A Serious Note on Cereal

I consumed an abnormal amount of cereal when I was a child.  Never will I forget the image of my “snack” cabinet back home: boxes upon boxes of assorted cereal.  Rasin Bran, Cheerios, Captain Crunch, Fruit Loops—the list goes on.  There were even unopened, replacement boxes towards the back of the cabinent just incase cereals being consumed ran out.  Or maybe these extra boxes were there for fear of an all out shortage at the grocery store…   Read More

Oh Blogging, Where Art Thou?

It has been quite some time since I last wrote a blogpost. I take that back.  It has been quite some time since I’ve done any sort of writing…

Many months have passed since the Winter 2012 semester—the semester I joined the MIW; the semester I did more writing than is probably recommended for a maturing, over-analytic mind.  Many months have passed since I was enrolled in both WRI200 and ENG325.  Many months have passed since my evenings were occupied with reading, writing, writing about reading, and reading about writing.  Many months have passed since the last time I was forced to articulate—in tangible, written form—all of the thoughts circulating through my head.

But, oddly enough, I think I miss it.  I miss the nights I spent in the library—with one album on repeat and a cup of coffee—outlining, drafting, and writing.  I miss how the writing assignments began to occupy all of my time—even during the hours in which I was not actually “writing.”  I miss having an epiphany about the analysis in an essay which, in turn, forced me to stop walking through campus and, rather franticly, reach into my backpack for a scrap piece of paper so that I could see what I was thinking.

These things have pushed writing to become some other “force” in my life.  It has become some sort of escape; it has become some sort of expression.  Writing has become, I now realize,—especially after writing this blogpost—something I cannot live without.  It has become something that I am not supposed to live without.  Writing has become a necessity for me.

And maybe, if I am at all lucky enough, I’ll be able to accurately articulate—through the process of writing itself—just what this process means to me.  But, until that day comes, I guess I’ll just have to continue writing…

Why Write?

No, I’m serious. The more I think about this, the less I understand.

And yes.  I know that we wrote an entire essay in the beginning of the semester about “Why I Write.”  And I figured out that writing does this; it does that.  But why do so many humans—all over the world—feel the need to put up with the writing process.  The painful first drafts, the seemingly ruthless peer-edits, and THEN the revision.

And yes.  I know that I came to conclusions in that essay.  I know that I write to figure things out.  I write to learn.  And I write to turn the rapid thoughts in my head into something tangible.  But as I read things lately—anything from academic texts for class, novels for personal enjoyment, or articles online—I find myself dissecting it.  I dissect the sentence structure.  Then I dissect the paragraph structure.  And then I ask myself, “Why?”  Not why am I know crazy, but why do I care?  Why do people do this?  Most of the time I just fall back to this comic:

And yes.  I understand that not everybody gets confused by these “meta-questions” that trouble me.  Some—and maybe most—people write because they need to (and not in the John U. Bacon sense).  But in the sense that they need to write a report.  They need to propose a business plan.  Or, more simply, turn in an essay for a class. But I think what gets me is that something needs to be said for the fact that so many outlets require written text.  Why?  It’s more than the fact that “it works.”  Or because we need a business plan that we can follow.  Why do we care?

And no.  I’ll never know the answer to any of these questions.

Yet, for some reason, I will continue to write.  And so will you.

The Music of Writing

Music—much like writing—has always seemed to operate as a sort of “focal point” in my life.

I never really played in instrument, though.  I played the trombone in the middle-school band, but I spent most of class launching paper wads at my friends—I would routinely make a sling shot out of a cleverly placed rubberband around the instrument’s slide.  Years later, I attempted to learn how to play the drums, but the experiment failed (I blame that on the fact that my teacher reeked of cigarrettes and legitimately may have been on the sex-offenders list).  My  love of and appreciation for music—since day one— has been as an observer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am listening to Andrew Bird’s new album as I sit and write this blog post.  I have been listening to it on repeat for days now, actually.  But just last week, I couldn’t stop listening to Sleigh Bells.  Now, these genres of music are polar opposite—how do we find ourselves enjoying different generes of music?  I think it’s because we achieve a sort of innate “escape” when find the right song for the right time.  As if our emotional state relates perfectly to beat of the song and, somehow, we can relate to that song better than we can to anything else.

