The End

It feels like yesterday that we began the Gateway class and I can’t believe that the semester is already coming to a close. Because I am going to be studying abroad next semester, the end of this semester feels a lot different than usual. I have been thinking about the end of the semester as something distantly in the future and it has not hit me yet that the time has finally come.

This Gateway course has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to completing the rest of the minor when I return. I have learned so much in this class, and will genuinely miss coming to class every Monday and Wednesday. A special thank you to T for doing a fantastic job leading our class! My experience would not have been the same without T and my amazing classmates.

And now, after spending long hours playing around with Wix, I have finally completed my E-Portfolio. I am proud of how it turned out and I hope you enjoy!

Here is the link:

http://hgschiff.wix.com/hannahschiff

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To the Future Writing Minors….

Dear Future MIW Cohorts,

Congratulations! You are now part of the best minor at the University of Michigan (well at least I think so). I’m sure you slaved over your application, making sure each sentence was perfect…But now it’s time for the good part! Throughout your first semester as a writing minor you will learn more than you would ever expect to learn in a class that meets twice a week for an hour and a half. I know that is a pretty bold statement, but trust me, by the end of the semester you will agree! I came into this class thinking that it would be just like all the others here at U of M, but boy was I wrong. This class became much more than a writing class, it became a class where I could converse with other writers, hear their thoughts and opinions and ultimately improve as a writer. Here are a few suggestions I have for you as you begin your Minor in Writing journey:

  1. Participate in class discussions as much as possible.

One of my favorite parts about the class is the emphasis on discussion. Whether the conversation is on a topic like social media or about a peer’s draft, actively participating in discussions definitely enhanced my experience.

  1. Make an effort to get to know your classmates and reach out to them for help.

Everyone in your class has a love of writing. Make sure you utilize their love, opinions and abilities.

  1. Make an effort to get to know your instructor!

I was lucky enough to have T as my instructor in the Gateway course. I think it is important to meet with your teacher about assignments in the class, or just simply to say hi!

  1. Write about things you are passionate about.

If there is any time to explore your ideas through writing, this is the time. The Gateway course allows you to write about what you want, so make sure to take full advantage of it.

  1. Make the most of the semester!

It goes by fast.

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Oh Writing…

Writing is hard.

Even as a 20 year old, writing minor, I still contest that writing is hard. Getting those first few words out on the paper is always a challenge. And honestly, I think that this will continue to be the case even as I mature as a writer. However, the fact that writing is a challenge makes writing better. Every time I write I am forced to go out of my comfort zone and produce something I am proud of.

Writing requires thought.

Even if I am mindlessly writing, it still requires thinking. That is one of the aspects I love most about writing. It requires me to think, and dig deeper about each thought I have. Putting thoughts down in writing are permanent. They are physical, no longer just thoughts bouncing around in one’s mind.

Writing has the ability to heal.

I am not one to be preachy, but I do think that writing has the power to heal. I find writing to be a form of therapy. When I am upset, or overwhelmed, I will write. Whether or not I write about what is bothering me, or something completely different, I almost always feel relieved after I am done. Even if it is something as simple as writing a to-do list, writing does have the ability to heal.

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Writing is powerful.

They Never Get Boring

I come from a large and loud family. Almost every Sunday night growing up my entire family on my dad’s side congregated at someone’s house for a weekly dinner. It usually consisted of my immediate family, my dad’s brother (my uncle), his wife and two daughters, and then my dad’s step- brother and his wife and two daughters along with my grandparents. Over the years there have been additions to the gang, but these 14 people have been a constant. Our family dinners never fail to be entertaining. I don’t think I will ever get tired of them due to the numerous different dynamics that occur. From learning about what is going on in everyone’s life, to gossiping with my cousins and cracking countless jokes, family dinners are never boring.

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all of the cousins

I am lucky enough to have a unique relationship with everyone in my family, and that I am grateful for. Whether our conversations are serious or light, under good circumstances are bad, I know that I have the support of my family. No family dinner is ever the same and nothing less of exciting. Filled with good food, good company and good conversation, family dinners are always something to look forward too.

