#4: Mind Map: Big On Questions

Lindsey Drew

6 Responses to “#4: Mind Map: Big On Questions

  • Susan Hennessey
    5 years ago


    My first order of business here is to say a heartfelt sorry for entering this journey so late in the game. My normal Virgo-organized system to keep track of commitments (including but not limited to: google keep & calendar, sticky notes, pen on back-of-hand) all seemed to fail me in the last few weeks. But this message is not about me, it’s about the opportunity you’ve afforded me to provide curiosities and questions and perhaps feedback on your process.

    Lucky me in that you’ve been using this space well to share your process; Emily’s comment praising your skill in letting us ‘catch you in the act of thinking’ is spot on. When I entered the site this morning, I started by reading through all of your entries in chronological order. If you don’t mind, I’ll incorporate the ideas that sprang to mind as I read into this one post, rather than comment individually on each, since at this point you’ve moved into the space of committing to your topic.

    As you move forward with the plan of telling the story of people with disabilities in high school, I want to encourage you to tap into your love of movies. Your concept map, your interviews, and advice from other blog members in your comments section all point to the importance of other’s perspectives in shaping your story. I wonder if the movies you tend to really love, or are memorable to you, play with perspective in unique ways? How is the audience situated in terms of point of view? From whose eyes do we see the world being portrayed in the film and does this matter?

    The questions you pose on the map help me to see both the perspectives you find important and perhaps the outcomes you want to see — shifting bias and doing so in a way to allow disabled high schoolers to be part of the activism conversation.

    In terms of your question about how much your perspective/experience should be shown throughout this documentary, my early and fairly ill-informed advice at this point in the journey comes from an article in the Atlantic by Bret Anthony Johnston called “Don’t Write What You Know.” It’s a long article, but in my opinion, a very good read. Here’s the section that I, as a former high school English teacher, want to highlight in your context: “I knew how, in real life, the stories ended, and I had a pretty firm idea of what they “meant,” so the story could not surprise me, or provide an opportunity for wonder. I was writing to explain, not to discover. The writing process was as exciting as completing a crossword puzzle I’d already solved. So I changed my approach.”

    It’s clear to me with your mapping activity that you are perfectly situated with your own lived experience to ask inspired questions, questions that will get you to that place of wonder. And then, you’ll take your viewers there too.

    Here’s a link to the Johnston article if you care to read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/08/dont-write-what-you-know/308576/

    Thanks for making space for this conversation to happen,

    • Hey, Susan!

      Thank you so much for the inspiring comment. Don’t worry, you’re not too late in the game. It’s never too late to ask big questions. Thanks so much for the resource, I’ll be sure to use it!

  • Hi Lindsey,

    I’m really glad you’re able to narrow down your topic into subgroups, that skill will be extremely helpful later on. I know this probably seems like a big daunting question, but do you know what specifically in your topic you’re most interested in? It’s not something you need to answer now, but definitely something you should be thinking about as you continue your research.

    Good luck!

    • Yeah, Emily, specifics have always been difficult for me. I used the subgroups to try and help me with this, normally I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to organization of my thoughts. Unfortunately, I don’t have answer yet. I’m hoping it will become clearer as I dig deeper with my research.


  • I think it’s really cool the variety of perspectives you want to see. Do you have other friends and peers in similar situations that you could get stories from? Like I told Kiara, I think it could be very powerful to have first hand stories.

    • Hi Mariana,

      This is an interesting think to think about as I don’t have as many connections with other physically disabled peers as I would like. I’m going to try my hardest to use first-hand stories from other folks to make everything more personal for the audience.


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