ePortfolios and goodbye

Click for link!
Click for link!

So – I was a little bit late to the ePortfolio game. And by that I mean it seemed each time I worked with somebody in class it seemed like they were way ahead of me (which is because they were). Having a huge amount of work that week, I told myself I was going to dominate the ePortfolio game during the weekend. Then, on such weekend, I found myself struggling to produce a product I was happy with. And then, luckily for me, I figured it out.

For about a solid month, my entire progress on the ePortfolio project amounted to a background picture of a beach. Yes – that was it. Now, you can imagine why this was so upsetting when I sat down to work on it and I became dissatisfied with said beach. I decided I didn’t want to have the same background the entire time, especially one that didn’t really mean anything except for looking pretty. That’s when I came up with what ended up being the pivotal idea in my project – to have the background for each page serve a purpose – to provide the setting for what it encompassed. If I tried to explain it any more it would sound kind of weird and cliché, but I actually think it came together really nicely.  (The picture is the link)

I'm outta here
I’m outta here

I’ll absolutely use the ePortfolio in the future, both to showcase academically and even possibly to prospective employers on my resume. I think I can also use it as a little of motivation if need be. If I’m ever facing an assignment I don’t think I can finish or have to learn how to manage another completely new technology, I can turn to the ePortfolio and look at the short story I wrote or the film trailers I made. I think the ePortfolio is the perfect way to culminate our semester – it showcases all the writing we have done, but also serves as a piece of writing itself, yet again persisting our quest to figure out what writing actually is. So, it’s been real writing minor. I’m off to the land of political science and upper level writings for the moment, but I’ll anxiously await my return, once again ready to embark on this tantalizing journey we’ve all begun.

ePortfolio Reflection: Time to Move On

I could keep working on my ePortfolio but I think it’s time to let it go and press the submit button on this assignment. The most satisfying part of the process was figuring out how to display the documents the way I wanted to. I had seen past ePortfolios use embedded PDFs but I had no idea how to do this. What I thought would be a simple feature on Wix turned out to be somewhat complicated, but luckily I was able to go to the Tech Deck and get help. It turned out I needed to use HTML code, which the person at the Tech Deck copied and pasted from someone else’s project into my project. All I needed to do was change the part of the code that came after “I frame” and copy and paste a link to the document I wanted to display (I have no idea what all this means so I apologize for not having the correct lingo down). Using a link meant that I had to display my documents on a page somewhere on the internet. After unsuccessfully attempting to use Google Docs, I decided to create an extra page on my ePortfolio and hide it from display. Although at first this process was tedious, I became used to the task and by the end it became quite simple.

Another success was displaying my remediation project on my website. I used the PDF reader Flipsnack to make my document look like a booklet, and Flipsnack gave me a link to embed so I was able to do so easily. The only problem was that my PDF was grainy and barely readable in some places. In desperation, I decided to try the live 24-hour chat feature on the Flipsnack website. Flo, the Flipsnack girl, was extremely helpful. She told me to email her my PDF and when she emailed it back to me it was magically fixed and readable on Flipsnack!

The most frustrating process was trying to do last-minute edits. I thought I would add in a few more buttons and images to my project just to spruce things up a bit, but when I attempted to do so the formatting got messed up and I spent more time trying to undo what I added than actually add new things. At that point, I decided it was time to lay this project to rest and move on with my life. I’m a little disappointed that my site is so basic, but I think ultimately I got my point across and was able to organize my thoughts clearly since I followed such a uniform format on all my pages.

Before starting this ePortfolio, I was convinced that I would never use it again. I had made an ePortfolio in a class last year and did not have a positive experience. I just couldn’t see the utility in creating a website about myself. However, now that I’m done with my site I think it could serve as a great add-on to my resume in case I ever need to showcase my writing abilities for any type of job application. Since this blog is public, employers will probably find it anyway when they search my name. If so, a compilation of some of my best writing definitely isn’t a bad thing for them to stumble upon.


The final product

ePortfolio captureWell, that’s a wrap. My ePortfolio is polished and ready to go. Here’s the link: http://jlourim.wix.com/eportfolio

I really enjoyed this assignment because it allowed me to take a look back at everything I did during the course as a whole. Individually, the work seems a bit disjointed: one project on why I write, one project that totally repurposes another piece of writing and one project in a completely different medium.

