I remember my first week as a Gateway student in the Sweetland Minor in Writing very well. I walked into the Natural Science Building for the first day of class and thought, “What the heck am I doing in a building with the word ‘science’ in the title?!” I’m a Communications major.


Anyways, stepping into the classroom the first day was nerve wracking. I had always considered myself to be a good writer, but guess what, all the other students accepted to the program were good writers too! Despite how calming Shelley’s meme-filled syllabus was, I was still nervous to speak up in class to voice my opinions. During our first free writing exercise, I spent the 15 minutes we were given frantically trying to think of anything worthy of typing on the open Word document on my laptop. And at the mention of creating an ePortfolio that would take ALL semester to finish, I thought I was doomed.

When I was choosing which topic I wanted to spend the entire semester writing about, I had two options: my passion for music or my father’s death. I knew that writing about music would be easy and painless, and I knew that writing about my father’s death sounded quite a bit like hell. Usually, I do everything in my power to avoid the subject and the memories that come with it, but Shelley told us to challenge ourselves. So, I chose the latter option. I didn’t know it was possible to cry as much I did throughout the course of an assignment, but I’m so, so, so happy I did.

Well, now we’re here. Clicking the “Submit” button on Canvas to turn in my ePortfolio URL earlier today might just have been the happiest moment of this semester. As I say in the reflective material on my Repurposing page, “It is raw, it is precious, it is my heart.” Do with it what you will 🙂


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