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Starting with only the concept of fear, we created a set of questions to explore and reflect on each week. At the end of the week after answering the questions we completed a creative reflection on what we learned based off a random prompt.

As the weeks progressed we gained new insight and direction as to what shape our project would take. What started off as blind research became a curation of ourselves through the publication “Antithesis.”


This blog is our unfiltered thoughts.

 
 

Tori's Responses:


How do you feel about fear?
I’m the kind of person who likes to have control over my mind- I find having a plan and purpose calming. Fear is kind of an unexplained phenomena that messes with that, so understandably I don’t like it when it interferes with my life. However, there are times when a little bit of fear makes thing fun- like roller coasters and “Black Mirror.”

 

What are you afraid of?
Letting people down, running out of time, not getting a job, getting a speeding ticket, not being able to live up to standards, forgetting to put on deodorant, selective public speaking, quitting (mostly in a work sense), not being good enough, hurting people, isolating myself, not living up to my potential, saying no, panic attacks, hangovers, making the wrong decisions generally any aspect of inadequacy, and snakes- I want to like them, but I really just hate the way they move.

 

Discuss your experiences with Fear. (How you react, effect on the rest of your life…)
Over summers my parents used to send me away to a lot of camps since they worked during the day. Maybe the summer before fourth grade some kids started telling the “Bloody Mary” ghost story (say Bloody Mary three times into a mirror and at night she will come kill you). For some reason this scared the absolute shit out of me. I remember my parents trying to do everything they could to calm me down, my dad even tried to get me to do it with him to prove it wasn’t true– this only resulted in me being even more terrified since someone had officially “activated” her. That night I did not sleep at all and refused to be in the dark- which was something I had always loved. My mom came in and read me the entire book “Mary, Bloody Mary” the history of the myth trying to rationalize my fear but nothing could. Eventually she told me she needed sleep and I had to figure it out and left me to be. I think still being alive in the morning helped me get over that.
While I’m no longer afraid of Bloody Mary, fear still has the similar impact on me. When something bothers me I have a hard time brushing it off, I fixate on it and freeze. About two years ago this reaction hit a peak worst. I found myself suffering from panic and anxiety attacks with no identifiable reason. Randomly something would set me off and I although I would appear ok on the outside, inside my body had gone into fight or flight mode  leaving me dizzy and nauseous, feeling like I was drowning. It would happen during class, in the middle of the night a random unknown trigger in the middle of a conversation... I spent a year tiptoeing around terrified of not if, but when it would happen again. Thankfully, things aren't so intense anymore, but it is still something I struggle with.

Has a fear ever significantly impacted a decision?
I think sometimes I am so afraid of missing out, failing, or making a wrong choice that it leads me to settle. In most circumstances, such as my design work or exploring I really love take risks and push boundaries, but when it comes to more personal long terms life decisions, like jobs and relationships I easily get scarred and play it safe.


Do you spend time worrying about those Fears when they are not presented? Or is it “out of sight out of mind”?
I worry about everything constantly.

 

How is the this project going so far?
I’ve known Mike in a variety of settings- social, class, and even traveling and we have always had fun even if we butt heads a bit. I have never worked with him on a project however and it’s interesting to see him as a partner instead of a peer. We have polar opposite personalities and work styles- I’m a perfectionist who stresses over little details and he is more happy-go-lucky guy with endless enthusiasm. So far it seems to be working.


Any other concerns?
Not at the moment!

 

Activity reflection:
To me Mike has always been a really great guy. We have kind of opposite personalities- I’m more quiet and reserved and he’s more enthusiastic, open, and optimistic. Sometimes I feel like I wear my feelings on my face, people often come up to me asking if I’m “ok” or sick- as you can imagine this makes it almost impossible for me to lie- but Mike always has a smile. Im sure we share a lot of the same worries- not getting a job, being afraid of the future, dealing with rejection of any sort- but from what I’ve seen he handles it with an easy-come-easy-go attitude, smile and grace.

Mike's Responses:


Objectively, how do you feel about fear?
I think I have a pretty good relationship with fear. I don’t have any fears that intrude on me on a daily basis, and most of my fears are more “long term concerns” that keep me motivated and pushing forward.

 

What are you afraid of?
I am afraid of failing. I have been told to never be an art major and that there are no jobs in art, and yet I am one anyways. If I can’t get a job, it is like me admitting that they were right and that there really is no way to get a job in art. Being unemployed is the driving force behind me working hard, and the boogeyman in my closet.
I am afraid of being alone forever. I have never had a very long term girlfriend and I sometimes wonder if I am emotionally too immature or empty to ever get married. I feel like all of my friends are constantly dating or in relationships happy and excited, yet I am always single. I always hide behind “oh, I am just waiting for that special someone”, but another part of me worries that I am what is wrong.
I am afraid of being inadequate, of being unwanted, of being the last one picked for basketball, the ugly one… I am the most confident person you will ever meet and yet I am insecure about these things.  

