This is not a writing class.

Hi, future MIW Gateway students. It’s past Catherine, giving you advice. Am I qualified to do so? Maybe not, but you’re getting some anyway.

Talk in class. We start every day by writing and having a couple of people read, and the first few days can be horribly uncomfortable before people warm up to the idea. If you force yourself into comfort early, I promise it will be better in the long run.

Bounce ideas off of one another, especially your professor. I titled this post “This is not a writing class” because you’re going to have to more than just writing. If you were expecting nightly readings and a few essays (@myself), then you will likely block yourself off to other ideas (@MYSELF). Talking to other people about your ideas helps to break the writer’s block (or artist’s block or playwright’s block or musician’s block or poet’s block… you get it).

Try things, because there’s no reason not to! I did two experiments that I thought of on a whim, and one of them ended up being my final project. This is your chance to explore genres and mediums that you’ve had no exposure to. Now you get the chance, so take advantage of it.

Three points seems like the max I’d be able to handle when reading unsolicited advice, so I’ll keep it there. Best of luck this semester!

Experiment 3: Revenge Tour

(Google Slides, circa 2019)

For my third experiment, I wanted to layer different Google Trends graphs on top of one another to demonstrate the upward trend of slang words since 2004. My slang words included features like “oof,” “yeet,” and “tea.”

However, my third experiment was not what I wanted it to be, and that’s okay. I found that through creating this graph, I discovered what I actually was interested in in relation to Google Trends. I want to analyze why each curve looks the way it does. Is it cyclical? Are there peaks? While I still want to do what my sketch for the third experiment outlined, this is the part that really interests me. So, my final project will be known as “(I can’t think of anything creative or snappy yet)” and will feature one diagram made up of layered Google Trends graphs, with an analysis portion for each word.

Moving forward, I need a better way to make this diagram than doing it in Google Slides. I also need to address words that aren’t solely slang (tea has a small peak every winter, and it’s not because we’re all gossiping in January). For my next steps, I plan to reevaluate the list of slang in my sketch and compare Google Trends graphs.

Here’s to this Revenge Tour being different than the last! (we’re a basketball school– no, a football school– no, wait– agh!)

Not to be a Cynical Cecilia

I am going to run the risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer or Negative Nancy or some other name-and-sadness combination, but I’ve been having a rough time with the second experiment. However, my problem comes out of something good– I had such a great time doing the first experiment that I have no idea where to go next. This week alone, I have changed the direction of my experiment four times, and it is due tomorrow. Yikes!

I think my trouble stems from my heart not being in this experiment. My plan is to create an audio compilation of people discussing how each of their individual idiolects (the unique way that person speaks and sounds) have changed due to exposure from technology. The thing is, this is a really cool experiment and I would love to study this further. Yet, the experiment only allows for a sample rather than the full project. It results in feeling halfway done rather than complete, and I hate feeling like I’m turning in something unfinished. Maybe it’s a mindset thing. Maybe I just need to see it as laying the groundwork for a fully realized project later on. But I’m having trouble with triggering that paradigm shift before tomorrow.

For the third project, I was at a loss until I started writing about it five minutes ago. In my notebook, there’s a long black line followed with, “I just had an idea!” Yesterday, I was playing around with Google Trends, and I realized what a great tool it could be for my experiment. I would love to map the popularity of various words that are technological in origin or have experienced a change in meaning. This includes “email,” “followers,” or “buggy.” This relates directly to my source material, and would be a cool visual on a poster board to examine how they align or intersect.

I draft tweets sometimes (and I guess this makes me a writer)

Hi! I’m Catherine, and I’m a sophomore and a brand new Minor in Writing! I am enrolled in the Gateway course with T, and this is my first blog post. In lieu of a introductory paragraph, here are some fun facts about me:

  • I am from Columbus, OH, but I’ve been a Michigan fan all my life
  • My favorite book is Flowers for Algernon
  • I am a Business Administration major, which involves a fun sprint twice a week from the Gateway (in USB) to Accounting (in Ross)
  • I make a mean coconut cupcake
  • My first piece of writing was a novel called “The Girl” (I was about six and promptly gave up after three pages (so not much has changed))

My origin material for my experiments is a research essay that I wrote for a Sociolinguistics class last semester. It was called “Mainstream English in the Age of Technology” and evaluated–get this–how mainstream English has changed with technology. I chose this essay because I had a blast doing research and writing it, and it has plenty of applications for experiments.

I’m really looking forward to one experiment I have planned; I’d like to build an interactive map of the U.S. online to show how mainstream English differs in each part of the country. I hope I will be able to get everything I’d like to done in the period of time that we have, and I am a little worried about how my final products will turn out, but at the end of the day it’s about the journey, not the destination!