After hearing Westtown Students present their independent projects I became very in interested in pursing that path. When class selection for senior year rolled around I realized that I had a free band and decided that doing an Independent Course would be prefect. The mind has always been something that has fascinated me so psychology was a natural fit. Another student in my advisee group, Lily, was thinking about psychology as well so we decided to work together. Our initial plan was to complete all twenty lectures of the Yale Online Psychology course however we have since changed our trajectory. I watched the first five lectures and found them interesting, especially Lesson Two which covered Dualism. Professor Bloom made a very compelling argument for Dualism. The idea that humans have immaterial souls and can choose how they feel made conceptual sense however, Professor Bloom provided a counterpoint and stated that the scientific consensus is that Dualism is wrong. His example of how physical objects like computers can play chess and manipulate symbols swayed me but I am still not sure if I can completely share Professor Bloom’s opinion on Dualism.
Although the first five lectures were very informative, Lily and I both agreed that we would rather do research. Our mentor, Teacher Kiara told us that it would be easier if we focused on one specific topic. My father suffered from bipolar disorder so I decided to focus on getting a better understanding of mental illness. When I was a kid I always wondered why my Dad was always alone in his room. He slept during the day and would come out to eat for a few hours at night but besides for that he isolated himself. As of now, my research question is “How does bipolar disorder affect social interactions?” I have done research for history and English class however, I have very little experience with case studies and am looking forward to broadening my research skills. I think that my biggest challenge will be sorting through the case studies and analyzing them as they relate to my research question. Overall, I am excited for the semester and hope to better understand bipolar disorder and mental illness as a whole.
Elizabeth, Megan. Bipolar. Digital image. Deviant Art. N.p., 2009. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.
Rishmawy, Derek. Dualism. Digital image. WordPress. N.p., Nov. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2015.