8th Blog Post: making it pretty

While the funnest part of any e-portfolio or writing project I’ve done has been hands down the process of adding cool colors, dynamic templates, and signature font, this ‘making it pretty’ statement is needless to say, the easiest part. Okay, okay, I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true! The easiest part of my eportfolio and/or writing projects (tailoring specifically to my capstone project) is making my website pretty. I add nice pictures, beautiful colors that play on the soft tones of who I am, as well as make sure my audience gets a tight grasp on who I am as a person, in addition to my writing.

Capstone E-Portfolio

The bad thing about this fun task is that I take too much time trying to make my page look “pretty” and too less time on incorporating depth in the mission statement and investment of my project in general. This happened with my Remediating Project III for Writing 220, and low and behold, is happening with my Capstone Project for Writing 400. I find myself working harder on my Capstone E-portfolio that I do with the actual visual of my Capstone Project. Interesting thing is that I have way more in-depth info for my project than I do for my portfolio. Any realities of relate-ability here?

In addition, I’m most excited about diving into my capstone project non-stop now. I’m ready to hash out the hard work I put into it via my research and express it in a way where a variety of audiences can understand. I’m really ready to be done with it too! I’m still struggling with how to organize it in a way that’s visually accessible for not only non-deaf people, but for Deaf people as well. I want to make my wix site accessible to people of all target audiences and think I can do this effectively once a little crunch time persists and I’m literally forced to make a great project.

Capstone Project via wix.com

Illustrated Passage #RayRay

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/sunday-review/how-businesses-use-your-sats.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

 

This is in reference to an article posted by David.

I do not think that it is very fair to use the SAT to predict a job candidates ability for the job. Using standardized test scores to determine which candidate you should choose should only be the solution when the test directly tests the specific tasks and thinking skills that your ideal candidate needs to have. With that being said I feel like this is very discriminatory against individuals who have bad test taking skills and anxiety. These individuals, no matter how qualified for the job, will have lower SAT scores and thus not be viewed as desirable as those with higher scores. I can only understand using standardize testing in order to determine ones position (as far as in or out, employed or not) if their future depends on their ability to take tests (medical school (STEP/Boards, law school ect). Therefore the epic LC eye roll is my chosen representation for this topic.

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Making the Personal Something Relatable #mixer

For my Capstone project I am doing a case study on my family’s meat market in Detroit’s Eastern Market area and trying to find quick and effective procedures we could put in place that would make our business run more effectively and therefore decrease the stress my parents deal with as small business owners. Within this very specific and personal case study I hope to find tips and suggestions for all small business owners in Detroit to use in order to improve employee engagement and efficiency.

For this project I am most excited for the fact that this is really pushing me as a writer in areas that I’ve improved in over my last four years at U of M. After writing my Writer’s Evolution Essay it really helped me understand that what I have started to improve upon (and what to continue) is taking personal things, like my family’s business and delivering that information to an audience that does not know me in a succinct and meaningful way, where they’re able to understand where I’m coming from. I think when I am in my career, my time at the market will affect my actions and the way that I see things in corporate america, and it will be important for me to explain and defend my opinions, while utilizing my unique background, in a way that people will understand.

I am most nervous about the fact that I have A LOT of moving parts in this project and I hope that it will all come together on my WIX page in an aesthetically pleasing, coherent way. I have video, pictures, text, charts, etc. and I’m still in the process or organizing everything. I hope I can pull this off!! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

From Research to Finished Product #Mixer

BuzzFeed

What are you doing?

I’m asking three basic questions in my capstone project: Why do people give up comfort, safety, and security to travel for extended periods of time; What do those adventurers know for their experiences that I don’t (yet); and How can I make my goal of extended, solo travel into a reality?

Why are you doing that?

When I say to myself, “Self, you should really get your shit together…what do you want to do after graduation?”  I always come back to the idea of adventure.  My worst fear isn’t being jobless…it’s having a 9-5 that steals my soul, cripples me into a permanently seated posture, and makes me forget all the things I said I was going to do with my life until the day I wake up middle aged and realize I missed the point.  Answer: adventure.  You’ve got to admit, just the sound of that word is pretty sexy.   Hence, I’m researching people who have done it, polling people who may or may not want to do it, and figuring out what I need to do to prepare myself for it.

What’s that going to look like?

Good question.  This is where I keep coming up short.  Originally, I had envisioned a lot of buzzfeed-esque list articles along with original photography (both mine and from my survey respondents).  Then I started to write one and realized that my inner academic positively bucked at the idea of squashing weeks of reading, interviewing, and internet scouring into bullet points.  Then I thought, “Well maybe I can add an elaborative paragraph after each point in the list…” but soon the list got totally lost amid the surrounding text.  Then my professor suggested, “Maybe you can make each article a number on the list…sort of ’10 reasons I can do this’.”  That idea struck a cord–maybe I could make my entire portfolio a list, with each artifact/article/post/whatever as a number, a reason, and then it’s own academic elaboration.  Would that work?  Would you read it?  Would that fulfill a goal to be both entertaining and academic at the same time?  Thanks in advance for your input!

Only 140 Characters? #mixer

For my capstone project, I am writing about the connection between Twitter and the modern Olympics to understand how such global platforms can be advantageous to world peace. I hope the connections I daw will help my audience understand how social media platforms such as Twitter are changing traditional world events.

I am most excited of the opportunity to use multimedia tools like Prezi and Twitter to better engage my audience. My plan is to present my paper using these two platforms. However, this also brings me to my main concern – how can I most effectively use Twitter? I cannot tweet everything I am saying in a series of 140-characters-or-less.

