Workshop Reflection

From as long as I can remember, I had only ever done one workshop in my college career. I always hated to show my peers my writing until it was finished and I was happy with what I had done. However, I have loved doing workshops this semester. It was scary at first having to show one of our piece of writing to everyone or commenting in someone else’s writing. However, I think that everyone in our class was always not only respectful but most importantly really helpful. Everyone’s comments were always specific with an idea to make the paper stronger and/or showing the author one part of the paper that was really strong and interesting to guide him or her into the right direction for revisions. The more we did workshops as a class and as a group, the more I was happy to show my work and get feedback and the better I got at giving stronger feedbacks to my peers. It also helped me when writing and revising my work.

Each and every one of us has a different way of writing and therefore we each find specific issues in each other work that we think can be improved and can give multiple ideas into how to improve a paper. I also think that we got to know each other style of writing better throughout the semester and therefore were able to give constructive feedback that the author could use while maintaining their own style of writing. Workshops for Project III were a lot of fun and I cannot wait to see all of our projects because they are so interesting and different that it makes it really nice to learn about it and listen, read or watch it.

An attempt at giving advice…

Hello friends and future Minors in Writing!

I can’t believe the semester is coming to a close and the gateway course will soon be over. Honestly this has been one of my top three favorite courses I have taken here, and I will forever cherish the skills I have acquired and the friends I have made. (I know this sounds sappy, but you’ll see what I mean after a semester in the gateway…)

I feel odd giving advice since I am still a student, and I feel like the more I learn, the more I realize that there is STILL SO MUCH to learn, however, here are a few thoughts to help guide you so that you can have the best experience possible.

  1. Don’t forget about that e-Portfolio! A few of my cohorts may have mentioned this already, but I will repeat it anyway because it is so important! Figure out early on whether you feel most comfortable with either Weebly, WordPress, or Wix. (I learned this the hard way and had to switch over to a different site at the last minute…) Once you find your happy place, keep personalizing it in your spare time. This is actually super fun once you find a site that works best for you and allows you to be creative.
  2. Get started on projects as early as possible, or at least begin brainstorming and planning. This applies to pretty much every course project ever in the history of college assignments, but again, it is so important, so here I am stating it again.
  3. Volunteer for workshop! Be bold and share your work! Don’t be afraid to receive feedback–your cohorts are super friendly and are there to support you.
  4. Take this opportunity to experiment with your writing, and even tackle projects that you have been considering for a while. This is what I did, and I am excited to continue my Project 3 into the future. (check out the link to it on my ePortfolio!!)
  5. Have fun journaling. I have to admit that I never enjoyed journaling until I took this class and our fabulous teacher T. Hetzel 🙂 encouraged us to write for 5 minutes here and there–even while riding the bus! She provided some of the most thought-provoking topics imaginable for us to ponder–I will never forget the Tea Cup Pigs!
  6. Listen up during journal readings! I can’t express how much I learned just from listening to my cohorts read their journals out loud. It seriously was so extraordinary and inspirational, which also brings me to my next point…
  7. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the brilliant and creative minds surrounding you. You, too, have something important to say. Believe me, because it’s true.




I wanted to buy this bear, but then I saw the price tag…

Advice to Future Gateway Students – Elise Vocke

Dear Future MiW Students,

Congrats! You are taking the first step, embarking on an incredible journey. I had a great feeling about the class even on the first day. However, if you did not have the same first impression, stick with it. I have learned a lot about myself and my classmates. In order for you to enjoy your first experience with the Sweetland minor, I compiled a list of suggestions below.

  1. Get close with your classmates.

This is a huge part of why I had such a lovely experience in Writing 220. The people made me excited to go to class everyday. If you see a Writing 220 classmate outside of the classroom, say hi. I have had many days bumping into MiW students outside of class and we both smiled, said hi, and caught up for a bit. It’s amazing how much a simple smile can brighten someone’s day. My classmates were so friendly and kind. By the end of the semester we all knew each other’s personalities really well. Also make a GroupMe for the class. This is extremely helpful, especially when there are questions about assignments or someone wants help editing a paper. People are very willing to edit papers outside of class for their peers. Take the time to ask someone to edit yours or for you to edit someone else’s.

