I’m most excited about my final project. I’m excited to add to my oral history website and see the progress of how I’m committed to continue adding to the website. I’m excited to see the project finished and displayed for people to see. I hope people appreciate the work put in as well as the meaning behind my project because it really means a lot to me. However, I’m still struggling with the theme of my portfolio as well as the writers evolution essay, but I’m not going to worry about it to much because I know it will come as I continue to put everything together.


Multimedia Contract

For my multimedia contract I decided I wanted to figure out a more efficient way to transcribe interviews. I chose this because transcribing was one of the biggest issues I had when it came to doing an oral history interview. Transcribing is very tedious and time consuming, it took me about two weeks to transcribe one interview. I asked knowledgable sources about the best way and I was told to try Express Scribe Transcription Software. Although it was a bit confusing at first it made the process of transcribing a lot easier. It allows you to make keys available for fast forwarding, pausing, rewinding, and slowing down. This is helpful so you don’t have to keep doing it manually yourself. Here is a link to the website


Freedom of writing

What excites me most about writing at this point in my life is the freedom of it. To be honest, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write. It’s exciting because I know I can write whatever I want, however I want, whenever I want and not really be wrong. It’s an independent freedom I enjoy. Its peaceful and therapeutic, it’s great to express yourself. I write a lot , weather it’s long things or short simple things, such as thoughts and feelings. My typical day consist of writing some deep, funny, or casual thoughts down in my journal. This is mainly because I like to express my feelings and this is how I go about handling my emotions and thoughts about things that happen throughout life. I basically like to write in like a journal and this is sometimes better then venting to people and a great way to gather and analyze my feelings and thoughts. However, I also like to write my thoughts and feelings on things and post them on Facebook because I like to share my feelings with friends and family, weather happy or sad, as a form of connecting to others.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 11.34.43 PM

Here is one of the shorter simple little thing’s I have written and posted on Facebook. It’s a little poetic, sad and mushy but this was just an expression of my thoughts at the point in time. My inspiration came from my cousin, his girlfriend had just broken up with him and started dating a guy the very next day. O_o Many people were able to relate and connect to this type of feeling and thinking and that’s why I like posting honest things.

Writers evolution

I would say they are affecting my ideas in a positive away. The project is helping me realize just how much I have grown and all I have learned. This project is a reminder of what I have learned from my writing minor courses, every part of it. I learned about word press and how to use it from the gateway course. I learned about oral history interviews through my upper level writing requirement I took to fulfill the requirement. I learned how to use iMovie, which I may use for this project, from the Gateway course. I really learned about new media and different ways and how to use them. This project just helps me figure out what I am going to say in Writers Evolution essay.

Here is a link to my source about the great migration, because I am doing interviews, there is less Internet based research. The great migration is a great source for doing an annotated bibliography.


“The Great Migration.” History. A&E Television Networks, LLC, n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2013.

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Seth MacFalene, better known as the creator of Family Guy, is coming out with a novel. The novel is called A Million Ways to Die in the West and it is an early glimpse to the movie he has coming out only a few months later. Entertainment Weekly discusses how rare it is for a novelists to turn their novels into movies let alone for a screenwriter to novelize his script right before the movie comes out. I guess that’s just Seth MacFarlene for ya. The book is to come out in March and the movie in May. It is about a sheep farmer who is tired of the American frontier life and how everything and anything can kill you including snakes, the outhouse, and the infected water. There are so many ways to die so he will try to avoid them only to get himself in a worse situation.

I guess this affects understanding of my project by helping me realize it’s okay to be unique and different. The message I get from what Seth is doing, is that it’s okay to do what you want even if it is rare. It gives kind of like a dare to be different message. It’s also cool how he is representing his script in two different medias to reach out to more people, it’s almost like you will get my story one way or another. In a way this is similar to my own project because I will have the story on video as well as in writing, basically.



my project

Here is an example of what it will look like: http://oralhistoriesbykelli.wordpress.com

For my Capstone Project I would like to do something that is going to combine and include what the minor and writing has taught me along with my minor in women studies.  I want to do something that is more than just a project that I’m only doing because I have to. I want to do something that I will continue to look back on and continue to add too, something that will continue to be apart of me.

For this project I will use my reflective, argumentative, and multimedia skills by conducting a series of videotaped interviews of an older generation (my grandpa and great aunt) reflecting on the past and present. Not just any interviews but oral history interviews on the topic of life experiences. I will use the interview to argue and analyze using historical research and evidence. This may also be significant to people interested in history in general or black history specifically.

I have already made a website for them and everything. I hope to learn a lot more about my family history and what it was like for them being black in the south and transitioning to the north. I will then present the project in the form of a webpage, as I will add the interviews, bios, and transcriptions to my oral history webpage.

The Great Migration

Here’s what I found interesting while doing my research proposal!


The Great Migration was “the relocation of more than 6 million African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from 1916 to 1970.” Many left because of lack of economic opportunities and because of the segregation laws. They went north for the large opportunity of industrial work. I learned about this and I thought it was very interesting. I never knew about it and I don’t recall ever learning about it in school. I knew many blacks moved north for somewhat of a better quality of life but I didn’t know the number was large and that it was specifically called The Great Migration.


