We Made It :)

My final capstone project forced me to think about a future in which I will never live. I decided to craft an online gossip-like, dystopian magazine where I could merge my love for both writing and visual design. Imagining this future world, as it would be depicted in my magazine, was difficult. Unfortunately, my thoughts about the future–especially in the midst of a global pandemic and 4 years of incompetent leadership–were predominately pessimistic.

So much of life’s hardship is unanticipated until it arrives at our feet–so my attempt at depicting a future takes the form of various graphic art projects accompanied by writing. Through my painstaking, but enjoyable exploration of Adobe Creative cloud platforms, I was able to use art to incorporate some humor into my rather cynical project. In the end, I realized that despite the unease I felt towards the future–a perhaps scary future–that I would rather experience that than to sit in the comfort of apathy.  Then, at least, nobody could say they didn’t see it coming.

https://gracekent16.wixsite.com/mysite-2

It’s done! It’s FINALLY done!!

After so many countless hours of painstaking work not only in the writing process but also in creating the website, my capstone project is ready for the world to see! If you’re interested in learning about a girl’s boarding school experience and her journey of growth, click here!

Thank you so much to T and my wonderful class for all of your guidance and help throughout this process. It truly couldn’t have been done without you. And special shoutout to my siblings for sharing their insight regarding their own boarding school experiences, and my cousin who helped me oh so much in making my website just how I want it.

Happy reading y’all!

iris

I’m happy to introduce my capstone project: iris. It has finally taken its final form of ten guidelines for mobile app design. These guidelines have been developed based on the broad themes I’ve noticed throughout the semester as I designed mockup screens for three apps: notes, music, and messaging.

I’ve attempted to make these guidelines as digestible as possible in order to a more general audience than merely other designers. You’ll notice short amount of text for each guideline, augmented by examples on the opposite side of the screen. You may also notice that many of the images on the site scroll at different speeds (parallax), for a more engaging experience.

As many of my peers would echo, this semester has been quite odd. Still, I am happy with the finalized version of my capstone project. The feedback I received throughout the semester was extremely informative and is what ultimately guided my decisions on how to present this project.

Now that the semester is almost over, I would like to take a moment to thank the folks I’ve encountered during my time in the Minor in Writing, especially T–who I had for both gateway and capstone. I will greatly miss T’s impressively consistent positive energy, encouragement, and flexibility, as I’m sure many of my peers will as well.

Speaking of my peers… thank you, too! Your feedback throughout the semester was helpful, but more importantly, seeing your projects come together during the semester was quite frankly inspiring.

Finally, in case you were looking for the link: https://iris.baileystein.com/

5,4,3,2,1

1,2,3,4,5! We did it! Hats off to everyone!

For my project, I accidentally did something illegal — accidentally on purpose, I guess. I had a great time doing this project, and am grateful that I had the platform to do what I did, the freedom to do what I did, and the support to do what I did.

For my project, I painted 14 electrical poles on my street — Dewey Street — and used each one as an opportunity to write about the art that I do and the things that go on in my head while I do the art that I do. Some are lists of things, some are more-or-less incoherent essays, and other are essays that proved very fruitful to write — those about privilege, race, audience, motivation, and more.

In the end, I’m very proud of the work that I did as well as incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to learn a surprising amount about the work that I do and why I do it. I really did this project to paint, but am walking away from this project with a much more sophisticated answer about why I do the work that I do and how to tie the two seemingly disparate sides of myself — my art and climate activism.

Thanks to all those who gave feedback and to Shelley for being a light in a dark and bizarre time. Hang in there everyone!

HERE WE GO: https://hansju.wixsite.com/pantingondeweystreet

J

Hello future capstoners…

or as T fondly calls us, WRITERS!!!

I’m not even sure where, exactly, to begin, because the world seems so distinctly uncertain. Our semester was cut short by coronavirus, with the essential last month of our capstone complicated by remote learning and a global pandemic and what not. As I write, I’m not sure what will happen next semester; I’m not even sure, really, what will happen next week. Living through such an unprecedented time is odd, because it has fundamentally altered everything, really.

But I am also optimistic that you all will have the benefit of time. The four months between now and the start of the fall semester as it normally would begin are impossible to predict, and I have no idea where you will be taking this class from, and how you’ll be taking it. But so many things can happen in four months, from a vaccine to a horrendous resurgence that postpones colleges resuming entirely until the winter, or after the pandemic—I have no idea, and only you, reading this in the future, do. But whatever situation it is, whether it’s way better than we anticipated or it’s worse, you will at least be prepared, unsurprised by whatever adjustments you have to make. The elements of surprise, of disruption, of shock and fear, dictated time throughout a crucial juncture of our capstone projects, but whether you are partially or entirely remote, starting this project from the get-go in one way, not being unsure or feeling like a real life beta test for your tens of thousands of dollars of tuition, will be an advantage.

As for what to write about? Genuinely, just write what you want. And this seems incredibly oversimplified but I’ve given this advice to all my classmates all semester, even myself too. This project will be easiest to create and the best representation of your writing, the best culmination of your writing minor or senior year or capstone or college experience, if you write from your heart. Apologies for the cliche, but the most phenomenal part about the writing minor, and my capstone class in particular, has been how honest and raw everyone is willing to write and share. Most of these projects are personal, and they make me feel more than a lot of work I’ve seen. I think this is possible no matter what; whether you’re on Zoom or in person or in haptic suits, write for you.

