Your last task for this course is to tell your 150 Tons project story using the stages of "The Hero’s Journey." This assignment is meant to help you reflect on what you learned and accomplished (you can look back at your epiphanies and discussion posts). With your permission, I'll also use these stories to help inspire others.
Think about your favorite movies and books and chances are that you will recognize the the hero's journey structure, which is based on psychology research by Carl Jung and mythology research by Joseph Campbell. You can find plenty more information on the hero's journey with a Google search. To help you with this assignment, here is a structure to use that is adapted from Nancy Duarte's book Resonate and includes examples from Star Wars.
- Plan your story using Duarte's figure. I think you will find it will go much faster, be more fun, and produce a better story if you fill out the table before sitting down to write.
- Develop your story in at least 700 words, include a picture of the Hero in your story.
- Have your story peer-edited using the rubric and make any changes. Reduce to 500 words or less!
- With the final draft of your story, include the table and brief description of ideas that were eliminated from the story.
Example (Snowil's story)
In India, we are already seeing the impacts of climate change, so I came to graduate school motivated to do something about the energy and climate problem. Initially, my focus was on producing cleaner energy - solar panels, windmills, things like that. This seems to be what gets the most publicity and marketing, maybe because it’s easier to visualize. Anyway, David MacKay’s book and Amory Lovins' presentation really got me thinking in terms of “Negawatts.” I realized that saving energy can be just as good as producing sustainable energy. But I had a part-time job and three other classes, so I definitely was still thinking of The Brooklyn Project as just another assignment.
My perspective began to change when Tony Putman, Clemson’s director of utilities, came to talk with our class. From Tony's presentation, it was pretty obvious that reducing energy use in buildings was something that needed to be done right here on campus. I spoke with Tony after he presented and this is when I started seeing my Brooklyn Project as an opportunity.
My first idea was to use the project to start my own energy retrofit company, but I had trouble getting partners. My teacher gave some advice but was pretty clear that he didn’t want to help start a company. Students in my group had some good ideas too. But their life plans, understandably, didn’t include helping me start an energy retrofit company. While I was failing to find partners, I was also learning as much as I could through internet research.
Looking back, I was working hard on the project, but not yet working smart. I needed that background information, but anyone can browse the internet. I had to figure out what I was uniquely qualified to do and what unique resources I had. From then on, I did anything it took to push my idea forward, even when it was uncomfortable for me. Tony and I met and he gave me contacts with energy audit companies who I interviewed by phone. I was persistent, probably annoying, but I didn't care. It was actually kind of fun. Some of my dealings were disasters. One professor didn't respond to my e-mails; I had a hard time communicating with the industry members; and a couple people just talked for the entire meeting about irrelevant topics.
I got my break when Tony and I came up with an idea to start an internship program for student workers to do energy retrofits. This was a long way from my original vision for my company, but I saw the opportunity to achieve the same goal. Plus, at this point, I was tired of planning and ready to start the project and see what happened. I knew I'd be able to solve any problems that came up. I interviewed interested students and selected a group of 5 to start in Summer ’12. We worked together on projects ranging from counting and changing light fixtures to analyzing potential for PV-covered parking structures. We've helped save over $1 million in energy costs and we are expanding the program for next year.
In the meantime, I have a good job offer with one of the energy retrofit companies I spoke with on the phone. This gives me a nice sense of security, but I really want to figure out how to build the internship program into a career for myself by expanding it to other institutions.
The interns and me (4th from left)
|Inner journey (general)
||Snowil's inner journey (what's in his head)
||Outer journey (general)
||Snowil's outer journey (what's happening around him)
|Limited awareness of the problem
||I was just thinking about sustainable energy production
||So is everyone else - it's easier to monetize
||I saw that saving energy in buildings may be more cost effective for his situation
||Call to adventure
||Amory Lovins presentations
|Reluctance to change
||I was thinking of myself as "just" a student...
||Refusal of the call
||Other classes and assignments taking his time
||I saw that this was something that really needed to be done - and could be
||Meeting with the mentor
Tony Putnam presentation
Committing to change
|I started looking at this as more than an assignment - as my way to make a difference at Clemson
||Crossing the threshold (from ordinary to special world)
Tony Putnam discussion
|Experimenting with first change
||I initially wanted to do the audits myself - start an auditing business
||Tests, allies, and enemies
||Faculty help, but not much - student help, but other life plans
|Preparing for a big change
||I was working hard, but looking back, I was not yet working smart
Approach the inmost cave
||Looking at the internet and other sources and just talking to the instructor
|Attempting a big change
||I just decided to stop worrying about bothering others, I would talk to anyone to move the idea forward
||Persistent meetings with facilities & faculty
|Consequences of the attempt (improvements & setbacks)
||I had some less-than-helpful meetings and embarrassing moments
Ignored, waste-of-time meetings
Offer to start the internship program
|Rededication to change
||This is when I just said f*** it - I was going to move forward with the project and solve the problems as they came.
Road back (from special to ordinary world)
||Started internship program.
|Final attempt at a big change
||I knew that long-term impact would require me to make the internship program permanent
||Summer projects & energy savings - stuff that wouldn't have been done before!
|Final mastery of the problem
||I think the program is successful and I feel a sense of pride - but also excitement for new opportunities.
Return with the elixir
||Job offer in this area & other opportunities