Carry On.

And, we’re back. It’s been far too long Minor in Writing blog, far too long. I know you’ve missed my words.

As a member of the Fall 2012 cohort, I’m already missing my MiW gateway course – sitting around the table with my classmates twice a week and exchanging thoughts on life, Michigan, literary shortcomings, and momentary insecurities. I miss our refreshing conversation and constant support of one another. Wishing you all the best of days this semester. (You too, Shelley!)

In other news, I’m completely worn, in every interpretation and definition of the word. Sometimes there is language that captures emotion, experience, and expectation in a few syllables. Worn is just that word. Worn can be your favorite pair of tennis shoes, the knees of the jeans that walked you through the treacherous halls of high school, or the hands of a diligent employee. Worn tells a story of passion and relentlessness. Worn tears the edges of our will.

I’m worn, but somehow, some way, I don’t feel quite as spent at one specific moment: during conversation over waffles in the morning. There is something about that soul-fulfilling food and uplifting dialogue that tells me I am of value, that I am a “once in a career” person for my coaching staff.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, stop and remember: It’s everyone’s duty to give the world a reason to dance. So get to it.

Hey Ya’ll

Hey ya’ll,
I’m on study abroad this semester in the North of Scotland at St. Andrews University, and one thing that has been challenging so far has been the incredibly descriptive diction that the Brits use to describe ordinary objects. What we say in 2 words, they say in 10. So adjusting to this has been difficult thus far.
I am only taking 2 classes, but they have an enormous amount of reading and essays thus associated, so it’s not a walk in the park. However, instead of writing 10-15 pages in term papers, I only have to write 4, and have double the readings that I would in the USA. I’ll re-post when i get feedback on my essays and such, it will be interesting to see how the standards of this university differ from back home.
Until then,
Jen

 

When I write

When Do I Write?

It seems that I most often write when I have to, mostly because I don’t have time to otherwise. Most of my writing is done for class or some other work related calling. I rarely get to write just for the fun of it. However this day in age there are other ways of writing that may not seem like or be considered as writing. I consider a lot of the things I post on Facebook to be writing because I usually write long drawn out ideas, thoughts, or feelings.

I like to write in quiet places. I can’t write where it is loud or there are distractions because I can’t concentrate and I lose my train of thought easily. I prefer to write in small places like in the comfort of my room or in a lounge somewhere. I just have to be somewhere relaxing and be relaxed as well. I find it’s easiest to write when you are in a peaceful place or happy state of mind so you can focus on your writing clearly without distractions. However writing when you are in an emotional state can also help to create and enhance your writing, depending on the context of the assignment.

 

Why I don’t write

Why I Don’t Write – Because I don’t have time

 If you don’t have the time—it sort of makes it difficult to write. I don’t have time to just write for the pure enjoyment of it. I don’t have time to write for fun, when I have writing to do that is for work. I don’t have time to do something I want to do because I’m busy doing all this stuff other people want me to do. I don’t have time to do things I want to do, because I have all these things I have to do—is how I look at it.

It seems I only write when I have a purpose for whatever I am writing for. Usually this purpose revolves around writing it in order for someone to see it or hear it. Perhaps I write for the sole purpose of praise and recognition. But at the same time, if that’s the case, then it seems that I would at least write for the purpose of a blog in which people can see. But I don’t do that either, maybe I feel like why bother with a blog? No one I know reads peoples blogs anyway.

However, there is also this part of me—a very honest part—that knows given the opportunity of free time, I still wouldn’t use it to write. I’m sure I would come up with excuses of why I still just don’t have time to write. Or maybe I am just so used to only writing as a form of work that I don’t know how to just write without being told to.

I think what it solely comes down to is lack of reason and motivation to write. That can be the only logical explanation for my excuses and lack of writing. In reality these are the typical reasons people don’t do things. If you want to do things, you will find a way to do them, not make up excuses.

Why I write

Why I Write draft 1

Why I Write: Simply because I Can

I write simply because I can. Everybody has there own reasons near and dear to them for why it is they write.  I write because I enjoy writing and when you enjoy something you tend to do it in order to receive that joy. I write because it allows me to express myself. Writing is a way to break free—a way to escape reality and go just where ever it is that you wish to go.

I discovered my love for writing at a very young age. My earliest memories of writing were in elementary school where I first learned of my interest in writing, through poetry. I recall writing poetry in second grade for the elementary poetry contest and winning second place. This reward for writing made me enjoy writing even more. When you get rewarded for something, naturally you want to do whatever that “thing” is, again. It was the discovery of expressing myself that I came to enjoy early on in writing. I loved to write about the things that mattered most to me, things that I loved. Most of my poems back then consisted of making everything rhyme and the love I have for my family and at that age, the tender love I had for my puppy as well. Back then I wasn’t very efficient at writing being only in elementary school. Since then, I have learned a lot about writing and I’d like to believe I have improved, just a little.

