Words of Wisdom

To the next group entering the gateway, here is some advice to help out along the way:

  1. Don’t wait until the last minute to complete assignments and projects if you can avoid it
  2. Be open to new ideas because even if it sounds crazy, it could turn out to be something you are really proud of.
  3. Even though it may seem scary to do things outside of your comfort zone, it is good to do so so that you get experience creating a diverse range of content.
  4. Uniqueness is key


Your Turn Now :)

The gateway to writing class has been a highlight of my semester. I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t always prepared for class. I didn’t always know what was going on. But the community of people that I found here and the freedom that this class gives you in the writing process are both incredible. I am so excited that you get to experience it now too. Here are my words of wisdom (take with a grain of salt):

Don’t be afraid to take risks. The concept of experimenting with one piece of writing over and over again might feel silly or scary or both. Use these experiments as an opportunity to try things you think are crazy, or far-fetched, or unexpected. We’re here to try things that are crazy or far-fetched or unexpected.

Get over any qualms you have about speaking, reading, and sharing your own work in class. I promise you, T will find a way for everyone to read. She will.

Make friends with your class. They’re the ones that will tell you write all your blog posts and write silly notes in your book at the end of the semester. They’re the ones that will give you the greatest ideas for revision, and the ones that you will go out of your way to take class with again next semester. Be able to call them friends by the end of class. It will make all the difference in the world.


Have fun 🙂

Reflecting on Experimenting

In my first two years as a dance major, I was required to take dance composition courses every semester. In the first semester of the course sequence, we learn that there are rules and tolls we can use when we’re making a dance:


changing the facing

playing with tempo


re-ordering the movement.

These changes are physical, and, as a result, tangible–it’s your own body that you’re editing. The experiments for Writing 220 have helped me realize significant change in myself and my voice in a not physical way. I’ve had to figure out some writing “rules and tools” for myself in a writing sense. They are not as tangible as they are in dance sometimes, but they are equally as important.

What I learned most from freshman composition and these experiments is that it’s okay to be a beginner again. It’s okay to not really know what’s going on or what’s due in class or what a good thing to say during workshop is. But it’s important to trust your creative voice and to follow where it leads. This is not to say that it’s perfect or brilliant or eloquent. But new growth begins in the absurd and unexpected. And a lot of work has to be bad before it’s good. Experimentation will always be part of the process.

Choosing My Final Project

Choosing my final project was a fairly simple process. While I loved all three experiments I did (genuinely so, I’m not just saying that), the first one that I did was the one that resonated with me the most. I chose to continue in the genre of the photo essay for my final project for a couple reasons:

  1. ) While I sometimes try to hide or minimize it, I am a dancer. I am constantly looking for other passions and identities so that dance is not the only major part of my life, but I am a dancer. Exploring dance from a different perspective, then, made the most sense and was the most intriguing to me.
  2. ) Because dance is a visual and physical art, it seemed most logical to capture it from that perspective. A photo essay would allow me to capture indescribable moments while also inserting my own voice.
  3. ) The first experiment I did was the most personal to me, and I believe that passion drives creation and creativity.

And so, my final project for the gateway course will be a photo essay exploring sustained trauma in dancers. It was definitely something I should have seen coming yet was still surprised by; I’m looking forward to be continually surprised in the process.

Your turn!!

This class has been such a highlight of my semester, and although there are parts that will inevitably challenge and frustrate you, there is so much more that will make you proud, excited, and passionate. Here are my tips for incoming gateway students taking this class!

  • Be excited. This is a class unlike any other (except maybe the capstone, from what I can tell) that allows you to use all the creative freedom you could eve want. Take advantage of that! Create experiments you wouldn’t otherwise create and write stories that might not belong in any other setting but this one. This is the place to do it.
  • Be passionate. In my opinion, writing is one of the ultimate ways not only to express your passion, but to appreciate it even more. Imagine what you would gain if you spent an entire semester writing about something you care about.
  • Be open. Share your work when your teacher asks for volunteers. Make a groupme with your classmates and use it to vent, to workshop, to ask questions. Appreciate the blessing that is all of your classmates and your instructor, because if you let them in, they will improve your writing beyond your wildest dreams.
  • Be persistent. The gateway class is a lot of work. There are multiple assignments for each experiment, and many more for the project. But don’t get lazy. Keep writing your assignments, your essays, and in your journal. That’s the only way you’re going to improve this semester, is if you keep going.
  • Be supportive. You are a vital resource in your classroom, whether you think of yourself that way or not. Read your classmates’ work, write letters that tell them what you love and how they might improve, and devote yourself to being open to helping them. This class will improve your writing, but it is also a community. Take advantage of that.

Most of all, enjoy the class! This is what you want to be doing and this is where you should be. Live it up!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!

happy bob's burgers GIFcredit: giphy

Introducing My E-Portfolio

When we first started this class my e-portfolio looked putrid. I had the completely wrong idea of what the e-portfolio was supposed to be and it was a mess. I had an array of pictures on the site that had nothing to do with writing. I treated my e-portfolio as if it was a personal “About-Me” website. There were pictures of donuts, photography, and random pictures of me from spring break and the site itself looked like a catastrophe. I had to figure out a way to fix it so I deleted my old site and started over from scratch. My new site is so much cleaner and has a lot more organization to it. I hope you enjoy it !


MiW #words #of #wisdom!

Welcome to the Minor in Writing! You are in for quite the ride, don’t worry I mean that in a fun way. Throughout this semester under the instruction of T in the gateway to the MiW, I have definitely grow as a writer. I have been exposed to genres of writing that I originally did not even think were genres—photoessays, songs, zines, children’s books, etc. I have met countless incredible writers and have written in my journal more than I have ever in my life. This semester may have been tough at times, but it was well worth the struggles. Here are a few tips and tricks to making your own gateway semester incredible!

  1. Try new things, go out of your creative comfort zone.
  2. Keep a journal, it’ll be fun to look back on one day and it helps you grow as a writer.
  3. Talk to your instructor about your life outside of class. Talk to them about your writing and new things you are reading.
  4. Get to know yourself and others through this class.
  5. Know your work will change and things won’t go as expected. It is all part of the fun!
  6. Talk to your classmates! Get to know them! Make a group chat to ask questions in.
  7. Enjoy yourself!