“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face” (Draft Development)

I guess I’ll start in a completely “original” fashion by describing my project (but who knows? It may be helpful if anyone outside of our class fancies reading this post or I wouldn’t blame anyone for simply forgetting what my topic is). For my Capstone project I have decided to do a podcast interview with my incredible teammates about our experiences as women boxers and being in a sport traditionally dominated by men. I also decided for context reasons I would introduce the podcast with a timeline about the history of boxing for those who are unfamiliar. My thought process is that history will provide context and perhaps strike interest for those will little to no knowledge about boxing. My research was not necessarily genre based as I haven’t honed in on specific podcasts I want to use as models, but I listen to podcasts fairly regularly so I’m not concerned on finding genre specific models at the moment. However, my research hunt in the past few weeks has turned up some extremely content rich sources. For example, here’s a sample of some of the facts I’ve discovered about the history of boxing:

  • 4000 BC: Historical evidence indicates that boxing may have originated in Northern Africa around this time. The sport also spread to Roman and Grecian cultures. In Rome, the sport was utilized for entertainment of the upper class and often the matches occurred between slaves or prisoners with the winner earning their freedom. These bouts were often fought to the death.

  • 1743: Jack Boughton from Britain established the first set of rules for boxing after he killed one of his opponents in the ring. He is known as “The Father of Boxing”.
  • 1908: American Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion and this created a lot of controversy. Many white boxers refused to take fights against black boxers. Racial discrimination in the boxing world was rampant well into the 20th century. Jack Johnson was harassed so frequently during his reign as champion, he was forced out of the United States.

  • 1936: American fighter Joe Louis was knocked out in the 12th round of a fight against Germany’s Max Schmeling. The next year Joe Louis won the heavyweight championship against James Braddock, but refused to declare himself a champion until a rematch with Schmeling. The rematch was seen as a confrontation between the US and Nazi Germany, with Louis representing African Americans and Schmeling representing Aryan culture. Even Hitler and President Roosevelt themselves made statements prior to the fight. Joe Louis knocked out Schmeling in the first round creating a pivotal moment for black athletes in the US.

  • 1993: Women are allowed to fight at an amatuer boxing level for the first time and after many discrimination lawsuits against USA boxing in the 1970s and 80s.

 

These are simply 5 of the amazing stories I discovered after reading up on the extensive history of the sport of boxing. I, myself, a superfan of the sport did not even know boxing dated back to 4000 BC. I also knew women were not allowed to box until the 20th century but I didn’t realize the official date was as late as 1993 for amatuer boxing. I think this raises questions and concerns about how the sport’s man-centric origin impacts women in the sport today, which is why my next part of the project will be an investigation, an extensive look into how myself and my female teammates have experienced the sport. Topics in the podcast will include how others perceive us as women boxers, our favorite moments or memories of the sport, what makes us passionate about boxing, and probably most importantly, how we view ourselves and claim our identities as fighters.

I think since conducting my historical research for the timeline, I’ve been wondering if the manner in which boxing was established (as being a show of manliness, of bravery, a demonstration of a man’s ability to be strong and tough) has something to do with why women are not as respected as men in the sport. Everything about the sport goes against the traditional idea of a woman: a homemaker, a caregiver, a lover. Being a fighter contradicts the idea of traditional femininity in every aspect. A woman who fights is someone who makes herself known and makes her punches known even more so. But why is it that a woman who fights cannot also be viewed as someone who can  love or care? Why can a man claim to love fighting but when a woman asserts the same thing she’s seen as socially unacceptable, repulsive, or violent? Is our world so divided?

Now I just need to design the timeline for the history of boxing because that will serve as my project introduction. I’ve already begun designing the layout and have 33 different moments in history I hope to include as well as a picture correlating with each major event. I think I can definitely have a solid draft by March 10th as I have already done most of the work. ((Also, March 10th is the day I get to see my all-time hero, the 77-1 record fighter, 2 time Olympic gold medalist, and first woman to headline a professional fight card, Claressa Shields fight live in Detroit – joke’s on you if you thought I’d get through one whole assignment without mentioning her or the fact I’m going to that fight (See picture of the queen below this paragraph)). However, I need to begin scheduling my interviews for the podcast. I’ve already talked to my three teammates I will interview and they’ve agreed to be a part of my project, but the next step is scheduling these interviews and eventually editing them into a hopefully relevant and entertaining podcast.