 

Illustrated Passage #RayRay

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/sunday-review/how-businesses-use-your-sats.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

I was really interested in the article that David posted about companies using SAT scores to weed out potential job candidates early in the cycle. Although I realize it seems like an easy fix, it’s certainly not the best way to compare candidates for a future job. The SAT is a test that is used to predict success in COLLEGE. And it may just as well do that, but it may not. How do we find out? YOUR GPA. Obviously. This is why this makes absolutely no sense to me. If companies want to look at candidates SAT scores, why don’t they just look at every standardized test you’ve taken since the 3rd grade. In fact, why don’t they just look at your middle school grades too. This is so ridiculous it makes me stressed, and I’m not even applying to jobs right now. Probably because this brings back anxiety from having to take the LSAT, which for the record, is an appropriate test because it really will predict success in law school. SAT for a job, not so much. So, on that note, here’s how I feel about this article: imgres

Concrete Poetry–Thoughts? #RayRay

Hey guys! Sorry for my third post in a row (awk). Anyways, I’m in this creative writing class (LOL me and 100 other freshman/sophomores), and we’re talking about concrete poetry. The argument is, do you consider something that’s just a compilation of words and images a poem? What do you think makes a poem? Concrete poetry can be anything where the visual component is just as important, if not more important, than the words themselves. In fact, it doesn’t even need to have any words at all. Here’s an example of my favorite “poem”. Let me know what you guys think! the-guardian2

Illustrated Passage #RayRay

After reading this article, http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/03/hey-parents-leave-those-kids-alone/358631/ , I (like Maggie) didn’t really know how to feel about it at first. For those of you who don’t feel like reading the whole article, it’s about upper middle class children who play at these “adventure playgrounds” which provides “free and permissive” playing areas. Sounds okay, right? NO. These kids are describes as starting fires, using dirty mattresses to do flips, etc. At first I was like, “Okay that’s kind of funny and weird”, but for some reason, I can’t get this little voice out of my head that’s telling me that something is wrong with this, almost sad. It’s not that it’s wrong to play in areas like this, and I certainly agree that the playgrounds that children have now with just asphalt and structures that don’t foster creativity on the playground, this is taking it too far. It’s romanticizing the idea of poverty in children, and what many kids are forced to play with because of their circumstance. These kids, on the contrary, are just re-creating a sad environment slapping words like “adventure” and “creativity” on it, and pretending like that’s not a little bit wrong. So, on that note, here’s how I feel about this article: SurprisedSurprised, and a little bit disapproving. What do you guys think??

Questions For You All #RayRay #Questions

Hey everyone!

I’m working on a project for my communications course about mobile communication, and I need to complete some interviews with students about cell phone use. I have 8 open-ended questions, so you can say as much or as little as you’d like (don’t spend more than 5 minutes doing this!) If you want to answer these questions and comment this post/make your own post with the answers, we can both help eachother out!!! 🙂 Here are the questions!

Mobile Communication Defined: The use of portable technology (i.e. laptop, cell phone, iPod, tablet, etc) Could be used to go on the internet, text, call, watch TV, listen to music, go on apps, and more.

1. In what ways do you think using mobile communication in a public setting may benefit your social interactions with strangers?

2. In what ways that you think using mobile communication in a public setting may hinder your social interactions with others?

3. How often do you use your mobile phone in public settings?

4. What type of mobile communication are you engaging with in public settings and in what ways?

5. Do you feel others’ use of mobile communication in public settings benefits your ability to have social interactions with them or hinders? Why?

6. Do you feel that you are able to use your mobile technology and maintain a conversation with another person?

7. If you were stuck in an elevator with a stranger, how do you feel the presence of mobile communication would affect your interaction with that person? Why?

8. On a scale of 1-10, rate your likelihood to strike up a conversation with a stranger in a public setting in the presence of mobile communication.  Ex: If you are on the subway and are reading the news on your phone, do you feel that would help you strike up a conversation with those around you or inhibit your likelihood of striking up a conversation? 1=mobile communication would make it highly unlikely that I would strike up a conversation, 10= mobile communication would highly increase my likelihood to strike up a conversation.

 

Catholicism in Asia

asiaheader1

Above is the graphic that will serve as the introduction for my Minor in Writing capstone project, an interactive essay on Catholicism in Far East Asia. I am studying this topic because I want to better understand some of the issues–particularly those involving politics, inculturation, and evangelization–that affect how the Catholic Faith is lived in this region of the world. In doing so, I hope my project will help my Western audience to become more aware of the unique challenges and hopes of the Church in the East and to better appreciate the global face of Catholicism.

In many ways, I think my graphic is emblematic of my own challenges and hopes for this project as well. For example, I am very excited to consider the aspect of evangelization–how can the Church make new converts in an area that is predominately non-Christian and, in some areas such as China and Vietnam, even hostile to the Faith? Accordingly, I chose as my theme a scriptural quote to highlight this challenge of making the Gospel relevant “To the Ends of the Earth.”

Similarly, my graphic also represents a challenge I am facing in my project. The inscription at the top is the very same scriptural quote in Latin. At first glance, this may seem out of place. Why Latin? Wouldn’t a rendering in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese be more appropriate for a project about Asia? Actually, this is precisely the issue I’m struggling with as I progress in my research. Latin is the official language of the Church, a powerful symbol of the universality and timelessness of the Catholic Faith–whether in Europe or the Americas or Asia. Yet recent times have seen a shift from the uniformity that once characterized Catholic practice and worship to more culture-specific forms, especially in Asia. As a result, this exchange, this interplay, this–to some extent–tension between the Catholic Faith and the culture in which it is lived is sure to become a central theme of my final project.