: 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.  We will meet again for the capstone course.  Until then,

Caroline C.A. Petersen

Shameless plug

So yeah, turns out that my previous blog post was not the last one.


The last blog post for my introduction to the minor in writing class involves me talking about my electronic portfolio, an online database of sorts that holds all of my writing from this class and more.

So, basically a shameless plug of sorts.

Honestly though I’ve really liked the eportfolio I have created, especially the design. My main goal for this portfolio was to make it aesthetically pleasing to the viewer as possible, a feat I think I successfully accomplished. However, I didn’t want to make the art too distracting, to detract from the written material explaining my projects and whatnot. So, I decided to utilize a minimalist style of artwork, where the images are not too colorful or zany yet still hold a powerful presence on the page. I would say that this is what I am most happy about regarding my eportfolio.

As for what I still want to work on, there is not much I want to or have a desire to revise per say. While what I wrote in the eportfolio could always be edited, there is not much else I would want to work on regarding my creation. The process of creating this eportfolio was one full of highs and lows. The biggest challenge I would say was finding the images I wanted to use for each section of the eportfolio. Ideally, the image would be white so I don’t have to edit the text much (editing the text background made the design pretty unappealing) but at the same time appealing for the viewer. This specific requirement made it hard to find images that I would personally want to utilize in my eportfolio, especially since I have a distinct and unique taste.

I believe I successfully achieved my purpose in presenting myself as a writer with this eportfolio. As a writer, I wanted to have the viewer truly understand what I, the writer, am like. This includes my serious and somber moments, my sense of humor, and what I enjoy. I believe that this eportfolio was able to successfully encapsulate all of this and more. I don’t have anything else to say other than I hope you enjoy looking through this final project of my writing 220 class!


That’s all, folks!

I am super happy with my completed eportfolio. I hope that you all enjoy it, and I really thank everyone in the MiW 2015 cohort as well as the fabulous Professor Naomi Silver for all of your encouragement, feedback, and support. I have never produced a website before and I am so glad I got the opportunity to do so this semester. It was definitely challenging and stressful but in the end, all of my hard work totally paid off.

If I had more time to continue working on my eportfolio I would probably continue to add to my “music” section which is completely irrelevant to the coursework of Writing 220 but I feel adds a lot of personality and expression to my site. I would also work on a different way of embedding my repurposing project and “Why I Write” rather than just inputting it as a text box, if that makes sense. I also want to add some sort of blog aspect to keep my website current and ever-changing.

Going into this website, I wanted it to be 100% professional. However, I think ultimately I came up with a balance between professionalism and expression. By linking my resume to the site and dedicating an entire page to academic projects I have produced while at U of M, this site is super useful for job applications and interviews. At the same time, by adding lots of photos of my family and experiences as well as a section dedicated to my passion for music, I feel viewers can get a sense of who I am as more than a prospective employee but as a person.

Overall, this was an amazing experience and I cannot wait to continue learning more about myself as a writer and person throughout the minor in writing program. Enjoy my portfolio!



Blog 13: Resurrected From the Dead

I’m back beeeetches!! You know you love me. XOXO, Gossip Girl. Sorry if you weren’t an annoying 13 year old girl obsessing over Nate Archibald and wishing you were Serena Van Der Woodsen for a good portion of your early teenage years like I shamefully was, but if you were you’ll get that reference, and if you weren’t, again, I apologize. Can’t you tell from my blog posts how much I hate pop culture? (Sarcasm). Anyway, I’m back because I awkwardly thought the last blog post was the last of the last, but it turns out I have one final chance to spew my thoughts and hope maybe someone finds me somewhat entertaining/insightful, so here goes nothing.

My ePortfolio looks like my personality threw up all over it. (Check it out my puked personality—> here.) I just made that sound super disgusting for no reason, but it’s true. It’s honestly comical that I went into the creating the ePortfolio with the intention if somewhat keeping my personality out of it, but somehow my personality literally catapulted itself onto every single page of that ePortfolio. Look, I’m not unhappy it happened, but I definitely didn’t strive to have my personality come through as much as it did, although it definitely gives you a sense of who I am. While the personality adds something to it, I was originally a little afraid that it may come off as unprofessional, but I don’t think that’s entirely the case. It’s pretty vibrant, but I think it’s also clean and it lays out all of my work within the course and beyond. I could always toy with making it a bit more subdued when I attempt to use it for purposes beyond this course.

