Growing up as a South Asian male in the Midwest, I always struggled to find narratives to represent my own experiences. On top of this, I grew up in a religious household, which limited my access to logic and creativity. By the time I got to Stanford, I was beginning to develop my scientific framework, integrating it into popular mythologies of heroism. The result was Barely a Hero; it was written to showcase the intersectionality between emotion, science, and achievement.
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By the time I completed BAH, I realized how limited the space between emotion and science was. While there was research done for sports physiology, these papers were often limited to technical terminology, which could act as a barrier to many readers. In a way, I felt that readers wanted their feelings of fatigue and frustration – when striving for any goal – to be legitimized through a scientific lens. I found that stories could easily be integrated into scientific facts, reminding me of the scientific prose and creativity of the renaissance, enlightenment period, and 18th century.
Now, this artifact also posed several challenges. For one, it was one of my first experiences with digital art. I was only using a mouse and Microsoft paint. While the simplicity was nice, I felt I missed the mark on representing some of the scientific nature of these very personal topics. Maybe, I could have showed the molecular muscle fatigue?
In future attempts, I hope to bring more hard science to narrative works. For example, if I am talking about the difficulty of a rock-climbing problem, I want to be able to talk about the individual neurons that are sending signals to the brain to stop alongside the overall emotional (hormone) state of anger and frustration.