Eportfolio– a process of pain and happiness

Compared with other projects, the process of creating eportfolio is much easier because it is all about me and my writing. I always wanted to create something to tell my story, but I didn’t expect it would be here in a writing course. The class and discussion have prepared me for my eportfolio.

The beginning was full of excitement. Designing and planning were all I cared about. Witnessing the progress that I have made on the pages is one of the best thing in the world. I had a detailed plan ahead of time so that when I actually put it online, the process was very smooth and Wix functions allows me to make my ideas come true. The basic structure was out, and then it was the period of procrastination. Because there are so many details to take care of, I felt frustrating and struggled before I started to put on artifact. Instead of artifact, I would say they are all new writing because I found none of my old writing is in English. In my three years’ English writing experiences, I seldom wrote for my own interest. Most of my writing are academic writing, which do not fit for the theme of my eportfolio. However, I really didn’t want to give up my theme because it represented who I am and what I like. I am the kind of person that once I chose my direction, I would go all the way till the end. Deadlines were approaching in a much faster speed than I imaged, so I was forced to start my writing.

Surprisingly, the process was filled with memories that made me miss every steps of my life and appreciated what I have and who I am today. I wrote about food, places, and restaurant that were full of my footprint. I wrote about people, culture that influenced me. I think it is not only a collection; it is a summary of my life since I started to learn, observe and reflect. I felt accomplished about my writing, but more about being able to record everything I want in my eportfolio.

I think to be able to receive others’ feedback from a first time reader’s view was very helpful in the process because I couldn’t find out the problem as I am the creator of the website. They gave many very useful suggestions that I could build on as I tried to develop my website in the future.

The process is full of pain and happiness, but the result is very awarding. I think this is the happiness of hard working, and it is the gain of creating something from the bottom of my heart. By creating eportfolio, I get a place to express myself and to record my progress little by little. I was completely open and honest in my eportfolio, and I hope the sincerity can be delivered to the audience through my writing.

Here is the link to my eportfolio: http://enni67.wix.com/lohersenni. Enjoy!

Writing Minor? It’s Not Minor

Having been through this whole semester’s training as a writing minor student, I have a lot to say. I don’t want to make it personal, but personal experience is always the best example and the best evidence to support an argument. For me, this semester was a process of finding problems and solving problems, and repeat. Compared with all the other writing courses, gateway challenged me once, twice… for many times. I think most people will agree challenge makes progress. That is how I feel standing by the finishing line of the course, I feel accomplished and awarding.

If you are looking into minor in writing, or if you are already accepted as a minor student, please keep reading.

A process of working progress. Writing minor, as you should know, certainly has a lot of writing. But very differently, writings in gateway course is never as you imagined. Outline, reference, or first draft? No. We want you to be creative, to be ambitious, to be a well-rounded writer. Therefore, you writing will be about your preference, your interest, and most importantly is about you as a writer.

An exploration journey about yourself. I think one of the most awarding thing in writing gateway course is to find myself through writing. From the beginning, “Why I Write” project opened my mind and brought out something that I have never thought of in my writing and in my life. I think I found back the passion about writing, and the joy that I have had before when I wrote. So writing minor is all about inspiration and exploration. You can go as deep as you want to create surprise and magic.

An opportunity to look back to the past and to look forward into the future. There is no course that connects your past into present better than writing gateway because it allows you to bring your old writing back on your screen and to recreate it into something special and amazing.  That is a process of looking back and looking forward. It is such a good chance to express yourself through the transformation of your writing and to challenge yourself with different writing styles and media.

A course to make the most of it. If you are prepared to pick up your pen and started to write, you were wrong. Writing is no longer physical writing; it is image, video, website, and so many more that you wouldn’t think of as writing. So just bring your heart with you and be as creative as you can and make the most of it.

I wish I could take more courses like this that could open my mind and broaden my horizon, and at the same time taught me new skills that I wouldn’t expect in the course.  I think that was what writing minor meant to me because it was never minor in my life.

