This semester has been a series of “firsts” for me. I’ve had my first experiences with remote classes, digital text analysis, and voice acting; it’s my first semester in a graduate program and my first semester at CUNY, and of course, this semester has included my first attempt at writing a grant request.
First and foremost, this class’ final project forced me out of my comfort zone; very far out of my comfort zone, in fact. I don’t know how many were in a similar situation to me when the project was assigned, but going into the project, I had for most intents and purposes, no experience in the realm of grants. In all honesty, the closest I’d come to reading or writing grants was reading a collection of science fiction stories written in the format of grant requests for developing large-scale tech projects entirely infeasible in reality.
When I first came up with the idea for my grant, I was desperately grasping for concepts from this semester and my background that I was familiar with. In the case of the former, I selected text corpuses, in part due to how much I enjoyed working with Voyant and Google NGram earlier this semester, and because I’ve familiarized myself with corpuses moderately more as a result of doing a final project in another class relating to them (I produced a syllabus for an undergraduate class that focuses on text corpus creation). In the case of the latter, I chose rhizomatics, as Delezue and Guattari were major inspirations during my undergraduate career, and I felt comfortable thinking about and using their work.
After receiving feedback, I was a little worried about my ability to successful produce a grant request. However, I decided that I’d already gone this far, and chose to stick with my idea of a collaborative corpus creation website influenced and inspired by Deleuzian philosophy. Admittedly, now that I’m done with my final project, I’m not sure how I feel about my product. On one hand, even though this is a first attempt, I fear that it wasn’t up to par. On the other hand, I’m incredibly proud of myself for even writing and completing my first grant request, and if nothing else, if it wasn’t for this project and Professor Gold, I would have never come across Stephen Ramsay’s work (as soon as I’m done with the rest of my finals, I need to give the ‘Patacomputing section of Reading Machines another read. I’m so happy I got to meaningfully interact with work that references Alfred Jarry, even if briefly).
This semester was more or less objectively a significant outlier in my educational career. I think that’s the case for the vast majority of people in the world, but at least I got to spend it taking a course as stimulating and thought-provoking as this one. I’m very thankful to have had an opportunity to learn from Professor Gold, and to have had all of you as classmates. Happy holidays, and I hope someday, we all can meet in person.