 

Discuss your experiences with Fear. (How you react, effect on the rest of your life…)
My experience with Fear has been better in recent years. I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu about 2.5 years ago and it has actually allowed me to react calmly in situations that would normally lead to panic. Mostly because in jiu jitsu, situations that arise that could end poorly if you were to freak out.
For example, if a 250 lbs guy is on top of you, struggling does nothing except waste energy. Instead, regulating your breathing and thinking systematically about an escape is the proper course of action. This thought process has actually translated to real life situations where I needed to think clearly more than you might expect.
The occasion I can think of that required a calm and cool demeanor was while I traveled in Marrakech, Morocco. I arrived very late in the night, in a city that is one of the worst pickpocketing cities of the world, and was dropped off nearly two miles from my destination. I walked through alleys that could hardly fit two people side by side and was almost immediately followed by a local who questioned me about my destination and nationality, and offering me illegal goods. He walked backwards in front of me, attempting to stop me, speaking in several different languages to discern which I spoke. Had I not been calm, I would have freaked out and ran and probably had a worse outcome, but luckily I kept calm and made it safely to my destination without getting hurt.


Has a fear ever significantly impacted a decision?
I don’t think so, not yet. It certainly has spurred me on, to not get complacent, but I haven’t ever made a poor decision because I was scared of something.

 

Do you spend time worrying about those Fears when they are not presented? Or is it “out of sight out of mind”
I think that I can very easily slip into fixating on my Fears when they aren’t present, but I try to force myself to have an optimistic attitude about things. Life is so much better with a positive attitude!


How is the this project going so far?
I think it is going really well! I am having fun talking with Tori and Nancy. It almost feels like therapy, without having to feel self conscious about going to therapy! I feel better after I finish talking.


Any other concerns?
Week 1, roll on!

 

Activity reflection:
I think Tori is such a unique person. She has a very special place in my heart. I crushed on her Freshman year, knew her Sophomore year, disliked her in the beginning of Junior year, and then traveled Amsterdam, Brussels, and London with her.
She is outwardly shy, and introverted, yet she gives very honest and accurate critique, bordering on soul-ripping ahaha. I trust her opinion more than just about anyone in my year.
I tried to represent these two halves in my gif, the outward version and the part she won’t say out loud (but I will).

 

Week 2

What is the commonality in these responses?
The most common responses were spiders, death, failure, bees, the dark, heights, loneliness and illness. Others that had been repeated were commitment, wasting life, claustrophobia, unemployment, missing out, being in the streets alone, disappointing parents, Donald Trump, rejection, bugs, darkness and not achieving anything. Surprisingly, most of the responses were very tangible things rather than concepts about the future and such like I find myself tending to be more afraid of. I wish we had asked age as well because it would be interesting to see what fears correlated with other people's stages of life!


Do you relate to any of these?
Failure, heights, being vulnerable, being underground, loneliness, wasting my life, pregnancy, unemployment, missing out, scary movies, not achieving anything, rejection, the unknown, hurting those I love, disappointing my parents, mediocrity, being in the streets alone, and being helpless. One thing someone put I found interesting was “myself” and although I’m not afraid of myself, I am afraid of being trapped in my own head for too long. Although I am an introvert I need to be around other people or I’ll drive myself insane.

A few people said nothing- do you think it’s possible to not be afraid of anything?
I think everyone has times when they feel invincible and fears may not be the most pressing thing on their mind. But from my own experiences, I don’t think anyone is afraid of nothing.

How honest do you think people were with these responses?
When we put out the survey there wasn’t much indication about what the answers were being used for or who was seeing them. We just kind of said quick anonymous survey for a project, please help! I think these are all things people are afraid of, but they may not be their most pressing fears. Also, something I noticed when I was looking at the responses was that there were things I related to but didn’t think about without seeing it written first.

How is the this project going so far?
When I started I was afraid this project was going to be too personal, but the deeper we dive in, the more I’m both invested, interested and comfortable. Working with Nancy and Mike is great and I can’t wait to see how the project goes.


Any other concerns?

Mike wants to watch a scary movie together. I’ve never seen one for a reason and I’m not sure I want to.

Ask people what they are afraid of (at least 20):
The result of interviewing 50 people of their top 3 fears are (In order, must have been written more than 2 times):
-Failure
-Death
-Heights
-Spiders
-Loneliness
-The Dark
-Illness

What is the commonality in these responses?
I think that they can be separated into THINGS (spiders, bees…), SITUATIONS (Failure, Heights…) and, maybe the UNKNOWABLE (Death, Loneliness, Dark…)

Which of these fears do you think would be the worst to have? Why?
Luckily, I don’t have very many fears that are THINGS. I think that would be tough because they are actual physical things that would be in front of you. I think most of the UNKNOWABLE things require maturity and confidence in yourself to get over.
Most of my fears fall into SITUATIONS (unemployment, failure), because they act as deterrents to falling into certain traps.

Do you feel that fear for something is “you have it or don’t”, or are there varying levels of being scared of something?
I think that for THINGS, it is a “have it or don’t” situation. I still don’t like needles, but I no longer fear them. I just would prefer to not have a sharp object stuck into me.
For the other two… I don’t know. I feel uncomfortable with some things but the fears I have are very much affirmative. A lot of the UNKNOWABLE things I am ok with are because I have spent time thinking about being ok with them. To get over a fear of Death, I had to think about it not as a terrible and dark thing, but as… just something that happens. I like to think that all of those people who passed away are upstairs in a really well lit Happy Hour bar drinking cocktails waiting for me. Are they mad I’m not there? No. Are they mad they aren’t with me? No. They are pleased as punch that they are hanging with their friends, and they’ll welcome me when I show up. That is how I got over a fear of death.
That was a little rambling but I feel that thinking in a positive way about these things brightens the entire situation.

