Final Comments on Portfolios

Everyone had some great portfolios! Here is one of my evalutations:

1. Mitch

I love the connection between science and English and I think you’ve touched on a very cool angle for this project. The background feels very personal and maybe nostalgic of older manuscripts. I really like it, it has a very approachable atmosphere to it, but I think it deters away from your science and atoms theme. Perhaps you could try to connect it more to the theme of atoms? perhaps something a little more scientific looking. I’m thinking beakers or atoms exploding, but then again I really don’t know science

I love the theme of all the atoms fitting together as I mentioned, but I think your pages lack a little bit of connection to one another. Perhaps if you could make something consistent throughout such as text and color. I noticed you fluctuated a bit on that. Or a consistent background would be good too!

As for your capstone, I love it! Very cool subject and I think this is something people would be interested in learning more about. I appreciated the chapter-like structure of it and the personal connections you offered. You definitely have approached this in a scientific yet personal writing style so I think it connects great to your portfolio theme!

What influences you?

So for my project I am doing a sort of family tree like structure (tentative to how well I can teach myself how to do this) that represents how I have created my perception of gender and the roles I am able to/should fill. I am starting off with showing how the roots of the tree represent some more distant and historically routed influences– things that are not always easily seen or directly associated, but are nonetheless still there. One section or ‘root’ I am looking at is how Polish women’s roles have been established throughout history. I come from a very polish family and the history of Polish women and how they interact in society has a great influence on my perception of myself and how I was raised whether I immediately realize it or not.

The last two sections– the trunk and the leaves are kind of stumping me. The trunk I thought I would use to represent some of the media that I currently experience, the foundation of the outside influences that I cannot avoid. I am looking at researching how television roles or magazines targeted at my gender and age group depict what is a good or bad woman.

For the leaves, I want to explore how people I have chosen to include in my life, decisions of friends, places of work, places I go to school, have effected me. I can’t decide if I should focus on groups of people for this or do individual leaves as individual people. I don’t know if this would be hard to interview my own friends about touchy subjects and if they would respond appropropiately.

Sorry this is long, just had a vision! What do you guys think?

La Voce

I wonder if I can make this sound more interesting if I write the topic of this post in another language.  Maybe, because you clicked on this, it did its purpose! For those who speak Italian, you know what I’m talking about. And for those who don’t, I’m talking about voice.

Not in the type of sound that you hear when you speak – like mine that has lately become so raspy and crackly I wonder if anyone will be able to hear me in the future. I’m talking about a writer’s voice. We hear this term all the time. English professors and any other discipline’s professors telling you that you need to find your voice as a writer. But, as I am tackling this evolution essay, I am trying to understand what this voice means. I can look it up, but this definition doesn’t seem to be what I am looking for.

So I am sending this off into this blogosphere. How would you define a writer’s voice? Can it change? Do you think you have one? Does a writer’s voice define their writing?

Girl, seeking inspiration

I’d like to think of myself as a creative person- the kind that can come up with interesting and different ideas or can see things in ways that other people can’t. I’m a creative person and this project is really stumping me.

My intial reaction is that I am approaching this with too much of a creative edge. I am very hopeful that my finished project will provide some sense of accomplishment and as I am completing it, I will be inspired to make something really cool. But I really don’t know where to begin. My first problem is that I have a extremly large range of interests. In choosing my history honors topic I bounced from studying the witchcraft trials in medieval Italy to analyzing motown music as a social construction in 1960s US. When asked to apply for jobs, I   don’t even know where to begin because I don’t have one direct interest.

So what gets me passionate? What scares me? This seems like the ultimate question I’ve been trying to figure out for years- unsuccessfully at that And even though I’m sure this will change, one idea or topic comes to mind.

I’ve found that gender really interests me. The one thing that was in common in both of my thesis topics is that they are centered around women and how they are understood in those moments in history. From this, I think I might like to explore something different than my historical studies of women. I am good at research and understanding the social constructions in history. What I have not really explored is the present. I have been firmly situated in the past for most of my college career, and I would like to apply my understanding to my own life. I think it would be a cool topic to apply what I know about history of gender and try to understand how personally am effected by it. How have those events influenced me? The people around me?

