As I mentioned in my previous Production Notebook post, the Pink and Blue Project has come head to head with a decent amount of setbacks in the past few months. From Internal Review Board barriers to COVID-19 complications.
Internal Review Board Barriers
Back in February, I made flyers to post around campus detailing my thesis project and that I wanted to collect surveys from anyone non-binary, whether on or off campus. My flyer was viewed by someone from the Arcadia University Internal Review Board, who called me out for releasing a survey without running it past them first. I was completely unaware that this was necessary, and tried to explain to those involved that it wasn’t just people on the Arcadia campus, it had been sent out to other campus and passed along to friends. There was also no way to know who had filled out the survey; I had made it completely anonymous. I didn’t collect names or email address in order for whoever decided to fill it out to know that their identity and their responses we’re completely protected. I didn’t even know if the people who had filled out the survey were Arcadia students or not. The IRB still told me that I couldn’t use my survey unless I got it approved by them; a process that could take up to six weeks, which was basically thesis night. It was extremely agitating and very disappointing, as these real-world accounts of how non-binary people had been affected by my thesis topic was going to be the backbone of my paper.
Though this was extremely agitating and I’m still bitter about it almost two months later, the only thing I could do was roll with the punches (check out my How To Roll With The Punches post to learn more). Though there isn’t really a “solution” to this problem, I was able to deal with it and move forward, just in a different direction than I planned.
My next major problem was the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did this throw a wrench in my thesis, but it also just threw a wrench in my life (as it did for everyone else on the planet). My personal experience with COVID-19 and my thesis project is that 1. I could no longer conduct photo-shoots for my creative project, 2. I could no longer exhibit my gallery on campus, and 3. I could no longer present my thesis on thesis night traditionally. All of these problems were very disappointing for me, as I initially felt that things were very much out of my control.
As time has gone on, I haven’t necessarily found a “solution” for any of my personal COVID-19 problems, but I have been able to be somewhat flexible and make things work in a different direction. I can no longer conduct photo-shoots, but I was able to conduct a few before campus closed. I can no longer have a physical gallery exhibit, but I was able to create a gallery page and display my hard work on my creative project. It’s not ideal, but it’s a good substitute. I can no longer traditionally present my thesis on thesis night, but a platform has been made to display the work of each senior on an Arcadia Communications Thesis website.
Though I wasn’t able to find any actual “solutions” to my various problems, I was able to make things work in different ways. I feel that my ordeals are just a lesson and a reminder to be as flexible as possible, even if it’s not ideal.