Do you relate to any of these fears?
Failure is a fear I understand. I really feel like it is along the lines of a cattle prod, and less like a single thing that keeps me up at night. I don’t really understand fears like snakes or worms or spiders, but I think that is because I don’t have that specific fear.
I think that fears and fetishes are two sides of the same coin, something you can only understand if you have it too.

How is this project going so far?
It is going well! Nancy giving us materials we must use is pretty fun and difficult.

Any other concerns?

Tori was pretty sick this week so we Face Timed the meeting. I hope she feels better. It sometimes feels like she is my girlfriend because I spend so much time with her and care about her so much. It’s interesting to me because I don’t even get to this point of emotional intimacy with a lot of girls I have dated.
 

Blue = Tori
Yellow = Mike

Week 3

What were you afraid of as a kid?
Snakes.. Always snakes. Temporarily needles- I got over that really quick when I got mono in fourth grade and had to get endless amounts of blood work done. I wasn’t afraid of the dark, but I didn't like walking across my room after turning out the lights. I remember being afraid of my parents leaving and specifically dying- not just not coming back, roller coasters, and heights.
I was also so afraid of my fourth grade computer teacher that I would involuntarily get stomach aches so bad and often the doctors diagnosed me with lactose intolerance. It wasn’t until my mom realized I was missing school every Thursday that figured that out. I think this ties in with me being afraid of letting people down.


What fears stayed with you?
Mostly only snakes, heights and maybe the computer teacher.. I haven’t seen her in a while so can’t be positive on that one.

I (Mike) found this video about why people are afraid of snakes and sent it to Tori.

 

How have your fears evolved over time?
As I learned to rationalize my thoughts and create mental “risk assessments” things like my parents dying on the way to the grocery store, or roller coasters or things hiding under my bed became less bothersome. Basically, rationalizable irrational concepts have evolved into concepts that I can not control (like snakes, and not living up to my potential).   
 

Do you feel your fears have helped you grow as a person?
One of my biggest fears that has been constant has been the fear of disappointment / not being good enough. This is something I always had to an extreme (think back to my computer teacher above, I was so afraid of messing up in class and getting yelled at there were days I had to miss school) and it affected almost every aspect of my life from school, to social activities to sports. This was really straining on my body and mind, but it did push me to push myself. For example, when I ran cross country in eighth grade I would be almost throwing up before every meet, but tried so hard I ended the season in the top 5 on my team.

 

What ways have you combatted your fears?
Some I try to avoid (like snakes) and others I just suck up and face. As much as it can stress me inside, I try to push through and not these feelings stop me.  


How is the this project going so far?
👍👍👍 Mikes enthusiasm is really contagious and I feel so comfortable with him and Nancy. Now that the “research” stage is coming to a close I’m curious what kind of project we’re going to develop from this.

Any other concerns?
Now Nancy is sold on the scary movie idea reallllllly not sure how I feel about this haha.. She better be there watching too! Side note, I’m writing this at a Starbucks in the mall as my phone is getting fixed. It’s soooo nice to not have a phone, I considered ditching it until I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to find my way home. Also the wifi here was sooo spotty and frustrating-  I’m a little concerned about how much I rely on technology.

What were you afraid of as a kid?
I was VERY afraid of needles as a kid. Like… debilitating fear. When I was around 5-7 years old I had to get a series of shots in my arm for something, and I completely freaked out and hid under the table.
I think part of why I was so afraid of these was two part. One part being that I don’t face needles very often and as a result I have less of an opportunity to overcome the fear. The other part was that my family made fun of me ruthlessly for being a baby. My family is the type of group that we are all very real with each other and as a result we know when somebody is proud of somebody or disappointed in someone because we tell them. For needles, my parents and brothers used to laugh at me for being so childish (granted, I was a child at the time), and I think it just built up in my head.
I had to get an IV a few times for surgeries and I think through laughing gas and just being stronger mentally I was able to get over my fear, thank god.

What fears stayed with you?
I’m not sure which ones really have stayed with me. My fears have really been two part. From Needles and Bees and Scary Movies to a fear of Unemployment and being alone forever.
 

How have your fears evolved over time?
I discussed it in last weeks response, but I think that there is a difference in categories of fear, and my fears have really evolved from THINGS to SITUATIONS. I’m not sure if that is better or worse, but they have also stopped being imminent fears (having a needle in the room > HOLY SHIT!) and more looming fears (I better work hard or I’ll be stuck without a job forever!).
 

Do you feel your fears have helps you grow as a person?
I think that they have helped me work harder as a prod, but I think my early fears didn’t exactly help. It was more that you HAVE TO have a fear when you are young, and I ended up with a pretty standard one.
 

