E-Portfolio Introduction

Coming in with an unlisted height, fifteen pounds, from the Internet… My E-PORTFOLIO!!

All jokes aside, after spending much of the semester working on the site itself, as well as the projects that it showcases, I am very excited to share my E-Portfolio with everyone in the MIW community. I chose for the E-Portfolio to be a formal setting, allowing potential employers and even professors to get to know me, through the about me tab, and also see the work that I completed in the minor in writing.

For those of you who aren’t as familiar with my work, I chose to use project II and III to see the motivations behind why other people wrote and created. It was very interesting to see the similarities and differences between creating essays, music, and even posting on social media.

If you are interested in viewing the specifics please check out the E-Portfolio. I have listed the link below.


Thanks to everyone who had a role in this E-Portfolio, from the people I interviewed to my class, who helped me workshop the site. I hope you all enjoy it!

To Spirit Animal or Not To Spirit Animal


As I trudged up the dorm stairs, I heard the voices of my friends. I excitedly picked up my pace, wanting to join in on the conversation. As I approached them, I heard one of my friends – probably one of the most outgoing – declare confidently the spirit animal of one of my other friends. I do not remember the specific assignment, but I remember being excited because if it had been so easy for her to assign the spirit animal of my other friend, then she should be able to assign mine as well. I joined into the conversation and asked my outgoing friend what she thought my spirit animal would be. She and my other friends who were gathered in a circle exchanged thoughtful glances. Which quickly turned into confused expressions. After a few seconds Addi turned to me and proclaimed that she did not know what I was. She said “maybe” a gazelle, but even that was “not quite right.”

At the time I was disappointed at the turn-out because I wanted a designation, an assignment. However, in retrospect, I think that the inability to assign me was perhaps for the best. It speaks to my personality and to the diversity of my being. I cannot be pinned down. I cannot be assigned. If anything, I should be grateful because it that I have the freedom to exude whichever side of me I please.


Boilerplate vs Cliche

A boilerplate is most often a piece of writing that is meant to try and convince the reader of something. It is vague and can be applied to many different situations. When looking for good examples of boilerplates on the internet I found this excerpt from an article promoting a chemical producer that reads:

“BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful.”

This brief excerpt is practically all examples of boilerplates. “World’s leading company”…”ranges from”…”reliable partner”…”virtually all industries to be more successful.” These are phrases that are seen in commercials, articles, newspapers, and all over the media to convince the consumer of a brand or product.

A cliche is different than a boilermaker. A cliche isn’t meant to convince you of anything necessarily, it is just a plain, overused phrase. I remember a few seasons ago my favorite football team, The New England Patriots were struggling to begin the season. They started 2-2 and their offense was nonexistent. The media was blowing this story up as the demise of the Patriots. Bill Belichick, the head coach of the Patriots took the podium that week for his press conference, and got asked heavy questions – and he proceeded to answer every question with – “We’re on to Cincinnati.” No matter what the media asked him he responded with the exact same phrase. He wasn’t trying to convince anyone of anything, everyone already knew the Cincinnati Bengals were the next team the Patriots had on their schedule, but he still used the phrase over and over again.

Exploring E-Portfolios

For the past few weeks, as we have been preparing to create our own individual e-portfolios, I have been having a hard time picturing my own e-portfolio. However, going through the portfolios from past Gateway students definitely helped because in taking the time to appreciate the details and features used in their sites gave me ideas of how I would like to format my own e-portfolio.

One of the first ones that really stood out to me – and one that we looked at in class – was Allison Raeck’s portfolio. When I first saw it in class, I remember wanting to return to her page because I liked how her homepage included a hand-drawn manifesto. Returning to it now made me also appreciate her uniform color scheme throughout, and the general layout of her site. I liked the navigation bar at the top of the page with drop-down options and I liked how she also included writing pieces from outside of the Gateway class: it makes her site look more professional and usable for resumes. Finally, I appreciated how her writing pieces were directly linked to her site’s page (rather than clicking on an image of it and having the piece blow-up in a different window). I found that this made her page more user-friendly and seamless.

