A Semester in a Website

Hello Writing Community!

It has been an interesting semester to say the least. The Gateway grants its students a great deal of autonomy and flexibility; I believe I have utilized both of these to my advantage, developing relationships with classmates as academic peers and friends alike. People can use this class as a platform to express themselves, as a means of getting a certain grade or credit for school, or a tool to learn about a given subject they are interested in. As a sophomore in college, it is an important time to start reflecting on what I want to pursue as a career. While I may or may not want to go into real estate/urban development, a strong theme in my work for the semester, I do acknowledge that whatever I do will require writing. I can confidently say I am a more versatile and tactful writer than I was January 8th.

To those reading this… please write anything. A thought, a song, a movie, a book, a short story, an inquiry. While time can be escaped through listening to music, and time can be released through breathing, time can truly be felt through writing. With that, I leave you with my ePortfolio for the semester (And final project) ! I hope you enjoy

Also, in general, remember that worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair; it gives you something to do but gets you nowhere.



Here is a little preview…

Introducing: social change & baseball games

As humans, it seems we spend most of our lives waiting in anticipation. For the weekend, the end of exams, seeing a friend, a concert, a movie, to get married, to have babies, to fall in love.

Seconds seem to tick by excruciatingly slow, each hour dragging on and longer than the next. It isn’t until we’ve finally reached that day we’ve been waiting for that we realize how fast time has slipped from our fingers.

Some 100 odd days ago, in the midst of a new semester inducing stress into each minute of my day, I wished for summer. For long days filled with sunlight, the absence of backaches from leaning over textbooks, restful sleeps, and time with friends and family back home.

As expected, I’ve reached the point where summer is not even three days away and I have done a 180: I don’t want to leave. I wished away time and now I’m doing everything I can to try to make up for the fact that I’m unable to get it back.

Despite the countless hours of hard work I put into this portfolio, it almost feels like it was manifested out of the sky, out of atmospheric dust, directly from my mind onto the screen. I look back and try to remember how I got here, but it’s all kind of a blur.

I guess with all this I’m just trying to say take a moment and appreciate each lick of life. It’s sweet and rare and impossible to replicate, to relive. Recognize where you’ve been instead of always looking forward.

I hope my portfolio helps you think about some of these things. I hope it slows your world, the spin of the earth on its axis, for just a moment to allow you a minute to breathe and think and reflect.

If I could summarize my portfolio, I would say it’s about life. I know, it sounds dumb and all too broad. But it’s true, it’s about passion and love and failure and time slipping through fingers like wet sand, slick and all too fast.

I hope that if you read it, if you navigate its pages and read the words encrypted on its body, that you gain a new understanding — and most of all, appreciation — for life.

Thank you.


Allow Me to Re-introduce My E-Portfolio

Alrighty everyone it’s finally finished. Introducing the Nick Silk 2019 E-Portfolio: https://nsilk0.wixsite.com/eportfolio

I will say, it was no walk in the park. After numerous trial and errors, and even upending my entire template, I finally created a site that I believe to accurately represent my semester’s work in a fashionable and trim manner. While it was at times craze-inducing, it was also an amazing experience, one that gave me confidence not only as a writer but as a scholar moving forward. This e-portfolio taught me many interdisciplinary tools and skills which I look forward to utilizing in my next academic pursuits. It made me reflect upon my own educational and life experiences, and allowed me to have some introspective realizations.

I hope this e-portfolio captivates you, enthralls you, entertains you, and informs you. More than anything though, I hope it makes you feel something – that’s always been my indicator of a good film, show, book, or piece of writing. I hope you enjoy!

Signing off (for now),


New Site on the Block: My E-Portfolio

I’m happy to announce that after hours of clicking buttons and dragging icons and drinking cups of coffee, my E-Portfolio is finally ready to be shown to the world!

I have never built a website before, so this was a daunting task to say the least. I didn’t even know where to start, and my design idea took at least twelve turns over the course of the past two weeks. Finally I landed on a colorful yet muted palette with abstract texture images and a simple, sleek format. I hope you like it as much as I do. Here’s a little sneak peek:

I decided to include my three experiments, final project, Why I Write assignment and selected entries from my writer’s notebook. This combination shows a mix of my personality and my passions as a writer. Overall, I’m really proud of my work on this website and am excited to share it with the world.

To check out my full e-portfolio, click here!

Advice to Future Gateway Students

Hi. If you’re reading this, you’re probably just starting your journey as a Sweetland Minor in Writing student. Congratulations, I’m excited for you! The first step in your experience is the Minor in Writing Gateway Course. Hopefully, this post will give you a few tips and tricks to get the most you can out of this class! Here are just a few things I’ve learned this semester:

1.Use your writer’s notebook

Bring your notebook with you on weekends and mornings and between classes on the bus. You never know what interesting conversations you’ll overhear that could inspire a poem or story or response. It will also help you stay in the mindset of a writer outside of class.

2. Stay on track with deadlines

Workshopping in groups can be really useful, but only if you actually have something to be workshopped! Try to keep up with deadlines for your experiments or other pieces for the course, because it will help you get the most out of the course and your experience in the minor.

