This week I made a scroll instead of a blog post about my drafting experience.
(click it click it click it you know you want to)
Surf the Web with Julia Paige as your guide!
As you surf with me, it only seems fit that you listen to this song
Check my umich email – 4 minutes
Get a “Recipe of the Day” email from Saveur.com. Today is simple garlic confit which sounds both impossible and inedible, but I click anyway – 1 minute
My eyes are drawn to “More from Saveur.com” , where a recipe slideshow of main dishes with kale are listed. In my fridge sits a huge bunch of the leafy stuff that I brought home from Kroger the other day, so I start clicking through, looking for a recipe I can make without going back to the grocery store. – 6 minutes
Still not knowing what I want for dinner, I see an advertisement for vacationing to Italy and am reminded that I am visiting my sister in three weeks in Oregon. I then begin Googling “things to do in Portland” and come across a variety of tourism websites for the city. – 7 minutes
I then realize that I don’t even know what part of Portland my sister and her boyfriend reside in. I open up my text messages and ask her for her address. After she responds, I enter the street numbers into Google Maps and street view it, trying to get a glimpse of her new digs. I virtually hover the street, trying the read the house numbers for 7051. No luck, but at least it’s a cute neighborhood. – 5 minutes
Then I have one of those moments when you look at the calendar and think OH SHIT. If spring break is in three weeks, then midterms are in two and a half. And when I come back from Portland it will be middle of March, which is practically April and classes end in April. And before classes end I need to find a someone to sublet my apartment, someplace to live for the summer, and a summer job or internship, all while finishing up my winter 2015 classes to put an end to my junior year of college. And when my junior year is over, I’ll be a senior…then what? It all makes me want to pack up my cat, my Kitchenaid mixer, and my swimsuit and move to Mexico.
Not allowing myself to give up so easily (as lovely as Mexico sounds), I being looking for a sublet. I browse Craigslist, reading through both the housing wanted listings, and the housing offered. – 5 minutes
Fruitless thus far, I postpone my Craigslist searching for exploring various university websites for possible job ideas, graduate school programs, and internships that won’t put me thousands of dollars in debt.
I do this until my 2:30 class
In 30ish minutes, I am exposed to a myriad of genres and modes of writing. Email is kind of an anomaly, sometimes formal, other times informal. The rhetorical situation depends entirely on which email one is reading expect for the fact that the audience is always me!
Then there are recipes are Saveur.com, which take on a blog format. This website is directed toward any cook- whether you are an amateur, a professional, or just love food. They use photos of food to draw you into a recipe, and always have a description bar that makes it sound if you don’t make this recipe, you will be missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.
The Portland websites use a lot of the same tricks as Saveur, trying to draw people in with photos that make you want to explore everything the city has to offer. Some of the websites are directed at families trying to please both a child and an adult , others at young people going out on the town.
Craigslist is a website we are all familiar with. It involves on individual expressing a need, or a good or service they are providing. In the housing pages, everyone is trying to sell what they are offering as best as possible, showing photos where the house is clean and cute and describing their roommates like a house full of saints.
Lastly, I encountered many university websites. I spent a particular amount of time at the Western Michigan University page because I am interested in their Anthropology graduate degree. This website is directed toward students, and uses color and photos to try and make the information about classes and curriculum less dry.
Although all of these websites looked different and engaged me in different ways, pretty much all of the websites were trying to convince me to do something- make this recipe, visit this city, rent this apartment, come to our school. So, I come to this conclusion: what we talked about in class is correct. Writing, no matter what the mode or genre is, is all about making an argument.
Perusing my scrap of notebook paper where I cryptically scribbled notes based on my partners suggestions I realized two things:
1 . That my partner is very creative and was miraculously able to come up with a lot of interesting ideas
2. That I don’t want to use any of those ideas*
Although her ideas were interesting and innovative, after reflecting upon the exercise I realize that my topic was not any of those things to me. My partner was able to brainstorm some very excellent ideas which DID help me a lot by making me realize that the piece I picked to repurpose did not inspire me. AT ALL. The piece I originally chose was about expiration dates and food waste, one that I wrote for a class last semester. It was a great class, and I also think I did a good job with the paper. However, being part of the Sustainable Food Systems Minor I have spent a great portion of my college career writing about sustainability and frankly, I need a change. Therefore, I have changed my piece to repurpose to be a research summary I wrote about spices in the Middle Ages. I feel significantly more inspired and excited for the project already (phew). I am thinking I want to make a cookbook style article that includes both history and a Medieval recipe. Let me know if you have any other ideas!
*Ps: Sorry to my partner. It’s not you, it’s me.
Just who am I
Let me think…
I don’t really have an
My name is Julia Louise Paige and I am one of the seven billion people living on the world. Sometimes this fact overwhelms me (like kind of right now) and I find myself thinking so what, why does this person that is me matter? but I try to forget about this and toss a penny into the well that someday I’ll have an answer, or at least stop asking the question. Anyway, I am going to give you my best stab at describing myself:
my dad used to say that “my motor is always running”
my favorite room in any house is the kitchen
I like to collect “treasures” because they are memories
I love people
they teach me ways that I want to be, or ways I don’t
I spread myself too thin like
a small pat of butter on a too big piece of toast
I know that this is fuzzy, but even though I don’t really have a good answer to the question, I think I know who I am, at least who I am at the moment. I feel like maybe analyzing a human personality is like putting your nose up to a pointillist painting and trying to understand what you are looking at.
When you’re too close, it just looks like dots.
However, look at the image as a whole and it is something cohesive and beautiful.
As to what I like to read, there is not really one genre or author or format I enjoy. Instead what I look for in writing is when you read something, and you think oh my gosh, that’s it! What I really love is when it feels like the writer went into your head and pulled out the exact feelings or thoughts you have been having, but that you didn’t even know you had because you couldn’t put it into words, and then they put it into the most amazing words possible. I love that a sentence or a piece of writing that invokes that reaction can in some way become a contribution to your own personal reality.
An example of writing that makes me feel that way is:
“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
(one of my favorite authors)
Also pretty much all the lyrics in the song A Case of You by Joni Mitchell.
(** please close your eyes if you listen to it because the cheesy YouTube picture slideshow distracts from the brilliance of the song**)
When reading the articles titled “Why I Write” and “Why I Blog”, I was looking for a passage or a sentence like that. One that just launched from the page and lodged itself in my brain, that could become a contribution to my reality and my ideas of myself as a writer. I found it in the piece by George Orwell. On page two, Orwell lists motives for writing. The second bullet point that he lists is “Aesthetic enthusiasm. Perception of beauty in the external world, or , on the other hand, in the words and their right arrangement…Desire to share an experience which one feels is valuable and ought not be missed.”
Although Orwell describes aesthetic motive as “very feeble in a lot of writers”, this bullet point profoundly resonated with me. Reading it caused me to realize that much of the reason that I do enjoy writing is that I think that the world is a crazy place and I find that the people in it are even more mind-boggling. To me, a great deal of the value in writing is the embodiment of human experiences, which would be appreciated only by one person unless they write it down. Once something becomes a piece of writing, those thoughts and experiences can be shared and absorbed by readers, whoever they may be.
Perhaps mine is not necessarily a perception of beauty, as Orwell stated, but more a perception of the awesomeness of the external world. I find writing a useful tool that can be used to share the pleasure I gain from observing the planet I live on and all the other six billion nine hundred ninety-nine million nine hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine people that inhabit it with me.