Fashionably late: The road home

While creating my ePortfolio I spent a lot of time going through the archives, looking at the things that past students had done. This would be where my portfolio would end up after all, like all the others. What could I do to make it truly my own?

I was never the one to present myself on such a public platform, so it was odd creating something about myself, something everyone would look at. It was difficult gaging what was too much information and what was too little, but I think in the end I found a happy medium. It’s cool to see everything I’ve written in class turned into something so visual and interactive. I strove to create a portfolio that would be beautiful to look at and I’m proud of coming as close as I could to that vision.

My portfolio is like an adventure. You can visit and explore, discovering many things. Most people won’t discover much, I’m sure we’re all just browsing casually through each others, looking just to look. Well go on and look as you please.

Check it out:

The Final Product

Well folks, here it is: My Final ePortfolio

I really enjoyed this project because I feel like I learned skills that I’ll be able to use for the rest of my life. I also know more about editing websites, which I think will be a very valuable skill to have in the career I plan on pursuing. I definitely appreciate how much work goes into websites now after struggling with applications on mine for hours on end.

I think I struggled most when formatting each page because I felt as if I had to make each page similar enough so the site would look cohesive, but I also didn’t want each page to look the same. It’s also somewhat difficult to lay out the pages in a way that makes sense to every visitor. I changed the format of my navigation bar after receiving some advice during peer review, so that was extremely helpful.

After this class is over, I might continue to use the website, but I’m not sure yet because it contains some things I wouldn’t necessarily want to show future employers. I think I did present myself very truthfully as a writer, however, so I’ll have to contemplate what to leave and take out if I decide to continue using it.

Thanks for a great semester, and I hope everyone is as happy with their new ePortfolio as I am with mine!

Tbh: Reflective Writing is Hard

I don’t like eportfolios. They’re too much. It’s so hard trying to reflect when you’re far away from the process. I wish we could’ve written reflectively and purposefully for the eportfolio right after we finished our projects.

That being said, I’m very happy with the photo on my site. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I designed the entire site around it. I’m happy with how most pages look, besides repurposing. if i could change anything I would make that page a slideshow of documents/screenshots with edits in the margin. I completely gave up on not having a lot of text. Hopefully I’ll master finding the right balance in the capstone course.

The process is odd because you have to build a consistent infrastructure before you do anything else, but at the same time have enough wiggle room for different things. And that infrastructure has to be aesthetically pleasing and be representative of who you are as a person. Well it doesn’t have to do any of those things, but I want it to! That was probably one of the most time consuming parts.

I achieved my purpose of presenting myself as a writer. Did I do it well, I’m not sure. It was hard to create a theme or guiding principle behind the site, because it’s not real. Like we’re inspired by things and we write about them and they are linked because of the topic. But incorporating why i write and outside work makes it very hard to thematically link everything together. So that took a lot of brainstorming. My theme came about when I was trying to create a cover page/home page. I didn’t have a photo that didn’t use text (because there would be too much text if I added my name underneath or on top or below, which I ended up not doing anyway). So I had to improvise. I got pretentious. I wanted to say something amusing like the profile that starts off  “stuff i wrote” or the life’s a bitch/beach one. So that’s where that stemmed from. And that awkwardness continued into my faq page. Which is embarrassing but very me, and very inspired by Baratunde Thurston’s How to Be Black site.

Overall I’m not happy with the reflective writing. I think I was just unable to grasp that part of the assignment. I want to work on reflective writing, because it’s kinda hard. We don’t learn to do that all the time. We learn to write the stuff we write the reflection on.

The final hoedown.

I have definitely come a long way in my eportfolio (click the link).

Weebly has overall done exactly what I’ve wanted it to…except for some weird color vs black and white back splash fiascos that I still need to sort out…which was help me display my work with little extravaganza on my part. It’s been very user friendly, and the simple site building techniques helped me stick to a professional lay out, which I know if I had more options I would have been tempted to overcrowd the design. #knowyourselfshowyourself

See? I’m already branding.

parks and recreation gif
Just to be clear, I’m “Larry/Gary/Jerry”.

So yeah, I’m pretty happy with the writing side of my eportfolio right now. The design side, however, needs a bit of work. But that’s more just me creating better content for my portfolio more than anything. -laughs sardonically-

Aside from that, I’m definitely pleased with what I was able to put together. Along with the repurposing, remediating, and why/how projects I’m showcasing 4 essays (3 and 1 other media project) that exhibit other genres I’m comfortable writing in. I think this will help develop a better rounded perspective with different topics–since the original source, repurpose, and remediate are all about the same thing. My remediation isn’t even technically writing (…OR IS IT?).