 

A Better Me and Writing 220

I’m not sure if it is the last blog post, but I’m sure I will miss blogging here after this semester.  I think it is a great journey we have been through together as individuals and as a group. Recalling the step by step growth in Writing 220, I am very grateful for every feedback, every suggestion, every comment that I gained from the professor and my peers. I think those are the motives for me to constantly improve myself both as a writer and as a person. I become stronger and more willing to receive suggestive comments because there is always potential to improve and these comments give me a better idea of where I should work on and make progress. If I should pick one aspect in writing that improves the most, I would say writing to be myself. We start from mocking others’ writing style; however, when we actually put efforts to create our own project, it is no longer about others. It is about who we are, and our styles. What I understand better is when you write with your own voice, it shows in the writing; when your voice shows in the writing, the project becomes more alive and sincere. In writing 220, I really appreciate that we have much more freedom in writing than other normal writing courses. This flexibility gives us more room to develop our ideas.

Talking about flexibility, I cannot skip eportfolio. It is our final project and summarizes our work throughout the semester. In the beginning, I really struggle in selecting a theme. As I said before, I want it to be a platform to show me not only as a writer, but an all-round person. I always feel related to the quote “If, for the sake of amour and cuisine, I must pay, then I would give my life away.” This quote inspired me. Therefore, besides writing minor, I have cuisine and amour for the rest of my eportfolio. I will include personal experience writing in both parts. In cuisine, I have writings about food, restaurant and recipes; in amour, I have writing about people, places, and culture. I think experiences make a person. Our experience can influence who we are and what we think, and ultimately what we write. I am more confidence about my design and plan of my eportfolio, and I hope it turns out great to express who I am in front of all my audience.

Writing, Is Never the Same

As I read through Clark’s argument, it’s interesting that I could actually apply them to  every steps we’ve been experienced and practiced in Writing 220. I always like to try new things, and especially like new pedagogy as a student. I felt every new pedagogy is an improvement and development from the former and the old ones, and it usually results in better performance of students.  Nowadays pedagogy are putting students in the center of the class and adding knowledge and information around them. That itself is a huge improvement and it is what a class should look like.

I think Clark understands and integrates this idea into her pedagogy, and it works well for us in the class. I agree with her that we are writing in a more collaborative way. We exchange ideas, provide suggestions, and report new information and skills that we have learned from the beginning to the end of every writing project. In this way, the range of learning is expanded by just receiving from professor and us own to additionally receiving from peers. And this is the best part I like about this writing class.

Writing always seems to be personal and private, but this class gives us the best explanation of writing to the public. Not only the audience of writing changes from self, a small group to the whole virtual world, but also the forms of interaction that we are engaging in this semester. We appreciate and help improve each other’s project in class, and then we discuss specific issue and concerns through our blog post and comment. These interaction seems trivial, but they set the base and trained us to become better writer for a larger audience, and the sharing and opening to the public are exactly the advantage of digital writing. By continuous practicing digital writing, what we focused the most is our audience and how to write according to the specific group of audience. I think it is very beneficial to learn about the audience as a writer, especially in this digital writing world where we are facing a much larger and more critical audience.

Clark also mentioned making connections between old writing and new writing. and this is the repurposing project in our class. We connect with our old writing, but rewrite it to make it better fit for the medium and audience in digital world. Old things inspire us, so does old writing. In addition, reflection is also one of our focus in this class. We learn to reflect to our writing and give comments to ourselves for future improvement.

Should I add something more into the future pedagogy, I would say extension including extension to different subjects and varied depth of writing, and connection that requires close attention to new technology and information development and connects them into writing.

Let’s mock it up!

