I will never go into animation

While I was working on the final scenes of my remediation project (a stop-motion animation) at my computer at about 6 a.m. last Wednesday morning, where I had been since about 11 p.m. the night before, I began to hate just about everything. I was quickly losing patience in compiling tiny images which would be shown for 0.1 seconds before disappearing, and I was tired past the point of being tired.

Dog with wide eyes, to say the least.
I might have looked like this.
[Image from Flickr user MTSOfan]
The worst part is that I’m not in love with the final product. I mean, it’s fine and resembles what I had envisioned it would look like, but when I finally hit that submit button Wednesday night, I didn’t feel accomplished. Relieved, sure, and very glad to be embarking on a much-deserved 4-day weekend, but not accomplished.

I guess stop-motion animations just don’t do it for me.

When I submit an essay that I’ve spent weeks obsessing over, I feel like I’m sending my baby on its way, off to do better things. When I submitted my animation — well, it was more of a “good riddance” type of situation.

It’s not that I was all half-assed in throwing a bunch of pictures together just to finish; believe me, I don’t pull all-nighters for stuff I don’t care about. I really cared about my project. I just didn’t enjoy making it very much.

I think this might be a good indication that I should stick to writing. You guys can argue all you want about how pictures and videos and all that jazz counts as writing – I’ll never agree.

There’s just something about actually writing.

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Here is a link to my final project if you are interested:

E-Portfolio Other Writing

As I have been working more on my e-portfolio, the question of what I will use for my other writing section has been haunting me. I want to add writing that will further display my identity, but I legitimately do not know what else to include.  I’ve decided against history papers. They don’t say anything about me. For the same reason, I’ve also decided against psychology and sociology papers. I want my other writing section to further showcase me, not just other papers that I’ve written.

When I think about writing that showcases me, I think of my journal. But obviously my journal will not be making a debut on my e-portfolio. The papers that I wrote for English 125 come closer, but they still seem too personal to make so public.

There is one paper that I can think of that might work as other writing. I wrote it for English 125, but it incorporates a lot of themes from a sociology course on nationalism that I was also taking at the time. The paper basically compares patriotism and nationalism, arguing that they’re the same thing just with different connotations. The paper analyzes a few of my personal experiences with nationalism/patriotism, but overall it is rather academic. It’s personal too, but still probably more academic.

I think that I could use this paper in my other works section, but for it to work I would have to properly frame it with reflective writing. I also plan to include the paper that I repurposed in my other works section. For this paper too, reflective writing will be key to framing it’s inclusion on my e-portfolio.

Writing: Saying What Others Wont

Saying what others wont–that is what sets writers apart. Dreaming what has never been dreamt–that is what makes fantasy come to life. Doing what others won’t do–that is what makes a story worth reading. I strive to be a speaker, a dreamer, a do-er, a writer. My consciousness is a constant stream of thought that flows from pen to paper, and from paper to countless minds.

Moreover, good writing has a purpose; this purpose can present itself in many ways, and at different moments for each individual reader. A written purpose is immortal, and immortality can only exist in writing. Unlike other art (paintings, music, sculptures, etc), writing has the power to convey a message that strays from the abstract while remaining creative. This creativity allows writing to create a timeless portal through time, appreciated by generations to come. Writing is a small pebble in a river, forever advanced by the changing current. Which way the river will flow is up to you. Create, innovate, and challenge the status quo…I dare you.

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Albert Einstein is a man who possessed the qualities that a great writer must also possess. His curiosity and dedication changed the world forever.

 

Thanks, Writing Minor

If you look back to my original essay for the Writing Minor Application, one of the things I said I wanted to get out of the minor was my own website. I knew from friends who had taken the gateway class prior to this semester that they were able to create their own e-portfolios and I thought that was super cool and something I should definitely do — regardless if I got accepted into the minor. So even before this semester, I kept telling myself to use Wix and create a site unique to me. However, procrastination kicked in and I never got around to it. That is, until now.

Not only does my e-portfolio showcase my proud pieces of writing from this semester, along with my academy-award winning movie making skills, it has allowed me to showcase my Michigan Daily articles in one, easy place. Through that, I am able to link future employers to my website and they certainly can get a full picture of who Jason Rubinstein is. More so, I am able to post my resume on my ePortfolio. By doing this, not only can the future employee read about me through a blurb on the front page, but they can also read my personal essays to learn about me. They also can read my articles to learn about my hobby and get a good picture of who I am before a face-to-face interview.

