I left Pittsburgh 8 days ago and am just now spending more than 24 hours at home. I spent a long weekend catching up with family around New York City before heading off to Korea for the fall semester. There was a lot of food, not much sleep, and a whole lot of kids (shocker). Now that I am home in Glassboro and have the time to sit down and think, I am concentrating on tying up some loose ends of the fellowship before flying off to the other side of the world for the rest of the year.
My last week of the fellowship at the Children’s School involved me, the printer, and the laminator. I made the games and stimuli that I am using for my study in the next year, and it was the most fun I’ve had since the end of summer camp. I’ll leave all the detailed descriptions for my actual thesis, but I will describe one of the tasks that I am most excited about: Hide & Seek. Since the environment of the study can affect results, I had to figure out a way to play without the risk of accidentally hiding something in a slightly different location around a room. So, I created a paper version. I printed a large picture of a cartoon room, and after lamination, I cut out flaps around the room. Using Velcro, I will hide cartoon animals under the flaps in front of the children and have them try to find the animals based on their memory of where they were hidden. I thought long and hard about how to create a Hide & Seek game with paper, and I am super excited about how it turned out.
There is a total of six different games that I plan to play with the children. I am unsure of how long they will take to play a full round, so the number of games may decrease if time becomes an issue. If all goes well and I get to test my study in Korea, I will take that experience and use it to help polish my methods in preparation for my return in the spring. While I’m still hoping that it works out with the Korean lab school, I will be working on organizing everything I have done this summer into a coherent paper. I was told that the cafés in Korea have a great aesthetic, and I plan to take full advantage of it throughout the entire semester–even though I hate coffee.
The last few weeks passed in a blur, and I am now 11 days away from getting on a 15 hour flight. The next week will involve packing, the IRB form, writing, and more packing. I am excited and proud of how my thesis project has taken form this summer, but also worried on how I will keep up the progress next semester. However, I can’t help but let the opportunity of exploration during a study abroad adventure take priority. All in all, I feel that it was a productive summer, and I can’t wait to write my last blog post in a country that I have dreamed about traveling to for several years.