My remediation project traveled a long way before it becomes what it is right now. In the beginning, I wanted to create a Podcast station to broadcast about shopping experiences of UM students. Basically, my plan is to make it  a free style station, which would include casual interviews and conversations. However, I found Podcast is not the best choice for a theme like shopping. The final project would be much better if it could have some visual elements. Therefore, I turned to Instagram with the suggestions from my group members. There my ideal is to make an instagram gallery that includes UM students street fashion images and also interviews from those people, but I learned there was words limit and I couldn’t create a long About page to introduce the project, thus, made it harder for the audience to understand my exigence. Looking through previous students’ remediation examples, I figured out the best medium for me should be a website. Though we are doing another website for eportfolio, I think there is potential and room for me to express my idea and create a more focused platform about shopping. My final decision is to create a Wix website since I am very familiar with it, and the design and functions can better deliver my messages.

It is always a story of choices, from planning to taking action and observing the growth and final results. I started to create another site for my remediation, and it automatically direct me to choose template. To be honest, I almost went through all of the templates and chose the one appears here under thousand times of comparison. One thing I really like about Wix is that you could see the actual appearance of the website as you move things around. Because I’m a detail-oriented person, I couldn’t bear any tilt or weird structure of the website. Although I very much enjoyed the designing process, it really took much longer time than I expected. I chose a template originally designed for a tailor company because the style is simple but close to my theme. I named my website Happy Closet, which intended to emphasis the relationship between shopping and happiness; in addition, I put a UM logo on top of the website title to narrow the group of the target audience. Then comes the layout, the paragraph position, the image position, the font, the size, and a lot more details. I have learned to add feedback, add anchor to pages, etc. I love to see the result comes out successfully when I apply my learning. I should say remediation is much more fun than simply writing, and I look forward to seeing everyone’s  final works because they are the presentation of our great efforts.

Mock-up 2 web pages of Happy Closet website
Mock-up 2 web pages of Happy Closet website
Mock-up web pages of Happy Closet website
Mock-up web pages of Happy Closet website

 

Oh Media, Oh Technology

Remediation is never as easy as I thought. There are so many aspects needed to be taken into consideration. A website seems very easy to handle; however, punctuation, the position of images, the volume of the background music, and many more are all very crucial to a good website. I’m saying a good or an average; if you want an excellent website, I’m afraid you will need to make much more efforts than writing a 30 pages paper.

Since I am not doing anything very professional such as coding that requiring specific techniques, I am more focused on the design of the website because I want it to look professional and matches with the theme. Therefore, I tried Lynda; unfortunately, students are no longer covered by our school. So I turned to our best friend Google (I know we are expected to physically go to look for resources in school, but I found Google is really not a bad idea), and I found a lot of useful resources related to web design in YouTube. One of them works very well for me. It is the website design 101 video series of Website.com. It covers the text, color choice, logo, menu bar and all other interesting design tips. The best thing is that it provides further reference for useful tools such as kular.adobe.com, etc. It does not just focus on its particular website design, but covers different general topics for all website design beginners.  The videos introduce very detailed aspects of web design that we might ignore when we decided to create a website. However, as we actually start to build and design the website, all these details will come out and become the most troublesome part of website. I think it is really helpful to know and learn all of these in advance, so when I actually begin the process and meet all these problems, I can handle them well with corresponding knowledge.

The other resource I go to is Wix.com on YouTube because I am creating a Wix page for my remediation project; therefore, to get familiar with the functions of the website is very important. I learned how to add music, video, anchor, gallery, Pinterest, animation and even live chat to the website. I especially like the function of adding anchor to the website, which is used to directly link an element to a specific location on the same page or another page on your site.  It works very well for long pages and it eliminates the presence of an actual link. All of these are necessary for my website, and having them in my website could make a big difference.

In addition, I have explored a podcast station named Spreaker, in which you can broadcast in a console for free. I have the idea to put some audio and Podcast pieces to the page to add some freshness to the website.

The lesson I learned from these resources is that to be concise when trying to design a website. No matter it’s the text, color, or information of the website, make it simpler, professional and less overwhelming to the readers.

