2. Barely a Hero

Context:

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.

Artifact:

Please consider reading the following chapters:

Chapter 4 (The Mental Barrier) link.

Chapter 5 (A Proper Teacher) link.

Chapter 6 (The Power of Belief) link.

Learning:

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.

Application:

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?

Future Growth:

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.