#Pivot: Last Thoughts

In sum, my last thoughts for Writing 200 is: this was a rigorous course that concluded the Minor in Writing (MIW) and my college career in a thoughtful, pleasant way.

I entered college with no idea what I wanted to do and ended up pursuing the MIW as a resume builder. Little did I know that I would actually enjoy it and that it would change my perceptions of writing. I never thought about why or how I write; to me these things were not that important. I wasn’t pursuing a career in journalism and I never found a need to have the answers to these questions ready to go. But what I found is that I learned more about myself than my writing abilities in answering these questions. And through the course of the MIW, I realized that writing became a way for me to discover my beliefs and opinions on subjects that I otherwise didn’t think much about.

In the meantime, I was improving my writing skills too! I learned to write in different mediums, how to address separate audiences and how to really think about the reader as I composed my work. And today, whether I’m drafting an email or a 30 page research paper, I feel more equipped to explain my point and communicate effectively. I am very thankful for the skills I have attainted from the MIW.

The MIW was a process that didn’t come full circle until the final class, Writing 400. (But before I say anything about this class:Don’t be fooled! Points take FOREVER! So get started on them early!) Although the expectations are high, the workload seems unattainable and your are asked to give the most effort during a time when you have the least motivation (second semester senior year), you may find that it truly was worth it in the end. At least that is what I found. Writing 400 pushed me to view older pieces of writing from my college career in a light that I had never viewed them in before. Truthfully, I had never given many of the pieces much thought after I turned them in and only thought about the grade I was going to get on them. But writing the annotated bibliography caused me to analyze each piece and explore what I learned from it and how I could have made it better. Then I was pushed to write my evolutionary essay and connect all these pieces together into an argument. This was difficult. How was I supposed to connect every piece of writing I had composed in college into one, seamless argument. Oh, and then connect it to the capstone project. Well initially I just thought about how my writing had affected me. I realized that it was a way for me to converse with myself and discover my thoughts, feelings and emotions. My “thesis” (I guess if you want to call it that) was,

Writing is the how for me. It has been through the process of writing that I have been able to explore, discover and develop my own thoughts.

And then I had to think about this project. Something I cared about so much that I was going to be married to it for over half of the semester. And pour more thought and energy into than any other academic assignment… EVER. I thought, sure, I’ll skim by like I always do – I won’t really be married to it. Well, looking back, I had a ring on my finger, vows exchanged and was cohabiting with that capstone project. But the coolest part was that it was honestly by choice. I was given the autonomy to direct my own project. And write about essentially what ever I wanted. At first this made it almost impossible to choose a subject, but once I did, I fell in love with it. Absolutely head over heals.

Now I would like to say it was love at first sight, but it wasn’t. It was more like meeting someone at the bar and the next morning you remember that person being really attractive but you really have no idea. You’d like to think they are but you can’t remember what they look like. And then you start texting them and forming an image of what you think they like in your head, but again you have no idea. And then finally, you meet them for coffee and it all become clear. Boom: you’re in love.

My project was this fuzzy idea. And then I started talking about it with my classmates through workshops and open group discussion. I met in office hours with my professor Ray (who is great – you should definitely get in his class if you can) and you start to form an idea of what your capstone project will like like. And then you’re forced to write a proposal and make a plan with deadlines and then, basically start working. Once you get past the research faze it becomes clear and Boom: you’re in love.

So you write this project and you display it on a beautiful website platform and you are so, so proud of it. And then you’re asked to make the evolutionary essay a bridge between your portfolio and the capstone project, and then add a bunch of additional pieces to your portfolio. And you realize, they are all connected.

It is amazing but viewing my writing is like reflecting on my college journey. It’s silly, flawed and choppy yet enlightening and story-like.

The capstone project was a way for me to reflect on myself, my interests and all the knowledge I had gained from college. And it is really cool to see!

As for the rest of my life I really have no idea. I am one of those fortunate ones that has a plan for post college. I’m traveling through Europe for 3 weeks and then moving to Boston to do sales for an IT research and advisory firm called Gartner. It is all  very scary and exciting but to be honest, I have absolutely no idea if this is what I want to do with my life. But hey, it’s a start and an income. So I’ll take it.

Someday I want to find and do something fulfilling. I could see myself returning to school to get my masters in social work or education and pursuing completely different career but who really knows. And as for writing, I know that it will follow me wherever I go. I want to continue writing to make sure I don’t loose the skills I currently have. But the cool part is I think this won’t be too hard. I can write for personal interests of diary keeping and thought discovery or discernment. I can write about things I learn in the future or about books I read. In the professional sphere of my life I will write reports summaries and explanations.

I’m excited for what the future holds and I am certain the MIW has better equipped me for what the future holds. And I’m not just saying that! I learned more about myself and my takeaways from college.

So to you I say: stick with it, you won’t regret it. And…HAPPY WRITING!

#TopTen Books to Read

And ladies and gentlemen, for 50 points…….

drumroll please……

Here are my TOPTEN most recommended books for you to read!

