Sadly #pivoting

As I’m sitting outside anxiously awaiting a phone call that will determine whether or not I have a job, frantically tallying up my points, and dreading my upcoming graduation from Michigan, I feel there is no better time than now to reflect upon not only my Minor in Writing experiences, but also on my time in undergrad.  I’ve wished for this time in my life to come as quickly as it possibly could, but now that it’s here, I almost wish it wasn’t, which is something I’ve noticed a lot about life.  I can’t imagine not waking up to go to my classes next week, or maybe ever again.  I pitied the people who have graduated already and tweet or post on Facebook how much they wish they were back in Ann Arbor, sleeping in, going out to the bars, or getting late night food at some hole in the wall pizza place.  I used to hope that by the time I graduated I would have gotten all of that out of my system.  Now I’m not so sure that I won’t be feeling those same exact things that they did after I graduate.  If it’s true about what they say that the “best years of my life haven’t even happened yet,” then there must be something I don’t quite understand yet about growing up, because I can’t imagine that my life, and the people that I share it with, could get much better than this.

Not to sound too cliché, but writing has taught me a lot about how to deal with these kinds of feelings – how to articulate them, understand them, and share them with others.  A really wonderful professor told me one day that he truly believes that he cannot think clearly about something until he writes it all down and has analyzed the numerous things that he would never have been able to before writing it.  I never would’ve thought that to be true until I completed my final portfolio project and my essay on Beyoncé’s feminism and my own feminism.  This project, and the Capstone class more specifically, taught me so much more about myself than I ever would have been able to grasp on my own.  I can honestly say that this last semester of my senior year was quite possibly the most life-changing times in my whole life.  Not just because it was the last semester of my senior year, but because of the things I was forced to study, analyze, and write about, most of which were my own personal choice – hardly any guidelines from academia, which as you know from my evolution essay, is something that I appreciate when I get the chance to write.  My own autonomy.

I have learned about so many different facets of my life throughout the classes that I have taken and the professors and peers who have helped me along the way.  For example, in my English 473 class, we studied Midwestern literature and all of the themes that go along with it.  Growing up in the Midwest, I didn’t really pay much attention to the mindset or ideology or stereotype that is often inflicted upon us.  I was just a sweet Midwestern girl who often dreamed of one day moving on to bigger and better things somewhere on the East or West coasts.  Little did I know that this thought process is something that is often reflected in Midwestern literature, and can sometimes fuel incredibly long research papers about what it means to be from the Midwest, what it means to write about it, and what kinds of stereotypes do we reinforce when we play into the Midwestern mindset.  It wasn’t meant to be a sociology class, but it made me self-reflect on the ways in which I have allowed the place where I grew up, the Midwest, to shape me.  Now, I’m sure that’s fairly true anywhere you go in the United States, or perhaps even the world, but it was such a strange phenomenon to witness these different Midwestern writers perfectly encompass the sometimes underlying themes that people portray in the Midwest.

In Writing 400, I learned even more about myself than I was probably ready to learn.  Since finishing my final project on Beyoncé, I have noticed a very real transformation in the ways that I think about my own personal representation and my own feminism, along with feminist projects in general.  I was most surprised to learn so much about black communities and their experiences with feminism, and how it is totally not the same as what I’ve known to be “white feminism.”  I always had this picture in my mind of a large sisterhood of women who are all fighting together to demand equal rights and opportunities for women all over the United States, and the world.  What I didn’t realize was that women all over the world don’t all want the same things, which seems like an obvious things to accept.  Black women are fighting against the stereotype that they present an animal-like sexuality, while white women are trying to find more productive ways to embrace their own sexuality.  Marriage, also as an example, means different things among different communities of women.  And finally, I’ve become determined to explore the ways in which feminism isn’t just for females – in order to make positive and drastic changes in our culture, it must be a joint effort among all people in it.  These things that I’ve come to learn about Beyoncé, different feminist projects, and myself, would not have been possible without writing and analyzing it for this final Capstone project, and I’m so grateful that was given the option to write about this topic.