The only other place that I find this escape is when I write/read.  For example, when I occasionally read something that just resonates with me— something that I have to read over and over again.  I like to think that’s when the text/author somehow relates perfectly my life.  Or maybe it provides some sort of clarity to something that I was struggling with.

Nonetheless, I think there is something to be said for the fact that so many people enjoy music and writing.  As if there is something human about these forms of expression/connection…

I think, therefore I am.

A few things resonated with me as I walked home from North Quad last night…

Sure, I like writing—it’s a controlled and articulate version of the rapid thoughts flying through my head, one in which I am mostly self critical and one that is painful to create.  However, participating in the “meta-writing” we did last night at “How I Write” is something I have come to particularly enjoy. Read More

Blogging about Blogging (Part II)

I may have mentioned this to some of you before, but when I entered this class, I had presumptions about blogging.  I kind of hated it, really.  I thought that it was too “relaxed” and I was cautious about social media writing.  After reading Sullivan’s piece and blogging for a few weeks, I changed my opinion.  Blogging is not bad–it’s different.

There is a special set of expectations for blogging. I think that a lot of other types/modes of writing speak to specific audiences (academic, humor, etc.).  Blogging, though, is a brand new form of what seems like “universal writing.”  Sullivan says, “Indeed, the most pleasant surprise of blogging has been the number of people working in law or government or academia or rearing kids at home who have real literary talent and real knowledge, and who had no outlet—until now.”  I like this.  I also think it is relevant to our Re-Purposing Essay, as my goal is to make a literary research essay more accessible.

Blogging is a representation of the spoken word, as opposed to the planned and revised writing we are all so used to.  Sullivan does a fantastic job talking about what blogging’s role is in our society and what people expect from blogging.  Something that stuck with me is from the very beginning.  He says, “But as blogging evolves as a literary form, it is generating a new and quintessentially postmodern idiom that’s enabling writers to express themselves in ways that have never been seen or understood before.”  I definitely agree with this and am curious to see where writing will be a century from now with the advancement of technology.  However, I don’t know what to make of postmodernism (I don’t think very many people do).  I couldn’t help but think of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdO9orWQ-Nk&feature=related

Blogging is NOT weird for the sake of being weird –I think calling bogging postmodern is a stretch, though.  I like to think about postmodernism as more of a social advancement. Whoa.  This always happens to me when I write.  I just realized that I cannot argue that postmodernism is a social advancement if I want to say blogging is not postmodern.  Blogging is here because of the Internet –a social advancement.  Touché blogging.  You got me again.  However, it still feels weird to call blogging postmodern…

Finally, as I said earlier, I will be taking a science research paper and turning it into a magazine article.  I think it would be fun to make it humorous while still talking about a lot of the research.  I just might have to turn it into a blog post.

Hello, E-Portfolio.

Here it comes.  Another horribly daunting assignment.  Another chance for me to ponder a multitude of, mostly terrible, ideas before I decide one.  Except this time, unlike the “Why I write” paper, the process will be dragged out from now until the end of the semester.  Hello E-Portfolio.  Welcome to my life.

As of now, I see my E-Portfolio being somewhat professional.  I would like to include it on my resume as another outlet for potential employers to get to know me.  However, I think it would be a great idea to include all sorts of writing.  Anything the I am proud of and shows “me.” Whether that is a poem, a research paper, or that repulsive “Why I Write” essay.

I want to make my E-Portfolio simple.  I want to make it to be aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate.  Mostly easy to navigate.  It shouldn’t be as complex as this (aaand here’s my obligatory media in my blog post).

But seriously.  I don’t know what I’m going to make out of it.  I think I’ll just have to go through trial and error.  I need to choose an audience and run with it.  We’ll see.  I wonder what it will look like in the end…