I guess I have to start somewhere!

Writing an introduction at this point was more difficult than I anticipated. Not knowing where to begin, I started with a quote from the series of essays that has inspired me the most thus far. In the end, I do not anticipate that this will be my “starting point,” but nonetheless it was the only way I could think of starting being that Solnit’s quote was so prevalent to this project. I grappled with wanting to touch upon my own experience as an athlete in the introduction, but in the end, I decided that It would be best because it will increase my credibility throughout the rest of the project. I also had some trouble “beefing” it up. I am not finalized on the essay topics therefore I was not able to preview what I wanted to address about that in my introduction. SO right now it is definitely a little choppy. I wanted to end with a “thesis statement” of some kind in order to introduce the topics I will be discussing. I also usually write introductions after I have complete the first draft of the body of the project, because I do not want to go into writing the essays feeling I have to explain what I mentioned in the introduction, but rather create the introduction around what I have written about in the essays.

The gaps in my knowledge are still general feminist concepts/theories. I am not going to directly incorporate them into the introduction necessarily, but I do think that having a better understanding of their language and usage of worlds and phrases will allow me to better articulate the points I am trying to make. While conducting my research the questions that continue to present themselves are 1. How do you argue with money generation—sport is a business model? And 2. Why are the successful women in sport still underrepresented when they have proven to close the gap? I think even after this project these questions will continue to haunt me, but as I read more and more, I find evidence in athletes like Serena Williams or the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, that at their caliber there should not be a difference in wages or representation in the media. Yes, currently male sports generate more money, but is anyone in the industry’s highest levels really trying to put women’s sport on that same map?

I admitted there was a lot I did not know before starting this project. Being that I study the sport industry because of my Sport Management Major, I have always been aware of the gender gap. More than 60% of my classmates are male and I am a part of a small percentage. But after conducting my research and reading about women who have voiced their opinions on the current state of inequality, I have come to realize the disparity more and more each day. I notice when I am reading the daily sport news how it is rare to find an article on a woman, I notice in my sport management classes when I am in a group project with all males that I am assigned less work/ responsibility, and I notice that when I am applying for jobs in sports the population of women in the front offices are limited. I notice this now, the parts of womanhood that I was ignorantly blind to before. I also thought I wanted to just comment on the harsh reality that women live in the industry, and I will, but I also want to comment on certain people’s success and how they have overcome obstacles in an industry that is not favorable to promoting female involvement at the same level they do men.

My plans have been to immerse myself in research over spring break so that is exactly what I am going to do to fill what the empty spaces that remain in my research. I have been having fun with exploring genres I want to emulate and blindly researching different topics, but now I need to get more specific with what I am looking for and how I am going to be concise with what I decide to write about. I do wish to get back to my patronous a bit more. Although David Sedaris does not necessarily write about females, or athletes for that matter, I think reading his work is refreshing and a great stylistic example that could encourage me to start drafting some of the essays.

Blog Roundtable 2 (Sorry about the Trump references)

Addressing Opposites (That Might Not Actually Be Opposites)

Both Nick and Maddy chose the mini assignment that dealt with defining terms that were important to their projects. Interestingly, in order to successfully complete their assignments, they chose to define terms that were considered “opposite” to the focus of their projects. From our discussion of their assignments, we realized that is equally as important to understand what your project is as what it is not. This also helped us to realize that definitions can be confining, especially when you are talking about a group of people (in these cases: conservatives and women on campus). Sometimes, avoiding labels helps to formulate a better understanding of an issue.

Research: Very very Important

Although Kennedy and Allison chose different mini assignment, they both ultimately reached the same conclusion that research is vital to the success of their projects. This might seem obvious seeing as that the capstone project requires research, however research is a component that cannot be understated. Kennedy showed us the importance of thinking about outside examples in relation to our own projects when she discussed the film, “Moonlight.” Allison’s work helped us to understand that seeking specific statistics that further your own points is limiting, and instead it is more beneficial to let outside sources influence your work naturally.

Final Thoughts: It’s Actually Not Funny

During our discussion, our group came to the realization that all four of us are tackling deeply frustrating topics with our projects: feminism, racism, and politics. We felt that most people believed that they had a general understanding of the subjects we are addressing, but that this is far from the truth. Those who are politically involved equate progressivism and liberalism, and believe that conservatism is the opposite. Not quite. We as students have accepted the “Michigan Man” as representing us as students, but have negated to understand the intricacies of gender politics on campus. Wrong. In an attempt to characterize womanhood as a collective identity, we ignore the intricacies of its embodiment as both raced and classed. And lastly, we assume that female athletes who make it in the media or hold executive positions in the sport industry are treated equally. Nope. Unfortunately, Title IX does not apply to everything either. Sorry.

