Programmering a #techchallenge

So I started my E-portfolio journey with a very specific idea in mind. Because of this deep conviction in a simple idea, I was totally convinced that I had to program a website myself, because this was the only way to accomplish what I wanted.

This was my basic idea:



I wanted to have five or six circles in a circle that included images of food, appetizers, salad, dessert etc. I then wanted the mouseovers to say the word of what the image is depicting. This really simplistic idea, for some reason, I believed was unachievable so I endeavored on this long and arduous tech challenge of programming.

Now, I often use the term programmering to communicate how little I understand the act of interacting with a computer. I just wanted to clear that up in case there was any misunderstanding…

Anyway, I started this tech challenge just casually browsing the web and learning about the differences between html, html5, and css. Then I looked into what programs are the easiest to use to help you work toward this programmering goal. Many sites said that Adobe Dreamweaver is a good choice, and then there is also the free Google Web Designer. In case any of you are looking into doing this too, I definitely recommend Dreamweaver. Though it isn’t free, we have access to it through the U and the ease of use through previewing while you create your formatting is extremely useful.

I then started watching web tutorials on very easy formatting goals like including images and how to even create mouseovers. This is all very simple and, as I’ve learned, writing in html/css/whatever isn’t actually writing in a programmering language but using programming to format your website. It may look like a different language to a lot of people but it really isn’t; you’re just telling the application how and where to place your items. Real programmering looks like jibber jabber, and I’ll leave that to the professionals.

So after searching long and hard, and practicing with the help of a friend, I created this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 11.46.45 PM


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So, I think we can all agree that it’s cute, but considering the hard work that I put into this, I was really upset with the end result. It was going to take a lot more time and energy than I can commit to it, and I’m honestly just really happy with the fact that I now know how to do this whole programmering thing. This is why I’ve decided that I’ll probably end up using a program like wix/weebly/etc to just add the pretty and professional things that I want to come through while I am communicating my writing.

So, not a complete waste, but a little sad none the less.

Eportfolio Reflections

Can anybody out there give me a definition for the word “writer”?

Because after looking at everybody’s eportfolio storyboards in class I lost all predetermined labels attached to the word.

Although I have read very few pieces from my classmates, their storyboards gave me excellent insight into which style of writing each person prefers. From very professionally laid out websites to less formal, blog setups, each eportfolio contained a quality that reflected its creator.


My eportfolio, titled “Life’s a beach. Bitch, I meant bitch.” is an adequate reflection of my style of writing. I am a very professional individual and plan to include PDFs of my resume, cover letter, and my biography authorized by J.K. Rowling. I know that my eportfolio will land me a job at a top tier company, such as Goldman Sachs or Blimpy Burger.

Because my last name is Schell (pronounced shell), the metaphor comparing my writing and myself to a beach is nothing short of perfection. From the sun to the boats to the waves, peaceful is exactly how I would describe my college lifestyle (sooooooo much time to frolic).

My eportfolio will be a great representation of my life, in general. Everyday, I discover that each moment goes exactly as planned. I have never accidentally fallen out of my lofted bed or almost burnt down Mosher Jordan because I forgot how to make Easy Mac in a microwave oven. I never even had an awkward stage in middle school.

When I was young, the word “writer” made me think of a philosopher (think Plato) artistically scribbling notes onto fresh parchment. Last week, my brain automatically associated the word with Dan Humphrey from the show, Gossip Girl. Now, “writer” does not have any specific association thanks to my classmates, who have redefined it in so many ways with their different styles of writing and unique personalities.


Make sure to check out my eportfolio when it’s published (still waiting on the biography from J.K.)!

photoP.S. – Do I make this my new profpic? #womancrushwednesday?

E-Portfolio Struggles

In beginning to think about my eportfolio, its design, its purpose, its audience, and everything related to this project, I am struggling. At first, I wanted to create an eportfolio that was centered on the idea of telling a story about my life. I planned to find a theme on WordPress that looked almost like a journal or even a notebook or looseleaf paper. I wanted to use my pieces about my childhood and how my passion for writing emerged at a very young age to tell a chronological story about my life and my identity as a writer. The more I surfed around on WordPress, and thought about this project, the more difficult I realized this wold be. Although my “Why I Write” essay is centered on a more chronological-based story of my life as a developing writer, my other pieces for this class are completely unrelated (they actually have to do with salsa, the food!). How was I going to tell a story about myself and my life as a writer through just one piece?

