Linking Writing to Where it’s Important- Home

0611880Growing up in a medium sized, baseball crazed town of Cincinnati, I really had little choice of how I would spend my free time. Some of my earliest memories are at the Opening Day Parade in which the city practically closes down every year to commemorate the start of a new baseball season. For those that are unaware, the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball organization and, to commemorate that, open the season at home every year. This oddity, along with the false hope that our team will do anything positive in the upcoming season captures my midwestern town every spring.

I guess you could say that baseball, or more specifically, sports were the reason that I was determined to read. I wanted the full scope of each game and the stories behind the game that often fall through the cracks. I grew up reading Enquirer writers John Fay and Paul Daugherty. I also enjoy sports radio, an extension of writing, in which opinions are pivotal. Currently, I enjoy listening to Rich Eisen and even podcasts like the Lowe Post to get my in-depth sports journalism.

While I appreciate blogging and other types of sports journalism, I especially enjoy writing. I look at writing as an opportunity to allow the outside world to hear my opinions on any topic that I choose to write about. I especially enjoyed being the sports editor for my high school newspaper and writing a sport ethics blog last winter. My writing process follows a strict pattern. I prefer to write the whole piece in one sitting, without making any edits. It is in this frame of mind, not worrying about making mistakes or even about writing a terrible piece, that I do my best work. No mater the assignment or activity, when I leave my anxiety out of the process and only wory about what I am doing at that moment, I do my best. Upon leaving my work for a couple of days, in essence taking the emotion out of it, I began to edit.

An ePortfolio by Person In-Progress

I remember the end of college applications. I took all of my admissions essays and bundled them together in a neat folder with an owl on it. “Yes,” I said, “this is my baby.”

After clicking the submit button for my gateway ePortfolio, my first thought was “Gee! And I thought college apps was a lot of writing.”

I’m really thankful for having the opportunities that this class has given me: improving my writing by working with a topic that interesting, working with a cohort of amazing writers and people, and being taught by a great teacher that cares.

I feel like I’ve grown so much as a writer in the past few months. With a science major, I so used to working to deadline after deadline. It was refreshing to think that all my work being in progress. I remember spending a bit of time trying to figure out what my topic for the class would be and ended up changing it the next week. But that was okay; my work was in-progress. I submitted a second re-purposing draft that I wasn’t sure of. But it was okay; that was in-progress too. This class reminded me that after my classes, that’s not the end. There’s still more that I can learn, more than I can improve. While I’ve just turned in my ePortfolio, to be honest, I’m probably going to keep working on it in the near future before turning it in to study abroad and fellowship committees.

I’ll always be growing, and I find that thrilling. If you’d like to my progress, my ePortfolio lives here!

Check out my re-purposing project!

Hey everyone!

I hope your final weeks of school are going well.

For my re-purposing project in the gateway course I created a website with the purpose of helping college students obtain some distance from their crazy, hectic lives through conversation.

If you have a few minutes to spare, I would love for you to check it out and participate! The “let’s talk” tab consists of four posts in which I pose questions that I would love for you to respond to. Feel free to respond in any length or form, and don’t hesitate to veer off topic and pose your own questions.

Here is the link. Please share it around!

Thanks so much for your help. Have a great weekend, and good luck with finals!



Personal Paradox

So, for this week we were asked to discuss competing thoughts which were at least partially contradictory as far as our evolution as a writer. These thoughts manifest in the evolution essay and are something that we must grapple with to create a solid, meaningful essay. I have two that go hand in hand.

Revision is important vs. I’m good enough to not revise.

