#1 – lots of reading & thinking

Feb 16, 2019

Hello reader!

I began the first week of senior project with a pile of books stacked on my nightstand. Here’s a list of what I’m reading and what I have learned.

1. Learning from Strangers: The Art and Method of Qualitative Interview Studies

An awesome book that outlines the process of developing idea, narrowing the scope, finding the board of interviewees, analyzing data, etc. I found it really helpful to know how professional surveyors conduct interviews.

2. Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide

This book features many accomplished journalists and their opinions on how to be a good nonfiction writer. They also wrote about personal anecdotes such as how and why they reported on certain topic. I might have discovered my favorite journalist, Gay Talese, who wrote the famous article on Frank Sinatra. “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” is a work of art. This book also made me less worried about interviewing strangers.

3. In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs

I was more inspired by the format than the content. It gave me ideas on how I wish to present my final product, which can be a digital book or a website. It depends on whether I have time in the end to design everything.

Furthermore, I came up with the line of questioning for future interviewees. Big thanks to Ms. McLean and Mr. Akamichi for their suggestions!

Before this week, I expected frustration and moments of revelation as I finally work on my project, but guess what I experienced the most? Loneliness. The strangest part of working on my own is the lack of companionship, but I will begin contacting artists next week (I’ll be on vacation in Hawaii). Hopefully I get to toss questions and have a fun conversation with someone when I get back! Also, I think I’m obsessed with works of investigative journalism, so I’ll be reading Firehouse and Newjack while enjoying the tropical sunshine!

Lastly, if you know any visual artist (graphic designer, painter, photographer, etc.) living in the Bay Area, any contact info will be much appreciated!



16 Replies to “#1 – lots of reading & thinking”

  1. Ivana B says:

    That’s a lot of reading you did, Vivian! Thanks for sharing your insights. I am looking forward to reading about your interactions with artists.

  2. Rithvik A. says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Vivian! I have added your first book to my reading list and cannot wait to hear more about the progress of your project.

  3. Samyukta I. says:

    seems like you’re really well-prepped to start interviewing!! i’m excited to see your final product 🙂

  4. David Z. says:

    Wow that’s a lotta reading. Thanks for sharing the emotional side of Senior Project. Pretty deep.

    1. Vivian Li says:


  5. Ms. McLean says:

    Vivian, that’s great how much reading and prep you did for your interviews!

    Have fun in Hawaii and when you get back, maybe you can set up work-dates with some of the other seniors. When I was in grad school, a group of friends would meet up to work at the library or coffee shop so that we would keep each other from procrastinating, and we’d have a little bit more company. It takes practice to be a work rather than social gathering, but I found it immensely helpful and fulfilling in the past. And let me know when you are back in CA for our next meet-up!

    1. Vivian Li says:

      I did meet up with friends at the library for a day and it was definitely more fun and (kind of) equally productive! Thank you for the advice!

    2. Ivana B says:

      I totally agree with Ms. McLean, and I would that, when I was in college, the magic number for a study group was three. At four it became a chatty group.

      1. Ivana B says:

        I would *add* that…whoever figures out how to edit these and lets me know gets a chocolate. 🙂

  6. Serina K. says:

    Vivian, I’m incredibly intrigued by your project! If you’re feeling lonely, we can always hang out and I can totally help you sort out your ideas 🙂

    1. Vivian L. says:

      thx bb, good luck coding yours

  7. Abby W. says:

    I agree with ms mclean, study date me! this is rad please interview me 🙂 anything for a lick of fame

    1. Vivian L. says:

      im down for that studyyyy dateeee

  8. Ivana B says:

    Hey Vivian, Abby may be joking (or not :)), but she could hook you up with some people who do art conservation for living!

  9. Rita says:

    Reading project introductions and progress, as well as comments, is definitely a very interesting process. I will keep reading. Thanks!

  10. Samyukta I. says:

    let’s go to a coffee shop PLS :)))DDDPPP

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