FINAL BLOG POST

My eportfolio is in its final stages! I am happy how it turned out. I have made a site like this before that I would describe as bare. It did not really express my interests or who I was. I feel like I had a bit more freedom with this site and I was able to express what I really wanted people to know about me. Aesthetically, I like the idea of large images taking up the screen versus text overload. Kind of like a gallery, very visual to convey the message and image I wanted. I am also pleased with my minimalist approach. I like clean lines and simple font that is consistent, so I think that I executed that rather well, when I could have gotten carried away with all of the fun colors and layouts!
Something that I am still trying to work on is the reflective comments. I am trying to find the happy medium between enough explanation and not giving too much away about the project. I think that I need to be less vague and go into a little more detail as to why I made the decisions I did and what challenges I faced when making changes.
Throughout the process I was very contentious of the fact that I was creating a platform for people to judge me. I know that the portfolio’s point is to showcase who I am as a person and writer, but I was very aware of the idea that other people would really be able to see me. With that being said, I think I was able to accentuate the aspects of my life that I really wanted people to know about. Three of the things I really love are sports, traveling, and writing. I think I was able to convey those aspects of my life well in this portfolio. I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT!
Click here to check it out!

Welcome to the Writing Minor!

I am still in shock that I am writing this blog post. It feels like just yesterday we were talking about our proposals for our remediation project. The Gateway writing course has taught me a tremendous amount about myself as a person and as a writer. Here are a few pieces of advice that I have to share from what I learned!

1. Be present! It is easy to check out in any class, but being present in Writing 220 is not only important but beneficial. You will be surprised how in depth topics get and how fun it is to talk with your fellow classmates about something as simple as “what is writing?” You will soon learn that the question of “what is writing” is much more complex than you would think.
2. Write about topics you are passionate about! This is the first time in an academic course I felt like I had freedom. The repurposing and remediation project last the entire semester so it is important to write about something you can get excited about and want to continue perusing for a whole semester.
3. Get to know your classmates. Although the writing is solo, you will have a lot of interaction with your classmates. The peer review process was extremely helpful and was a great way to connect with different writers. My favorite part of this process was that everyone was essentially doing a different project, so it allowed you to take a step back from your own work and relate your own challenges with a completely different topic and medium of writing.
4. Have fun! This is a great opportunity to explore who you are as a writer. Writing was never my favorite subject and always proved to be a challenge. However, this class has broken the fear I have had with academic writing and allowed me to explore what is amazing about writing! So just have fun!

I hope you enjoy the Writing Gateway course as much as I did!

The Final Countdown

I cannot believe we have reached the final countdown in writing 220. This past week has been all about the remediation project. It has definitely been a longer process than I anticipated. It was nice to take a break and get my toes wet with the “Why I Write” piece, but I am still invested in the long journey that is the remediation project. After the peer review process, I have learned a lot about what is working and what can be improved upon. I am still in the process of meeting with a professional to advise me on fiction writing however, I think I have done a good job with cracking the surface.

I am enjoying fiction writing. I usually undergo extreme writers block when I write academic papers. Whether it be not knowing what information is important or how to eloquently word certain points, I get through it, but I struggle. I find that in my remediation project my writing is flowing rather smoothly and coming naturally. There are still some aspects I want to improve through the revision process, but as for the content I think I was able to capture what I wanted in each character.

What I am struggling with the most is the design aspect of the project. I am creating an iBook, which I have come to realize is somewhat limiting in it’s options of layout. I think it is a great program to work with, but I am challenged to make it work for the project. I am constantly changing the way I place photos and text. I am also attempting to find the perfect images to portray the characters I am emulating. I want them to be of good quality and authentic. This is the biggest challenge I am setting for myself in trying to select photos that I would have taken myself. Places I would have actually observed the people I am writing about in their environment. I hope I am able to emulate a type of “Humans of New York: Stories” for London and I am excited to continue working on it!

Academic Writing…I Forgot About You


Lisa Simpson is conveying what I fear will be my feelings after the Gateway course is over. I agree with these statements completely. What is academic writing again? I have been having so much fun exploring different genres that I have forgotten what it is like to write something like an argumentative essay or a critical analysis. I first got this feeling when I was writing an essay for another class. It was a product analysis and I found it difficult to keep my tone and voice professional versus what I have been doing for the repurposing and remediation projects.

With that being said, I enjoy that our assignments are not as conventional as an academic essay. I feel as though throughout the rest of the minor I will be able to engage with more work on academic writing, but I think that starting off with the Gateway course opens a lot of doors in my development as a writer. I did not expect this much freedom going into the course, so all of my ambitions of exploring creative/ free writing have been explored.

What I hope I am improving on most is my understanding of finding my own voice and tone and learning new genres of writing. This course has forced me to think outside of the box and I think that is exactly what I needed in order to develop as a versatile writer. I have also learned how to use certain technology that I never thought I would use. Who would have known that “alt-tag” would become a part of my everyday vocabulary! At this point in the minor I think that my writing has improved in the area of creativity. I have never been one to journal or write for fun, so the fact that things like writing this blog post come a little easier to me signifies that I am learning and becoming more comfortable with writing.

Why I Write

Something I definitely find different from the view of Orwell is that I did not know I was going to be a writer form an early age. If you asked “sophomore in high school me” if I would be minoring in writing four years later I would have told you were crazy. Writing was never something I found fun. I enjoyed it more so than math, therefore it was bearable. I know that all sounds really harsh, but it is true in the sense that I always felt smothered by academic writing. The English and writing classes that I have experienced in college have given me the chance to explore new types or writing that are not as constraining.