We Made It!

Congratulations to everyone for finishing their Capstones! And a special, very warm and bittersweet congratulations to all my fellow seniors. For many of us, this is the last assignment we will ever turn in at Michigan. Hope you all are doing okay with the existential dread of being a new graduate (and if you aren’t, join the club!)

My Capstone is centered around a legal principle known as environmental personhood. Basically, the idea is that you give natural features (lakes, forests, rivers, etc.) many of the same rights as a legal person. It may sound like an alien concept at first, but the concept of personhood is much more abstract than one would think. This Capstone challenged me immensely. I found the creative non-fiction piece especially scary, because I am apparently very uncomfortable with vulnerability. At the end of the day, I really enjoyed creating my Capstone. You can find it here.

Thank you to the MiW staff, especially Professor Shelley Manis. Shelley was so inspiring and understanding during the pandemic, and before the whole thing too! It meant so much to so many of us.

Ramblings of a Technical Writer

Hey y’all, excited to share my finished Capstone project with you. For my project, I created a technical writing blog in which I analyze and critique technical documents. For those unfamiliar, technical documents are typically instructions or other types of reference materials – they’re informative and dry, with little room for nonsense.

My blog, on the other hand, has a lot of room for nonsense. I noticed that most other technical writing blogs were just super boring, so I decided to differentiate my blog with a more humorous, casual tone. This should make my project a bit more entertaining/interesting for people besides technical writers.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with the project. I felt like I was able to offer insightful analysis into each document without making it a total snoozefest. I didn’t quite expect each of my posts to lead me down such long, weird rabbit holes, but I enjoyed digging deeper into documents that most people don’t think twice about.

Here’s my final project site: https://alexlopez2020.wixsite.com/technicalwritingblog

I hope y’all are doing well, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your projects.

Intro to Feminist Evolutions

After a long semester of work, I’m so excited (and nervous!) to debut my capstone project to the world.

“Feminist Evolutions” explores how people come to be feminists and how they perceive feminism today. I really became passionate about feminism in college, and I wanted to explore why that might have happened. This project was also inspired by the different versions of feminism that I had seen manifesting on campus, and how people were sometimes in conflict with their ideals.

The first part of my project is a photo essay about my own journey to becoming a feminist. I juxtaposed text and photos that meant something for my journey to becoming a feminist. The second part of my project is a collection of photos and interviews with feminists from around the campus of the University of Michigan who I know from various organizations. I hope to update the second section as time goes on, so it is a work in progress!

To T, thank you so much for giving me the flexibility to do this project, and working with me when my original plans got upended by the COVID-19 crisis. To all of my classmates, thank you for your support, encouragement, and advice along the way – the project wouldn’t be as great without all of your help!

Here’s the link to my website: https://maryjkel.wixsite.com/writing-capstone

Advice to Future Capstone Students

I began Capstone not knowing what to expect for my project. I wasn’t sure exactly what sort of topic to do, and I had done so many projects in so many other classes that I sort of thought what else can I do? It turned out that I followed something that I was passionate about and it turned out great in the end! 

I definitely didn’t envision spending the last day of class looking at my computer instead of in North Quad, but it actually turned out okay. As a graduate of online high school, I know that I prefer being in a classroom, but I also didn’t want to catch COVID-19. The transition for this class to online went pretty smoothly! We all shared our ideas in the same way that we would in the normal classroom, and class didn’t feel too different, other than my cat, Koa, coming to meow at me every so often. 

To future Capstone students: 

  • It might be overwhelming to have to jump right in to topics, but you will figure it out! 
  • Pick something that you’re passionate about or that you don’t get a chance to do a lot with in your other courses. I’m a Communication & Media major, so I’m constantly engaging with media in my courses. While I’ve done things with feminism and media, I rarely got to engage with only feminism. 
  • Change your project if you need to! While my topic stayed the same, I had to change the way I presented it due to COVID-19. I’m still proud of how it turned out. 
  • Get interviews done early if possible. I had a hard time getting people to respond to interviews, which might have had something to do with COVID-19, but it helped when I reached out to people early and gave them plenty of time. 
  • Don’t get overwhelmed — I know this is easier said than done, but it’s definitely easier to take a step back from your project and tackle one portion at a time than it is to try to tackle each part simultaneously. 
  • Most of all, try to enjoy creating your project! At the beginning, I felt like it would be so difficult, but I actually had a lot of fun putting time and effort into this project. 

Capstone is truly what you make it, and I know all incoming Capstone students can make it great! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! 

Capstone Project Introduction

Hello writers!

I am excited to have finished my capstone project, which has been pretty difficult during this COVID-19 pandemic. Is anyone else feeling like their writing brain has totally shut down right now?

Still, I managed to finish the project, and it’s bittersweet to be done with MiW. For capstone, my project was meant to be a small collection of essays that attempt to critique neoliberal feminism and introduce feminist scholarship to new and young feminists. Some of the essays are personal, some of them are theory-based, but I hope all of them deepen one’s understanding of feminism and how necessary it is for all of us.

You can find my project here.

Thank you to all of the wonderful professors I’ve had in MiW, specifically Professors Shelley Manis and Jimmy Brancho, and all of the advisors and support staff who help all of us so much.