Better Late than Never

Well, we’ve arrived at the end of the semester, and it appears I’ve forgotten to do one of my last assignments– whoops, at least I’m getting it done at some point, right?  I think in the rush of finals and completing my E-portfolio, I forgot to write a post introducing it.  Well…… the time has come…… after weeks of anticipation………. I’m ready to unveil my E-Portfolio……. drumroll pleaseeeeeeee…….:

Here it is!! 

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At first I was somewhat dreading making the E-Portfolio because I thought it’d be a lot of work formatting the site, but I actually really enjoyed it!  It was a little daunting editing some of the features on the Wix site, but overall it was a lot more doable than I had expected.  I’m really happy with how it turned out because I feel like it is a great reflection of my personality & also shows off a lot of my work.  I think I will continue to use this in the future as a space to store my work so I don’t have to sift through millions of Word Documents on my laptop if I ever want to find a final piece of writing again.  Overall, making this E-Portfolio was a fun experience and I’m sad that the class has come to an end!

Justin Bieber Says Welcome

Greetings & welcome, MIW gateway newbs!

 

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Now that we’ve got a “She’s The Man” meme out of the way, I suppose it’s time for me to pass the torch onto you & share some things I’ve learned this past semester.

 

  • Be open to what the class has to offer. At first I was a bit apprehensive about the very open format of the class, but I really believe I would not have been able to accomplish what I did had there been major restrictions on what we could/ could not write.
  • Ask for honest and constructive feedback from group members & know that they’re genuinely interested in bettering your project
  • Have fun with your projects & make them something you actually care about. Because you have the opportunity to create basically anything you can imagine, don’t let this be just another assignment that you begrudgingly have to complete. Make work that actually matters to you, and the process is a lot more enjoyable!
  • Get to know your classmates! The people in the MIW are really cool people with a variety of backgrounds and interests & the sooner you get to know them all, the more fun each class will be & the easier it will be to have better conversations about not only each others’ work, but life in general!
  • Good luck, work hard, you got this!

Hope you guys have as much fun as I did- the gateway course is a really unique course where you not only learn about writing, but you learn a lot about yourself along the way too.

Okay cheesy conclusion is over, so here’s some final ~inspo~ from everyone’s favorite teen idol:

Justin

So close I can taste it

So I’m almost done with my Project III, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.  After I got a lot of helpful feedback on my blog during workshop, I made some tweaks to the different blog sections that (I believe) will improve ease-of-reading for viewers.  I broke up some of the “About” sections so they logically make more sense and so that they don’t appear too daunting.

A suggestion that came up a lot during workshop was that my recipes needed pictures.  I know, they really do– I never make a recipe unless I can actually see what it will look like.  That being said, I don’t have the time/ resources right now to make all of the recipes (since most involve and oven/ stove & I live in a dorm), so I won’t be posting pictures for all the recipes now.  However I think I’m going to continue this blog in the future, so at the very least I’ll update the recipe posts with pictures over the summer when I’m able to make the recipes.  The being said, I did try to add a few more pictures to some of the pages just to make it seem a bit more lively.

I also decided to scrap the video idea.  I tried filming one of the recipes, but when I looked back at the footage, it just looked very phony and lame.  I didn’t want to disrupt the clean aesthetic of my blog with a juvenile-looking video, so I decided I’m going to make step-by-step picture tutorials instead.  Now that I think I have all of my formatting and written pieces done, these picture tutorials are the last remaining piece to my blog.  I’m planning to make those this week so I hope to be done by this weekend.  So close I can almost taste it! (pun intended, maybe?)

I’ve had a lot of fun writing this blog, and I find myself daydreaming in other lectures of ways to improve it solely because I’m so invested in it.  I’m glad this has gone beyond the average class project into something I actually care about!

Please clip your toenails at home

So I started thinking about what my pet peeves are, but I realized I could allow just about anything to annoy me. I seriously think almost any daily action that someone does could be a pet peeve of mine (this is probably a character flaw-whoops). But Some major things I recently thought of that really stick out to me:
-Guys who wear Timberland boots around campus & don’t pick up their feet when they walk. Please, you aren’t walking through molasses, there’s no reason to drag your shoes under your feet like that.
-People who don’t let people exit the bus before they board.
-People who REFUSE to move onto the higher standing deck of the bus to make room for other people. Nearly every day I watch as people stand paralyzed & refuse to walk up the three steps on the bus to make room for others, why?!?!
-People that recline on airplanes-come on man, you know when you recline you take literally half of the person’s space behind you.
-When people clip their nails on airplanes. Are you serious? There is less than 5 inches of space in between us, and you want to send your toenails flying into my lap? No.