What ways have you combatted your fears?
I think I had to experience them more, especially while more mature to fully get over them. I also had to think about them critically and just be rational about my fear.
My mom has been having pretty bad knees and she went in for cortisone shots (giant ass needles stuck all the way almost through your knee). She would have these shots every 2 weeks for about a month or two and not really make a big deal about it. She would sometimes go and do them, come back and then go for a walk with me. One time I asked her how she dealt with them and wasn't scarred. She always told me, “you know, I am always scarred, and I don’t really want to do it, but there is no point in me being upset past when I get them because I have to get them regardless of if I want them.” I just thought this was such a brave and logical way to look at something that I have tried to apply it to everything I do, especially tasks I really would rather avoid.
One of these was breaking up with a girlfriend I had and really liked. I knew we had to break up and it really was going to make me sad and upset, and I was more than a little afraid, but with this approach, I knew that regardless of if I was afraid to do it or not, I had to do it, so don’t focus on the fear.


How is the this project going so far?
I think it is going really well. My last 2 projects for this blog have been really quick and easy because I had an idea right away… this week not so much.
Tori and I also went out to the bars together! Very fun getting to hangout and talk without the focus being work!

Any other concerns?
How the hell am I going to use RUB & FABRIC to recreate Tori’s first fear?! AGHHHHHH!

$2.00 pints of Shocktop, but of course!

Week 4

What is fear?
The dictionary definition of fear as a noun is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat” and as a verb to “be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.” Basically, it’s a feeling and it sucks.


What are the psychological effects of fear?
Fear is a reaction triggered by a perceived threat. It is a feeling, but it can include the emotions stress, anger, anxiety, fright, horror, joy, panic, and sadness. Fear can have long term consequences that lead to debilitating habits.


What are the physiological effects of fear?
An adrenalin rush in the brain causes sweating, rapid heartbeat, flushed face, tensed muscle, muscle weakness, digestive problems, dizzy, exhaustion, tightness in chest. Your body redirects its energy to survival mode. Personally, when I’m having a panic attack or feeling afraid the things I most notice is pressure in my head, ears, and eyes, rapid heartbeat, a ringing in my ears, muscles tensing up, nausea, and a feeling I need to be aware of my surroundings and plan an escape.

 

What are the steps to overcoming a fear?
A successful way to overcome a fear is through intensive behavioral therapy, which is a way of introducing people to their aversions in small gradual steps to make them feel more comfortable and associate the stimulus with more positive feelings. It is a very gradual process and needs to be done in an environment where people can be supported.

 

What is something interesting you learned about fear?
Something really interested I learned about fear is that OCD is a form of dealing with fear/ anxiety. Although it is a maladaptive process, it is a repetitive form of going through steps to make one feel safe. People create patterns through random variable pairings to help them feel like they have checked off steps to create safe, controlled environments.

 

How is the this project going so far?
Mike and I watched Psycho this weekend. It wasn’t very scary I don’t think except for two parts at the end. I actually fell asleep. I think we need to watch another one because I feel like as far as “scary” movies went it wasn’t toooooo scary!


Any other concerns?
Now we’re getting closer to picking a project and I’m kind curious to see how that goes. I think Dr. Francis gave us some good ideas to work from.

 

What is fear?
From what I can tell, fear is a negative conditioned response to a stimuli. What is even more interesting to me is that fear can also be non-conditioned, an inherent fear, in that you never had an original fear of something, but for some reason (possibly ancestral), you are still afraid of that stimuli.
 

What are the psychological effects of fear?
It can cause reactions like a push away, due to a dislike of interacting with that stimuli. It can also lead to increased concern and safety for a situation. For example, a fear of crashing in your car can cause you to be more diligent in checking your rearview and sideview mirrors. This can manifest into Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

 

What are the physiological effects of fear?
Fear can have an effect on your brain chemistry, causing that stomach churning, gut clenching feeling we all know. This can lead to a lack of appetite or, in extreme cases, vomiting.

What are the steps to overcoming a fear?
According to Dr. Francis, fear should be gradual overcome, through positive conditioning. Starting with simple steps like relaxing, lowering your heart rate, and thinking rationally, and then slowly introducing the stimuli in a relaxed state will usually temper the fear.

What is something interesting you learned about fear?
Dr. Francis talked about how ritual and positive stimuli, manifesting in the concept of “Luck”, is the exact opposite of Fear. I never really thought of this but it makes sense.
While I was a lacrosse goalie, I used to have a pregame ritual that involved shaking hands with the opposite goalie a certain way, touching the posts of the goal in a specific order, and saying the same things to each defender.
If the psychology is correct, the reason I do this is because I did it by “accident” and then was exposed to a positive stimuli, winning a game or doing well, and put the two acts together.
On the flip side, if I was to have been undefeated each game, and then one game I shook the opposite goalie’s hand with my left, and then proceeded to lose that game, you can bet I wouldn’t ever shake the opposite goalies hand with my left ever again.
The human mind is a weird, weird place.... Makes me have so much more respect for those that pursue that area of study.

How is the this project going so far?
I think pretty good! We talked to Dr. Francis on the phone and he was very helpful with explaining these very abstract and difficult to understand points in a way that I could understand them.
Tori and I also watched a thriller movie, Psycho, together and filmed ourselves reacting to it. The climax involving the protagonist discovering the mother is already dead and the killer showing up to murder her only to be stopped freaked me out sooo much. Like I could barely watch it, holy crap.
It really messed with my head, but I will also say that I really do love old time classic movies. There is something that always think of my dad when I hear that classic “male voice coming through a tin can” sound like how it was in “What a Wonderful Life”.