I think the hardest part of this was the necessary reflection pieces. I felt like we had spent so long dissecting each of these projects over the term, and I was hesitant to go back again and reflect on what I had done. However, once I started writing, this task proved to be much less daunting. In fact, it turned out to be pretty simple. Since we had taken so much time on each of these projects, it was fairly easy for me to reflect on all the work and effort I had put into each piece, and it wasn’t as tedious as I had originally presumed it would be.

Well, that about does it. I can’t believe this class is over, and I’m just realizing how much I’m for sure going to miss it next semester. Like they always say, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone- and with this class making it’s way from my active drawer on Canvas into the archived section (note I said Canvas, not CTools- can’t wait to see how that switch goes for all the courses next semester), I’m starting to get a sense that I’ll soon know this course was really something when it’s no longer here.


Final Blog Post…already????

I can’t believe this is the last blog post I’ll write for the Gateway Course. It feels like yesterday that I was looking through previous ePortfolios and taking notes on the things I wanted to include in my own. It’s actually pretty funny to look back at the notes, because the things I wanted to include like “add in humor” or “keep it simple” ended up making it into my ePortfolio.

Overall, I’m really happy with how my ePortfolio turned out. I was able to balance making it a personal space while keeping it professional and clean just in case I decide on showing it to future employers. While I was creating it, I wanted to make sure that all images and text were in black and white, and I’m thrilled with how this theme turned out. Though I was a little nervous about being the only student in my class using Squarespace, I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s a site that I’ve had previous exposure to, so I knew I could play around with it and make my ePortfolio something I was extremely proud of and that fit my personality.

I also discovered a lot about my interests when I was crafting my ePortfolio. For example, I have a real passion for design. I like experimenting with how things look on the web and what they communicate about their creator. It’s made me start to consider doing more with website design, not only for the current company I work for but also in future endeavors both in and out of school.

My favorite part about my ePortfolio right now is my welcome page. I was feeling particularly inspired the day I took the photo on the opening page (it’s of my desk here at school!) and I love the way it turned out. It’s representative of my personality and my interests, and I think it’s an aesthetically pleasing way of welcoming my audience!

my desk

Finally, the best part about my ePortfolio is that nothing is set in stone. I can constantly tweak, delete, and add in things that I write or photos that I take. The ability to change things is definitely an affordance of having an ePortfolio, and it’s something I know I will take advantage of as my opinions and thoughts change about the topics I’ve written about.

While I haven’t decided if I’m going to link to my ePortfolio in my resume or share it with future employers, I know it’s something I am going to share with my current boss, my parents, and my friends. Like I mentioned in my “why I write”, I often have difficulty articulating my emotions, interests, and thoughts. Now, I have my ePortfolio to do all of the talking and that’s a really comforting thing for me to be able to use.

Thank you to everyone for such a great semester, especially my past and present blog group members. You guys are writing geniuses and I can’t imagine what my projects would be without you all!

adele thumbs up

ePortfolio! The end…

I remember previewing various ePortfolio’s at the beginning of the semester, and feeling slightly intimidated by the amount of writing they seemed to contain. I remember feeling stressed, too, at the mere thought of having to create one of my own in just four short months. But as I add the final touches to my ePortfolio, I am finally realizing that I have indeed completed all four major projects, and I have made dramatic improvements as a writer along the way. This semester has flown by faster than ever before and I am amazed at the quality projects I have been able to complete.

As for the ePortfolio in particular, I am most satisfied with the general layout of the site, including the format of each individual page as well as the organization of the portfolio as a whole. Simplicity was my main focus during the construction of the ePortfolio, and I believe this focus is clearly reflected in my final product. I am also very happy with the three major projects my portfolio displays. I feel as though all three projects were created in accordance with my overall goals for the minor, and clearly reflect my passion for medicine, too. But with that said, there is still a fair amount of work to be done on my portfolio, most of which revolves around the writing reflections.