So for those wondering if they need to put more writing on their ePortfolio, I have put my resume and all of my articles.

It’s for the ePortfolio, that I am very thankful for the writing minor. It has allowed me to showcase my writing passion to the public, something that’s hard to do all in one place. It has allowed me to make myself a stronger candidate through jobs just by having my own website.

More so, the writing minor has challenged me to write in ways that I never have. Prior to Writing 220, I never attempted to write a first-person memoir. And while it was super challenging, and something I never envisioned myself doing, I am so grateful I did. It taught me that I can write in other genres and am able to do anything I put my mind to.

So thank you writing minor.

A Better Me and Writing 220

I’m not sure if it is the last blog post, but I’m sure I will miss blogging here after this semester.  I think it is a great journey we have been through together as individuals and as a group. Recalling the step by step growth in Writing 220, I am very grateful for every feedback, every suggestion, every comment that I gained from the professor and my peers. I think those are the motives for me to constantly improve myself both as a writer and as a person. I become stronger and more willing to receive suggestive comments because there is always potential to improve and these comments give me a better idea of where I should work on and make progress. If I should pick one aspect in writing that improves the most, I would say writing to be myself. We start from mocking others’ writing style; however, when we actually put efforts to create our own project, it is no longer about others. It is about who we are, and our styles. What I understand better is when you write with your own voice, it shows in the writing; when your voice shows in the writing, the project becomes more alive and sincere. In writing 220, I really appreciate that we have much more freedom in writing than other normal writing courses. This flexibility gives us more room to develop our ideas.

Talking about flexibility, I cannot skip eportfolio. It is our final project and summarizes our work throughout the semester. In the beginning, I really struggle in selecting a theme. As I said before, I want it to be a platform to show me not only as a writer, but an all-round person. I always feel related to the quote “If, for the sake of amour and cuisine, I must pay, then I would give my life away.” This quote inspired me. Therefore, besides writing minor, I have cuisine and amour for the rest of my eportfolio. I will include personal experience writing in both parts. In cuisine, I have writings about food, restaurant and recipes; in amour, I have writing about people, places, and culture. I think experiences make a person. Our experience can influence who we are and what we think, and ultimately what we write. I am more confidence about my design and plan of my eportfolio, and I hope it turns out great to express who I am in front of all my audience.

How Did This Happen?

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the couch by the fire, watching college football, enjoying food I didn’t have to make from a bowl I didn’t have to wash while wearing clean clothes I didn’t launder.

Oh wait, it was…

well…

We’re back already? Time to get to the end of the semester. With less than two weeks left in each of my classes but more than 40% of my grade on the line in my other three classes, I have to keep reminding myself how much this time of year matters. My brain just wants it to be winter break already!!

Ready for the sprint to the end of the semester!

My project will be workshopped in class on Wednesday, and I’m excited for you all to let me know what you think! Currently pretending to be a presidential speechwriter, working fast and furiously as if I am a presidential advisor. #thanksObama for giving so many speeches in the last few weeks for me to draw from!

P.S. Does anyone else sit in a way where their foot falls asleep while studying? I don’t think it’s waking up this time…

Writing is everywhere.

It's the truth.
It’s the truth.

Writing is a part of everyday life. Whether you’re an author, teacher, doctor, architect or any other profession you can think of, I can almost 100% guarantee that you will spend some slice of your day writing. Different professions require different skill levels, mediums and formats of writing…but at the end of the day, writing is writing. And it’s everywhere.

I suppose that is my bold proclamation. Writing is everywhere. It may not seem like much, but to me it means a whole lot. I think writing is skill that everyone should have, regardless of the career path they may choose. Writing is a way of communication and that is key in the workplace. I remember back in high school when other students would question why they needed to learn about nit-picky grammar rules because “they would never have to use them in the real world.” Well, I disagree.

I think that being able to write is a very coveted skill in everyday life. Putting your words on paper, whether it be in print or text, is a way to communicate who you are as a person. It’s not only what you write that matters, but how you write can also give others a glimpse into who you are. When applying for jobs, writing skills matter. And the truth is, you will be judged on these skills. I can promise that a poorly written cover letter, resume, or even email will reflect badly on your image.

I truly think that writing is a skill that every student should acquire, because it is a skill that is used everyday. That is why I am so thankful to be a part of this minor, because I know that I will be perfecting a skill that is relevant in whatever profession I end up in.