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-People who take their shoes off on airplanes.
-People that put their hand inside the cereal box at the dining hall whenever they go to get cereal. Do you realize how unsanitary this is?!?! The cereal will come out of the box just fine if you simply open the box and pour, yet you felt the need to reach your grimy hand in there and scoop it out into your bowl-ugh

I think I could go on for days about things that bug me. Maybe these are real pet peeves, but maybe I’m also just easily bothered?

Why does mom always call at the worst possible times???

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Okay I’m pissed now. I was 1 minute and 22 seconds into my writing here and then a phone call came from my mom at home. this normally wouldn’t be a distraction, but since I have my phone hooked up to my computer, it started ringing here on my laptop and then i got flustered & tried to get it to go away, but obviously that took more than 5 seconds, so here I am trying again. Anyways, I was originally saying I wanted to have a plan for this app. I wanted to sit down and think about what plan of attack I would take to beat this damn thing, but I instead just jumped in head first and hit “start”. Now i’m left here with this word vomit, trying to continue to move my fingers while I try to think of what animal i would be. Uhhh? i honestly don’t know. I guess i would be a dog, just cuz i really like my two dogs. I have two dogs named George & Maggie & I’m actually obsessed with them. Wow this time goes by very slowly. Anyways, they’re both pretty cool dogs. The one, Maggie is pretty dumb though- she jumped out of the back of my dad’s truck to chase another dog, while the truck was moving, and knocked out all her front teeth & broke her two front legs.

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Wow that’s totally irrelevant & unrelated to why I want to be a dog, but whatever I can’t really think right now- this is weirdly fun yet stressful. I guess I’d be a dog because dogs literally have nothing else to do with their lives except chill out, eat food, and be cute. I feed my dogs ice cream all the time (yeah yeah, I know its not the best for them, whatever…). And I’d totally love to just lay around the house all day while I waited for someone to feed me ice cream. Ahhh that would be the life. Okay so yeah I guess I’d be a dog. Awesome. Now just 25 seconds left. Almost done. Think of a conclusion. Okay, nothing is coming. I guess i’ll just keep typing & ride out the last few seconds here. Awesome. Great. Cool. Bye

~~Portfolio Inspo~~

I’ve really enjoyed looking through these portfolios.  I think I looked over most of the 2014 cohort portfolios and I realized that the portfolio is really just a chance to do something creative.  I’m glad I looked over so many because now I have an idea of some things I want to & do not want to do on my own portfolio.

One of the main things I noticed is that the portfolio is really a chance to let your personality shine.  Every portfolio used different themes, fonts, tones, etc. to showcase the individual writer’s personality.  Some portfolios, however, accomplished this better than others.

One portfolio that I really enjoyed was Hannah Schiff’s.  I think she did a great job of showcasing her fun personality through the theme and font of the portfolio, but it wasn’t overly stimulating.  The pink was whimsical and fun, but not overbearing.  Her portfolio is fun and effective at showcasing her personality, but it’s not overcrowded or juvenile looking.  I also like how neatly organized it is– it’s very easy to navigate her portfolio.  I don’t like how the documents opened up into their own tabs though.

To contrast Hannah’s portfolio, I found Will Ruben’s a bit distracting.  I loved the fun vibe of his portfolio and all the different pictures he included, but I found the background themes, and differences in fonts somewhat distracting.  It  just seemed almost hard to take him seriously with all of the things he had going on.

Looking at the different portfolios I’ve gathered a few take aways: don’t be afraid to let my personality shine, don’t use distracting backgrounds but still make it colorful and funky, add pictures to break up the otherwise bland pages, don’t make all documents open up a new tab (this is annoying),  don’t use weird font colors on busy backgrounds, make it look professional yet also fun.

After looking at these portfolios I’m really excited to get started now & build my online presence!

Project 3

I haven’t entirely nailed down what I’m doing for Project 3, but just as Project 2 evolved as I worked on it, I think this one will too.

I know I am going to actually turn this into a blog.  For Project 2, I just made sort-of an outline on Microsoft Word for what the blog would look like, so I could focus on writing the stories and recipes.  Now, I think I can transfer this to an actual online blog space.  I’m going to use a website-building space that allows me to easily format this while still making it look professional.  I will put my “about” section, as well as my stories/ recipes on this blog, and just like Project 2, it will be targeted towards college students.