Anyway, something I wanted to achieve in this portfolio was a well-rounded showcasing of my relevant talents as a writer and designer. I think I’ve done an alright job. I’m excited to see how this process changes come Capstone.

Everyone has really done a fantastic job though!

parks and recreation leslie knope
Because all of the Parks and Rec.

ePortfolio and Goodbye :’)

This has been a truly great semester, summed up by my pride in the projects I’ve completed… summed up in how cool I think my eportfolio is. Mouth full! Writing220 was certainly back loaded with work to finish up, but I think it all came together really nicely. The eportfolio was really kind of meaningless to me until I finished up the other work in pieces. I realized just how this would all come together right as it did (and with a lot of thanks to peer work we did in the class). Just as I figured out the best structure to the website, the pieces just fell into place and the website looked and felt really representative of (1) the work I had completed this semester – both within and even outside of this class – and (2) who I am. That’s very cheesy, but it’s true. The eportfolio really represents my aspirations as a writer, so that feels like a job well done.

What would I like you to know about my eportfolio… Well, I think you should know that I did not take that big picture of New York. I got that from Google, as it was licensed online for reuse. Pretty exciting when you get a good picture online that’s licensed for reuse. You should also know that in my “Other Work” section, I have written up a policy recommendation for a policy in New York called “421a” that deals with housing developments and, subsequently, the developments of affordable housing within private housing developments. It’s pretty long, but if you’re interested in stuff like that, give it a skim! Maybe you’ll learn something new.

I also want to say thank you to Naomi and to everyone in this class for a great experience. I looked through some of last week’s blog posts and could see that many people advised the next class to really utilize peer review and get close to their peers. It takes open minded and honest people to really utilize peer review and I know I experienced nothing less than real commitment, good feedback, and support in my writing from my peers. Have a good break, everyone.


My eportfolio:

Eportfolio Reflection (or: It’s the Final Countdown!)

At the close of this semester, I think I can safely say that the eportfolio was one of my favorite projects of any class I took. Part of that might be because I didn’t procrastinate on it, instead I chipped away at it for a number of weeks. I kind of used it as a “break” from other, more intense homework.

Wix was a great platform. I was very concerned with professional, no-nonsense presentation and I think I achieved that with the Wix formatting tools (with no coding involved!). There were a few aesthetic things I had some issues with, like choosing a background and whether or not I wanted everything on the website to be accessible via the main menu, but I eventually figured all of that out (and I know that I can change them with relative ease).

I think the biggest thing I want to continue working on is content. If I plan on using this website professionally, I want to showcase a larger breadth of my work. That hinges on writing more, of course. Also, and this is a smaller issue, I want to include my professional headshot in my About Me. Right now, my face is kind of obscured.

Learning how to make my own website has been a great experience! I plan on referring back to this portfolio for future projects.

Here is said portfolio:

ePortfolio Reflections

At the beginning of the semester I thought that the ePortfolio would be the easiest project of the course. I imagined myself uploading content with minimal formatting, all done in a day. I thought I could just drag in a few photos and upload a few documents and put my name on it and be done. But that was not the case at all.

This project was way more difficult than I expected, but not in a bad way. I struggled with design and layout and making the entire site cohesive despite the different content I put on the site. I felt like nothing was ever centered or looked exactly how I wanted. Most of that frustration was because of the differences depending on screen size. I didn’t know that was an issue until we started working on them in class. I probably spent half an hour in front of my lap top and a big desktop computer going make and forth by the millimeter trying to get the title of one page centered.

After doing all of that, I had to let go. I accepted that everything may not be centered, but it all the text boxes would be roughly how I wanted them to look. If I could, that is something I would keep working on but I think it would make me go cross-eyed. I also plan on working on my home page more. It opens on some recent information about me and a date and time it was updated. I am going to update that as it changes, although it hasn’t changed in a while. I have been too busy with the end of the semester and now finals to read or visit new places. I hope that changes over break and I can update my page soon.