Any other concerns?
Tori tried suggesting that Psycho wasn’t scary enough and we should watch another one… YA RIGHT! No chance, I have met my quota for horror movies watched for the next 10 years.

Week 5

What is an occasion you have faced your fears?
I guess I kind of face fears everyday. Today I was reading about the notion of “threshold fear” which is a psychological barrier that dissuades people from entering environments where they feel uncomfortable. While I’m not necessarily fighting snakes or proving myself not inadequate on the daily, I am facing situations that make me feel uncomfortable and pushing on to defy what I fear in my future.
 

What are you most hesitant to confront?
The more personal something is, the less I want to deal with it.
 

Do you feel adrenaline is a positive feeling or is it something you try to stay away from?
I love adventures, so naturally I don’t shy away from “adrenalin junkie” type experiences. However, when I’m doing these things- like riding huge roller coasters or cliff jumping- I’m not going through it alone. In these controlled yet crazy instances adrenaline is fun. In an instance where I am afraid or in danger I don’t really dig it as much and would naturally stay away from situations that make me feel like that.
 

When is a time you vividly remember your heart rate being spiked?
As far as anxiety goes sophomore year was an all time high for me- individual moments are hard to distinguish as the first few months especially were a blur of panic attacks. I remember feeling like I was living in a dream state not being able to comprehend how everyone else seemed to be going on with their lives like normal while I had no control over mine. One of the most vivid moments I remember of my heart beating out of my chest happened in the second semester. By this point I had gone through counseling and was having attacks less and less often. One day, in design production- a tedious class in itself- I checked my email and saw I had an official email from RIT notifying me of a misconduct violation. The way these emails are set up is you open the email, then have to sign in and open a private letter being told the whole time your actions are being recorded and no indication of what you did wrong. At this point I remember my heart pounding in my chest in the middle of class panicking about what I was in trouble for, what the consequences would be, and above all else why was I feeling this again and would it be something I would have to live with forever.
 

When is the last time you faced a fear?
I will be facing a fear later today as I embark on a five hour car ride on my own. I am of afraid of driving alone, especially long distances and have never done something like this before. Will update later.
 

Post trip epiphany:
Coming home from this trip I realized I faced a bigger fear than just driving. Before I was born my dad used to tease my mom saying they would have an “all boys baseball team or a girl- whichever came first.” All he wanted was a daughter- lucky for my mom they got me on the third try. Being the only girl, and the baby, my dad was naturally extremely protective of me– sometimes to an extreme. Looking back, it makes sense why so many “coming of age” experiences were such emotional ordeals, usually christened with angry tears and fights. One of the hardest for us was me driving. Every time we got in the car it was the classic t.v. scene with me- the kid- being like dude chill while my dad freaked out every time I almost ran a red light or got closer than ten car lengths behind another vehicle. As a result of many years being told I wasn’t responsible or mature enough to make trips by myself I became terrified of driving on the highway and by myself- and my dad happily complied to make the six and a half hour trip back and forth to school to make sure I was safe.

This past weekend I took a trip down to Pennsylvania to visit my boyfriend. It was the first time I drove over an hour by myself, and super last minute as well. I know I waited so long hoping my dad would say no– if not because of the distance simply for the fact I was going to stay with a boy–  but without hesitating he said go for it! and reviewed the route with me. This “blessing” of independence really made me realize it wasn’t so much driving that scarred me, but the whole concept of growing up and not being my dad’s little girl anymore. I had always thought of myself as so independent, but maybe I wasn’t. I used to be able to blame it on my parents, but now that they were giving me free reign maybe it was me that was holding back.

As I drove I stopped being afraid of the highway, or being alone, but I did have a real scare when I stopped at a rest stop. I went in to use the bathroom and came out to my car missing. Panicking, I called my dad– I could hear the fear in his voice after I stammered out “daddy…” only to hear him crack up as I told him I lost the car and ask if I was in the right parking lot (I wasn’t). I think this weekend was a learning experience for both of us. Whether I want to or not, I’m growing up and taking on more responsibility and independence– but it’s nice to know despite all that I’m always going to be my dad’s little girl.
 

How is the this project going so far?
Things really took a 180 spin, but I can’t say I object to it.

I saw Mike really stressed for the first time and that was weird- he’s always the happy-go-lucky it’s going to be just fine type. Later that night we hung out and watched Zootopia and it definitely lifted his spirits (side note- what a great movie🐰).


Any other concerns?
I’ve been working on my personal brand on the side and am having a hard time defining myself in a color. When I asked people what color they think of me as I got the answers black, dark green, and cream. While these aren't bad colors I feel like they’re not really me.

What is an occasion you have faced your fears?
I think an occasion I faced my fears was when pretty recently, last semester actually when I went forward and apologized to a former friend for the way I had behaved as a Freshman.

Before entering college, I realized that I had embodied a certain type of person in high school, the artistic jock, and I wanted to change how people viewed me.

When I entered college, I went almost too far, trying to play a roll I wasn’t, the gregarious partying bad boy. For so long in high school I was always passed over by girls for being too nice, so I tried to be a bad boy… so stupid. I still cringe when I think about how much of an idiot I was.

