#Pivot #RayRay

Looking back on my experience with the minor it is odd to see how much I have grown as a person and as a writer. Coming into the University of Michigan I was sure about two things. I was sure that I hated Biology and that I disliked writing. I can remember searching through the course guide trying to find an English class that had the least amount of writing required for me to pass. My very first English class, an English class that was supposed to be about death, which comparatively speaking was a much better subject than some of the rest, proved to be one of the most annoying classes for me. I worked so hard on my very first paper. I read every page of that J.D Salinger book and even though he can be very hard and obscure to understand I was sure that I understood what he was talking about with his story Bananafish. I was positive. I worked harder on my first paper than I had ever worked on anything only to receive a C.  I was beyond upset. I did not understand how I could have possibly gotten a C. After this experience I went to the professors office hours and made sure to get him to okay and suggest paper topics for me to write about now on. I only wrote about what he gave me ideas for and never went out on a limb. Having this experience only furthered my hatred for writing. It wasn’t until I was later exposed to Academic Argumentation that I fell in love with writing. I enjoyed going to this class bright and early at eight thirty am. I adored my professor. I loved every single writing assignment we were given and even didn’t mind the editing process. I had never enjoyed a class so much because it was the first time I had been given free reign to write about whatever I wanted. It was also the first time I was exposed to argumentative writing, which I view to be one big math formula. There is so much strategy involved in academic argumentation I loved every minute of my writing process. This is the class that when my friends and underclassmen ask me what they should take I always recommend this class. Always. Regardless if they are looking for a writing class or not. I believe there are two classes you should not leave this university without taking. One is Academic Argumentation and the other is Immunology, obviously immunology is geared more towards the science oriented friends of mine but nonetheless a very good class. This is the class that convinced me to obtain a Minor in Writing. Sweetland came into our class and gave a presentation and passed out flyers and I decided to go out on a whim and apply. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be good enough but I figured it was worth a try.


Applying for the minor in Writing is one of the best decisions I have made as an undergraduate because my time spent in this program has been so much fun. I have made so many new friends because of the smaller and intimidate class sizes and have shared so many good memories with everyone. As a biology and sociology major there have been very few classes that I have taken that have had a small class size and in which students have actually talked to each other and conversed with the professor about something other than just classroom material.  I can confidently say that if it wasn’t for the minor than I most likely would have gone all four years without ever encountering a class in which I feel like my professor actually cares about me. My absolute favorite part of the minor were the connections that were made in class, in addition to the questions that Ray would ask everyday. I am not sure what it is about these questions that has all of us students so intrigued but I do know that I am going to miss them. Im guessing that they were a way to get us to come to class, because as many of us have said that when we miss class we feel worst about missing the questions as opposed to class itself. I’m sure they were also a way for us to get to know each other because throughout the semester sometimes the questions would be semi-serious and relevant to what we were working on and then other times, the best questions, would have nothing to do with anything at all and would just be about nonsense but that is when we learned the most about each other. The Sweetland Minor in Writing taught me more than how to evolve as a writer, which while is important is not the thing that I am most grateful for.  It taught me how to walk into a room full of people I didn’t now, put myself out there, and make new friends. Writing can be very personal and has always been a thing that I have been terrified sharing with others but throughout the time spent in this minor I have had to get over it. Getting over my fear of sharing my works with others has also allowed me to get over my fear of sharing myself with others. I have always been terrified of being rejected but in my writing classes I have never felt like that was going to be a possibility because everyone has been so nice, and caring. If you need help editing works for another class there is always a classmate that is willing to help, need help with foursquare; David has already uploaded countless videos to help you through the process. Need help with a personal statement; someone out there is or has gone through something similar and is willing to not only lend a helping hand but tell you about their experience. The Sweetland Minor in Writing has been one of the best choices that I have made as an undergraduate because besides for teaching me how to better my writing skills it has been a blast.

One thought to “#Pivot #RayRay”

  1. Hey Maggie!

    I love your final thoughts on the Minor. I know you are going into science, so how do you think you will use your writing next? Do you think that the comfortability you’ve felt throughout the Minor will carry on to your next profession?

    I definitely agree that the Minor in Writing has taught me the same thing – to feel comfortable opening up. It’s crazy that a class, rather than a friendship or relationship, has taught me the benefits of vulnerability and how much it can open up for you. Next week I am beginning a job at a startup, and they will use my writing skills however they can – computer programming, writing copy, etc. I know that these are not the same conventional writing skills I have developed throughout my time at the University, but they are writing skills nonetheless. I believe that although the security I’ve felt throughout the Minor, surrounded by people who want the same security, will be left in the classroom, I think I will take the confidence I’ve gained in opening myself up through writing to the startup. Do you feel that way as well, or do you feel that we will all only ever feel as comfortable sharing our writing as we do now, in the safety net of our classroom?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, as well as how you think your writing will transform into the next step of your life!

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