We have a Topic

Mariam, Dana, Maria, and I arranged to meet in Room 102, in the Fisk building, for our first group meeting. Mariam said she needs a few more minutes and so in the meantime Maria and Dana showed me their blogs and asked for tips on customizing and organizing it. I have been working on this blog for 2 years and a couple of months and this was one of those rare moments my blogging skills came in handy. It was a very motivating.


 To add to that, I remember a particular day I was dreading and Dr. Najla, our professor for this course, decided to dedicate the class to showcasing everyone’s blogs. It eventually lead to me standing in front of the class explaining several elements of my blog, even the meaning behind “The Tea Mile”. I was so awkward and shy, lord have mercy, but the experience made me feel that all that time dedicated to my blog, up until that moment, was worth it. Recalling that puts a smile to my face.


Mariam arrived after the rest of us finished assessing each others blogs and so we jumped right into work. Looking at the data and after some time dedicated to brainstorming a couple of ideas, two main ideas where agreed upon. One idea focused on what people read during the Lebanese war in 2006 and the other expanded to focus on multiple generations and the recurring genres or literary works. The time period between our first meeting and the next, we took a while to decide but the more flexible nature of the latter was the deciding factor.

And so during our second meeting, that happened earlier today, we finalized our topic:

The years of graduation will be grouped into ranges of 5 years, known as generations, and observed to see if there are any recurring genres or literary works. From there, research will be conducted to place the work in a kind of context, whether it be historical, cultural, etc. Essentially, see what genre or literary work is canon among generations and place it within a kind of context.

For us to be able to tackle this we will be using our analyzing skills, online sources, and websites Dr. Najla introduced to us to help with connecting the dots visually. The two websites are Palladio and Carto. Both are user friendly, and so far they work with our data. However, since we decided to use the data collected by the whole class, a few variations are expected.

Regarding dividing the work, each person will take on a generation and do the necessary analysis and research. Additionally, I’ll be providing the map from carto and Maria and Mariam will teach Dana and I how to use Palladio.

Below is the map I did on carto:

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The map is able to provide on overview of the high schools the interviewees mentioned and as you can see, most of the school sample is located in Beirut. While playing around with the map, I discovered that by clicking on the yellow circle, all the other attributes pop up. And so perhaps picking an area with a high concentration of yellow markers could develop our topic further. Or not.

Onward, with connecting the dots