 

The BOLDEST of Proclamations on Writing.

When it comes to writing, I’m stubborn and spoiled. I’ve always reserved writing for those who have something to write about. I’ve never considered myself a person with something to say. Why should I write if I have nothing to say? Why should I express my thoughts in writing if they have no purpose?

This all sounds sort of depressing (believe me, I’m okay), but I think there’s some truth to it. I have always held the belief that the best books are those that are clearly very real; those that are written by an author who actually lived whatever it is that he or she is writing about. Examples: On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Obviously, there are many many exceptions to this definition of “good books,” but generally, I think the idea holds.

Anyway, for the longest time, I was basically just waiting for something to write about. I figured when I become a resident in the hospital, I’ll write a book about my experiences or something. Maybe then I’ll have something to say.

But lately, I realized that the event is much less important than the way it’s told — Writing 220 has shown me this. I have learned to make something from seemingly-unimportant events and memories from my past. Take my previous examples: On the Road is about a few relatively eventless trips across the US, and The Sun Also Rises is about a fishing trip in Spain and a bull-fight. (Admittedly, In Cold Blood stands as an insane story, but nonetheless it would just be another murder if the story was not told so brilliantly.)

So I guess, my bold proclamation is that writing is not for those who have experienced, but for those who, with courage, can say they’ve experienced. “Write” is a verb, after all. If you want to be a writer, you can’t just wait around for something to write about.

An Unconventional Thanksgiving

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and past already!  So much anticipation and here it is…already Saturday!

Anyone who has talked to me throughout this semester knows that it has been a rough one for me.  I have been extremely sick with things such as pink eye and an ear infection and every time I think I am getting better it has all turned for the worse.

This happened again over Thanksgiving.  

Upon having extreme pain when I swallowed, I went to urgent care and found out that I have mono.

At first, I was really upset.  I work out a lot, make a point of eating healthy, write down what I am grateful for everyday – yet I get this sick?

Just didn’t seem fair.

When the doctor told me that I need to get lots of rest, drink fluids, and avoid physical activity I must have looked at him like he was crazy.  Anyone that knows me knows that this is pretty much impossible.  As I write this now, I am guilty of having pushed my tired body to the gym this morning…which led to my inability to get out of bed for the rest of the day.

Let’s just say that my lesson was learned: Listen to the doctor. Got it.

Although I am exhausted, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and my topic all semester long (gratitude), I still have so much to be thankful for.  I will continue writing my list of things I am grateful for everyday, because although life may get you down at times, it’s important to pick yourself right back up and move on.

When life gets you down
When life gets you down

With finals around the corner, this means getting rest so that I can do my best on the exams.  This also means giving it my all since I have worked so hard all semester long.

I generally prefer the more spaced out final projects (as we have done in the Minor) to final exams just because I feel that these are more comprehensive of what a student has learned throughout the semester.  These are also less stressful for me since I don’t like having one moment in time determine what I know about a topic.

But, we will all push through and be done in a few weeks and before we know it it will be Winter Break!

Bring Me Back My Ink and Parchment! (Kidding)

So we just finished the Remediation Project, WHOO HOO! Who would’ve thought? When we were introduced to this project back in September, I remember wondering how the heck I was going to pull something like this off. I’ve talked about my bewilderment with the new media stuff in a writing class in previous blog posts, so I’ll just fast forward to how I’m feeling about it all post-project. I think working with video a bit this semester has opened a new door in writing for me. I’m still a fan of the traditional “Word Document, on-paper” writing format, but there’s something really cool about actually seeing your words acted out in a video. Writing for a video is much more deliberate than writing just for the sake of writing. You actually have to say what you mean, you can’t just expect a reader to imagine it all. It forces you to be clear and direct about what you are envisioning. But that also means that the viewer sees exactly what you intended them to see. Video gives you a much greater sense of control, which can be daunting, because it means you have a lot more responsibility, but that’s really neat at the same time. Video also changes the way certain lines or scenes are conveyed. The way the actors convey a few lines can make them much funnier than if readers were just to see those lines on a page. It make me wonder if it would be worth it to write much more deliberately and explicitly  in traditional writing- to make the reader to see exactly what you want them to see. Maybe Hemingway had the right idea. I don’t know, but I’ve definitely caught the bug for new media writing since doing this project and it’s made me think more about how I write in general.