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Inspiration in Unexpected Places

by eengoron on February 28th, 2013

Hi Guys!

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but I’m back, and I’ve got a lot to say. Today, I want to talk to you guys about finding inspiration where you least expect it.

Here at Stony Brook, we have a group of classes known as DECs. For those of you who don’t know, DECs are simply courses in a variety of subject matter that we must take before we are able to graduate. Coming in as a freshman, I was not looking forward to the DECs. I was a computer science major; I thought that classes in english, philosophy, and foreign culture would just distract me from my major, but boy was I wrong.

As the semesters passed, I quickly figured out ways to enjoy the DECs while remaining focused on my major. For the writing DECs, I did my research projects on humanoid robotics, for the philosophy DEC I took “Logic and Critical Reasoning,” which goes hand and hand with computer science, and for the foreign culture and history DECs, I took “Literature of Japan” and “Modern Japan” respectively, which played to my strengths.

While it seemed like the DECs were going smoothly, there was one DEC that I had always avoided, the theater and arts DEC. I was not interested in theater , and I might have been a drummer, but I had no interest in writing piano composions or learning how to read music. I was at a standstill. But last semester, I decided to get this DEC over with and signed up for a class called “Theater and Technology.”

The first day I did not know what to expect, I figured we would be learning about things like green-screens and stage design tools. But what I found was completely different. When I rolled into my first day of class, the professor asked if there were any coders in the room. Being a computer science major, I raised my hand. He told me that, for the semester, I would be hacking a Microsoft Kinect and making it do things that would benefit the theatrical world. Given that I am a human-computer interaction specialist, I knew at that moment that I would enjoy this class. I began experimenting with the Kinect and cutting edge brainwave technology that allows a computer program to know the user’s emotions.

Fast forward to the current semester and the technology that I developed in that 100 level theater class is now being showcased all over New York City. This coming summer, my software is being showcased at various venues in the United States, Poland, Germany, and Belgium.

I had never expected to find such an amazing opportunity in a theater class that I was taking as a DEC. For me, this was a lesson in the interconnectivity between every major on campus. Any class is applicable to your major in some way, shape, or form, you just have to keep an open mind. Never judge a class by its name or its subject, because its opportunities may surprise you. Always keep an open mind while you’re here, and look for inspiration in the unexpected.

Until next time!


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