  1. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  2. Power, Privilege and Difference by Allan G. Johnson
  3. On Purpose by Vic Strecher
  4. The Last Time I Wore a Dress by Daphne Scholinski
  5. The Alchemist
  6. Toward a New Vision: Race, Class and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection by Patricia Hill Collins.
  7. The Help
  8. Great Expectations
  9. The Art of Racing in the Rain
  10. The Go Giver

I hope you at least read one of these books in your lifetime. And if you already have, then kudos to you! Congrats on your completion of the MIW!

<3 Angelle

Peer Review Please

Hello! If your work ethic mirrors mine in any way, you are frantically making edits and navigation changes to your portfolio today. If this is the case: GOOD LUCK, YOU GOT THIS!

And don’t loose sight that: THE END IS NEAR AND THAT IS GOING TO FEEL GREAT!

But, if any of you have time to do a peer review of a one page document, I would greatly appreciate it! I need help on opening my capstone project. I’m not sure if it is clear and sets the stage for what I’m going to do (so please tell me what your interpretation of my project idea is, based on this page). I’m also fearful that I sound too knowledgable and arrogant about what people should and should not be learning, in regards to my Sociology education.

So please go to my portfolio, click on the Capstone tab and peer review the first page. Please be harsh! You can send your comments/edits to me via email: Angelle Kettlewell – ankettle@umich.edu. And yes, throw these comments in your drop box and you will receive points!!

Thanks and happy writing.

#mixer, #rayray, #help

Yours in loving little siblings

For those of you in my class #rayray, you understand the fear I had going into this interview with my brother. I just want to thank you all for helping me prep accordingly because, believe it or not, it went surprisingly well.

James (my brother) cooperated very well. I’m not going to lie to you I may have smudged the project description and also told him that he was one of my interview candidates. Woops! Anyway ..   I actually really enjoyed the experience. I got to pick at his brain without it automatically turning into a fight. Because it was an interview, he seemed to feel more relaxed, less fearful of judgement, and honestly willing to share his thoughts and opinions. On top of all that, the interview took an hour and 15 minutes and he didn’t even complain about how long it took!!

I am thankful for the experience because I got to know someone I love on a deeper level. I feel that I have a better understanding of the way he thinks and his belief system.

He also surprised me a little. And I’ll have to admit, he wasn’t as ignorant as I thought. He seems to be scratching the surface at many of these topics. In regards to gender, he acknowledged there are some differences, especially in corporate America. For example, men are considered more inept to run a business, more assertive and powerful individuals when woman are not and they may have to work a little harder to get these positions. I was so proud to hear him say this! But then he said that being an attractive, smart girl is the best thing you can be.

So, he’s getting there. And I’m not sure if he will every fully understand but I know feel an inkling of hope. Because if he can understand this much, he may be able to grasp the truth if he is guided through the process.

Yours in loving little siblings.

 

Institutional Oppression

As I write an annotation for points, I feel that this very real comparison between plantations and universities must be shared.

The elite white male owns the plantation and everything that contributes to its prosperity: slaves, land, tools etc. He also controls his workers: lower class white males and females, servants etc. The elite man must pass down his plantation and possessions to an heir so he is paired with an elite woman who helps take care of his property (because heterosexism was assumed). Her virginity and chastity must be upheld so she can fulfill her key role of reproducing the elite man’s heirs that will take over the plantation.

Now let’s examine a present day university.

Who’s in control? From my observation white male’s are over represented. They control the politics, finances and policies. They are being joined by woman as helpmates. And the people that fill the classrooms often carry their identities, and will fill their positions in the future. The identity of the cleaning and feeding staff is often people of color who maintain the facilities after the classroom learning is completed.

Do you see any similarities?

That’s institutional oppression.

 

Toward a New Vision: Race, Class and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection. Patricia Hill Collins

My Project thus far…

My project will begin by analyzing the cause of a shift in opinion on a topic, such as social justice (or the topic: social justice). I will explain how certain environments and education paths can hinder or facilitate an understanding for social justice concepts. I then want to transition into how our society as a whole tends to hinder this type of understanding. I will use examples from U.S. media, policies, and institutions to back up my claim. I will then use my brother and myself as examples. We are an accurate product of two separate paths that have resulted in differing opinions. Using my initial claims, I will apply them to our lives to illustrate the cause of our differences. 

So who wants to help out with workshopping and peer reviewing this idea?! #mixer #rayray

Self Claims Correlation

After writing a list of 8 self-claims, I chuckle realizing that very few people will actually understand exactly what I’m getting at. But the hope is that you will understand some piece of me.

I was then unexpectedly asked to write a list of examples that could be used for my final Capstone project. I wrote them on the same page but thought little of their relation.

Well. Apparently there should be  some correlation between them. And that is me. 

The problem I’m having is that I know why I choose the 10 examples I could use for my project. And I know how the list of 8 self claims describes me. But they are a different aspects of me.

You see, I am a complex person and I think I’m allowed to be.