Despite the little imperfections, I am happy with my ePortfolio. I think that it has a good balance of showing my personality and showing my work. I really like having a place to put all of my work that isn’t my documents folder. It is as personal or professional as I want to make it, and now that I have spent a good amount of time working with Wix, I feel like I could change that easily. If I wanted to make it more professional I could easily make those adjustments, and the same with making it more personal. Going forward, I want to add an internships tab where I include posts and pictures from internships past and present. This is taking it in a more professional direction but it is still personal depending on how I write the posts and what pictures I include.

ePortfolio = Improving Self-Worth

Wow, I didn’t know throwing a bunch of words and pictures onto a webpage could increase my sense of self-worth. I have done a substantial amount of creative writing and visual artwork on my own, but have never really been able to express to people how important creativity is to my life. My ePortfolio allowed me to share the creative side of me with other people. Somehow, by writing my ideologies down, it all just became more real to me.


Of course, navigating through a new platform (Wix) also helped me to become more tech savvy–which happened to be one of major goals for undergrad. I’m really proud of myself for being able to learn how to dream a webpage and then build it. Although I most definitely had frustrating moments with Wix. The placement of things didn’t always seem super intuitive, but I powered through. And after about the seventh try, it was smooth coasting.


So more on the website itself.

Visual aesthetics has always always been very important to me. I’m very pleased with how I was able to format everything, add background images, and display my artwork on my Visual Arts page. Because this website served to paint an accurate portrayal of myself and the creative work I have done, I chose to present myself in a more casual and playful manner. This especially shows through on my About page.
Check it out:

It’s About Life, and Style is Just an Option

The quote in the title is actually about surfing (something I happen to be horrendously bad at), but I thought it fit into the context of writing too. Writing isn’t a lifestyle, it’s a life where style is just an option.

I can’t believe this semester is already over, it really felt like it flew by. The ePortfolio took more work than I imagined when I undertook the project. Mostly that’s because there are so many options it’s easy to get lost in designing your website for hours on end. The first difficult task was choosing a layout – but luckily Wix has tons clean and professional templates to choose from. I knew I wanted something clean and image-heavy that had a lot of white space.

Once I found the template, another difficult task was choosing all of extracurricular work that I wanted to add to my portfolio. I definitely wanted to be selective (especially with my academic work) but I also wanted to show that I am a well rounded writer who can write in multiple genres and disciplines. With the help of my peers, I figured out some stylistic situations that I originally felt hindered the audience’s experience. For example, I wanted a PDF version of my academic papers to open in a new window when the viewer clicked a particular image. Once I worked out these initial kinks, the rest was pretty straightforward in terms of design and layout.

Through the course of the semester I came to see the ePortfolio itself as a rhetorical composition, which made the project both challenging and really fun. I think the most challenging part for me ended up being the reflexive comments – I wanted to strike a balance between saying what I needed to say and keeping the layout clean and not bogged down by text.

Ultimately, I’m so happy with the way it turned out! I’m really proud of myself for conquering another technology and developing a new skill. I also think it was really rewarding to create a space for all of the work of done in the past 2.5 years, it really made me see how far I’ve come as a writer. I definitely plan on using it in a professional setting, but I hope that it also reflects who I am as person.

Check it out:


Lessons from Kanye

I watched Kanye’s Oxford speech recently.

He was talking about his inspirations and journey throughout his career and at one point he said something like, “We’re all creators, we all have the ability to create.” It got me thinking about the definition of art. Art is so much more than just painting hung up in a gallery. The dictionary defines is as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination” and Kanye West was right. We are all creative thinkers. Just last night at our ePort showcase, no two people had an even remotely similar portfolio even though we all used Wix and had a checklist of requirements to include. This kind of spoke to me. It made me think about how we’re all basically walking bodies of art. No wonder we have fingerprints. That’s how I viewed the ePort: a digital fingerprint, a body of art, a reflection of individuality. 

I’ve never made an ePortfolio before or even used Wix, so I was super excited to do that. It was a weird experience thinking about how I wanted to present myself online; it made me contemplate everything. “Is that font me?” “Are those color schemes reflective of my charming personality?” I included a variety of things on the portfolio besides the required assignments: drawings, a poem I’d written, and pictures of family to go with the “body of art” theme. Here’s the finished work:

On an end note, it’s sad to think that this class flew by! Especially because it was becoming one of my normal routines to go to our USB classroom. The one thing that separates the Gateway course from my other classes is that I wanted to learn. The freedom we were granted with our assignments was addicting. It’s like, when I knew I could create practically anything, I wanted to do good and I wanted to make my projects great. And through that liberation, I learned so much more about writing and communicating in general. I encourage everyone to take the class. I hope it pushes you how it pushed me, and I hope you leave with a better sense your fingerprint.