The overall process of creating the portfolio was more extensive than I initially imagined. My goal for the portfolio was to create a very user-friendly showcase to display a wide array of my writing. I therefore considered the placement of each aspect of the site, and included numerous direct links from one page of the portfolio to another in order to achieve maximum ease of use for viewers. This careful consideration perhaps lengthened the process, but was well worth the effort in the end. While my ePortfolio is not yet complete, you can view my project as it currently stands right HERE.

I still cannot believe the semester has already come and gone, but I look forward taking more writing classes for the minor in the coming semesters.

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My eportfolio is in its final stages! I am happy how it turned out. I have made a site like this before that I would describe as bare. It did not really express my interests or who I was. I feel like I had a bit more freedom with this site and I was able to express what I really wanted people to know about me. Aesthetically, I like the idea of large images taking up the screen versus text overload. Kind of like a gallery, very visual to convey the message and image I wanted. I am also pleased with my minimalist approach. I like clean lines and simple font that is consistent, so I think that I executed that rather well, when I could have gotten carried away with all of the fun colors and layouts!
Something that I am still trying to work on is the reflective comments. I am trying to find the happy medium between enough explanation and not giving too much away about the project. I think that I need to be less vague and go into a little more detail as to why I made the decisions I did and what challenges I faced when making changes.
Throughout the process I was very contentious of the fact that I was creating a platform for people to judge me. I know that the portfolio’s point is to showcase who I am as a person and writer, but I was very aware of the idea that other people would really be able to see me. With that being said, I think I was able to accentuate the aspects of my life that I really wanted people to know about. Three of the things I really love are sports, traveling, and writing. I think I was able to convey those aspects of my life well in this portfolio. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!
Click here to check it out!

xoxo, Catherine


I have been on this campus for three semesters now. I’m not even halfway finished with college. I’ll admit that I am still naïve to this whole college thing—honestly, I think we all are. Despite my naivety, I’ve come to a realization. With each new semester come new mistakes, discoveries, and lessons. Each season I spend at this school, I find out something new, not only about The University of Michigan and its people, but also about myself. I feel the impressions Michigan has molded onto me. This semester I learned how to be a part of a close-knit academic community. As a freshman, I drowned behind a tiny desk in a sea of students during large lectures. I was silenced by my inexperience and anxiety. But this semester I learned what it takes to be a student—which doesn’t mean I’m good at it. I didn’t necessarily succeed in being a good student, I just now know what it takes to be one. This isn’t some definitive life mantra, but I’ve learned that to be good a good student—to be good at anything—you need to be proactive, you need to reach out to people and you need to work your ass off. This gateway course has been an invaluable learning experience and I truly appreciate being able to meet all of my brilliant cohorts and the brilliant T. Best of luck to everyone in everything you do. Here is my ePortfolio, the electronic manifestation of this semester and hopefully the semesters to come.




Catherine's ePortfolio

Farewell student, Hello Writer!

It is crazy that we have come to the end of fall 2014 cohort’s gateway course. I am amazed at how much work we have done over the semester and how much I can say I have learned. After only 3 months I now know how to use:
-Adobe Illustrator
-Wix website to create my own eportfolio

And all of this I learned from a writing course. Crazy how much I got from a writing course that was not writing. LOL!  I gained the tools necessary to find creative ways to publish my works when I could have never imagined my work existing past a word document. Thank you to my classmates and my fabulous teacher and the professors in the minor. This has been a great semester that I can walk away from proud of my accomplishments!

I am no longer a student neither are my classmates. We are writers now with the skills to find and create mediums to publish our work. We have a voice no one can silence. So lets go out and make noise!



Here is the link to my eportfolio. Enjoy!

Getting Nostalgic

Here it is, the final blog post.

I can’t believe how fast this semester flew by and how much we all have grown through this class. Fall 2014 cohort, or at least T’s class, we have all become such a close community and I loved that so much about our class. We all have learned a lot from each other and I look forward to working with all of you in other Writing courses.

As for my E-Portfolio, it’s finally ready for the public to see. I hope you will all take a look around as it has come a long way since the in-class presentation.

T- Thanks for always being so wonderfully helpful and pleasant to work with. I am truly going to miss this class and having your encouragement but I hope to also continue to work with you as I progress through the minor.

Farewell Writing 220. As I love to say, “It’s been real.”

Here is the link to my portfolio with an image of my homepage:

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