I am actually planning on reading two novels over spring break while on the beach written by my patronus, Carrie Fisher. I’ve just placed them in my suitcase. I think that even though her novels are not genre or content based models, I personally learn a lot from her style of narration and how strong her voice is in her writing. She is the image of charisma in my opinion. I want to use these novels to help me think about the narration styles I want to use via podcast. I want my voice to come through as well as the voices of my interviewees. I want to talk openly and maybe too honestly. I think, like Carrie Fisher’s novels, this feeling of earning the absolute disclosure of details will make the podcast feel relatable even if listeners have no experience in the sport of boxing. My biggest goal is for the podcast to be three things:  real, relatable, and entertaining.

My Final ePortfolio

Hi everyone,

While I’m sad to say goodbye to this wonderful Gateway course to the Minor in Writing, I’m excited for people to read my final portfolio.

This course taught me so much and really pushed me out of my comfort zone with my writing. I absolutely was not comfortable before with blogging or doing anything related to writing that wasn’t typing on Word or writing things by hand (old school, I know). This course challenged my ability to use technology…

…And my ability to take criticism. I used to take criticism harshly, especially about my writing. My writing was something I didn’t really share so once I got past that, the criticism became really helpful in editing.

I am thankful to be a part of this incredible Minor program and absolutely loved my experience in my Gateway course!

Here is my final ePortfolio.

I hope you enjoy reading my work as much I as enjoyed writing it 🙂

~Allie

 

 

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad ePortfolio?

That would be me. As I sit here looking through this thick packet of requirements, I have a hard time believing I will have the strength to power out some quality, let alone presentable writing, by the end of the semester especially while having spring break brain as of now. However, I have more hope as I really think through some of these key questions. The two questions that seem the most daunting to me are:

1) How do you want to present yourself as a writer?

2) Who is your ideal audience?

Let’s tackle the first question now.

I have no idea how I want to present myself as a writer, but I know what I want to shine through in my words.

I want people to take me seriously more than anything. I don’t want to be another young adult writing about “finding myself” and day to day things that happen in my life that will likely be irrelevant in the coming weeks. I want to be an author who is writing cutting edge and relevant pieces. About social issues that people care about. To incorporate my passions into my work, yet make it about controversial or taboo topics that need to be addressed bluntly, directly, yet with tact. I want to expose concepts in my writing that aren’t usually covered and try to make other people care about these things. I guess I want to be a writer, similar to a journalist, but with the storytelling ability of a narrator.

I want to be unique and add something different.

That being said, my range of writing is all over the place. I tend to border on extremes. I love poetry. I love nonfiction news reports. I love short stories. Plays. Novels. You get the point. I just like to write. It doesn’t matter what the genre is to me, I will take my best stab at it.

I want to be a versatile writer as well. Adaptable.

The second question about my ideal audience is one that I completely struggle with answering. I’m not sure I have a specific audience, and I’m not trying to use that as a cop-out to answering this question. It seems no matter what I really just want to appeal to an audience who cares. This kind of goes with my hopes of being a versatile writer. I know poetry is not everyone’s thing (I, myself, once was drastically opposed to it). In a scenario of composing a piece of poetry I would just want one thing from my audience:

For my reader to relate to my work and overall, enjoy the piece of writing.

If they don’t enjoy it, I say critique it. Not everyone will have the same opinion and I always am open to hearing new sides to the same story. I guess my wishes regarding my audience are not that extensive. My ideal audience are those who challenge what I write or those who enjoy reading my writing.

My ultimate ideal audience would be people who did not think they were passionate about a topic and after reading my work, maybe have a stronger opinion or a newfound understanding of a particular subject.

I hope to create change. Whether that be good or bad, I don’t care. Simply discussing a difficult topic is a step forward often times.

 

I guess that’s the end of my rambling, two-cents worth on the ePortfolio project.

I hope as a reader, you find something valuable in this post, even if it is as minor as agreeing that the ePortfolio seems intimidating! (or completely disagreeing…)

~Allie

 

 

 

The Struggle is Real in Repurposing

For my repurposing project, I have made a lot of progress. I am very excited to write this piece about an issue I am extremely passionate about. I am repurposing a research paper about the prevalence of eating disorders on college campuses into a collection of ethnographic narratives.