The next portfolio that I took note of was that of Catherine Livingston. The first thing that I noticed and liked about her site was that her main page was not full of information (i.e. writing pieces from the class). Rather, it had a slideshow of photographs that could have been taken while she was traveling – which is fitting since she described herself as a writer and traveler. Below the slideshow she had a short blurb to introduce the idea of an e-portfoli and, like Allison’s site, she had a navigation bar at the top of the page that contained her writing pieces and information about herself. Overall, her site is very simple and professional and easy to navigate: two aspects that I want to incorporate.

Something I noticed about many of the e-portfolios was the presence of a central “theme” that related to the individual writer him/herself, or to the content of the writing displayed on the site. I definitely would like to somehow incorporate a central theme to my own site because I felt as though it added a continuity and centrality to the sites I looked at. I will also be keeping in mind that I should keep my site simple and clutter-free.

Success Is What You Make It

What is success? We use the word success so often in our daily life, yet when asked to define it, things can become complex.
I think it is fair to say that different people have different definitions of success. The poor boy growing up with few resources may define success as going to college. And a child that is more well off may be on a straight line to college the second he or she is born and has to do more than just get attend college to be “successful.”
But perhaps those examples are too much on the surface of what the word really means. I think what should be analyzed the most is if success is a word you can apply to yourself or if it needs to be awarded to you by others. Think about your own life, do you only think of yourself as “successful” when others give you credit for being so? Or do you think of yourself as “successful” when you achieve inner peace – when you are happy. In others words is success about your feelings, others feelings about you, or even how you feel about how other people feel about you?
The more I think about this word the more I lean towards the idea that, shouldn’t being happy be “success?” Isn’t the goal of life to find happiness? Yet I feel as a society we lean more towards viewing success based upon societal norms and others approval.
Am I wrong?

Postmodern Tweeter

As I walked into my Project III pitch meeting, I was pretty sure that I was going to write short stories in the postmodern genre. I hadn’t thought about anything else. But T voiced concerns about how much time I would put into that project, and given that I have other classes, it didn’t seem feasible to create a finished product.

Then the other member–shout outs to Kevin–in my group meeting suggested that instead of short stories, I write postmodern tweets.

So my Project III will be to create a Twitter page for a postmodern author. I will take observations and thoughts and transcribe them so that they fit into the postmodern genre, and then I will tweet them. I have yet to decide if I want to create a completely fictional author (with name and background story) or if I simply want to tweet “thoughts from a (general/theoretical) postmodern author.” I’m leaning towards the former, because postmodernism relies on the author creating a fictional author to write their fiction.

My first step will be to create an author that I want to write from the perspective of. Then, I’ll need to do research on Twitter, because I know that there are authors out there who have created Twitters for characters and written stories with 140 characters at a time at their disposal. I’ll want to see how they use the platform.

Then, I’ll need to start drafting tweets, because I think the first few will be difficult for me to create. I’ll need to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

Three Remediation Possibilities

As I have begun to think about the possible remediation forms my paper could take my mind quickly jumped to a blog setting with images and quotes intertwined in the blog. Most paragraphs would be split up with a relevant piece of media. I think this fits the style of writing I am trying to create. I could bring in quotes from Lennon and McCartney and images of what is literally happening in the song, and what I am trying to portray.

Another possibility I could see my essay turning into is being posted on a song review/critique website. I know there are many sites that discuss specific songs and their meaning, and what they make of these songs. This seems like a perfect place for me to share my personal thoughts and connections to “A Day In The Life.”

My third is idea is having my paper be turned into a magazine article. I am picturing more of a Rolling Stone piece that touches on old music and brings it back to life. Most people, especially my age, probably haven’t thought about a Beatle song in this much detail, so I think it would be an interesting experience for a reader to have.



My Internet Experience

After tracking my history on the World Wide Web for this extended weekend, I’ve noticed just how little of the Internet I utilize. For all intents and purposes the web is unlimited. There are an infinite number of pages to visit, articles to read, games to play, and things to learn. Despite this, I find myself mainly going back and forth between Facebook, ESPN, Canvas, and whatever TV show I decide to watch.

