A second introduction

Hello again.

My name is Jason Rubinstein and I am now in my last semester here. It’s crazy how fast it all went. Anyways, to give a refresher: I grew up in Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb 30 minutes north of Chicago. It’s also next to Highland Park, which everyone seems to know at this school. I don’t know why. I write hockey for The Michigan Daily, and also edited sports for 2.5 years. However, that ended last semester and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all this new free time.

Anyways, as you could probably deduce, the largest writing community I am apart of is the sports journalism world. I probably spent 30 hours a week in every semester of college in that community whether that be physically writing, editing, interviewing or even just watching the sporting event. What I loved about journalism is how the writing is so concise, quick and calculated. I loved getting to piece together the sporting event in the way that I think makes sense. Deadlines also make for significant pressure while reporting, but deadline writing is the best type of writing. I think the best writing comes when you’re under a strict deadline.

However, journalism also allows you to write features, like this one I wrote on JT Compher on the hockey team. Writing this allowed me to develop a character in a non-fictional way that I loved.

Aside from the journalism community, I recently joined the short fiction community after taking English 223 last semester. I ended up writing a fiction piece on a turtle who can talk to humans and befriends a bullied student. It was weirdly a ton of fun to write and I have absolutely no idea how I came up with that story. Writing fiction is incredibly different than journalism. There aren’t deadlines. My professor said she had been working on a novel for over two years. That is crazy! The word choice is less concise and instead, a bit more flowery. It’s all about showing and not telling. Journalism is the opposite.

However, like the feature listed above, short fiction allows you to create your own characters: You can pick his/her flaws and strengths. Just like you get invested into a feature, you get invested into these characters you create. And that might be hard to believe, but just try it. I promise.

So while the worlds are much different, writing is writing. Its core is the same. And the two may be more intertwined than I once thought.

I’m looking forward to a great semester.



Oh, and here is a picture of my Dog, Roger, and I. He is my favorite thing on Earth.

Roger, my standard poodle, and I
Roger, my standard poodle, and I

Well, Hello Gorgeous

Hello There,

First, eye need you to know that eye look forward to working and growing with all of you Gateway homo sapiens.

My name is Christina Alexander, and this Sunday, January 18th, eye will be 20 years young. Eye am a proud Detroit native, a dancer of ten years, an eternal learner, sometimes a teacher, a queen, at times a calming sea, and a rambunctious storm at others.

Who am Eye?

What an odd question, and answering it is always an agonizing venture for me. Eye really don’t like the question because it leaves little for you to wonder and discover about me, and possibly even yourself,  and eye also am never really certain that eye know the answer myself. Eye like to believe that eye am a flower, or a butterfly, and like you, a living organism continuously growing, rapidly reproducing knowledge, and undergoing changes within due to surrounding environmental changes. If nothing else is true, eye know for sure that eye am fluid.

Eye like to read. To me, being able to read guarantees knowledge–the ability to know–and this is something that eye own and do not plan on giving away. Knowledge is power.

When it comes to what eye like to read, there is not one particular source or genre that eye prefer. Instead, it is the content that eye am interested in. Eye like to read things that advance my knowledge, things that tell me something new about the world, about myself, and/or about people. This is usually fulfilled by children books, rap, soul, and neo soul lyrics, and unorthodox authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Sigmund Freud. Odd bunch, right? Eye am fully aware. Like myself, my reading collection is also very fluid; however, in all of these places, two things are common: eye am left in awe by the content and eye leave with at least one quote.





A tearful goodbye to my first blog group!!

It’s been a long road, guys and in the words of Katy, “these are our last moments together.” =)

When reading back over my older posts, I definitely noticed a few trends. From Post 1 to the most recent there is definitely a decent level or sarcasm, complaining about readings, and a fairly consistent length (leaning on the slightly lengthy side). The posts I enjoyed reading back over the most were my very reactive blog posts, particularly ones about readings I didn’t like. The schema I have in my head for blogging is basically someone sitting behind a computer writing a public diary entry about whatever they feel like. Much to my dismay/curiosity/surprise, my blog posts have turned out to be that very thing…yay technology.

As far as comments, I enjoy getting any comments. Good, bad, ugly. I like ’em all. Most of the comments I left were for the people in my blog group and I really enjoyed their posts because I felt like I got to know them better than just the biweekly interactions we had in class. Once in a while, I would expand my horizons and comment on a random post I really liked the title of or felt strongly about.

One thing that I have noticed about blogging that I think is worth mentioning, but doesn’t fit cleanly into one of our topics is the level of writing appearing on the blog. When I posted my first blog, I read through the other three or so that were up and was blown away by the great writing that I saw. This immediately made me want to up my game. I’ll admit this competitive streak lasted about 2 weeks before other classes set in and my writing level decreased substantially in formality. That being said, I still feel like I achieved the same level of insight writing informally that I would have had I been required to write formally. At any rate, blog group number one, best of luck to you in your new groups!!

Hello? Hello? Is anybody out there?

So my first thought after finishing Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog” was “God, he is lucky he is semi-famous and people care enough about what he has to say to read it.” Because I think Sullivan would have a very different idea about blogging if he had had the experience of countless bloggers not blessed with a prior journalism career that provided the base for their eventual readership. It is all fine and good for Sullivan to talk about the bond between reader and blogger, and the way comments provide swift checks and balances to the blogger’s tyranny of thoughts, but the thing is, he has readers. He has commentors (commenters? is that a word?). Blogging might be the revolution that jazz was (nice analogy Sullivan). But for most bloggers, it is almost as private as a diary. Sullivan overestimates the power of the blog because he is one of the relative few who have made it in the world of blogging.

Let me tell you about my friend. We will call him Eric. Eric likes webcomics. A couple years ago, Eric decided to start a blog in which he reviewed webcomics for fun and profit (he signed up for Project Wonderful, and had his site advertised on other sites, and received five cents every time someone clicked an ad on his blog). His first review, a glowing tribute to an old favorite, was about Questionable Content (questionablecontent.net for those of you who would like to begin reading and do literally nothing else for the next two months). Eric is a good, witty writer. His self-effacing charm and frequent references to the wild parties he isn’t having makes for a fairly entertaining read, and a website that tells you if a webcomic is good or not is definitely a useful tool for deciding whether or not to devote two months to reading the entire archive. So this wasn’t some Xanga account making thinly veiled references to the author’s unrequited lust for the football captain. This was a genuinely useful, interesting blog, with a potential readership and even legitimate advertising.

Unfortunately, for a very long time, my friend Katie and I were basically the only readers. One time, he got a whole bunch of hits very quickly but it turned out that this was mostly because he had reviewed a very risque comic recently and some fans stumbled upon his site while looking for slash fiction. Eric’s list of comics he had already read all the way through ran out a couple months in, and trying to read new ones in a timely fashion became too time consuming to justify. So he expanded to writing about generally geeky topics like new video games, movies, and the endless gritty reboots endured by various superheroes. But even this became wearing since he still did not get many readers, and received, like a comment a month.

Eric rarely updates now. This is partially because of his school schedule, but also because blogging can be a very large commitment which feels futile when no one will make the commitment to at least read the thing. Its like shouting into an empty cave. Reading Sullivan’s article made me think of Eric because of how certain Sullivan is that there is a reader-blogger relationship, that there is someone out there bother to fact check. Sullivan should probably remember his immense privilege before making sweeping generalizations about the world of blogging in general.