One of my new friends who knew me while I tried out this bad boy attitude saw right through it, and I was upset that she knew me better than I knew me.

It had been eating at me since my return from Spain and I wanted to make amends. It took me an entire semester to get the courage to go up to her and apologize to her for the way I behaved and for throwing away a friendship with her. She was very nice and accepted the apology, but I won’t ever forget how hard it was to admit how wrong I was.
 

What are you most hesitant to confront?
There are a few things I am hesitant to confront, but mostly I am hesitant to confront myself. I normally like to just like myself, though I can see why that is a problem. In the same way that a relationship that has no depth is not a very good one. I know that meditation helps, but I am worried that if I spend time reflecting on myself, I would fixate on the negative too much.

Do you feel adrenaline is a positive feeling or is it something you try to stay away from?
I do like the feeling of adrenaline and excitement, though I am trying to live life in a more mild way now that I am starting to get a little older. I used to love cliff jumping and night swimming for that feeling of adrenaline, but now adrenaline usually means something pretty nuts is going on.
Do I sound like an old man? Yikes...

What singular moment has spiked your heart rate the most?
I think the moment that has spiked my adrenaline the most is when I almost got robbed in my sleep in Marrakech, Morocco. Ill add a photo of my journal entry I wrote right after the incident.

  

When is the last time you faced a fear?
Ugh… probably apologizing to my friend…

How is the this project going so far?
I’m pretty fricken' stressed about this project right now. Like… I have no idea where we are going with this and it worries me a little. I don’t like not knowing and not having control of my work. I have always enjoyed Professor Mitch Goldstein’s work and how he makes work without any attachment of how it will turn out, however I have never felt comfortable with doing this.

Right now, while I am learning about myself and making art, I feel like I am just lost and this might just be a waste of time. I don’t know if employers will like this stuff at all...so it is pretty nerve racking.
How funny though that my fear of unemployment is affecting my project about overcoming fear.


Any other concerns?
Summed it up pretty well right there. Fuck.

This is a nice little corner of the church I went to for confession. The light was just right, I had to snap a photo.

WEEK 6

How do you feel about luck?
I like to think people get what they deserve- like what goes around comes around. I like to think if you live a genuinely pure life (not just for the karmic benefits) and things will work out for you, but I don’t really think that is the case. Life is full of twists and turns and you can only control it to an extent. What you can control is your attitude. With that being said, I still get really offended if someone doesn't wish me luck before big events and I really enjoy looking for meaning in little events.
 

In what ways do you think you’re lucky?
I’m lucky in the way people don’t tend to think of themselves as lucky. I don’t win raffles (in fact I have never won anything like that) or get people coming up to me at work and giving me $1000 tips or free trips, but I have a home and the luxury to do fun things when I want and a family to always support me. I never go hungry and can afford luxuries like a laptop or new phones. I have freedom and endless opportunity. So in the way we take completely for granted, I am insanely lucky.
 

Discuss your experiences with luck. (How you react, effect on the rest of your life…)
Even though I don’t really believe in luck I’m always looking for signs and omens, especially in times of desperation. Over the summer my grandpa had a heart attack and his body was rejecting treatments- for a while we didn’t know if he would make it. I was pretty upset and told one of my friends who was struggling with their future about the situation. Later that night he told me he found a ladybug in his room and was about to wish for luck in his interview, but wished for my grandpa to be okay instead. Less than ten minutes later we found out he was stable and was going to pull through. I know it was a coincidence- doctors were working around the clock, a ladybug did not swoop in save him, but at the time it was such a magical moment and the gesture meant so much to me.


Has luck ever significantly impacted a decision?
Only when I'm at the penny slots! 🤑


Do you find yourself relying luck?
Haha nooo… I’m the kind of person who likes to have a plan.
 

How is the this project going so far?
This project is going good- it’s time we need to start deciding on a style. I don't want to go too classic fear, black and red spooky shit idk. I think we can make it really fun, but it’s this point in a project I really start to question my design skills.


Any other concerns?
Nahh- happy spring break!

Tori showed us this video at our last meeting, and it made me laugh so hard because it is exactly the type of video that appeals to her sense of humor. 

Watch until the end.

How do you feel about luck?
I believe that “luck” is just one word for a lot of things like karma, vibes, energy, chi, chakra, aura… I think it all has to do with the way we project ourselves into the world.
Luck seems like the same frequency of getting struck by lightning, and I feel I get more positive events than just that. If I had to define what I believe in, it would have to be energy. I like to think that by smiling, having positive body language, greeting people as they walk by, opening doors for other people I am almost stacking the deck in my favor, with positive outcomes more likely than negative ones.
 

In what ways do you think you’re lucky?
Gosh, so many ways. I think I am pretty blessed to be going to college, an opportunity most people don’t get.

I am most definitely lucky to have a very amazing family, something I think about all the time. When I came to college, I was pretty naive about family matters of others, because nearly everyone I knew from my hometown had pretty strong core families. In Saranac Lake, seemingly the only family problems that existed were the occasional split family. I still remember calling my Mom midway through my Freshman year after listening to a girl tell me about how her mom was a recovering a Heroin addict/dealer, her father was in jail, and her brother and her hate each other and don’t talk. I remember telling my mom on the phone how lucky I felt to have parents who love each other very much, and brothers who are my best friends. Life would be so much harder without a strong home base.