At this point, I feel as though I have learned how to write in my own voice. For as long as I remember I would always try to write like the amazing writers I read. Copying their sentence, structure tone, and ideas. It worked for them so I tried to make that work for me. Since then, I have learned that it is okay do do something different and to say something different. uber cliché I know, but it is true. I never would have imagined that this whole class would revolve around my trip to London. Learning how to express the journey on different platforms and through different mediums has been a skill that I will be able to transfer to all areas of my academics.

At this point this class has also forced me to get more familiar with certain technologies. I mean I am creating an iBook; I would have never guessed that when I embarked on the writing minor that would be possibility. Sullivan expresses his thoughts on writing in a blog as “to blog is therefore to let go of your writing in a way, to hold it at arm’s length, open it to scrutiny, allow it to float in the ether for a while, and to let others, as Montaigne did, pivot you toward relative truth.” I did not relate to Sullivan this past summer when I was writing the original source for my repurposing project nor did I really care. However, now I feel like I can relate more to what these writers are expressing in their thoughts of development as writers.

Should I Use InDesign?

Why not make things more difficult on myself and completely change my mind for my remediation project? So, I have decided to do a rendition of “Humans of New York” however a London addition. My plan is to identify and write about the certain kinds of people I experienced in London. So, I will be taking on the voice of what could be a certain stereotype through fiction writing. To be honest the idea of writing fiction terrifies me. One would think it is simple, but what I have realized is that there is a lot that goes into writing fiction. Yes, it is fiction, but a lot of research must be done to understand the characters I wish to portray.

I think that a good medium for this topic would be a digital book. What I need to learn is how to aesthetically incorporate image and text without it looking plain Jane. I have no experience with graphic design once so ever, so this project is going to be a challenge.

The new technology I have decided to explore is Adobe InDesign. It is a desktop publishing software application produced by Adobe Systems. It can be used to create works such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, and books. For the past few days I have been watching tutorials on how to operate Adobe InDesign, and it is a very complex program for an unexperienced and “wanna be” graphic designer. It could take a long time to completely master the program, but I am slowly getting the hang of it.

With my 30-day free trial, I hope to continue to expand my knowledge of the program. I have recently been playing around with how to incorporate and edit images along with text. Although I am at early stages of my remediation project and have no finalized what will be going into the final product of the work in InDesign, I am having “fun” practicing and getting adjusted to the program. SO, if anyone has any other suggestions of great graphic design programs for me to try out let me know!
InDesign

Send Help

This remediation project is stressing me out. I feel because I have already done a blog and an advice column I should do something on the opposite end of the spectrum like a blog post or a short film. What I was thinking of doing for the remediation project was either a children’s book or a storyboard. It is something that I have never done before and I think it could be interesting to explore that side of writing.

I am in the process of exploring models right now. I want to tell a story, whether that be in the style of a picture children’s book or a storyboard. I want to incorporate a lesson that I leaned while studying abroad but be able to deliver that message in a different way. My advice column was very literal and direct. In my remediation I want to convey a different message in a completely new context. I do not remember the last time I looked at a children’s book. From what I remember my favorite was “Oh The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Suess and “Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister. It is a completely different style of writing that I am very interested in working with. What I am learning from these two works is that since they are targeted towards children they is always a lesson or message imbedded in the work.

Although making a video or podcast would be a totally opposite medium, I want to stay in the spectrum of classic writing. I have also thought to possibly incorporate video as the presentation model of the book in order to have a different presentation mode. I hope to get some more advice on the direction I should take!

Quick and Easy Digital Rhetoric

Although I come across digital rhetoric everyday, I found it difficult to think up an example. As I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across something that I look at everyday. On a liked page titled “Tip Hero” exists several short videos of how to make certain foods. I am not interested in cooking at all. I can barely make a grilled cheese without setting the house on fire. However watching these videos everyday is somehow relaxing—and I cannot go a day without it.

How to videos of all kinds have changed the way people do things. The digital rhetoric that is delivered through video can be found to be more effective than just reading something. Providing an active visual and portraying the simplicity makes something like cooking seem so easy. It takes simplicity to a whole new level. From cookbooks, to shows with chefs, like Rachel Ray, now to focused how to videos. The videos are extremely short and provide a brief snap shot of what cooking certain foods is like and how the process should look.

The video of how to make a “Chicken Parm Bake” includes aspects of visual, spatial, linguistic, and spatial modes. There is text in the video to explain certain instructions that cannot be conveyed in the video content. As the video roles, light easygoing music plays. Each segment of video is short and descriptive enough to still be effective. There are gestural components within the video and acting out the making of the dish.

Uses digital rhetoric to highlight and illustrate how to make quick and easy recipes. The old cookbook just doesn’t cut it anymore. With the digital age taking over, being able to “see” the instructions in action is changing the way people cook.
Chicken Parm Bake on Tip Hero