So here are the lists:

What am I? – Self Claims

  1. I’m the receptionist that will look at you like a bug if you don’t ask me how my day is.
  2. I’m the tooth that doesn’t want to be brushed everyday.
  3. I’m the bubble that will pop unless I am followed.
  4. I’m the microphone on center stage.
  5. I’m that old radio that randomly turns on at obscure hours.
  6. I’m the energizer bunny with irreplaceable batteries.
  7. My words are like the sways of a grandmothers rocking chair.
  8. I’m the garbage disposal for leftovers.

Concrete examples for Project

  1. Argument with James in Jojo’s family room.
  2. When I realized that all norms are socially constructed.
  3. When I learned why the Chinese were not hired for other jobs and were forced out of America.
  4. When I did the privilege walk.
  5. When I read my testimonial out loud and stated how I view the people of color in my Gran Gran’s neighborhood.
  6. When I read that book in the library that said that America is not accepting of difference.
  7. When I realized there is a hierarchy of all difference.
  8. The way people make assumptions about an entire race but don’t call themselves racist.
  9. The way women refuse gender oppression but believe they need to be skinnier according to the media.
  10. 10. The way men think they are benefitting from their societal power but punch holes in walls when they finally release emotion.

I can see where some overlap but it is a bit of a stretch. So I guess let me know if you seen any correlation. In the meantime, I plan to browse through the rest of yours and see what you found.

Enjoy trying to figure me out through a list of 18 things that interest/describe me 🙂

If you read this far, I’m incredibly impressed. I have never met someone so invested in a classmate. And for that, I truly appreciate you. THANKS!

#rayrayalltheway

Project Idea: Societal “Brainwashing” #rayray

First I would like to say that if you want feedback from your classmates in Raymond’s class then you should use: #rayray

My project idea, as of now, is to evaluate what shapes one’s worldview. And when certain people believe that others have been “brainwashed” based on the fact that they hold an opposing worldview, what causes that assumption? I will analyze my brother and myself, two people who grew up in the same household and taught similar values in attempts to explain how we could completely disagree on hot topics such as gender and race. How has one person been indoctrinated and another not? How has this influenced their worldview’s?

In sum, my sociological worldview opposes my brother’s conservative, “American dream” worldview. Why is it that he believes I have been, “brainwashed” by my college learning? How has my brother’s education been so effective in closing his mind to disallow him to take another’s perspective?

On a larger scale, I will address how society is so effective in reinforcing teachings of normalcy and hiding the just, truth.

—–

Does this make sense? Because I feel like it makes sense in my mind but once I try to articulate it, I really struggle. So your thoughts, feedback and opinions would be much appreciated.

#rayray

The Cape

When we were asked to choose a topic that we were passionate about, one place came to mind, Cape Cod. It is my favorite place in the world and if you are wondering why, you can explore my ePortfolio.

My ePortfolio is not about “why I LOVE Cape Cod.” However, I found that when your passionate about something, it shines through your writing. I did not have intentions of gett as personal as I did with the Gateway project of re-purposing and re-mediating. There were even times when I avoided getting personal, and would sacrifice the quality of my writing to maintain privacy. In the past I have been able to get away with this, not fully exposing myself through my writing. But the writing process, that was so strongly emphasized in this class, did not allow me to keep up the walls. It was like each piece came after me with a different weapon: my original piece with paper, re-purposing: scissors, re-mediation: rocks, and then the two “re” pieces came at me all at once with giant boulders, demolishing every wall.

The gateway course has helped me discover who I am as a writer. And even though I am still at an early stage in this discovery process, the most improvement I have made yet was influenced by this class. (See, everything in life is a process!). I am excited to approach writing with new techniques. My strongest newly learned technique is sharing who I am through my writing.

New Media Writing

I was describing the minor in writing to a girl I met at a group interview today. After describing the freedom the minor gives students to choose topics that interest them most, she said the minor sounds interesting but, “I am not very good at writing.” I proceeded to explain to her the unique approach the gateway course for the minor has facilitated my writing development.

The gateway course provided me with resources such as readings, video documentaries, peer evaluations and perspectives, and speaker series with professional writers. Each resource has given me a different point of view on what makes “good” writing. We read “Shitty First Drafts” by Lamont where I discovered that professional writers face the same struggles that I do in writing. We also read “Why I Write” by Orwell and “Why I Blog” by Sullivan. It was great to see what inspires them to write and it challenged me to explore the same question for myself, with a new perspective.

The class was an advocate towards feedback and group discussion. My classmates helped shape my writing into my best work. Not only peer corrections but group discussion aided in my writing development. My classmates have exposed me to new perspectives on writing.

What I enjoyed most about this class was the flexibility to engage in topics that interest me most. Through our semester long project I was able to work with an argumentative essay I had written on Cape Cod, ““Save Our Sound”. Cape Cod is my favorite place on earth and I was able to address multiple audiences on the subject of preserving its beauty. My passion for the topic allowed my final work to be some of my best.

What really hooked the girl I was describing the minor to was my explanation of writing in new media. I told her that you didn’t have to be “great” at writing. In fact, in exploring new media writing I took an essay I had written and re-mediated it into an imovie! She was fascinated by this assignment.

Sweetland’s Minor in Writing does an excellent job of accepting you as writer, wherever you are in your development, and facilitating growth and improvement.