2. Discover more about yourself.

I really learned a lot about myself through writing exercises in this course. Don’t be afraid to delve into your inner-self. It’s a really cool feeling. I remember, in one of my first Writing 220 assignments, learning about what inspired me to pursue my passion. I had no idea that one of my childhood toys had such a dramatic influence on me until I started writing about it. Really take the opportunity to learn more about yourself in this class. You won’t regret it.

3. Don’t be afraid of peer review.

Receiving feedback from 15 different students is extremely helpful when editing a paper. The way peer review is designed in Writing 220 is that you are able to ask questions to your peers and get them answered. Also you get to hear positives and suggestions. I am so happy I volunteered to have one of my projects looked at by the class. It gave me many new ideas for my project.

4. Write multiple drafts.

Do not let the fact that you spent a lot of time on a draft hold you back from starting over or drastically changing your path to the final product. I ended up completely re-doing one of my projects and am so happy I did. I knew something was missing before and I would not have been proud of my work turning it in had I not re-started the project. There is no shame in starting over. Do not hand in something you are not proud of. Take the time to make it a piece you feel pride in and are excited to share with others.


Lastly, I am happy to read through drafts and offer feedback for future Writing 220 students. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions, concerns, want advice, or want another pair of eyes to look over a paper.


Best of luck! The semester flies by. Try to enjoy every moment!




Writing Manifesto-Elise Vocke

Manifesto-By Elise Vocke:

Although it may seem frustrating at times, writing is fun. Enjoy it.

It’s a way for humans to express themselves. Let out your deepest fears.

Talk about what’s on your mind. There is no “correct” formula.

No right and wrong.

YOU make the rules. YOU take control.

Do not let anyone else tell you your writing isn’t good enough.

Don’t be opposed to feedback either though. Be open to it. Ponder it.

Sometimes it’s ok not to know the end result when you begin writing.

Just write.

Let it all come out.

It’s ok to completely abandon a draft and start fresh.

Do not let past drafts hold you back from creating something even more beautiful.

Believe in yourself.

You can do this.

Writing Manifesto

Use your voice.

Embrace your flaws – they make excellent material & give readers a laugh.

Be bold and try new styles. Don’t be afraid to mess it up, crinkle it into a ball, and throw it violently into the garbage.

Writing is cathartic. Writing is frustrating. Writing is whatever the hell you want it to be.

(Don’t listen to me – I know literally nothing)

Everyone’s voice is unique. Go find yours.

Advice to Gateway Students or Flick Sucks at Titles

This feels weird. I am a mere child who never feels like they are in a position to give advice, but here goes.

Speak up. I am queen of not participating in class (because I’m terrified of talking in front of people/being looked at, not because I’m a slacker, ugh). I was blessed with the most welcoming and accepting cohort who not only made me feel comfortable talking, but dealt with how annoying I am once I’m comfortable around people. Seriously, props to all of them. There’s a wonderful sense of community, and these people are here to help you both during your time in writing 220 and in your future endeavors. Embrace the people you’re with. On that note, be real friends!!! We made a class groupme, so now I can just bother them all whenever I want. Contact your classmates and ask them to read over your paper or bounce ideas off of them. Utilize each other.

Don’t try to plan your endings. I mean it. Don’t bother. Your papers are never going to turn out like you planned. It’s not worth it to try and shape something before you’ve written it, because it’s going to be turned on its head and shaken violently before being thrown out sideways as your final product. Safe yourself the energy and go into projects with an open mind. It’s way more interesting that way. Surprise yourself.

Harass your teacher! I don’t know where I would be without T’s help. I’m not joking, I think I sent her 7 emails in one day once. Oops!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t be like me. T probably wants to block my email address and is lucky she only has to deal with me in class twice a week, BUT your teacher has lots of knowledge and is going to be a great resource for when you get stuck on projects, or when you just need to voice your ideas to someone.

I am bad at advice so maybe don’t listen to me but also maybe do listen to me. Up to you!!!! See if I care. (I do)(Good luck)(Go blue)(bye). Ok I’ll shut up now bye!!!!!!!!!