But when you stack it all up on my ePortfolio, it’s really cool to see what we accomplished this semester. We dove into so many different parts of our writing and improved it in so many different areas, and we’ll be able to apply that in all kinds of ways in the future.

The End

It feels like yesterday that we began the Gateway class and I can’t believe that the semester is already coming to a close. Because I am going to be studying abroad next semester, the end of this semester feels a lot different than usual. I have been thinking about the end of the semester as something distantly in the future and it has not hit me yet that the time has finally come.

This Gateway course has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to completing the rest of the minor when I return. I have learned so much in this class, and will genuinely miss coming to class every Monday and Wednesday. A special thank you to T for doing a fantastic job leading our class! My experience would not have been the same without T and my amazing classmates.

And now, after spending long hours playing around with Wix, I have finally completed my E-Portfolio. I am proud of how it turned out and I hope you enjoy!

Here is the link:


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So…This is the End…?

Just kidding!! THERE IS NO END TO WRITING!!!!! #justonemoresentence

However, this is the end of fun and not stressful times in Writing 420 and the end of our time in the minor.

I feel kind of like this…



But then again my e-portfolio and capstone project are complete so I also feel kind of like this…




Also, this is cool:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenniferschaffer/i-am-i-am-i-am


Peer Review Is Awesome

Greetings future MIW gateway course takers. I once was in your shoes and I’ve reached the other side. ‘Tis magnificent.

Here is my piece of advice to you. Take advantage of your peers. Your classmates have invaluable wisdom to share and they have brilliant minds. One of my favorite things about this class was the community that formed. I looked to my classmates for feedback on every project, even when it wasn’t officially required.

Trust me, feedback is good. My classmates told me when my E-Portfolio needed some redesigning and gave me confidence when I ended my first project in a daring way. They helped me bounce ideas back and forth in a way that someone who’s not in the class cannot.

Also, and you’ll hear this a lot, think long and hard about your project 2 topic. Yes you will indeed spend most of the semester working with it. Make sure it’s something that you can stay interested in and that you feel there is more to talk about on that subject.


Get excited.
Get excited.

Reflections to the ePortfolio

When you first enter my profile, you will see my name in big letters and my professional headshot.  My goal for this is for the readers to see that and think I am professional writer. It also gives the audience a larger sense of who I am and feel like they can connect to me a little bit more. Having the image of my face linger throughout the audience’s mind can also make them understand my writing, perhaps, a little bit more. Below my name, the viewer will be able to easily navigate my portfolio. I tried to make this as easy as possible. My goal was not to overwhelm, employing the mantra “less is more.”  On the homepage, I also have, in big text, a description of my career aspirations, a brief explanation for the site and a little about myself. Once again, I don’t want to overwhelm and if the viewer is totally interested in me, my resume is posted for their convenience. The guiding idea is to understand who I am as a writer and a professional at the same time. I plan to use this site well beyond graduation and it’s a great place to store my work. Viewers can see my resume and all my work samples, which displays confidence in all my prose.

My articles page was designed as a grid with the ability for the audience to click a picture and it links to the corresponding article. I feel that pictures often times lure readers and I felt this was something I wanted to employ.

My resume is posted for the audience to get an idea of what work interests me and what I like to do. This also provides ethos to the ePortfolio as I am virtually submitting what I submit to future employers online. The catch: anyone with Wifi can view my resume now, not just the employer.

The trickiest part of creating my ePortfolio was trying to determine how I wanted to showcase my proud Writing 220 works. Obviously, I plan to use this portfolio more for employment opportunities, so putting the Writing 220 stuff on it wouldn’t really make sense. But I am so proud of the work I’ve done in this class that I couldn’t leave it out. I truly believe my Why I Write essay embodies who I am as a person and student. It was the first piece I opened up in and anyone who wants to get to know me should know what is in that piece. Therefore, atop the “Writing Minor” page is my Why I write piece. Below that is the space for the repurposing projects and remediation projects. I put a large picture of David Price to link to the original source of writing. Below that, I put my repurposing project and linked it to what I was modeling it after. And finally, at the bottom, is my YouTube video containing my remediation project. I really think the reader will understand the progression well based on my layout.

 Lastly on the portfolio is my contact page. My phone number and email are provided, which, again, adds ethos to the ePortfolio as viewers can directly contact me with their concerns. However, I am not worried.