One strong point in my article is the content from the interviews. Gathering people’s personal stories and trying to do them justice in my repurposing piece has been a strength. The power of the stories can speak volumes alone and gives a first-hand account of what it is like to struggle with an eating disorder. I believe that reading something so raw can give a person, who maybe doesn’t know anyone with an ED or who hasn’t experienced an ED, a new understanding and compassion for those who do. So far, I have completed 2 out of 4 interviews and have the other 2 scheduled. I’m interviewing two girls from U of M, one guy from U of M, and another girl who attends a small liberal arts college in another state in order to get a diverse range of people impacted. I am pulling research facts from my original piece as buffers between each interview to have empirically supported data as educational information in addition to the narrative (subjective) accounts.

There have been some struggles when composing this piece as well. I absolutely have no idea what parts to edit out. Each narrative so far has been close to 1500 words or a little over. I have a hard time editing pieces out because each story is so unique and to me, seems equally important. I think making decisions on which parts are not as necessary is a weak point for me.

Another thing I’ve struggled finding is a well-done, factual video of general information about eating disorders to embed after the introduction as I have decided to do this project as more of a blog post. I think the background information is helpful just to provide basic knowledge before uncovering the complex layers of ED. All the videos I have found so far are accurate and boring or horribly inaccurate but interesting or a weird combination of things. One thing that is difficult is to find someone who is actually comfortable talking about ED. A lot of the “professionals” seem uneasy when discussing ED in the videos. Any video suggestions or ideas or if it even would be a good idea to include a video would be most helpful.

Also I could use opinions on making this piece into a blog style and if pictures and videos would enhance or hinder the main purpose. One of my main concerns would be making it too media focused may be more triggering than just words on the page, but that also could contradict the idea of making a big impact on a college student audience.

Just some thoughts so far. Any ideas would be very helpful!

~Allie

Different Examples of Writing

List of different genres with explanations underneath the links:

http://www.michigandaily.com/opinion/10viewpoint-no-more-blurred-lines16

The genre of this persuasive article would be an opinion articulated originally by being published in the Michigan Daily, using the linguistic mode. The research used refers to the lyrics of the song ‘Blurred Lines’ and the author argues that rough consensual sex, which the song refers to, does not perpetuate rape culture in retaliation to the original article that argues the song does promote rape. I think the audiences of both of these article are mainly for feminists or others who have a a strong opinion for or against the message of the song. They are responding to the rhetorical situation of the outrage during the 2013 football season when the song was played at the Big House. For the situation, an opinion based response is probably the best way to acknowledge the other side of the debate.

http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/my-autopsy-excerpt

This genre is obviously poetry and this is an excerpt from one of my favorite poems by Michael Dickman. This genre is expressed through multiple modes such as visual (the creepy imagery triggers a visual response in a reader), spatial (the arrangement of the stanzas), and linguistic (fantastic word choice throughout). I think the research that went into this poem is simply drawing from life experiences. The audience could generally be anyone who enjoys poetry for it is not difficult to read. The rhetorical situation would simply be creating a creative piece of writing, which the structure and word choice create.

‘All You Need is Love’ is obviously a song lyric genre of writing, using aural and linguistic modes to convey political message at the time. In 1967, when this song was first released, Lennon admitted to it being a form of propaganda, spreading a positive message amidst the Vietnam War (rhetorical situation) and possibly the race riots in the US. They responded to a very negative time of war by releasing a song about love. The audience was anyone at that time, but the message is universal and the song is still listened to today, expanding the audience to a broad range of listeners.

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.22117/full

The above link is to a nonfiction research paper on eating disorders. The mode most utilized is linguistic though the use of tables and figures make a spatial mode a possibility as well. This is geared toward an academic audience or those interested in eating disorder research. There is a lot of research on different treatment methods for ED that is discussed throughout the paper and the use of some ED statistics are included as well. The rhetorical situation is how to reduce and treat ED on college campuses and the author did that by covering methods of treatment and proposing a population based model of future treatments. This is one of the articles, I referred to in a research paper I wrote and the one I plan on repurposing for a more widespread audience than just those interested in psychology.

 

Blog Post #2: Repurposing Ideas

I am excited for all the ideas my partner gave me in order to repurpose what was originally a research paper on the prevalence of eating disorders on college campuses. Some of the ideas she gave me included: remodeling the structure of the paper to expand the audience to the general population, keep some of the statistics and facts, but also balance those with some personal/opinion- based ideas, and to reinstate the tone as something more informal.

