Making Another Writer’s Decisions

I came into class on Monday full of anxiety about my project. The prompt was so open-ended! But Beixi completely came to my rescue. She began by asking the list of questions on the assignment handout, and we quickly determined together that I wanted to take this opportunity to write about something unrelated to my studies or future career. When she suggested (really interesting!) project ideas related to my summer internship or job aspirations, I immediately reacted negatively. Beixi was wonderful at redirecting questions and exploring my other interests when she sensed my apprehension!

We started talking about my passion for collegiate, competitive waterskiing, and she developed several interesting ideas about projects relating to the waterski team and my teammates. After I read about this project on Wednesday, I was pretty sure I wanted to do something related to waterskiing, so Beixi and I brainstormed different mediums like a video or a letter as a way of creatively tackling the “ski theme.” However, as the conversation wound to our general thoughts and feelings about our best experiences at the University of Michigan, Beiji sprung on me her BEST IDEA YET.

Her idea about completing a “U of M Bucket List” really excited me. I have been grappling with this being my last year at this amazing University, and I would love to do a project that somehow encapsulates some of the magic of this place. This project would also push me to continue having unique and fun experiences this semester in Ann Arbor.

I think Beixi made the choice to pursue this idea because it arose out of an organic conversation about our four years at Michigan. She was creative enough to make the leap from something I was clearly interested in to an actual project for this class! I could not be more grateful.

After this in-class assignment, I will definitely be more open to sharing my writer’s block with friends, family, and classmates. Other people can bring really unique ideas to the table or at least force me to think outside of the box about my own writing. I also hope to spend more time choosing topics for projects. After doing this assignment, I realized I’ve rushed through the brainstorming process in the past. Thanks Beixi!

-Elizabeth McLaughlin

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