Project III: Baby Steps

When I decided that I was going to make a video for Project 3 I was super excited to see what I would create. I decided to ask four of my friends and family who love Gilmore Girls a few questions about their experience with the show and their relationship with Rory. However, although I knew that making a video was going to be an ambitious task, I did not realize how long the entire process would actually take. As of now I have collected footage from my four interviewees. They have sent me videos of themselves answering all the questions I provided them with. Now, I am beginning to go through the footage on iMovie and so far it’s going okay. I have been playing around with iMovie, but it is a lot more complicated than I anticipated. Currently, I have attempted to cut all of the interviews and roughly put them in a specific order for my video. I still have a lot of work to do though. I need to add music, transitions, clips from the show and narration. I plan to try and work on these aspects during the rest of the week and then go to the Tech Deck for help.

 

I am still struggling to come up with what exactly I want to say in my narration, but I know that as I continue editing and working on the video I will be able to see my clearer vision. I am also still deciding what I want to title my video. I plan to work on this a lot in the next few days, so hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have a little more of a concrete plan for the rest of my video!

 

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Here is a screenshot of what I’m working on in iMovie.

 

#Grammar

I would never really describe myself as a grammar snob, but recently I was in a situation where my inner grammar nerd emerged. I am part of a committee planning an event and we have created flyers. On the flyer it said “MACS and SHEI Magazine presents Fashion Speaks.” When I read it, I knew it was wrong, and couldn’t believe that no one had caught this major mistake before the flyer went to print. Immediately, I texted the other committee members explaining the rules involved with subject verb agreement. The flyer should say present, NOT presents. The worst thing was, that one of the members thought presents was correct, and put up a fight about it. After a lot of convincing, the flyer was changed to say “MACS and SHEI Magazine present Fashion Speaks.” It was clear to me at that moment that I definitely am a writing minor.

 

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Before

 

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After

Another thing that really irks me is when people use the apostrophe “s” the wrong way. I feel like this rule has been taught millions of time and that as college students, we should know the correct way to use an apostrophe. Although I may criticize others for their poor grammar, I do realize that sometimes we all make mistakes. However, someone needs to lay down the grammar law…right?

 

Show, Don’t Tell

One of the many things I admire about writing is description. I admire writers who are able to paint pictures through their words. They show, they do not tell.

Whenever I am asked to read another person’s piece of writing the first thing that pops into my head is the phrase “make sure to show, not tell.” This advice has been drilled into my head ever since I can remember, and in turn I try to drill it into as many other heads as I can. However, although I preach these words of wisdom, I am not always one to initially follow them. Before I start any piece of writing I remind myself to show, not tell. But like clock work I finish writing my piece, only to go back and realize that there are so many places that I could have shown and not told. Showing, not telling, is a skill. Although I have not yet mastered it, I try my best to recognize it and look out for it when reviewing others’ and my own writing. Description develops writing; it enhances the picture in a reader’s mind. I hope that over time I will become better at showing. Until then I will still preach it to my peers, even if I haven’t mastered it yet.

Project 2 Update

For those of you who don’t know, I am creating a Buzzfeed article for Project II. My original piece is my college application essay where I write about how Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls has influenced my life. My Buzzfeed article is titled 12 Things Rory Gilmore Has Taught Us About Growing Up. So far, I think my project is going well. I have written out 12 points about Rory and collected all the images and GIFs that complement each point. For the next part of my project I have to focus on coming up with little explanations for each point. I think this will help alleviate my concern that everyone, and not just Gilmore Girls’ fans, understands the article. These explanations will provide a bit of background for each point. Additionally, over the next week I will be revising the text to make sure the tone fits into Buzzfeed. I am trying to make my language smart, witty and funny. My goals for this project are to make my Buzzfeed post as similar to a real one as possible. I hope that I will be able to post it onto Buzzfeed and for a wide audience to read it!

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A Look At Buzzfeed

One part of my early research for Project II has been examining the construction of Buzzfeed articles.  I have basically narrowed down Buzzfeed posts into two categories: articles that come in list form and then classic informative articles. I think that the list format of Buzzfeed articles is very effective. For most of the numbered list posts, there is text as well as a GIF or image accompanying it. Each list varies in length, so I would be able to tailor my article based on how much information I want to include.

A specific post I came across is “13 Things “Hocus Pocus” Taught Us About Having a Healthy Social Life.” I think this post is something I want to try and emulate with my piece. Each reason listed clearly relates back to the movie, but is also generalizable enough that someone who has not seen the movie would understand the point the article is attempting to make. I think that this will be important when constructing my Buzzfeed article. I want my audience to be able to understand what I am talking about even if they are not die- hard Gilmore Girls fans. I’m looking forward to seeing where this project will take me and what other research will come up along the way!

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 9.31.31 PMA screenshot of the title of a list format Buzzfeed post