Blogging my Process

I made a big step on Monday– I have finally reached a decision regarding which piece I want to work with repurposing and remediating for the rest of the semester. I was going back and forth between two very different ideas. One piece I was thinking about looking at again was my college entrance essay in which I talked about a dance teacher who I hated and liked all at the same time because of his “tough love” philosophy. I was interested in exploring this more from a psychological perspective, and writing about the different effects of tough love and contrasting these with the effects of the more prevalent parenting style today of “everyone’s a winner” and participation awards all around.

My other idea is the one I went with, though. The piece I have decided to work on is an essay from my freshman year 125 English class where I had to write about a ritual that I do in my life. I wrote about the yearly trip I make up to my summer cottage in Canada on an Island with my family every summer and how during the week we spend there, I notice how much I have grown and changed since the last time we visited.

I spoke to Shelley about this idea and she planted an idea for inspiration in my head– a concept called “Space and Place.” I googled this right away and immediately found a book by Yi-Fu Tuan about this theory called Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. I started skimming and found that this would be a really interesting perspective to write about my cottage from. The Space and Place theory is all about how space and place are related and how humans have both of these things in their lives. Spaces become places, and this happens as the space becomes molded into our lives in a more significant way. This is exactly how I feel about the Island– throughout my life, since my first summer there as a baby, I have come to value the freezing water baths, television-less, wifi-less, 2-room cabin, mosquito attack feels of the cabin. It was a space (just a piece of rock that was fun to go to because I got to swim and make s’mores), and now it is a place in my heart.

I am excited to start writing because I know this is the only way I am going to move on to the next step. I just have to dive in. I know I want to incorporate journal entries into my piece that reflect my changing views of the Island… I just don’t know exactly how to do this. I want to figure out a way to write about the Island in a way my readers can relate to. I will do this by bringing in classic adolescent experiences and feelings into my journal entries during the ages of 12, 13, 14. I will talk about the college process a little during my journal entry from the summer during the college application process. I will talk about my relationship with my little sister and how that has evolved.

I am wondering the best way to incorporate these journal entries so that my piece can also include reflection and analysis of my experiences at the Island…

2 thoughts to “Blogging my Process”

  1. Melony, I am happy to hear that you decided on your topic! I think writing about the island is a good choice, and you will be able to say a lot by writing in the form of journal entries. How to incorporate reflection, scenes, and analysis is always difficult to figure out, but by writing chronologically, I think you will find fitting places for all of these elements of writing. Starting from when you were young and moving through time in your journal entries is a form of reflection in and of itself. I agree that you should just start writing, which is in some ways the hardest step. Once you start, I think your structure will fall into place.

  2. I’m so glad you finally decided! I know all of us (except for Jon) have been back and forth with our ideas, but the cabin one was always my favorite! I really like the journal entry twist. I think it will be a great way to show your audience how you have grown and changed over the years. I see your dilemma about how to incorporate reflection into your project. I think one option is to weave it into the journals themselves. You could include a few sentences that talk about how you notice differences in yourself from the previous summer (self-reflection is a very natural journaling process). However, if you don’t want to include reflection in the journals themselves you could just have a paragraph or two outside of the journals to express whatever your journals couldn’t.

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