As for future plans, I am still awaiting the phone call from my potential employer.  In fact, I just got an email from her that said she was so busy today and won’t be able to give me a final answer until Monday – the waiting game continues.  I hope to move to Chicago and start a new adventure there.  The self-confidence in my education and myself would not have been possible without incredible peers, friends, professors, and family.  Thank you so much for anything, big or small, that you may have contributed toward my personal development as a writer, a person, and a Beyoncé lover.



Queen Bey #RAYRAY

Hey guys!  I wanted to use this post as a way to organize my own thoughts about my final project and to also ask for your advice about some different media sources that you think would be most effective.  I am analyzing and creating a timeline of women in entertainment over time, ending with Beyonce as the current female icon that I will ultimately focus on for the majority of the project.  My main goal is to explore whether Beyonce is a positive female role model of empowerment and sexual representation, or if she is hurting the feminist project by being too sexual or by being seen as a sexual object of men.  I want to track the responses to her new album and kind of pit them against each other to reveal something new about how we react and absorb entertainment and media and how these types of women affect the way “normal” women view their roles in our culture.  A lot of my project will be YouTube videos, clips of Beyonce’s songs, and speech/commentary about the history of women in entertainment and Beyonce herself.  I have been thinking of using iMovie to be able to cut and assemble different media sources from several different places (YouTube, iTunes, etc.).  Does anyone know of a more effective or easier way to do this?  I have never made anything like this before, but I think if I find a program that is easy enough to teach myself then it won’t be too hard because I am not necessarily creating a movie from scratch, rather I am essentially copying and pasting videos that are already made.  Thanks for any advice you guys have!  Good luck!2_gif

(Pika!) Finishing Up Your Final Projects

As the due date is nearing, I have started to worry about every last detail of my blog site and my final formal assignments.  Does anybody have any advice that they want to share about how they managed to get everything done, or what they still have to do?  I have found that if I just sit down and decide to get a bunch of stuff done and make substantial progress on editing my “Big Three,” then I find myself not wanting to stop.  Hope everyone is getting to where they want to be! Let me know if you want/need some extra eyes for editing purposes or just some encouragement!

(Pika!) Favorite Holiday Memory

Hi everyone! Hope you’re all having an okay time preparing for your finals.  I was walking around State Street today and there were tons of people out and about doing some holiday shopping.  While I am a huge procrastinator when it comes to buying gifts, my mom is the kind of person who has all of her shopping done by Thanksgiving.  I started to think about how the time around the holidays used to be so exciting and I had a countdown from the beginning of December until Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still super excited for it, it just doesn’t seem as special as it used to…which is a really sad realization, actually.  But anyway, it got me thinking about what I loved so much about the holidays.  I love being with my family that I don’t get to see very often, I love the food that my Mimi serves on Christmas Eve, I love still being lucky enough that my parents buy me gifts, and I love being able to buy all of my friends and family gifts as well.  What is everyone’s favorite holiday memory?

Recap of the 2012 Presidential Debate

With the media still not slowing down on the analysis of the Presidential Debate that took place last week, it is easy to find numerous resources that accurately, and inaccurately, review what took place on stage.  The best article that I found regarding an accurate recap was from, interestingly enough.  The article, which can be found here, illustrates the various topics, such as taxes, the economy, healthcare, and the education system, that were covered and how each candidate responded, or did not respond, to the questions presented by the trampled-upon moderator, Jim Leher.  The article also goes on to describe what the reactions of viewers were and who they would vote for if they were to vote immediately after the debate.  Even with Romney clearly being the victor of round one of debates, voters still responded with 46% voting for Obama and 41% voting for Romney.  However, the article states that 58% were swayed that Romney was the stronger leader compared to his democrat counterpart.  The final quotation from the article sums up what needs to be in people’s minds when entering the polls in November: “This is bigger than an election about the two of us as individuals. It’s bigger than our respective parties. It’s an election about the course of America.”