Catch a Wave

Surf the Web with Julia Paige as your guide!

As you surf with me, it only seems fit that you listen to this song


Check my umich email – 4 minutes

Get a “Recipe of the Day” email from Today is simple garlic confit which sounds both impossible and inedible, but I click anyway – 1 minute

My eyes are drawn to “More from” , where a recipe slideshow of  main dishes with kale are listed. In my fridge sits a huge bunch of the leafy stuff  that I brought home from Kroger the other day, so I start clicking through, looking for a recipe I can make without going back to the grocery store. – 6 minutes

Still not knowing what I want for dinner, I see an advertisement for vacationing to Italy and am reminded that I am visiting my sister in three weeks in Oregon. I then begin Googling “things to do in Portland” and come across a variety of tourism websites for the city. – 7 minutes

I then realize that I don’t even know what part of Portland my sister and her boyfriend reside in. I open up my text messages and ask her for her address. After she responds, I enter the street numbers into Google Maps and street view it, trying to get a glimpse of her new digs. I virtually hover the street, trying the read the house numbers for 7051. No luck, but at least it’s a cute neighborhood. – 5 minutes

Then I have one of those moments when you look at the calendar and think OH SHIT. If spring break is in three weeks, then midterms are in two and a half. And when I come back from Portland it will be middle of March, which is practically April and classes end in April. And before classes end I need to find a someone to sublet my apartment, someplace to live for the summer, and a summer job or internship, all while finishing up my winter 2015 classes to put an end to my junior year of college. And when my junior year is over, I’ll be a senior…then what? It all makes me want to pack up my cat, my Kitchenaid mixer, and my swimsuit and move to Mexico.

Not allowing myself to give up so easily (as lovely as Mexico sounds), I being looking for a sublet. I browse Craigslist, reading through both the housing wanted listings, and the housing offered. – 5 minutes

Fruitless thus far, I postpone my Craigslist searching for exploring various university websites for possible job ideas, graduate school programs, and internships that won’t put me thousands of dollars in debt.

I do this until my 2:30 class


In 30ish minutes, I am exposed to a myriad of genres and modes of writing. Email is kind of an anomaly, sometimes formal, other times informal. The rhetorical situation depends entirely on which email one is reading expect for the fact that the audience is always me!

Then there are recipes are, which take on a blog format. This website is directed toward any cook- whether you are an amateur, a professional, or just love food. They use photos of food to draw you into a recipe, and always have a description bar that makes it sound if you don’t make this recipe, you will be missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

The Portland websites use a lot of the same tricks as Saveur, trying to draw people in with photos that make you want to explore everything the city has to offer.  Some of the websites are directed at families trying to please both a child and an adult , others at young people going out on the town.

Craigslist is a website we are all familiar with. It involves on individual expressing a need,  or a good or service they are providing. In the housing pages, everyone is trying to sell what they are offering as best as possible, showing photos where the house is clean and cute and describing their roommates like a house full of saints.

Lastly, I encountered many university websites. I spent a particular amount of time at the Western Michigan University  page because I am interested in their Anthropology graduate degree. This website is directed toward students, and uses color and photos to try and make the information about classes and curriculum less dry.

Although all of these websites looked different and engaged me in different ways, pretty much all of the websites were trying to convince me to do something- make this recipe, visit this city, rent this apartment, come to our school. So, I come to this conclusion: what we talked about in class is correct. Writing, no matter what the mode or genre is, is all about making an argument.


2 thoughts to “Catch a Wave”

  1. Julia,
    Wow. That was, in fact, like riding a wave. It was cool to see how quickly you could jump around but still find a bunch of different kinds of writing. Also, looking at Craigslist like that was interesting, since basically everyone just uses it without giving it a second thought about potential audiences, modes, or writing styles. Cool all around.


  2. Hi Julia,
    I really like the way this gives the reader glimpses into your mind. It jumps around, as if it were a novel written in close third, and lets us know exactly what you were thinking at the time. That’s way more interesting than just a long, analyzed list. And you’ve got the waveness of it all in the background, keeping it moving, keeping us thinking. I don’t think a lot of us think about how we often move from one genre of writing to the next. Most of the time we’re just unaware that what we’re doing is even reading. Great approach!

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