I then considered completely shifting the focus of my eportfolio, and giving it a more professional look. I realized I could use this portfolio as a basis for when I graduate college, and could keep adding my writing pieces to it to ultimately show to employers. This would be a good use of my time in the minor, wouldn’t it? After speaking with a friend in the minor who has completed the gateway course, however, she reassured me that her portfolio was not professionally-based. She said hers was personal, which made the assignment special and meaningful for her. She told me that creating a professional portfolio did not fit her writing pieces, as they were more so creative, which is how I feel about my pieces as well.

This then gave me the confidence to reconsider all of my options. I think I might scratch the “notebook/journal/story” idea, and try to find a happy-medium. I may choose a more general idea to center my portfolio on, such as my passion for writing on the whole, and title my portfolio “A girl with a passion” (or something along those lines). I have come to the conclusion that I definitely want to express my personal side through my blog. I guess I will worry about the professional aspect of my portfolio later in life!


E-Portfolio on the Brain

In light of recent discussions of our e-portfolio assignment, I’ve been battling myself in which direction I want to take with my e-portfolio.

As the culmination of my first semester in the Writing Minor, my e-portfolio should represent all I have learned and been inspired by. However, I have all of the ideas and vision in my mind, but bringing that into actuality seems to be the hurdle. Trying to create an aesthetically pleasing magazine article for my Repurposing Project has been trouble enough. So while I want to make an amazing website, with tricks and widgets that will blow my audience’s mind…I’m not so sure I have the option.

But maybe there’s a middle ground? Platforming my writing as the main focus, but spending the time to include interesting themes and options that are a little bit more out there. I definitely want to stray away from the normal listing of text. I guess I’ll have to find a web guru…or become one myself.

Guidelines for ePortfolios

 1. Use a layout

I recently tried to build my ePortfolio without a premade layout. It turned out looking like an e-invitation to Elmo’s 6th birthday party. Layouts give you options for color schemes and design and will look way more put together than a personal creation (which may get confused for the work of a five year old).

2. Simple is better

With that beings said, I have noticed that layouts do not always turn out perfect. Make sure to use minimal colors and stick to one type of font.

3. Have a relevant theme

It’s really cool if your favorite thing to do is make macaroni and cheese. But don’t use that as your cover photo for your blog. Make sure that your theme makes sense and benefits your work.

4. Have legitimate stuff to put on your blog

The most important piece of your ePortfolio is the work you are showcasing – make sure that it is the best it can possibly be!


and most importantly,


 5. Avoid Comic Sans MS

If you have a choice to pet a grizzly bear or use Comic Sans MS on your ePortfolio, pet the grizzly bear. Nothing screams “I have the brain of a fifth grader” like using Comic Sans 14 pt. font in a neon color.

EPortfolios vs. Reality

I’m sure that we’re all thinking the same things:

  • “This portfolio thing is awesome!”
  • “What have I gotten myself into?”
  • “I think I’m going to make an EPortfolio with a talking Dinosaur and an interactive game type thing, with a simplistic theme, that also captures the reader, and then the dinosaur will grab them in 3D….”

I’m pretty sure this project will be just like every other new and interesting thing I get myself into. I’m totally psyched to jump into it and I have all sorts of crazy good (and terrible) ideas that I want to implement. I can see the perfect EPortfolio in my head. Like something out of a fantasy. But that’s just it… it’ll probably always live in this little fantasy world inside my head.

I’m not saying we’re not going to make awesome things with really great layouts and themes and media and final re-mediation projects. We definitely are. I totally believe that our cohort will do great things. I’m just saying I always set my expectations way too high and end up with something I feel is mediocre compared to the final project living on a silver platter on Cloud 9.

Oh well, we’ll just see I suppose.