My Whole Heart.

I’ve been told by multiple people that I never stop talking. Not in a mean way, but it was more of an observation.

I always respond, “well, I have a lot to say.”

I have thoughts and ideas rushing through my head 24/7. I currently have seven to-do lists: today, short-term, long-term, school work, vacation packing, job applications, and cleaning. All this to say, I have a lot that I want to do, but never enough time to do it.

This semester, I finally crossed something off of my long-term to-do list.

I have always wanted to tell my story. It didn’t matter what form I told it in, I just wanted to tell someone. And I wanted them to listen. What is my story you might ask? It is one of insurmountable loss that led to unexpected growth. It is unique, yet relatable. It is painful to read, but gives you hope at the same time. I wanted to take people on the same journey that I went on.

This is my Jar of Happy Things. I started it when I was at my lowest point in life as a reminder that there were still good things happening in the world. Any time something good happened, I wrote it down on a sticky note, put the date on it, folded it up, and tossed it in the jar.

For my project, I went through all of the sticky notes that I’ve ever put in my jar. I narrowed it down to the ten that I felt showcased my growth as a person over the past few years. I spent the past semester delving into old memories, drudging up old emotions, and looking at them in a new light.

I put my whole heart into this project.

Check out my story here.

The End

Its funny how my project title is called the end and here we are at the end of another semester. This project was a good idea, stressful, yet fun all at the same time. Just like a reflection of my college life, it sounds good at first then when you start it’s like “what did I get myself into”. I am definitely not a videographer that’s for sure, but I do have a story to tell and I did it to my best ability.

Telling my story and being vulnerable was very hard especially considering the fact that I had to go back and revisit such a dark time for myself. Looking back, it’s refreshing to be able to revisit the past and be able to look at it with such a positive and hopeful outlook. Technology malfunctions and roadblocks aside, this was very cool to make and is the longest video i’ve ever made and It took a lot of courage(and patience) to do this. My peers, and T definitely helped push me to make this project better when I felt like I had lost inspiration for it. Maybe one day when I finally have the resources to make this production into the hollywood film I have planned in my head the director can use this as a foundation. But for now this is what the project is and I am very pleased with it, it came a long way.

H.A.G.S.: Have a Great Snoop-through-my-capstone

Oh wow. The last part of the last assignment of my last fall semester at the University of Michigan. Can you feel the anticipation/relief/exhaustion radiating out of your computer screen? My hands are practically shaking with this weird combination of too tired and too awake—I can’t wait to nap for a million years, but first, I’m so excited to introduce the reason I haven’t been sleeping for the past few months!

Behold: Worth, Changing: Former Teenage Girls in Conversation!

So, like, high school. What even was that, amirite, ladies? After spending this past summer reading a bunch of books about feminist theory and adolescence and the feminist theory of adolescence, I began to wonder why I entered college so incredibly determined to forget everything that had happened in high school. What was I so afraid of? Had those four years really changed me all that much?

The more I learned about adolescence within the context of gender socialization, the more I wanted to learn about my fellow former teenagers’ high school experiences. Was I the weird one for letting the societal pressures of high school “get to me?” How did my peers feel they’d changed as a result of their teenage years, for better or for worse?

I really value the time and effort my interview subjects (many of whom I didn’t have enough time to write about) put into this project, and I feel like I’ve learned so much from our conversations about their journeys. I hope you find their perspectives as interesting as I do, and I hope it inspires you to ask a friend about their adolescence or share your own story here.

(Huge thanks to T Hetzel and the rest of my Capstone cohort—you guys are truly the best bunch I’ve ever written with.)

Fleeting, or Lasting for a Very Short Time.

I somehow managed to create a podcast…how millennial of me.

I wanna start out with the fact that I thought I would absolutely hate editing, and at times I really did. Listening to your own laughter can be one of the cringiest things possible. It’s even worse when your friend, who has superhuman hearing, can hear it coming from your headphones.

Love that.

Fleeting is a product of loving my partner a little too much. I spent my entire summer struggling with awful mental health and intense burnout. But no matter how much I cried, or how much I wanted to just not exist for a little while (don’t worry, those feelings are too fleeting), Nick remained a constant in my life. No matter what happened, they were reassuring. They video called me. They said I love you before I fell asleep every night. They remained calm when I could not. And I started to learn how to give that back to them. Finding love was hard, especially for me. And I wasn’t the only one. And there’s a lot of power in that.

And next came the podcast. Fleeting is an exploration of how our opinions on love and sex change over time, how they manifest, how we search for these needs in others. And how we find it. And how we lose it sometimes. And then how we find ourselves afterwards.

I really thought this project was going to be a bust. I’d never even touched audio editing software before. I knew how to talk to people, but I didn’t know how to ask questions and get answers.

But, somehow I did it.

And here it is.

Hope you like it.

Introducing MOVEpwr

It’s so hard for me to grasp what this day represents. A day that always seemed so far away is finally here. It’s bizarre, to say the least.

So here it is: my labor of love. MOVEpwr. This site is a representation of me at this very moment. An amalgamation of my passions in one place, and the way they intersect with each other. More than anything, it answers the question How is movement healing? whether that’s in regard to the neurobiology of the brain, the way people with disabilities can move, what yoga is, or another wildly fascinating topic that combines science with the practically magical power of movement. Read my informative articles, blog, and more at my website (!!!):

My website really is the product of an entire semester of work. But also, as I prepare to come to terms with the fact that I have finished my undergraduate career at Umich, I realize it is much more than that. It is the product of three and a half years of back-breaking, stress-inducing classes at this university. It is the product of 16 years of formal education, falling in love with learning and curiosity. And it is also the product of 21 years and 11 months of living a life of passion. Loving dance. Being broken. Wanting to help others. I am so proud to have this project be a representation of who I am right now, who I have carefully crafted myself to be. 