So now that I’ve picked an interest, I’m not sure where to go from here or how to explore this in a project. Any ideas?

Re-write, again?

After finishing the e-portfolio I almost want to re-write my why I write again. Looking at my portfolio from start to finish and looking at all of the components that went it to it, I can start to see more clearly of who I am as a writer, and why it is such a personal thing for me.

In finally realizing why I write, it is almost as if a huge secret has been uncovered. I know that sounds silly because the reason why I write should be something I know and understand, but it never was. I had this notion that writing was something I did because everyone needed a skill, and seeing how I was not currently playing for any major sports team and I hadn’t discovered a cure for cancer, I thought that this was a pretty good bet for me. My first why I write paper did not make a lot of sense mostly because when I started, the reason why I write didn’t make a lot of sense. I was trying to throw out every thought and evidence I could muster up to try and explain something that is inherently a very easy question. And that is exactly what it looked like. After my last revision I was a little more happy with it, but I want to go back and do it again, and then probably again because I feel like I keep discovering new reasons and new “ah-ha” moments.

In case no one could tell, or this is the first time you are reading from me, I change my mind far too often. I think at this point I will leave the why I write the way  it is and come back to it in maybe a year and write it all over again to compare. I have a feeling they won’t look very similar.

 

Storyboarding papers

This may be a little overdue to talk about storyboarding but as I am  looking back at my projects for my other classes, I can start to see how valuable a tool this has been for someone like me who NEEDS visuals to learn. I haven’t always been the best at making outlines. They seem really tedious to me and I always end up writing my paper right then and there. I tried something new for history research paper that I am writing (due tomorrow, yikes!) and have discovered a new found love for storyboarding a paper.

So, what I started off with was a sketch of what I wanted to write ( I know this sounds weird, but take into consideration I have been severely sleep deprived from late nights spent doing school work and then very late nights being at actual work). My paper is on racism in the civil rights movement. I have my rough sketch up on my e-portfolio but the new one will update every time I save on my own computer so the finished product will be up there….

(little side-note, I really think I should be some kind of representative for them, because I keep mentioning them so much, but dropbox.com is amazing for uploading documents for an e-portfolio)

Basically the drawing, which is very ugly and I am too embarrassed to put up draws up a lot of my ideas like the different representations of women or the performances of Motown singers. I drew a big circle with my idea on the top and then little circles inside each one the would represent paragraphs and then more details inside of those. I remember doing something similar to this when I was younger, but coming back to this story board of ideas where everything is mapped out in front of me has actually really helped me spring ideas and see what is working.

 

The final touches

Being that it is nearly midnight, the due date, I am naturally still working on the e-portfolio to put the final touches on it. Anndddd of course I am still obsessing about the colors. I know it is minor, but for some reason I just can’t help but think, “Am I a brown or blue”

To go through some of my thought process on the portfolio, I thought I would share some of my favorite components.

1. The about me and hyperlinks.

It took me a long time and a lot of editing to finally be satisfied with what I settled on. I wanted people to get a deeper sense of who I am, but being the reserved and sometimes shy person that I am about the internet, I decided to make it almost a maze to really understand me and my portfolio. The way I set up the links and layout of the site works somewhat like the way netflix pushes you along without you wanting or knowing. In order to explore most of the site, you have to follow the links at the bottom of the screen to get to the next page until you reach the final contact screen. What I wanted this to be was sort of a journey to the more personal side of me. The more links you follow, the more personal the writing gets. I did offer other ways to get to the pages, in a sort of metaphor-type-thing for the way to find out more about me through different ways.

2. Dropbox.com

I thought I would have to take screen shots of literally hundreds of pages for my artifacts, but someone told me about dropbox.com which is a free site that allows you to upload all your papers or whatever files onto the internet. You don’t have to create a google doc and its shareable and you can always go back on your desktop to edit the paper whenever you want.