 Anyone who has seen my portfolio has noticed my Twitter Feed appearing on all the pages. They ask me why. There is a simple answer: a lot of who I am is on Twitter. The social-media site is essential to all journalists and it composes my opinions and believes on all topics Michigan.  I don’t think you can get the full picture of Jason Rubinstein without looking at my Twitter, so that is why it is included.

I really cannot wait to see if my website attracts any buzz. I will tweet it out, link it on Facebook to do everything I can to make it grow. Only time will tell if that is the case.

So thank you Naomi and all creators of the Writing 220 curriculum. I truly loved making this portfolio!

That’s All Folks



This semester really flew by. Although I am counting down the days until my last exam, I can say with all honestly that I will miss this class. I have had a lot of fun expanding my writing skills with T and my fellow Fall 2014 fall cohort members. This intro class really pushed me out of my writing comfort zone and I’m glad for that.

When I started putting together my eportfolio, I felt very proud of all the writing and projects I have completed throughout the semester. I am glad that this minor allows us to display our works in such a public setting because it’s nice to get some recognition for all our hard work. I spent plenty of time working on this eportfolio, because I wanted it to be a solid representation of not only my work, but also myself as a person. I spent hours editing, reorganizing and rewording each page to create a final page that I am very proud.

Before concluding, I’d like to send out a special thanks to T herself for inspiring me as a writer and as a student in general. She has been one of my favorite professors at the university so far and I feel very lucky to have been in her class. Additionally, I’d like to thank my fellow minor in writing students, who I now consider my friends. I have really enjoyed getting to know you all through your writing and I hope we will encounter each other in future classes.


And with that I leave you the link to my eportfolio: http://megsb2.wix.com/megsb1 

I hope you have as much exploring my eportfolio as I did creating it. THAT’S ALL FOLKS!


How Much Can A Font Say About You?

As I continued to play around with different formatting options of my eportfolio I realized that I had probably spent three hours of my life merely choosing a font. It needed to be the right color, the right size, clear enough to be able to read but loopy enough to add some fun, spaced the right amount, and aligned correctly on the page. Now, I know I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but I never thought that I would be spending three hours deciding upon something as seemingly minuscule as a font.

The thing about this project though is that, to me, and to all of us who are trying to make these eportfolios into accurate representations of ourselves both as writers and as people, the font actually does matter. Every decision we make for our portfolios ranging from font, to the other pieces of writing we choose to include, is equally essential to our presentation. With these portfolios we attempt to paint a picture of our personalities, through various choices such color scheme, and images and for some of us, even music.

The first piece of myself that I chose to include as the consistent background of my eportfolio is a photo I took this past summer of my sister blowing bubbles in our back yard at our lake house. Maybe it was the sunscreen caked over the camera but for some reason, it turned out blurry. Yet, the blue skies, the green grass, the sparkling lake, and the bubbles make the photo absolutely idyllic. On my home page I tried to think of a few words that I could use to describe myself and that would relate to the photo. Three words instantly came to mind: Thinker, dreamer, writer. I then built my portfolio off of these elements of myself, allowing them to guide every content based and stylistic decision I made.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 1.32.17 PM

I am very proud of the final product, proud of the patience I had with myself while agonizing over fonts, and ultimately think that my final project is reflective of my initial vision for the portfolio, and more importantly, of me as a person.


WARNING: The Following is Cheesy & Cliché.

For those about to embark on the journey that is the Sweetland Center’s Minor in Writing, I wholeheartedly salute you. If the written word is truly a passion of yours, you will find you have made a grand decision. As the PR posters claim, a Minor in Writing definitely goes with any major.

But anyway, let’s get to some advice, which is why you are reading this (forcibly, or otherwise). The Gateway Course in the Minor in Writing is, in my opinion, as challenging as you make it. And if you want to make the most of it, you should certainly challenge yourself. By this I mean make things a little uncomfortable. Stretch farther than you have dared before. Dabble in a genre that is unfamiliar, that you previously left untouched because you felt those waters were better left uncharted.

I can’t claim that I necessarily did this in terms of the actual writing I did for the course, but my final project for the semester was something I had never done before. Putting together a mini-documentary was something of a challenge, but I am certainly glad I pushed myself to do it. And if you can muster the willpower to step outside your comfort zone in the realm of writing, you will surely be glad you did it, too.