Hello and welcome back to my blog! Its been a while since I’ve posted on a project however, I’m once again here with a humanities reflection. This project was all about the Cold War, and was the continuation of our start of the years project on The Manhattan Project. In this project we we challenged our critical thinking skills and our creative ability. How did we do this you might ask? Well, we created our own inquiry question on a topic of our choice based off the topic of how conflict and fear have shaped the world we live in.Β 

Learning the Art of Zettelkasten:

Let’s go back to the beginning of this project when we read John Hersey’s β€œHiroshima”. Using this text we were able to take our annotations and turn them into something bigger using the zettelkasten method. This involved the three note taking steps of β€œfleeting notes”, β€œliterature notes” and β€œpermanent notes”. Fleeting notes is the easiest step, these are the annotations and other notes you take as your reading/watching whatever your source is. Literature notes is when it gets a little more difficult, this is when you take your fleeting notes and start to process the information into different categories. I personally make my literature notes in smart brevity format to keep it clean and organized. Lastly is permanent notes, when you take the ideas from your literature notes and make your own connections to other topics or projects. This last step is also when you can add your own thoughts, because although all these notes should be in your own writing, not all should be your thinking and connections. Although I still have a lot to learn and work on when it comes to my zettelkasten, I am definitely happy with the growth I’ve made so far. Taking my β€œHiroshima” fleeting notes, turning them into literature notes, then into permanent notes looked a little like this.

Fleeting Notes:

Literature Notes:

Permanent Notes:Β 

Next we repeated this process but with the novel β€œFallout” by Todd Strasser. I personally found this text easier to make literature notes on as I did it right as I was reading, however because this novel is fiction I had to challenge my thinking a little more to understand the hidden message. So my strategy was to find common themes so I could later on build on that idea to make my own connections, this is where permanent notes come in. We used this method lots throughout this project, whether it was for other articles or documentaries we watched.Β 

Project Creation:

While we were learning all about the Zettelkasten method, we were also learning about more information on the Cold War. This helped spark some interest allowing us to pick what topics we wanted to focus our projects on. I decided to base my project on how human responses from conflict and fear influenced medical advancements. I chose this because throughout the books we read I noticed the common theme of their being a lack of medical staff/supplies, so I wanted to go deeper into this idea. We all created inquiry questions to base our projects on, and after bouncing between a few different themes like fear, medical technologies, and trauma, I was able to narrow down my question. I came up with β€œHow do human responses from conflict and fear create changes in medical technology over time?”. So then came the time to create something and come to a conclusion answering the inquiry question.Β 

I decided to showcase my learning through a physical collage to explore the impact that conflict and fear have on the evolution of medicine. At the start I was struggling to find ways to include the big idea of fear, however after some brainstorming with peers and teachers I found ways to incorporate all the needed aspects of my topic. To keep my on track with my project completion I created a scope a sequence plan with the tasks I needed to complete each day. Although this was helpful, I found myself jumping ahead of schedule and switching between things like my research and my writing So I was able to start researching my topic to find all the needed information to answer my question. When researching I put my notes into smart brevity format to keep them organized and to the point. Throughout my project creation I kept all my research, sources, writing, and brainstorming in one document so that later on I could make that document a QR code to post on my collage, showcasing the steps of my learning.Β 

Using the further understanding I gained from my research, I was able to start brainstorming and creating my collage. When planning out what I wanted my collage to look like, I created a rough draft on canva. Actually building my collage was fairly simple as I just printed out everything I wanted to showcase and put it all together on a poster board. As for The creating the poster board, I just took a piece of cardboard and covered it in paper so I could make it the exact size I was aiming for. I ended up making my collage description more of a essay format so I could properly talk about everything I researched and why it was relevant, allowing me to clearly answer my inquiry question. Rather than printing this out to put on or beside my collage I took small sections of it and put it into a news paper format to visually incorporate some text into my final product. Click below to view my final collage and description ⬇️

In the end, this project demonstrates the effectiveness of creative exploration. In the beginning when learning and applying skills from the Zettelkasten method, I was able to not only better understand complex information but connect key themes and ideas to past projects. Also through the completion of my collage, I was able to bring together discovery, research and reflection to creatively showcase how the impact that human conflict and fear had on shaping medical advancements. Thanks for reading!