assignment 3

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Singing the Winter Blues:
For this assignment I decided that I wanted to interview people in the college about seasonal mood changes (aka the winter blues). According to Mayo Clinic is it hard to diagnose someone with only seasonal depression, as it is a subtype of depression or bipolar disorder. The winter blues can affect 5-13% of the population with symptoms of low energy, irritability and inability to concentrate. I felt that interviewing different college students would give me a chance to understand mood changes during the winter season. I interviewed 3 students, one in the Bachelor of Design in Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a grad student outside of the arch major.
ASK:
Interview Questions:
- How many hours do you spend in school a day?
- Do you have multiple classes in different buildings or do you tend to stick to one building all day?
-Do you experience any mood shifts during the winter months?
-How do you feel?
(follow up questions)
-- mood
-- concentration in school
-- energy
-- amount of sleep
-What strategies do you use to get feel better when you feel down/depressed during the winter?

--Both architecture students didn't have classes outside of rapson and spent the most time in studio (about 9-10 hours)
--The grad student had multiple classes in different buildings and spent about 4 hours in school.
--Both architecture students felt that they were isolated in studio and missed the sun during the dead and darker parts of winter. The grad student felt that she got out enough to get some vitamin D between classes.

Some quotes from the interviews:
Sleep:
"I tend to get a lot of sleep in the winter, but sometimes at the cost of homework."
"I also need more sleep to feel awake during the day, but often do not get enough."
"My average amount of sleep a night is probably about 5.5 hours of sleep, maybe less."

Strategies to feel better:
"Going on walks, working in well lit areas, working around others as to not feel isolated"
"Also, I tend to read/ be as close as possible to the heat/light.. Like a sunny spot or the fireplace."
"My best strategy to get myself cheered up in the winter is probably make hot chocolate or take a nap."

OBSERVE:
It's interesting that naps and daylight seem to be the most needed thing during the winter. According to WebMD, experts are not exactly sure what causes the winter blues but might be due to lack of sunlight during the dark and frigid winter months. Lack of sunlight upsets the sleep-wake cycle of the body's natural biological clock, which is regulated by light and darkness.

Moving forward with my project I think I would like to look more into ways of getting light or better sleep:

--College students need a better way to keep track of their sleep schedule during the dark winters because many of them are not getting enough sleep due to upset in the sleep-wake cycle.
--Architecture students need a way to be exposed to daylight while in studio because many are stuck in one building for up to 9 hours or more.


2 Comments

Aicha,

I liked how you approached this project specifically for students. This will help you come up with a focused problem statement.
You blog post can be enhanced to make it easier and smooth to read. Here are my suggestions:
1/ adding photos would enrich your post! an example would be photos from the interviews you did, photos from the Architecture school, or simply photos of outdoor/indoor winter!
2/ categorizing the quotes from the interviews made it easy to read and compare. But, think about including initials, names, or a description of who said what. Since you were comparing what the undergrad students answer and what the grad student answer, then you might want to keep this consistent.
3/ maybe add citation where needed (f or us to refer to incase we wanted to know more).
4/ I think Barry mentioned this in class, but your problem statements are solutions. (really interesting solutions!). But you might want to rethink it to be something like... Student A needs a solution to overcome winter blues because she spend most of her time working indoors. This is not ideal, but an attempt to think of an alternative to what you had :)
I hope this helps!

You picked a very interesting - and often forgotten - topic. My grandmother had SAD, and I think it affects many people in ways they don't understand. I feel that my mood is strongly affected by the weather, so I'm excited to see what solutions you develop!

The first thing that strikes me about this post is the stark lack of visual interest. You did use bolding/capitalization, but it's not quite enough. The obvious solution is photos - you could at least have had photos of your interviewees, if not additional pictures related to your discussion (even simple charts of the statistics you named). Using text size and more consistent bulleting/listing could also help.

I like that you did additional research at medical sites, but I don't feel that the place for a WebMD reference is in the "Observe" category. You had a difficult topic, so it would have been fine to omit the Observe title (I did) and simply pursue some other forms of research.

Lastly, I think your problem statements are mostly fine. They should have had specific people's names (Joe needs a....) and might be a bit narrow, but I don't think you proposed solutions. Maybe think of ways to broaden your statements so as to open up more possibilities. I definitely want some more sunlight in design studios!

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This page contains a single entry by boujn001 published on November 11, 2013 8:00 PM.

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