Thank you, T, my classmates, Sweetland, and everyone who has encouraged me to follow my passions. And thank you University of Michigan, for an undergrad experience I’ll never forget. Forever and ever go blue.

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Measuring Happiness- A Documentary

Hi Everyone!!!

I am so so excited to share my capstone project and site with you all!

When I was trying to decide what kind of project to do for my capstone, I knew I wanted to do something with film because I love making short videos. This whole process was very daunting to me because I had never made a video over 8 minutes long (and that 8 minute video was the first video I ever made- aka not very good), never took any film/editing courses, and did not have any other film related capstone projects to model after. I was exploring a completely new space for myself, and the Minor in Writing.

After a full semester of stress and running around with film equipment, editing, crying because I thought my documentary was going to be boring, and watching footage over and over until I could practically recite what my interviewees are saying– I am proud to say that I have gotten 15 interviews of over 3 hours and 30 minutes of footage, into a documentary under 41 minutes!

So if you’ve got 41 minutes, are bored over Winter Break, and/or are considering creating a documentary for your capstone project- check out my project!

Here it is…

Hi all!

It’s done! My Capstone project, Ethical Librarianship: Conceptualizing Occupational Concerns as a Prospective Librarianship, is finally complete.

Do you have a deep appreciation for the library system and wonder what kinds of ethical and political concerns those in the field deal with every day? Are you curious as to why someone would choose this career path? Are you thinking about this career path yourself? For insight, listen to my three audio essays in which UMich librarians/archivists and I discuss these questions and concerns.

As you peruse my site, send some good thoughts my way. This has been my last wonderful semester as a University of Michigan undergraduate student. I graduate this week, start my brief hiatus from school, and await grad school application decisions. I send good thoughts to all of you as fellow Minors in Writing. You’ve got this!

Forgetting the Fear

Oh god. Staring at the currently unpopulated white space of this text box, I feel overwhelmed. What do I write? If I write something, will it matter to anyone? Will it matter to me?

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I find it a little hard to believe that after (nearly) completing a whole class dedicated to my writing goals, I still feel this way when starting a new project. Even if the “project” is just a blog post. Just like anything else, writing gets easier the more it’s practiced, but the beginning never ceases to feel scary, it seems.

When I begin brainstorming for my Capstone project, I thought I had it all figured out. I knew I was going to make a book, and that was the least scary thing I could imagine. And then I actually sat down to write something, and The Fear wormed its way into my brain. Why was I even doing this? Who would care?

My biggest piece of advice for my September self (besides the obvious “you don’t have time to write, design, and print a book”) is to write like no one’s reading. That might sound counterintuitive or depressing or completely wrong, I get it. But when in your college career have you been able to write whatever you want for a whole semester for credit? This time should be savored, and it shouldn’t be hijacked by a paralyzing fear of the “audience,” whoever that might be.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t listen to the feedback you receive on your work. Your Capstone cohort will likely be one of the nicest, most tightly-knit groups of writers you’ve ever encountered (I know mine has been). They really want you to succeed and they’ll give you great constructive responses that come from a place of love and genuine interest. Listen to them.

Maybe you don’t need to hear this, but I’m writing it anyway because I’m trying this new thing where I write what I want without second-guessing myself: your ideas matter. If that inkling of a project pinging around in your head excites you, if thinking about researching it for hours, spending time with it, shaping it into a thing that will live in your hands or on a screen… if all of that makes your chest glowy and warm, do that thing. Start today. As long as you’re passionate, as long as you care, someone somewhere will, too.

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Writing 420: My Best Advice

During my time in the capstone course, I learned a few things.

I was always overwhelmed by the possibilities. There were so many suggestions coming my way, so many things that I wanted to try. But, I quickly realized that I couldn’t do it all. There comes a time when you’ll have to sit down and decide what you want to spend the semester writing about, what form you want it to take, and what you want the project site to look like. The sooner you do that, the better off you’ll be.

The best thing that I did for myself was choosing a project that I was passionate about. Doing the work never felt like work to me because I was enjoying myself as I did it. Everyone in my capstone class had such different projects, but the one thing they all had in common was a passion that inspired them.

I found that immersing myself in my peers projects was extremely beneficial. Workshop days are the best because you get to see everyone else’s projects developing. I learned so much from workshop days, even when it wasn’t my work being discussed. When looking at your peers work, you can see first hand what works well and what doesn’t. Then, you can apply it to your own project. You can learn just as much, if not more, from reading, critiquing, and supporting the processes of your classmates.

I definitely had my hiccups along the way, but I am so proud of the work that my classmates and I produced. I couldn’t have done it without them.

So, future capstone students….

Good luck. I believe in you.

I knew someday I’d get here…

After so many weeks (thirteen? fourteen? I’ve lost count) of thinking about my capstone project and wondering what it’s final form will be, I’m finally putting it all together on a project website.

What a relief it is to realize that this whole time I was really creating something cohesive and fully formed! I wasn’t so sure for a while. But making something public-facing kind of forces you to get there, I think.

My website features three complete audio essays, a nice About Page, and some pretty cool bios (my case studies are incredible people, please see for yourself when I launch the website!). The color scheme is reminiscent of a public library– just what I was going for.

The project is wrapping itself up, and I do feel as if it’s been pulling me along throughout the semester, not the other way around. Making a project site, where this work will live as long as the internet does, is a sure sign that I’ve accomplished something. Things are starting to feel complete.