Discuss your experiences with luck. (How you react, effect on the rest of your life…)
I have never considered myself abnormally lucky with moments of chance (traditional luck), things like the lottery, cards, or slot machines. But then again, maybe it all pays off in the moments that matter and give me the great life I have.

I think that a few times while traveling I absolutely should have gotten hurt, robbed, or something bad, but luck staved it off and kept me safe. That’s my only explanation.

Has luck ever significantly impacted a decision?
I don’t think so. I think the point of luck is that it is a windfall of good fortune. Sometimes I make decisions that do not have a 100% guaranteed success rate, and when they do succeed, that is luck.

Do you find yourself relying luck?
I think people who rely on luck are the unsuccessful people, the ones that had great ideas, but instead of working hard to have them succeed, just threw a Hail Mary at the end zone and crossed their fingers. I find myself instead relying on hard work instead, and hoping a little luck helps smooth out the wrinkles.

How is the this project going so far?
The project is going pretty well I think. I got the website all together, now we just need to keep pushing with the Luck portion. I think that Fear is much more easy to grasp and understand, but Luck is far more intangible and non-comprehensive.

Any other concerns?
I went to Utah for vacation to go skiing for 5 days! I didn’t think about the project almost at all, but I don’t feel that guilty.

WEEK 7

What is the commonality in these responses?
About ⅔ of the respondents said that they did believe in luck. Something interesting though was a lot of the reasons why some people believe and why some do not were the same concept of there being no proof. It was almost like asking people to look at a cup and hear some say it’s half empty or half full.
 

Do you relate to any of the explanations?
Honestly a lot of explanations- especially those who took it seriously- were really ambiguous, which I thought was cool. Since they were pretty personal and vague it’s hard to relate to most of them. I found myself agreeing with answers (both yes and no) as I read them, even if they did not reflect my instinctual beliefs.
 

What responses really resonated you?
21 // Yes // We must have something to believe in right?
21 // Yes // because I have lost all of it
21 // No // Don't believe in coincidences
21 // No // luck is a construct for the untalented
22 // Yes // You can't choose your parents
22 // Yes // if luck wasn’t real I wouldn’t be getting in trouble for wearing a red hawaiian shirt
24 // No // Everything happens for a reason
 

Did responses vary with age?
There was not enough from each age group to really be able to tell, although the older people were the more “responsibility” they took for luck, whether they said it was something they believed in or not. On the other hand younger respondents were more vague in answers.

 

For those who say they believe, does it seem like they rely on luck?
They seem to think of it as more of an explanation of how events turn out rather than a cause for it. Like luck is all about hindsight and not an in the moment kind of thing.
 

How is the this project going so far?
It’s going well but I’m just not feeling very enthusiastic this week.


Any other concerns?
One thing I really hate is unfinished business. When I was in second grade Dr Seuss gave me an existential crisis when he never told us if the butter-side-up or butter-side-down team wins the butter battle fight. Mike is doing something like this for his project this week and that really bothers me.

I (Mike) was going through my Facebook and found this photo of Tori and I in Belgium near the "Pissing Boy" statue in Brussels. Crazy how time has flown but we are still hanging out!

Ask people do you believe in luck (at least 40):
Q1: Do you believe in luck?
My answer: Yes
Q2: Why or why not?
My answer: I believe in "vibes", which i feel is sort of like luck, in that when you put out good vibes, through positive body language and smiles, the world notices and more positive things happen to you based on this.
 

What is the commonality in these responses?
I noticed that a lot of people responded with unoriginal thoughts. Things that they had heard, rather than actually opinions or explanations as to why or why not they believe in luck. A little disappointing to be honest. I would have liked more thoughtful explanations rather than stuff you just get out of a fortune cookie.
 

Do you relate to any of the explanations?
I really enjoyed the response: “I believe you can create luck with a good attitude. However, some people get sick for no good reason”. It was by a 52 year old person who believes in luck, no idea who that is, but it is interesting that even though we are 30 years apart in age, we still are very much on that same wave length for intangible thoughts.

What responses intrigued you?
I am still scratching my head about: “Because I've seen the Avatars of luck do battle. When flipping a coin, our luck avatars are what decide the outcome. Otherwise the universe wouldn't know which side to land face up, heads or tails.” It was written by a 21 year old who believes in luck and I have to be honest, this person had to have been really high because I am just so amazed by this answer!

Did responses vary with age?
Yes, but I think we would need a larger sample size to really get a feel for it. I noticed that the answers given by the older respondents seemed as though they were more thought out and honest, whereas the responses from the younger participants seemed very “fortune cookie” -esque.


For those who say they believe, does it seem like they rely on luck?
I don’t think so. To me, relying on luck is like relying on yourself making a half court shot at the NBA finals to win $500,000 and then retire. It would be awesome if it happened, but you better be working on your jumper and have a plan B.
 

How is the this project going so far?
Going well. I REALLY like my creation this week. Black light paint is so fun! I’ve noticed my pieces about Luck are much more inspired and bright than the ones about Fear.

