My favorite fear project had to be Amber Vanderpohl’s.
She set up the class to be nervous. Her presentation had a lot to do with trust, and she made this clear right after saying that she was fearful of social interactions. Which is funny, because she seems like she’s really bright and witty. Maybe a little introspective too.
So Amber talks about her fears for a little, and then tells the class she’ll be stepping outside to put something in cups that we will all partake of. No one at this point is sure what exactly we’ll be eating since there is no indication through sound or sight. She tells us all to close our eyes, and we do it. She steps outside, and we really can’t hear anything, and then we all start cracking nervous jokes.
Amber comes back in, and we can hear rattling in the cups. She goes around the room, but not in a circle – she goes to one person, then across the room to the person opposite them, and then does this back and forth. So it seems like we’re being given different things.
Amber then says we can eat it now. It ends up being Pop Rocks, which Tommy guessed accurately.
The reason I loved this experiment was because it was an actual experiment, one in which the whole class was involved. I didn’t think Amber was going to give us anything nasty but it was still interesting to feel the fear that it might be something unpleasant.
Compared to Amber’s my project was very egocentric. I only really talked about my own fears and then put up a slide stating what other people were afraid of – didn’t really get the class involved, or had any definitive proof that anyone besides myself was involved at all (which there was, but you couldn’t really tell).
There was a togetherness in this project – everyone was in on it, yet no one knew what was going on, so we were all alone, together, if that makes sense. Plus, Amber has never seemed like a power-hungry dictator type where she would purposefully put someone in this situation, so it was interesting to see this side of her and how we all reacted.
Also, my second favorite deserves a shout-out – Tommy Conway had the brilliant idea to focus on why we were brave instead of fearful, and so we went around the room sharing why we were brave. That guy is so cool, just something really strikes me about him as always being sincere and modest.