It’s weird thinking back because the only form of writing I seem to remember being introduced to is the art of poetry. I don’t recall writing anything other then poems until middle school. In middle school I learn to love free writing because in my mind it was basically a longer detailed version of poetry. I also discovered my love for non-fiction writing and I enjoyed writing about my life. I still enjoyed writing about my hero’s, my family, things that were important to me.

It was high school junior year that I re-discovered my love for writing again. During this time my variety of writing interest had grown. I now was analyzing poetry, books, and short stories and writing about them and I loved it. I also learned about play writing, which was very different, and I enjoyed that. High school is where I also learned an interesting fact; I could get paid for writing “well”. In high school I earned many scholarships for simply writing about myself—and what’s easier than writing about your self? Even if you’re exaggerating a bit, it doesn’t matter because you’re writing about whatever persona you believe yourself to have.

I am now in my sophomore year of college and I have rekindled my love for writing once more as I have discovered a love for writing narratives. I enjoy writing stories based on my life. This is quite fun for me. I enjoy the whole idea of capturing dialogue and creating meaning through it. Writing this essay just made me realize that I just love to write about my self in general and things that pertain to me.  If this is bad—I don’t know. Anyway, writing narrative allowed me to capture action and take or create a memory and bring it back to life, which was just way cool. It seems that writing and I just keep reuniting, and that’s what made me decide it’s about time I take action and make something of this.

Unfortunately I am not a fan of all writing, as this year has also been the year that I have finally run into a form of writing that I struggle with and so naturally, don’t’ like — argumentative writing. My main goal is not to be better at it but to eventually come to like it. Because when it comes down to it, you like something because you have some strength in it. When you don’t like something it tends to be because it’s hard and you’re not good at it. I figure if I have a change of attitude and I start to like argumentative writing first (step one) then everything else will fall into place afterwards and this must mean I’m getting better at it (step two). And that’s when I will know I have improved.

I enjoy writing and when you enjoy doing something it becomes easier to prosper. Writing is a part of me that I love and I believe it is a very useful skill and tool to have throughout life. I couldn’t imagine my life without writing nor would I want to.

Where I’m from

Where I’m From – Homemade Ice cream

I spy a tattered man on the corner holding up a sign that reads, “WILL WORK FOR FOOD”.

I spy closed down and abandoned buildings that just couldn’t survive the recession.

In the distance only a memory of the GM building is left along with the scraps, each representing a memory.

I spy a young generation that just seems to have lost their way.

The smell of sewage from that darn river—that doesn’t deserve the name “Grand”.

I feel the coldness, the emptiness of this rustbelt town that once was.

Shh! Everyone quiet down, the local news is on—“another young soul is lost due to gun violence” the TV whispers.

The taste of the home made ice cream my grandmother makes places a pause button on reality and suddenly—everything wrong becomes right.

I recall the crowded hallways in high school where the kids only desire to learn, is about who’s pregnant now and who’s going to fight whom.

Gossip and drama fills the air like the stench of that “grand” old river and the younger generation are the flies drawn to that stench.

Many people want to leave—they’re tired of the rancid smell. It’s over powering—over bearing. But it pulls you in—few are lucky enough to

break

free.

PVK all the way

Some people call me Paige, but for some reason most people have called me PVK since middle school. I’ll tell you a little more about myself.

The usual intro stuff includes that I’m a junior, majoring in English with the obvious minor in Writing. I’m from Holland, MI and yes, I am 100% Dutch and yes, I sometimes try to convince people that I’m from the Netherlands. 🙂

Some of the fun facts include the following things:

At school I am really involved in Camp Kesem, a student-run camp in August for kids who have a parent who has or has had cancer. We work all year to recruit counselors (my job), recruit 130 campers, fundraise the $65,000 it takes to run the week-long camp, and organize camp activities. I am in a sorority, and I am a nanny, which is how I support my love for books. This past spring I did the New England Literature Program, and this coming summer I will be working at a few different camps that the National Director of Camp Kesem also runs. Woo!

a food enthusiast. and some more.

There are many things I can do in life while eating.  I eat when I study, when I walk to class, when I catch up with a friend, when I go shopping…the list goes on.  I certainly don’t have to eat when I do all these things, but I choose to because I just enjoy it so much.  I like to think I’ve developed a pretty good palate since I’ve tried so many different kinds of food.  I’m not too picky–I love spicy things and cheesy things, but I also have a weak spot for sweets.  I enjoy all kinds of ethnic foods, with the exception of rice and beans. I hate rice and beans.

But besides that, I have other passions as well.  I am currently a junior working towards my double major in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience (BCN) and biomolecular science, with a minor in writing.  I love being around children, and I think that the brain is seriously fascinating, so I am hoping to become a doctor and do something meaningful with those interests.  However, it is going to take a long, long time for me to do that.  In the meantime, I just try to relax when I can and enjoy my life as it happens.  It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy, but for now, I cherish the small moments, like laying on the kitchen floor and having heart-to-hearts to my roommates (while eating).  I enjoy the comfort I feel from familiarity, but I also love the excitement I get from trying new things, so I also love traveling (and trying new food) and have been fortunate enough to visit so many different countries around the world.

By: Shirley Shue