Cooking Comically

Cooking Comically website banner
Cooking Comically Banner

I choose another food website named Cooking Comically as my digital rhetoric example, but this time it is not a blog, but a website. It is such a creative idea to put recipes and comics together. How does it relate to digital rhetoric? Let me explain. As we discussed in class, rhetoric is the art of using language to persuade others, and digital rhetoric is an extension of traditional rhetoric. So basically the difference between traditional rhetoric and digital rhetoric is computer or technology. This website itself is created based on the use of internet and computer as well as the application of computer science on building website including coding, programming, etc. The comics in the content are drawn through updated drawing tools in the computer, and are uploaded regularly through internet. Therefore, almost every detail that composed this website was a product of digital technology.  In terms of rhetoric, it is a way of communication, to express ideas and persuade others. A cooking recipe website cannot be more representative in this sense; it draws people’s attention through creative ideas, and persuades them to cook following the recipes with entertaining comics and mouth-watering pictures. If you happened to cook according to his instruction, and it turned out great, then the rhetoric was successful because it persuaded you to perhaps cook again following his recipe.

In addition to the definition of digital rhetoric, I would like to talk about some features of digital rhetoric taking the Cooking Comically website as an example. In digital rhetoric, there are special identities formed online. The persons presented online might not be who they really are. In Cooking Comically, we cannot know who the creator is, what his job is, or where he lives through his comics. What we only know is that he enjoys cooking and draws great comics. If he did not tell, we can hardly know the gender of the creator. However, today’s media allows people to go online and search about each other, and in most cases, they can get somewhat results. In this case, we could still utilize the power of internet to search and know more about the creator of the website. It is because of digital technology, the edge between privacy and publicity is blurred; it is also because of digital technology, the search about each other becomes easier.

I noticed a lot of digital rhetoric has a lot of links to other rhetoric or social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Therefore, digital rhetoric has the feature of multitasking and information flow. We could read the comics on the website and turn to its Facebook page and like it or recommend it to friends, or tweet it with hashtag. In this sense, both breadth and depth of digital rhetoric are developed by the audience, and the audience also becomes the creator or the composer.

I think digital rhetoric, as a sharing platform, is more inclusive on the writers and the audience. It enables everyone to be part of it, and actively participate in its changes and development. Just like Cooking Comically, the audience has the opportunity to make comments on the recipes like a composer while the composer has chance to listen to feedbacks like an audience. All in all, what makes the website compelling is not only his idea of making the combination of comics and recipes, but also the allowance of interaction and information flow through the website and social media.

Write to present

I am fortunate to escape from studies a little bit to enjoy the fall foliage in Colorado during this fall break and to meet a friend who is a career advisor and was specialized in writing before in the University of Colorado. We had dinner together (awesome homemade pizza) and discussed about resume writing, which actually pushed me to think further about writing as a way of presenting ethos. I asked a question perhaps every graduating student would ask: what do employers see the most important in a resume? Or what is one recommendation you would give on resume writing? She told me that one suggestion is do not lie. I think most people will have the same reaction with me when hearing this advice for the first time. I don’t think anybody would lie about their resume, but these cases exist and it does not exist in a small group. However, we should pay close attention to the definition of lying because it can be considered to be a good “lie” when we elaborate the words and make it better matches with our career goal or a particular position while a bad lie is to simply lie about the fact that does not exist or create stories that have never happened.

Resume is an extreme example of presenting writer’s ethos because the whole point of resume is to help others, especially the potential employer, to read about a person’s ethos and to analyze if he/she matches with the position. But if we think in a broader sense, we could not find single one type of writing which does not present the writers’ ethos because writers are disclosing different aspects of themselves through writing content and everything necessary to complete the writing process. Therefore, writing itself is a self-disclosure; it is a presentation of ethos.

Then we have talked about a different format of resume which is more skill-based than the traditional chronological formatting. This change in writing a resume is actually also a part of writing though it will not be a big one. Written in a different order, the resume can stand out only because it is from a different perspective or format if ignoring the actual content. Writing (especially when it serves some kinds of functions) is just like making advertisement, which requires us not only to create the content, but to design the packages. All in all, I just want to say that writing is not all about writing; it is also about how we present ourselves as writers and how we perfect the presentation.