Old Testament, New Testament

Old Testament

        I began my Minor in Writing Journey during winter semester of January 2013. This means that my journey began exactly one year ago. When first asked to remember something during that time, I couldn’t. After thinking for a couple minutes I realized that one of the biggest memories and most special moments happened during this time. How could I forget?

        I believe the date was January sixth. I was back home in Lansing for Christmas break. During this time my great grandmother was not doing well. She was ninety-two and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. My grandparents had been caring for her in there home for many years. During this period she had many ups and downs. She would get sick sometimes and even have to go to the hospital but she always made it through and we always knew she was going to be okay. She was strong. She was a fighter. This time–things were different.

On Sunday, January sixth, I went to church with my brother, mom, cousin, and three year old niece Karionna. My mom said there was a specific church she really wanted to go to. We got to the parking lot at about 11:30 only to see a sign that said they started at 10:30. My brother and I didn’t want to go in because we were embarrassed we had arrived so late. My mom convinced us to go inside and little would we know the decision to go inside would change our lives forever.

What I am about to tell you next—is hard to explain—something many people don’t understand or believe, I don’t even quite understand it.

        We walked in and took our seats in the back of the church. The sanctuary was somewhat smaller but still there was something big about it. There was a presence—something I never felt in any other church. It seemed as though the sermon was being spoken directly to us. It seemed as if the pastor some how knew we were coming and had prepared a special message just for us and even waited for us, to begin. I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way because later the four of us talked about it. We some how managed to come right on time for the sermon as praise had just ended.

About thirty minutes into the sermon, the pastor walked towards us and asked my mom to come up and a few minutes later, all of us. He prayed for each one of us individually and then all of us. Somehow he knew we were there for a reason and that something troubling was going on in our family. He knew about my mothers issues, he knew about me, school and friends, he knew about my brother, work and his new job, he knew about my cousin, school and sports. He got very personal in what he said to us as if he reached into our hearts and minds and knew every hurt, worry, and problem. I’ll never forget how even laid his hand on my niece’s head and prayed for her and she suddenly put her hands up (an act you do when being prayed for), she didn’t cry but all you seen was a few little tears coming from her eyes as if she knew exactly what was going on and was just as touched as we were. During prayer was also the first time I ever seen my twenty-six year old brother cry. We were all crying for a number of unexplainable reasons as many different emotions were running through us. It’s just something you feel.

We left there with excitement and an incredible positive feeling that something great was to come despite the sorrow surrounding my great grandma and the other issues going on within my family.  We told everyone about the experience we had had. A few days later my great grandmother past and we had the funeral on a Saturday. We managed to get my whole family (twenty-two of us) to church that following Sunday. That day, many people from my family were also called up and the same thing happened to them. That day, all twenty-two of us found a home church.

Before this, a majority of my family didn’t typically attend church. This was a very special day. As of now we have officially been there a year and have been stronger and better than ever. To be honest, I don’t know how we would have made it through without. I can’t imagine where my family would be if my brother, cousin and I had decided not to go in that day because we were late. This reflection is a great reminder of where I was exactly a year ago when I started my minor in writing.  All of us are still active dedicated member of the church and my family has been changed and blessed for the better. I’ve seen miracles and things happen I didn’t think ever would.

Surprisingly, I never talked about any of it in the gateway course or wrote about it. Partially, because it was a time of many emotions that were too hard to deal with. It’s also hard to put everything in words because no matter how hard you try, sometimes you can’t seem to recreate a moment or at least in the way you want to. There is also the fear of people not understanding the story like you want them to, or not appreciating a story that is very near and dear to your heart.

 New Testament

During the summer my mother was really sick. She was in the hospital for quite a few months. She had pneumonia, kidney failure, a blood infection, and vegetation growing on her heart. She was very close to death. I recall often visiting her in the hospital, reading scriptures and daily bible inspirations to her and over the phone when I was at school, and in Germany. She was on dialysis and had to get her blood recycled daily, which took a few hours.  Everyone was praying for her and even fasting.

One day she told God that if He got her through this she would change her life around for the better. That night her kidney functions came back and she was able to pee. You never know how excited you can be about something as trivial as urination until you are in a situation like this. She was crying and calling everyone to tell them the good news. My mother was getting better. Not to long after, my whole family was baptized together and the hospital allowed a special release for an hour so my mom could come participate in the baptism and then return back to the hospital.

A few days later I left for Germany and it was nice to leave on a good note. I was often able to Skype and talk with her while in was in Germany and she was in the hospital. When I returned she was at the airport waiting for me. We became really close after this time, we went everywhere together, did everything together, we were partners in crime, she called me her “roll dog” haha. It was a little sad when I went back to school in the fall and very hard for her.

Here are a few pictures…

Kelli Graham, Luke Robinson, Kate Sanford

A year ago today, we were all sitting on our porches, sipping cold drinks and sporting tank tops. This morning, however, was all about layering clothes and mentally preparing ourselves for the bitter cold outside. St. Patty’s Day took place indoors, and the fact that even college kids couldn’t drink the cold away should be a strong indication of the ridiculous winter that just seems to want to stick around.

The most obnoxious part about the weather has to be the two or three days which actually gave us a glimpse of the spring we don’t have. There were a couple days in early March that was in the 60’s, giving us just enough hope to think that the worst was over. Just when we were numb to the idea of ever seeing the sun again, we were given these days to inspire false ideas of warmth. However, once again we’re closer to days like this.