Of course there are times where I am fascinated by a link, which leads to another webpage, and another one, but this happens just on occasion, and not necessarily on purpose. I never set my mind on just “exploring the web.”

As I write this blog, I wonder why exactly I don’t travel all over the web more often. Don’t get me wrong, I am 20 years old and well equipped with technology, and certainly use it to my advantage, but at the same time, it feels as if no matter how much one surfs the web, missing an infinite amount of content is inevitable.

I am not trying to get to philosophical, but when it is really analyzed, have humans created something in the internet that we can’t even control? Think about it, different people have mastered most aspects of life, but no one has the time or the capability to take advantage of everything the Internet has to offer.

Sure there are people who make much more use of the Internet than myself, but its safe to say nobody sees it all.

How to Write A Joel Stein Column

Cute tagline.

Tell a story about yourself. Follow with a random experience or encounter that will make the reader wonder, “Am I still reading TIME?” Try to tell a joke. Fail to tell a joke. Quirky transition. Manage to be both self-deprecating and haughtily superior. Call in the “experts”. This is a good time to remind readers that you know the “experts”. The experts are celebrities. You’re cool now.

State an opinion. This is the only opinion. Attempt at a one-liner. More opinion. Thinly veiled pining for the days of your youth. Attempt to conceal this with disdain for the youth. “My [lovely] wife [Cassandra]”. Another try at a joke. End with a one-liner that is meant to be both funny and resonate with readers.

Sit back.

You’ve done your best.

Why Don’t Teenagers Slow Dance Anymore – Joel Stein

http://petecaro.wix.com/portfolio15 : That’s Explicit

As much as I’ve come to love reflective writing this past semester, it is more than music to my ears that this will be the last of it for the term.  Almost all of my projects have involved reflective writing and yes, I’ve enjoyed it but I can not wait to be able to learn through other writing means during the next semester!

Anyways, I am here to talk about my ePortfolio.  This piece was in fact a roller coaster in itself.  I had the awesome chance to express my more creative and design driven talents within a medium that I had never explored before.  Wix makes building a website look super easy.  And it is!! But filling it with content is a whole other ballgame in a whole new ballpark.

So I faced a couple of rather significant challenges within the ePortfolio project.  The first was the complexities of format.  I was constantly thinking about how someone would go about using my website and what path they would take from point A to point B without me explicitly saying to travel in that path (which I did resort to on a few occasions).

My next challenge was working within the limitations of the PDF file reader.  I worked through a number of different platforms to find a way to display my 50 to 70 page long PDF files until I finally came across one that actually worked.  It was named Issuu and this is the platform you will find on my site for all of my large file projects and design portfolio.

Besides these two hardships, I struggled with the passing of time.  It seemed like I could sit in front of my laptop for an entire day just playing and dabbling with this site and never even realize that an amount of time had passed by.  Of all of the projects, I most enjoyed putting together the ePortfolio because I love to conduct presentation and work with orientation of information.  I found the task and assignment particularly relaxing; yes, I said it, the ePortfolio was stress relieving for me to create.  It takes a lot of work and time, but it is such a rewarding piece to carry with me where ever I need it in these next few years.

My portfolio isn’t particularly formal.  In fact, it’s almost quite the opposite.  But being formal in a project like this isn’t really like me to do.  I wanted my personality to bleed through the pages of my site and through adding almost only my own photography to the site helped me to achieve that.  For me, every page had written meaning as well as visual meaning.  The pictures are just pictures and help to give a bit of context for my argument, but for me, the pictures are almost as reflective as the work I had put on each page.

I am really proud of what I’ve made here, though.  I feel as though everything has sort of come together right at the end.  The body of work is representative of something that is larger than myself and that is something that not everyone gets the chance to say during their time in classes at college.

Overall, I am really excited for the end of things in this class.  I feel like I’ve grown tremendously as a writer and as a person and peer.  I also sort of feel that I’ve learned all that I can learn this semester and that it is time for a new term to come.  I am excited to start fresh but like always, saying goodbye to the old is hard.

Ta-ta for now Minor in Writing.  It’s been a pleasure.http://petecaro.wix.com/portfolio15  We will meet again for the capstone course.  Until then,

Caroline C.A. Petersen