Finding My Way

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When I first entered the research guides page, I was drawn to the social science category. I have always been intrigued by the study of people, and social science classes have been some of my favorite to date. From there, it seemed only natural that I would be led to Communication Studies links, since this is my major. I really enjoy many aspects of communications, especially social media and advertising. This kind of brought me back to something I had talked about with my partner, Lauren, in class last week. Lauren suggested that I create some kind of ad campaign. It was a pretty general conversation, but it got me thinking. It would be awesome to create print advertisements, especially since I’ve always been interested in learning more about design and photoshop in collaboration with my writing. The thought of a series of commercials also crossed my mind, but I’m not sure if I want to delve back into the world of video since I’ve done a couple projects using iMovie so far.

Additionally, as I mentioned before, social media usage is a huge interest of mine. I found a lot of resources surrounding this topic, and I am particularly drawn to the idea of exploring how social media is used in different parts of campus. Obviously, students are incredibly active on most sites, but are more professors starting to use different platforms as well? Does the university feel adequately connected to the student body through social media? I feel like this type of project would work well as a video, or even a set of infographics. It would require some research, but could provide some serious insight about the topic.

Overall, I definitely am interested in doing my Capstone project on something related to other people and persuasion. I like the idea of reaching out to people and getting feedback — even incorporating the public directly into my project. I’m very excited to continue developing my ideas and figure out a concrete plan!

Don’t do it for the fans

Dear future Gateway students,

You’re probably scrolling through the blog trying to figure out what the Minor in Writing is actually all about. Because, in the beginning, it’s more than a little vague. It’s 7pm on the first day of classes, and you are more than a little overwhelmed. Earlier today, you shuffled into North Quad embarrassingly early (because what if you couldn’t find the room? what if you couldn’t find a seat?) and you sat in a circle, staring at strangers who all seemed more qualified than you. Right now, you love to write, but they’re already writers. They made it into this minor because they could actually produce things worth reading. You made it in because..well you aren’t even really sure why. What’s an eportfolio? Repurposing? Remediation? You just don’t know.

That’s the best part about this program. Any doubts on the first day are quickly diminished because it becomes clear that you, in fact, are a writer. You are a writer simply because you love the act of putting words on paper, because you have a knack for stringing  sentences together in a way that makes people smile or cry or laugh or whatever. You’re a writer because you chose this minor, and it chose you back. Because you can take a note scribbled by your best friend and turn it into a semester long project.

So if I had one piece of advice for you future Gateway writers out there, it would be to write for yourself. Not for anyone else. It’s ok if you don’t exactly follow the assignment instructions, or if your writing is a little too controversial. It doesn’t matter if your story makes people angry or if they just don’t seem to get it. Follow your voice, and create things that you love.  Write about what’s important to you. You won’t regret it. Take care of your writing, and nurture it so that when you do send it out into the world, it’s an accurate representation of you — a writer.

 

Write until you feel right.
Write until you feel right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Let’s eat Grandma” vs. “Let’s eat, Grandma”

I’m a sucker for engaging punctuation; I find that it makes whatever I’m reading infinitely more interesting. But my favorite punctuation is, without a doubt, the infamous semicolon.

The semicolon receives a lot of negative feedback. Kurt Vonnegut once described the semicolon by saying, “They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college”. I don’t understand the adversity; a semicolon is like a really healthy relationship. It  joins two substantial ideas together because it knows they will be stronger as one. It lets the reader know that these two ideas are more intensely connected than any other ideas surrounding them.

The semicolon captures that fleeting breath between two clauses (smaller than a period pause but longer than a comma pause). It produces fluidity and rhythm that cannot be replicated by any other mark. It also is an easy way to avoid the ever-aggravating comma splice.

On the other hand, there are many parts of punctuation that I cannot stand. The over-usage of commas is a killer. Sometimes I wonder if people read their stuff out loud before publishing. If they did, they would have to realize that pausing, after, every, word, sounds, a little, strange. I’m not saying that I’m perfect; I am definitely guilty of comma wrongdoings from time to time. But I believe that less is more when it comes to the small baseline character.

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Forever Young

For my repurposing project, I have (mostly) decided on reworking a journal entry I scribbled down before coming to college. The entry basically consists of me freaking out about the future, and rambling on about how I’ll never feel like a real adult. I remember the moment I wrote the entry, laying in my bed at 4am. There were many sleepless nights before departing on the 45 minute drive to Ann Arbor.