It is a self identified fact that my biggest writing flaw is a lack of revision. I don’t go over my work nearly enough. Because of this I end up with dumb mistakes and shallow messages. Sure I can make this mess pretty, and someone might not realize that I didn’t put extra thought into the piece…but writers know. I know when I look at the piece again. My teachers know when they grade. I’ve gotten a lot of messages that are summed up as: this is good work, but needs more revision to connect and string through theme, or where exactly are you going here, and this is close to potential, but needs more thought. I always seem to come up a little short because I won’t go back and do the necessary re-writes and edits and final polishing and teasing out of a central theme and bringing that theme out through an entire project. I guess I am a lazy writer sometimes. I think I am also a bit vain at times. I do actually feel as if I’ve written a perfect draft after five hours of typing a paper (beginning-middle-end). There are many times that I don’t even go back over this rough, rushed draft…and to be honest it usually works out. However, once I got into upper level writing the chinks in my armor were exposed. I was specifically called out in my evaluations for lack of necessary revision. I still attacked my papers with the same attitude and as a result received the worst grade I ever have in an English or writing class. The kicker here is that my dad has the same problem…and I’m pretty critical of him for not revising like he should. He has published two books, and is about to release his third ( a sequel to the second book).  While I think that he is a good story teller, and I credit him highly for constructing a story that spans 300+ pages and connecting the dots, I think he could be so much more. I know for a fact that he has read literature from all over the world and from many different times. He knows what good writing is, does, feels like, and looks like. He is smart enough to produce writing that at least moves in that direction. And yet, after writing a book for nine months he gives it a two month break and then revises for about a week, maybe two. And bear in mind that he isn’t a professional writer so the actual revision that is happening isn’t two weeks of nonstop revision. The effort into the rough draft is completely imbalanced to the work that goes into the final, he also spends the revision time making the book cover! I’m not knocking my dad, but just pointing out my own problem on a larger scale…5 hours of writing to 5 minutes of revising is basically nothing. Moreover, it’s even worse on me because I know better and I know that it is my primary problem in writing, and yet I still don’t revise like I should. I’m working on it! One great thing about this capstone class is the high stakes which will require the revision or else risk embarrassment and failing grades.

My love for writing vs. Only writing for school

These two connect in the phrase “I guess I am a lazy writer sometimes.” I think writing is potentially the thing I can be best at. I play music and have good reviews by people who here me, but I don’t really like to brag because there are so many better musicians. I was okay at sports. Understanding high level writing at a young age, through reading, and then eventually starting to form complex metaphors and messages in my own writing made me feel gifted. That is the one area that I (at least used to) brag about. Of course there are countless writers out there that are better than I am, but I truly feel like someday I could have my name in a book with them. Maybe not, and who cares either way, but I think I’m good. Even with that confidence and passion though, I don’t really do a lot of writing outside of school assignments. I populate my free time with friends and video games, and an array of social events to the point that I don’t really give myself the free time necessary to write. This is a huge problem. On one hand I don’t feel too bad because I like my life and the people in it and the way I live (mostly). On the other I feel like  I could have written a book by now if I followed this passion and shut out the other stimuli. For this reason, I am very excited for the capstone project. I will actually be forced to apply myself to a writing venture of my choosing, that I am interested in, and that will require the work and level of thought to make it a high quality piece that I can be proud of. I am grading against my own expectations and ambition, not a rubric. I feel that the capstone project will help me to fix…or at least find a path through my writing deficiencies.

Pixar and the Spiral

I am thinking about the capstone project and what I can do. I have been leaning heavily towards an analysis of Inside Out alongside other Pixar movies. I want to analyze the movies and give a commentary about the way emotion and memory interact and play into growing up.

I have this idea of a spiral of interaction between emotion and memory. Think of it in terms of some significant event happens. At the time of this event the memory is formed, and along with it an emotional attachment to the memory. This is probably sounding a bit like Inside out, but bare with me. At another time, let’s say a week later, you think of the event again. This reflection looks back at the memory and the feeling, and inevitably it will be a small bit different, but maybe not too different at only a week. Now go a year later, and this event will be viewed much differently than it was before. Some parts of the memory might be gone, or changed, and the emotion surrounding it will likely be different as well. Now, five years, ten years later and so on, this even continues to transform and have new meaning and different impact. The spiral is a metaphor for the way the memories and emotions  change and build on each other to help define who you are as a person.