The part that I’m still thinking about is how to incorporate a bit more “new media” into this project.   Because I already have all the writing done for the blog, I don’t think it will be that hard to transfer it onto a pre-built platform.  So I want to incorporate some type of movie or short videos into my blog as well- I just don’t know what type of videos.

As of right now, I have a two different ideas of what the videos could look like.  First, I could make a simple instructional video.  I’d want to keep this short so people wouldn’t lose interest, but I’d quickly go through the easy process of how to make one of my recipes, while also incorporating the easygoing, humorous tone I carried throughout my blog writing.  The other option for the videos is to interview different students on campus about their experiences/ mishaps/ successes with cooking on campus and just make a funny video that showcases those experiences.  Or I could even interview students in some fun way (like they do on Buzzed video) that asks questions about the type of food that’s on my blog post.

So while I know I’m going to turn this into an actual blog, I am not sure about how I want to go about creating the videos and what I want them to look like.  I’m going to meet with T soon to talk it over a bit more, but for now I’ll continue thinking through those ideas on my own.

 

Project II Update

So there’s some good news & some bad news: I’ve narrowed down my project focus, but I’m having a hard time actually seeing my vision through.

I started working on the introductory stories, and general info introduction pieces for my recipe anthology, and I also have selected the recipes I’m going to write up.  As I got writing, I realized that this needed to be a little more focused, so I decided to scrap my original idea of including stories from other people to accompany some of the recipes.  I thought this would make a really interesting read, but the more I wrote myself & the more I thought about it, I realized it could just end up looking like it lacked a direction.  I’m not quite sure exactly the point I’m trying to go for including stories anyways (besides making it an interesting read to accompany some recipes tailored to college students), so I think adding stories from other people would just add to the confusion.  Using my own stories and anecdotes will also help me to focus in more on the writing and spend less time curating stories from friends that would be worthwhile to include.  I’m thinking I might include the aspect of other peoples’ stories for project 3.

That all being said, I’m still finding it difficult to see a clear end goal for what exactly this will look like.  I’ve been writing the intro, but I have multiple different sections ranging from my own personal journey with food, to the scientific reasons evolutionary biologists believe we have evolved to cook. I think my project is evolving into a easy to follow how-to cookbook with fun stories inside (which I intended it to be), but I think I’m just confusing myself because I can’t yet see a clear end goal.  I usually always have an end goal in the form of an explicit assignment so I think the fact that I’m allowing myself to kind of just write & see how it plays out is making me nervous.

Initial Research

I think I have finally pinpointed what I want this project to look like.  I know I wanted my remediation project to have some sort of mix of recipes and stories about food/ experiences with food to accompany it, but I wasn’t sure what the format would look like.  I want to mostly focus on the writing aspect of this project, so while I think a blog/ website would be the best space for this type of thing, I don’t want to use all my energy on trying to figure out how to setup a blog or make a website that I’d be happy with putting out for anyone on the internet to access.  For this reason, unless I can make a simple wordpress site, I think I am just going to compile my project on a word document and then work on transitioning it to some sort of online platform for project 3.

That being said, I’m looking at a different food blogs and writings about food to see what already exists like this out there.  I am going to focus on (mostly) health eating options for students on college campus food deserts.  While Spoon University (a website for college students on all things food) exists, they lack the kind of stories and longer pieces of writing that blogs often feature.

I’ve followed a bunch of food accounts of instagram for a while now so I started my research by going to those instagrammer’s actual blogs (which I’d never done before).  While a majority of them just have recipes with a little bit of commentary about how they came up with the idea, a few had fun stories accompanying the recipe.  The stories ranged from what the people did during their day, to a past love for the food, to a completely unrelated story that they must’ve just felt the need to share.  This is what I want my project to look like, except I will feature different people’s views of a food instead of just my own.

I also found a book on Amazon, titled “My Paris Kitchen: Recipes & Stories” by David Lebovitz in which I was able to virtually look through the first few pages.  He includes recipes later on in the book (which I couldn’t see with the free preview), but he has a really neat intro to the book of his personal journey and connection with food and what led him to ultimately write this book.  This is a feature I want to include: a preface of sorts to setup the recipes and other stories about my “journey” with food and why I wanted to write this.  I think this will be the perfect space to do the more creative writing I’ve been wanting to do.  While it’s not the typical “creative writing” where I make up a story, plot, characters, I’m going to count this as creative writing because it can be more expressive and adventurous than things I’m typically accustomed to writing.

I feel like I’ve just rambled on about some things I have found out, but long story short, I’m going to model my food stories after the blogs that also feature stores, and include a preface of my “journey” with food.