So, I guess I’m exploring the definition of an “adult”. What makes people feel grown up? My mom used to always tell me that she felt like an adult the day she graduated high school. To this day, I don’t feel like I’m there yet. But I do feel much closer to the proverbial “real life person” than I did when I wrote that journal entry. I’m beginning to think that adulthood doesn’t come at you in a specific moment. You don’t wake up one morning in your college dorm room and think to yourself “Wow! I’d really love to go out and get a job and pay bills and wear sensible shoes”. It’s not one thing that hits you like lightning; it’s a bunch of little things that you deal with along the way.

So far, the most shocking part of my research has been how many sources there are available for twenty-somethings. The world must agree that we are a pretty lost and confused age group. The solidarity is comforting I think.

 

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If staying in my bed all day is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing this Blog Post off my list

Ever since I can remember, I have loved to make lists.

Growing up, I had a hiding place in my room specifically designated for the “ultra important” ones:

my favorite colors

my best friends

reasons why I deserved a puppy

As I got a little older, the lists changed:

books I wanted to read

boys I liked

places I wanted to travel

Once I reached high school, I realized that lists were my way of compartmentalizing. My brain often felt so cluttered; jotting things down was a way of unloading some bulk. I didn’t have to think about it anymore, but I still knew it was safe somewhere, immortalized. When I see a word or quote I want to remember, I add it to a list. When I hear a name or a song I like, I add it to a list. My desk is often covered in ripped pieces of paper filled with seemingly unorganized phrases. But through the scribbles, my world becomes more structured.

The other day, I read an NPR article about why the average person is drawn to lists. The number six reason was “Making lists can help make you famous”. Apparently, Benjamin Franklin was an avid list-maker. His included, “synonyms for being drunk…and of reasons to choose an older woman as a mistress”. He also completed a list of personal virtues that he felt should define his life. The author of the article attributed much of Franklin’s fame to his many detailed lists.

While I do not see my obsessive habit turning into anything more than that, you better believe I’ve already added it to my “Ways to Get Famous” list.

 

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Elephants Were my Favorite Animals Until I Discovered Polar Bears

I have always been fascinated with Flannery O’Connor. I’m not exactly sure why, and I’m not exactly sure when it began. Something about her prose and the way she uses metaphor-ridden foreshadowing really gets me going like nothing else. I had already read a lot of “Mystery and Manners”, but this specific section was extremely interesting a second time around.

One of O’Connor’s main claims is that most people are interested in either writing or the act of being a writer. For me, being a writer has never actually crossed my mind. For some reason, making a living off of the thoughts and scribbles I jot down for pleasure seems a little like cheating the system. It would be akin to profiting from chatting with friends, or from eating pizza. Something that brings me so much inner happiness should be used to fill my soul, not my pockets. Don’t get me wrong; some people are meant to be writers. They have messages to share that will benefit others just as much (if not more) than benefiting themselves. I’m too selfish for that. My writing is for me.

In a way, O’Connor captured the Gateway class perfectly. Each week, we are presented with different artists who hold different views on the subject of writing. I find myself really identifying with someone, but the next week, I change my views to completely line up with someone else. Some may call me fickle, but I think honestly, I just do not know how I feel about writing yet. I know what I like to read, and I know what I like to discuss but, until now, writing has been a gray area that I do not quite understand.

As Flannery described, I like to think that I aim to create art and then cross my fingers that the truth flows naturally from within it.

Finding the Right Words: A Manifesto

Write because the pen is the most sincere connection between your thoughts and the world.

Because if you don’t write, the names, faces, and pictures in your head will slowly slip away and you cannot afford to lose them.

Write because it is the only thing you will ever truly own, and the only thing you will truly feel the need to give away.

Write because it’s the best friend you will ever have and the clearest mirror you will ever look into.

Write because you’re not great at doing anything else, and because you don’t want to be.

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A Good Bio is Hard to Find

Caroline Colosimo is a junior at the University of Michigan who does her best writing while blasting Broadway showtunes.  She likes to believe she is critically acclaimed for her humorous daily tweets about the world, and continually leaves her readers wanting more of her unpublished and uncensored thoughts. She enjoys reading Flannery O’Connor, John Green, and celebrity gossip.

She lives in Ann Arbor with six girls

who all hate Broadway showtunes.

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