I had not prepared for an idea for the book other than some bullet points about the elements from the book. As I listened to my peers explaining their favorite themes they were interested to pursue, I started thinking more about the book and thinking about it as themes rather than just the characters and specific stories.
I remembered in the story book, “Danny the champion of the world” by Roald Dahl, the father loves poaching and the child supports his father’s interest even though he knows his father is wrong. He is loyal to the father even if he is wrong and so the theme is basically loyalty to a fault.
The Professors groups us according to people with similar ideas though I did not think my ideas were similar to the ones of my group mates. My group mates are Nimrah, Sarah Aweida, Charlie and their chosen themes were, “preserving innocence and escaping adulthood, sacrifice and attachment ”
Baby and me theme ‘sacrifice’
However, when we started talking about it and finding similarities in our ideas, we realized we could connect in some ways. The only idea where we could all relate to was Sarah’s idea of sacrifice of brother for his little brother just like the boy in my story sacrificed his beliefs for his fathers interest. We discussed for about an hour and finalized on this idea.
Coming up with ideas to produce an experience of sacrifice was definitely challenging. I focused more on the theme of sacrifice rather than brotherhood from the book and looked at different stories that reflected sacrifice. Once we all came up with some ideas, my group mates and I came together to discuss them and this was our first meeting.
We began with an idea I had of the struggles of telephoning people in the past through the phone booth. This led to a group members idea of villagers struggles and the idea of sacrificing their time to get water, monopoly and the idea of sacrificing property at bankruptcy, maze and the idea of 2 paths that hold 2 different things, chess game and the idea of sacrifice of soldiers and other members to protect the king and queen, rose plant and the idea of it losing its flower to beautify someone/something else, ropes and the idea of trust, literal sacrificing as in slaughtering, hanging or religious sacrifice and even mothers sacrifice. We also considered the space an idea would require.
We also researched on other maze ideas like “Takeshi’s castle” which was a TV show that I used to watch as a child. We decided to go along with the maze idea for now.
The ideas we arrived at as a group were really interesting at times as some of the ideas I would have never thought of them. Another really interesting thing was that with group projects, though you start with a simple idea that somebody in the group put forward, you end up somewhere completely different in the end.
While meeting with the professors we realized that there were some flaws in the maze idea and that we need to think about it more. With the maze idea, we were following a concept where people would go in pairs, separate at a point such that one person gets a reward at the end of his path and the other doesn’t. We also realized that we need to include the idea of brotherhood as part of the deconstruction project.
Again, looking at the idea critically as a team helped a lot move forward. We kept the pair idea to indicate brotherhood but decided to remove the maze idea but have a path that reflects childhood. So at the end of all the discussion, one thing I realized was that with our different ideas we were focusing on 2 things, “games” and “pair” which was basically the 2 important things going on in the anime. Since the younger brother was little, he would play all the time. We decided to watch episodes from baby and me after the meeting with professors. I found it to be really sad at some points and the pain the older brother goes through almost made med feel like stepping on shattered glass. I also realized that I really enjoy anime though I have never watched it much before and I ended up watching most of the episodes from the series whenever I was free.
I think I have been able to contribute a lot to the idea generation behind this project and watching the baby and me episodes as a group together and as an individual helped to understand and contribute better to the group for deconstruction.