3. Listen to your peers

During the tote bag reading sessions or workshops or any time your classmates share their writing, really listen. You might find inspiration in a line or in their style that will push you further as a writer.

4. T (or whoever your Gateway instructor is) is a great resource

When you hit a road block in one of your experiments or your final project, don’t be afraid to make a meeting with your instructor. T has helped me through some very confusing moments with lots of my pieces. They offer an outside perspective with experience to guide you.

5. Make sure you enjoy it

Don’t forget to enjoy yourself when working on these projects! Just because they are a part of coursework doesn’t mean they have to feel like a task to check off of a list. Remember your roots as a writer and follow the topics you’re passionate about!

to-do: gateway

As you can probably already tell by the title, I wanted this post about advice for the Gateway course to come in the form of a list. I love lists. If you don’t believe me, I’ve written a list about all the reasons I love them before.

But, the truth is, I only have one piece of advice that I hope you will take into consideration:

take risks

Here’s the thing about being graduated in a few years and sitting at a desk writing for a salary, or running through a hospital checking up on patients, or sitting in a courtroom: the chances you will have to take risks decreases by 100.1%.

I tell you now, I beg you: write that piece you’ve always been dreaming about attempting, but have been either too scared or not confident enough to try. Dive into unknown genres and swim around, floating in their mystery, dripping in shiny new-ness and that exciting uncertainty. Adapt a different style, one fresh and never-done-before, even one you’re worried you or someone else might hate– because the thing is, who cares if it doesn’t turn out perfectly the way you planned? This is the only time in life it won’t really matter.

This university is a treasure trove filled with a plethora of opportunities. Every day, I’m astounded by the things that I could accomplish here with just a trip to the library or a conversation with faculty on campus. Why not leap into a land you’ve never visited and explore? Now is your chance. The professors and your classmates and the whole department will be cheering you on. So take that leap of faith, even if your eyes are closed, nose plugged.

To quote the great R&B singer of our generation: remember we only get to be “young, dumb, broke *college* kids” for so long. I say take that excuse and run with it. You might end up finishing triumphantly in a race you never thought you’d be conditioned enough to participate in. To put it simply: it’s now or never. So I encourage you to just take that first step.

A Gateway to Great Things

I’ll start with the biggest piece of advice—savor the experience. At least for me, this class served as a break from my usual tireless, academia-filled days. It helped me escape from nightmares of textbook readings and monotonous study routines, giving me a chance to remember my unrestricted and authentic voice as a writer.

Also, don’t be afraid to share from the writer’s notebooks! Initially, I was wary about reading work that I messily jotted down in a pocket-sized notebook within a span of five minutes. Just remember that your classmates are not judging you. Everyone is supportive and wants to hear what you have to say. It can be really enjoyable if you let it. It’s also a great way to get to know your classmates as writers and as people.

As for more business-oriented matters, make sure you choose a topic that you are passionate about for the experiments. I really can’t stress that enough. The project was a really great experience for me because I chose a topic that I wanted to spend almost half of the semester with. Go with your gut! Furthermore, start work on the e-portfolio or experiments that you know will take a long time earlier if you can. If you are not able to, that’s ok too. You will still have enough time, but it never hurts to get a head start.

Basically, you’re going to do a lot of writing this semester. So, by the end of your time in the gateway course, that writer’s bump on your finger might grow, and that’s a sign of success.

Have fun!

Adventure Awaits

My biggest piece of advice is to use and create things you have a passion for. You’re going to be working with your origin piece, your experiments, and your e-portfolio for a long time, so you’re going to want to use something you don’t mind re-reading, re-imagining, and revising on the daily. Don’t pick something because it’s easy, or because you got a good grade for it, or because you think it’s what other people would like to see. Pick something that you really care about, and that you’ll keep caring about. You’ll thank me later.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. In fact, I encourage it. Exploring into genres you already have an expertise in isn’t really exploration, it’s just going to make for a boring, ordinary process. Try new things, wacky things, that you’d never have the opportunity to do in other classes. I’ve been specializing in Political Science and Public Policy my whole time at Michigan, yet I created a video poem, a baby book photo essay, and an obituary for my experiments, and I was so glad I did. I got to access a new, creative part of me, and I got to experiment and challenge my intellectual capabilities without feeling the typical pressure. This is an environment built for interdisciplinary adventure. Be an adventurer!

Advice for incoming Gateway Students


Whether you’re studying biology, gender studies, or business, congrats on making the choice to supplement your major with the Sweetland Writing Minor. This class has been unlike any other that I’ve taken, so be prepared for a little change.

The Gateway course encourages its students to independently grow their writing and creative skills in a relationship-driven environment. I encourage you, the new guy, to capitalize on this; you will be given projects deemed “experiments” where the sky is the limit. I would suggest taking the chance to think about something you’ve always wanted to learn about, and honing in on it for any/all of the experiments. The unique light you must present your subject and argument in will further enhance your research, communication, and writing skills that no surface level english class has done to date.

Beyond the work itself, your teacher is the captain of your ship – trust him/her and make sure to build a friendly companionship with them. The semester flies by but never forget to write what you want to write for your audience because no one writes like you do.


Andrew Green