Now memory and emotion don’t define a person, but I think they say a lot about how a person sees themselves. Do you agree? What are other aspects that are relevant and should be considered for an idea like this?

I want to talk about this interaction of emotion and memory, and specifically I want to explore nostalgia. I also want to analyze the Pixar movies to find what they say about emotion and memory, and also about growing up. Finally it is my ultimate goal to weave the spiral, the analysis, and some personal experience into a cohesive story about growing up. More than just a story about growing up, I want to comment on how we learn about growing up, and how that impacts the way it happens.

If this sounds like a cool idea let me know! If you have any ideas for me to consider, or comments on what I’m doing let me know! Anything helps!



Three Lists

I thought I already started this post, but I am technologically challenged and still obviously do not know how to use this blog, so making a movie should be fun.

My three lists are as stated:


30% Philosophy

20% Psychology

30% Theatre and Drama

15% English

10% Communications


40% Screen Arts and Culture

10% Philosophy

10% Psychology

15% Theatre and Drama

What I need to further develop: In order for my remediation project to succeed, I need to make sure I am able to effectively get a message across or raise questions through my video. In order for this to be done I need to verse myself in audio and media skills, iMovie editing and script development.

Attention Workers and Activists Alike!





Next Wednesday, April 1st, from 6:30-8:30PM in 3512 Haven Hall a labor coalition composed of members of GEO (GSIs), LEO (profs), and undergraduate workers will ignite meaningful discourse on the current state of workers at this university in order to illuminate the plight of all low-wage workers throughout the country. Our hope is to get people talking. So, spread the word! Plenty of pizza will be provided. All, including those not affiliated with UM, are encouraged to attend!

Also, this April 15th, throughout the midwest, will be a day of mass action in an effort to pressure legislation that would raise the cripplingly low minimum wage to $15/hour–currently considered a “living wage,” i.e., the minimum income required to sustain oneself and one dependent–hence the date, 4/15 (for $15, in case you still don’t see it). On this day, massive protests are expected in Chicago and Detroit. In solidarity, we at UM would like to plan an action and our 4/1 event will serve as an organizing and recruiting venue for said action.

Again, spread the word and get involved! I hope to see y’all on April Fool’s day…

and that’s no joke.

I Am Here To Evolve (remediation)

Whenever I work on my re-purposing project and simply think about my remediation project, my enthusiasm shoots through the roof! ☺️ I am ready to challenge myself with my final re-purposing project and remediation project, and evolve into a more conscious and tech-savvy individual. I am most excited about all of the power and freedom that I have with, what I think of as, my work and my creation. I am the sole decider of my journey and ideas, and I am passionate and ready to create something great! (Despite how uneasy choosing the right path for my projects can be).




For my remediation project, I decided to challenge myself as much as I can and create a “mash-up” video. My mash-up video will include three different types of visuals: a recording of someone dancing the choreography for my spoken word piece (re-purposing project); videos/images of various Ferguson and Black Lives Matter protests; videos/images of different cultural allusions that I refer to in my spoken word. Ultimately, my finished project should look something like the collaboration of the two videos (models) below:

(This is the original spoken word that is the inspiration for my own spoken word piece.)

(I actually saw this performance, along with two other works from Trisha Brown, and it was such a compelling and engaging performance.)

I will not create two separate videos or one video that shows one of the three types of visuals entirely and then moves on to the next two types. That’s boring. Instead, I will choose which visual is most effective at expressing my words, ideas, or point, at different stanzas and even different phrases and words in my spoken word. I will also be using my spoken word as background music to narrate the video; however, following my commitment of challenging myself and creating the best representation for my ideas that I can imagine, I will re-record my spoken word over the sounds of a live and raw African drum performance, as oppose to the instrumental used in my re-purposing.

To sum up all of the words prior to this point, I am ready to inspire and challenge myself to collaborate with technology as my creative outlet and representation of the points stressed in my spoken word and the message I am delivering. I am here, and ready, to evolve.