This research paper was one of great interest to me. I have a lot of personal connections to those who suffer from eating disorders (ED). I have wanted to become a voice and advocate for ED awareness so I enjoy writing about the topic in hopes of spreading awareness.

As a coordinator of this year’s NEDA walk fundraiser, I was thinking I could tie the awareness aspect into the repurposing of this piece by gathering personal narratives and weaving them into the research based statistics almost creating a cross genre of academic concepts with real life stories to enhance the facts as reality. In order to expand the audience, beyond just those interested in the research portion, including personal stories could intrigue many others, maybe who hadn’t even considered reading about a topic such as ED before. One idea I had to restructure this research paper, was to reformat it as a newspaper article, and quote people directly and then that automatically broadens the audience by making the content accessible and easy to read.

One concept my partner suggested that I was unsure of implementing would be using my own person opinions. I think I would much rather structure the article as a piece of journalism with real life accounts and facts than to interject my own opinions into the mix.

Another idea my partner had was to expand the information beyond anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, which is what the original piece focused on. She suggested to mention binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified. I think it would be important to report about all eating disorders in the repurposing of the original.

I think my partner made these choices because I had mentioned that the original piece was academic and formal as a research paper should be. I think my main goal will be to make the writing less formal and more personable, and take a journalism approach to restructuring and formatting the old and new information I gather into a cross-genre article.

 

Blog Post 1: Stream of Consciousness

In Didion’s “Why I Write” many different techniques stuck out to me. The first would be the structure. It seemed sporadic and as though the multitude of images were just running through the reader’s brain at a lightning pace. For example, she explains, “When I talk about pictures in my mind I am talking, quite specifically, about images that shimmer around the edges” and from there rambles into many different ideas, “a cat drawn by a patient in varying stages of schizophrenia” to comparing grammar to playing the piano (“Grammar is a piano I play by ear…”). It was interesting to hear her bring up schizophrenia because at that point of the essay, I was wondering if she did indeed suffer from mental illness.

 

Her style of writing this article was carefree and had very little connectivity between concepts. What I enjoyed about this is that she seemed to be employing stream of consciousness, which is a way I really enjoy writing, especially for first drafts. I tend to just write everything I can think of, all at once then edit out the parts that don’t make sense later. It’s kind of comparable to word vomit, just type everything that comes to mind and don’t overanalyze your words then later deal with the mess. To me, it seemed like she left the mess, which both annoyed me and was also intriguing. I truly think the essay made complete sense to the author and even though there were points where I was completely lost on what she was trying to say, it had an air of authenticity to the author’s personality. That alone brings up two concepts I do when I write: one, I always have someone read my draft before I finalize it so it is not something only I can understand and relate to, and two, I make a conscious effort to make my personality stand out in any kind of writing whether it be academic or creative.

My favorite quote in her essay was her final line. The essay was hectic and cluttered  and somehow the final line contradicts the previous structure of chaos to neatly validating her central point. She states,”Let me tell you one thing about why writers write: had I known the answer to any of these questions I would have never needed to write a novel” and this is key to any author. I think the wondering and what ifs are what drive most writers to write including myself. If I have an idea for an essay and questions running through my mind, I am motivated to write until the questions have answers.

Introduction and what kind of writing I like to read

Hi everyone,

I think a question as broad as who are you is one difficult to answer. I believe people are always changing everyday. I will tell you a little bit about myself. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Spanish and Psychology. I am a peer advisor in the Michigan Research Community. I love to be active and never sit still. I’m usually running, water skiing, wake boarding, rock climbing, or hiking any minute I have of free time. This time of the year is not only my favorite season, but is the best for downhill skiing.

I also love to travel. I’ve been on a mission trip to Dominican Republic, an absolutely life changing experience. I am leaving in 3 days to ski in Canada and hope to study abroad in Spain for the summer.

I like to read a wide variety of writing. I’ve recently discovered that I love to read cross-genres. I read a novel written in poems and absolutely loved the idea. I love to read nonfiction, fiction, and anything in-between. Some of my favorite authors include Malcolm Gladwell, Mitch Albom, and John Green.

I hope to improve my writing ability in this class and look forward to getting to know all of you.

~Allie