3. The first page.

I wanted a very clean look to a website, but with the color issues and the extra text needed to complete the assignment, I think I will have to find time to explore a different template, although I really do love this one. The first page has two of my favorite pictures and the little blurb is something I would love to read about someone on a website- plus I think it says a lot about me.

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Peter pan!

 

All in all, the process has been a long on, but I have thoroughly  enjoyed it and learned more than I would have thought.

Check it out !

My blogging persona

I look back at my first blog- the one where I talk about how new I am to blogging and how much I am not into sharing things on the internet. Well, here I am. Well into the year and still exploring my new found love for blogging.

I think I write on here and in my new blog (yes, I made my own outside of school just to give it a whirl) like I would in my journal. I was never a big fan of sharing things on the internet that were too personal or let someone see the deeper side of me. Even though I still think this is true, that I have a part of me that I keep hidden from most no matter what I do, I think this has been a really big step to opening up.

My younger sister has had an online blog for as long as I can remember. Probably since myspace if that gives you any indication… Me on the other hand, I have always strayed away from the internet, but finally after years of bickering over things like what song we play in the car or who gets the first shower in the morning, we are developing some common grounds- blogging being one of them. And even though I still have my reservations, I think writing on here has allowed me almost a silent communication, like a little bit more public of my journal. I write like I do in my journal with short phrases and sometimes run-ons. I feel like this blog is much more about how I talk and communicate then creating some kind of polished essay or analysis: that’s not me, and that’s not how I talk. So when I read over my blog out loud, it sounds like me, and I like that.

 

Revising arguments

I am a big perfectionists and it always seems to follow me in everything I do. I am constantly looking back at things and think “No, no, no. That looks all wrong, did I not see that HUGE spelling error?” Or “This paper is literally my least favorite thing ever.” But the great thing about revisions in writing is that you CAN change. You can edit and resubmit. Sometimes with people and talking this idea doesn’t really work.

The other day I was with a friend and we got into a bit of a fight. I’m quite notorious for saying things-or writing things- that make no sense and really don’t explain what I’m trying to say. Naturally this happened and I blurted out something stupid that made him get all angry and upset and take off. Once he was gone I repeated what I had said over in my head and realized it was all wrong and it wasn’t what I meant. But the worst part about this is that once you say something out loud, it’s always there. You can’t cross it off or delete it. Your words are suspended right in front of you almost like taunting a child with a cookie. With the spoken word, the best revision is “I’m sorry”. And even though this helps the situation, it can never truly take back those words to revise them. In a sense, the apology and the explanation afterwards is like these writing reflections.

 

I wish sometimes that there was the possibility of revision when you speak out loud, but that’s what makes writing so special. I can change my mind a million times over and still never have the final draft of something.

 

 

E-portfolios and those colors….

I always have these big plans for finishing my e-portfolio. I nearly finished an entire one on weebly until I saw some of the cool features on wix and I jumped into that. Of course I have been anxious to get my theme across- a sort of imaginative dream-like creative jumbley mess of something I think depicts me- but for some reason I cannot seem to feel satisfied with the colors.

After visiting a few other sites, I realized- or I have put it in my head somehow- that this is one of the most appealing and eye-catching aspects of it. I have been playing around with what could really capture my theme the best. Is it too dark? Are there too many colors? Are these the RIGHT colors? And the list goes on….

Of course I realize that this is obviously a little too obsessive. After all the purpose is to showcase your work- but I always feel the way things are presented can change the entire perception of something. I have been to museums before that showcase different works of art, and sometimes these are replicas or copies that the museum has been given. For example, take Michelangelo’s David. When you see him outside in the piazza, he starkly contrasts the dark cobblestones around him, he is tall and masculine. But in the museum, he blends in and his powerful persona pales in comparison.

I think this might be one of my pitfalls-or positives- I haven’t decided yet. I focus so much on the surroundings or bigger picture for things. Now onto the details…