Any other concerns?
We’ve been having some really awesome conversations in class about LUCK vs FAITH vs CHANCE and it makes me wish we would record it… oh well.

WEEK 8

What is Luck?
The textbook definition of luck is: noun: luck - success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions. However, I think luck is better defined through its interpretations which can be broken down into luck being viewed as a lack of control, as a fallacy, an essence, or a self-fulfilling prophecy.
 

What are the psychological effects of luck?
In many studies scientist have found that if people believe they are lucky or in possession of a lucky object better things happen to them. They found through measuring patient's confidence and effectiveness that those who were believed to be lucky in turn had higher confidence and set higher expectations for themselves. This confidence, high expectation, and belief they will succeed, meaning they were willing to work longer and harder at it, added up to a better performance. I think this boils down to good luck gives us confidence, and bad luck gives up the opposite effect. When you're in a slump, everything gets worse, but when you're in a good mood, everything is always a little better, a little more possible.
 

What are the physiological effects of luck?
People tend to be attracted to people who appear as “lucky.” Building off the last question, this means people are attracted to people who are confident, which I know is personally true. It gets to a point where confidence is not attractive, but someone who is not self deprecating is always a good thing.

 

To help explain this I drew a chart of the correlation of confidence + attractiveness. Note that there is a point where it doesn't matter how attractive you are, if you’re a cocky dick I don’t want anything to do with you.

To help explain this I drew a chart of the correlation of confidence + attractiveness. Note that there is a point where it doesn't matter how attractive you are, if you’re a cocky dick I don’t want anything to do with you.


Why do people become obsessed with luck?
People love the illusion of being able to control chance. When they’re on a lucky streak the brain gets a similar high as on drugs and they want more of it. When they loose they keep playing until the “luck” comes back, when the luck is there they keep playing because, well, they’re feeling lucky. It’s really a vicious circle.

 

What is something interesting you learned about luck?
There is a man named Frane Selak. Apparently he is both the worlds luckiest and unluckiest man- “(born June 14, 1929) is a Croatian music teacher who has allegedly escaped death seven times, and afterward won the lottery in 2003, prompting journalists to dub him "the world's luckiest man", and "world's luckiest unluckiest man" “ After exploring this concept I find it fitting one person holds both titles.

 

How is the this project going so far?
Mike and I went to a casino event the other night and when we were playing craps the guy at the table kept telling me to do a routine before I threw the dice. Apparently it “worked” since I apparently rolled a good hand but honestly I had literally no idea what I was doing. Every game I played I kept thinking about this project, even though we say you “get lucky” in a casino or whatever every event is so justifiable, yet depends on a million factors- how many people are at your table, how was the deck shuffled, how hard did you throw the dice, how much did you bet. Even though it all had a hard explanation of why it happened it's so amazing to us when it does. The fact of the matter is there is a deck of cards, or toss of dice, and you get the deal or you don’t. So even though it’s all explained, do we owe   
 

Any other concerns?
I guess i’m just at the point in the semester / my design career where I’m really starting to question my talent and self worth. It’s hard to be so vulnerable to employers, I keep thinking what if I did this differently? Just like in the casino, there’s really no way to cover all those bases.

What is Luck?
The Noun: Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.

The Verb: chance to find or acquire.
Gotta be honest, I don’t think I have ever heard it used as a verb before but hey, Google never lies.
 

What are the psychological effects of luck?
Apparently, Luck can have a real effect on someone’s perception of events and other people. According to a study published in Harvard Magazine, five year olds were more likely to like people who are considered lucky, given no other circumstances or information. Pretty darn crazy, and a little bit creepy.

You can read the entire article here!
 

What are the physiological effects of luck?
The more I learn about the scientific effects of luck, the more it continues to blow my mind. Read this passage I found on Psychologicalscience.org:

“Psychologist Lysann Damisch of the University of Koln, Germany, is among those who believe that lucky charms may indeed be effective, and she has an idea about why. She suspects that the activation of superstitious thinking directly prior to a task may boost a person’s confidence in his or her ability to succeed—what’s known as self-efficacy—which in turn boosts expectations and persistence, thus improving performance.”
 

Why do people become obsessed with luck?
So I’ll answer this from a personal perspective. I like luck, but I can see how it gets out of control. It’s a belief that success does not stem from you, but from some object around you. What is funny, is that this line of thinking has been around since the dawn of creation. Roman Gladiators would touch a statue prior to their matches, believing it would give them luck. Conversely, modern day Muay Thai fighters touch dirt before entering a ring and then say a prayer so they perform better.

I guess, when it comes down to it, religion is all about luck, which is ironic because at least in Catholicism, belief in luck is a sin “for there is no higher power than the lord.”
 

What is something interesting you learned about luck? (scientific)
I read about Mojo Bags, a type of voodoo luck that African Slaves brought to the Americas. It was a small sack that they would hang around their neck, containing lucky objects they found. Apparently they are still prevalent in various parts of America and Africa.

 

How is the this project going so far?
Pretty good. We just had the job fair, and that was stressful but now we are back to working on this full time.
 

Any other concerns?
I went out drinking with Tori last night (Thursday), and we had a lot of fun. It makes me laugh when I catch Tori taking a selfie ahaha!