like it so much. Well, writing and watching TV and listening to podcasts and talking to cool interesting people. Now that I think about, I kind of do a lot of inquiring.
Another super cool example of an inquiry project that’s pretty well known is TED talks. I listen to the TED radio hour podcast every single day and I find it so stimulating. Each talk dives into a different topic (usually on technology, entertainment, or design aka TED) and gives the speaker an opportunity to bring something new and interesting to the intellectual or creative table. The best part about TED talks is that there are so many, you can basically find one on anything you’re evenly remotely interested in. Which allows you to explore topics you never would have even thought of before and inquire: hey, what’s up with that?