Just Get Me a Really Big Closet

The process of choosing was never my expertise. Having gone through my old writing, I selected several pieces and actually structured them in my imagination in order to make the best decision, but then I found there is no better decision because repurposing any of them would be similarly challenging and exciting. So I decided to give up the comparatively more official Autism topic and the co-written short story with my friend; instead, I chose my shopping blog post in summer to present myself and to extend this specified topic into a broader definition of shopping and fashion in relation to economics and life. I believe shopping is more than purchasing; it is a lifestyle that we could establish in our life.

When we talk about economics, we always think of serious economists and sophisticated technical terms. Not so many people have thought of economics as an everyday life item that we can actually touch and feel. I have to admit that I’m a shopaholic. Shopping for me is a necessity and enjoyment while economics is where my interest lies. I hope I can bring my passion of shopping into the economic world, and help people open their eyes and know better about themselves and their shopping choices. My intention is not to educate, but to raise awareness and hopefully to gain the “ah-ha” moment for shoppers through simplified languages and ideas. Additionally, I also want to share my personal opinions, questions, and answers through exploration in the articles.

I anticipated creating a column in Vogue magazine named “Just Get Me a Really Big Closet”, which will include several articles in the discussion of different connections of shopping, economics and psychology. Just like my inspiration Carrie Bradshaw, I want to consider the topic in depth, but still make it easy to understand for everyone. I am excited about my exploration and thinking processes during the repurposing as well as growth and improvement after this project. Quoting Carrie Bradshaw, “Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want, and just see what happens”, so how about wait and see what will happen? I hope these explanations have furthered your understanding of my project; it will be greatly appreciated if you could point out your confusion (if there is any) and give me any suggestions for later development.

Carrie Bradshaw quotes from Sex and the City

I Am a Food Blog

A variety of delicious home cooking recipes with pictures. [Image by screen capture]
“I am a food blog” front page. A variety of delicious home cooking recipes with pictures. [Image by screen capture]
Food blogging has never been so popular as today. In April, the crash of Instagram caused a “global food crisis” that people were starving by not being able to post food pictures. The increase attention on life style draws people to go back to the originality of life that they begin to care more about fitness, dietary, and details of life that we used to neglect. Thus, food blogs come into place and remain popular. I love food blogs not because they satisfied my sweet tooth, but they have the magic to calm me down and to appreciate the moment of life. Food blog become a way to express positive attitudes towards people and the world instead of merely sending out recipes. Food blogs are also more personal and always give out insight about different cuisine and restaurants, which makes them more practical and useful because of its unlimited availability. I want to share “I am a food blog” today to spread the positive energy that it has brought to me. Please follow me to take a tour to this lovely blog.

When you enter the main page, you will see a high definition picture of food through left to right, and the picture will scroll every few seconds. It’s like a digital gallery that offers you calmness and attracts you to read more. Just as simple as the blog name, the title is put on top of the page with a moderate size, and there is a subtitle “celebrating the awesomeness of food”.  It is worth noticing that the title is not capitalized, which makes the blog less formal and adds aliveness to it. The background is white, so everything on top becomes distinct, and automatically draws readers’ attention. As you scroll down, you will see a photo album with little paragraphs under each of the photos. Those paragraphs begin with “My mom, I wish, when I am at home…” all of which close the distance between you and the blogger in a second. The recipes and food stories are like talking to an old friend, naturally and freely.  Everyone eats and everyone makes food, so she has a wide array of audiences: from full-time mothers to busy students, from office ladies to diligent grandmas, or any other people who like cooking. In terms of its exigency, the blog should have the attempt to share personal experience about food making and especially to provide readers recipes and a heartwarming lifestyle.

People say the keys to create a successful food blog are gorgeous photography, wonderful writing, and rock solid recipes. I believe “I am a food blog” have all of them, and in addition, as it noted at the bottom of the page, it is “made with love”. When there is anything that love has involved, it will always sound better, or taste better. I want to end this post with a popular saying: eat the gourmet food, do the right things, make yourself pleased and nobody can ever hurt you.