I’m really proud of the finished product. I really thought I would never get it done, but here I am!!!!
“Growing Pains: Very short fiction” is a digital collection of flash fiction. Think short stories, but even shorter. I tried to limit each one to MAX 1.5 pages, and I’d like to think each one is pretty decent. Shoutout to my classmates for giving me great feedback and encouraging me to completely change the project halfway through the semester! Without their encouragement, I would probably be stuck with a project a really hated. Specific shoutout to Christine and Maya for answering the most technical website questions and having the patience to walk through everything with me 🙂 Lastly, I would like to thank T, whose positive attitude and genuine care for each and every one of us pushed me to continue, even when I wanted to give up. This semester has been a wild ride, but at least I have something I’m really proud of to show for it, other than a digital diploma.
Here’s the link: https://hklevin7.wixsite.com/growingpains
The first thing I’m going to tell you is to take a deep breath. You got this. I’ll admit, I was pretty nervous about taking Capstone. The amount of work seemed incredibly daunting, and I didn’t feel like I had any ideas for projects that were interesting enough. That’s right, I said “interesting enough.” I wanted my capstone to be impressive and interesting for other people to read, interesting to other people who are going to see it. In other words, I wasn’t creating something for myself. Mistake #1.
Mistake #2 was thinking that I had to stick with whatever project I was doing. Let me make something very clear: YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHANGE YOUR MIND! Halfway through the semester I did a complete 180 and guess what? The world didn’t end. Same thing happened to me in Gateway. I thought this semester was going to be about me just getting by, about me just doing a project to get it done. I ended up with a project that I am SO proud of. Changing my mind last minute was probably the smartest decision I’ve made in a while. So, this is me telling you it’s ok not to stick with something if you don’t like it. Trust me, it will pay off.
Lastly, what it was like to have Capstone online.
I’m going to be honest, I thought it would really suck. Something that I really value in the minor is the interaction I have with the professors and my classmates, and I thought losing that in person touch would suck. And yeah, it was a lot different over Zoom/Bluejeans, but we were all going through the same stuff, and it felt good having that sense of community, even if it was through a videochat. A HUGE shoutout to T for maintaining a sense of normalcy in this crazy time, and for being so kind, caring and understanding.
Other miscellaneous advice:
-Workshops might seem scary, but they are SO HELPFUL. Listen to your peers and your teacher. Since they’re not involved heavily in the project, they’re going to give you awesome advice
-Speak up in class! Read your work!
-Related to the first point, don’t be afraid to give feedback to your classmates when they ask for it
-Make a plan for your project, but it’s ok if you don’t end up following it. You will get everything done!!!!
You got this, everyone! If I could make it through, so can you.
I’m going to be honest: I haven’t thought nearly enough about my project as I probably should have. So here I am:
Realizing I should probably get myself together and start doing stuff!!! It’s MARCH!!! Having my workshop originally planned this past Tuesday was super helpful; I wrote a bunch of stories, and am now moving on to thinking about recording the actual podcast. Yikes.
I know, I know, I’m probably overreacting a little bit. I’m not the most technologically savvy person, so this kind of stuff stresses me out. But it’s okay! I’ll be okay! I’ll come to class next week with some audio to show to the class, even though I hate hearing myself speak.
Hearing everyone’s pitches the other day was exciting. And nerve racking. And stressful. It’s really hard not to compare my ideas to others, especially when they’re impressive and scholarly and academic. I’m just sitting there like:
because I want to write stories!!! Well, kind of. I want to read my stories and essays out loud, record them, and make it like a podcast series. But the idea of just using my own work and recording myself seemed a little self-centered and weird, so I plan to open it up to friends, and even the public, who want their work to be spoken into existence, too. It’s going to be interesting. I don’t know how many people want to share their writing with me, let alone have it be part of a project. What if no one wants to participate?? I’m worried, but I think it’s all going to be okay. These things have a habit of resolving themselves in due time. I know I’m surrounded by closeted writers who just need a little convincing, because I used to be one of them.
Also this proposal seems scary. It’s really looming in the back of my mind. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
I’m going to try and share with you some tidbits of knowledge, advice if you will, on how to succeed in the Minor in Writing Gateway without really trying (that’s a joke, you do actually have to try!)
Here we go:
1) Read from your journal, and give feedback on other people’s writing. Don’t be scared! People always appreciate what you have to say, and it makes those awkward silences a lot less awkward.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for help; that’s what they’re there for (thanks T!)
3) Once you get to the part of the semester when you’re working on your experiments, START EARLY. I speak from experience.
4) You’re allowed to change your mind! Nothing is ever set in stone.
5) Write in your notebook. A lot. You’ll never know when it’ll come in handy for other classes (one of my English 325 essays was based on something in my notebook)
6) Embrace the chaos! Take advantage of the flexible structure of the class. It scared me at first, having all these not strict deadlines/doing a lot of work on your own, but it has benefitted me in the long run.
After serious internal debates with myself, I’ve finally decided to go forward with my second experiment and make it my final project. It’s going to be an open letter to the writers of the TV show Shameless. At first, I was a bit worried. I wasn’t sure if I was passionate enough about any of my experiments to turn one into a final project, and that scared me. But then I took some time, did some reflecting, and I think I picked the right one. My other experiments felt complete as is; this one had potential to be pushed further.
The thought of making a website is daunting to me. I don’t even know which platform to use. I’m a very particular kind of person; I like things to look a certain way, and if they don’t, I become easily frustrated. But that’s okay. I need to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I have friends that are more tech-savvy than I that can help me if I need. I think I want my webpage to be simple and elegant. Monochrome colors, gray, white, black, maybe blue (I know, boring, right? But that’s who I am.) I want everything to be easily accessible; the links will be clearly marked, hopefully making the overall user experience better. I also want to add an “About Me” page. I’m not sure if I want it to be the first thing that you see on the website, or a separate link. Either way, I think it’s important to add some context that could change the way the viewer looks at my experiments and projects.
I know that it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m up for it.
When I think about where we all started versus where we are now, I would say that it’s all like March, but in reverse. Let me explain. You know the saying “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb?” It’s the opposite in this class. Not in a bad way, though. Everything seemed easy at the beginning, but now, now it’s all happening. It’s like you look at your calendar and you’re like, holy shit, there’s less than a month of classes left. And we still have so much to do: submit experiment 2, and 3, and make our eportfolios. It’s a lot. My experiments have been going, but there’s so much more to be done. To be honest, I’m not even sure it I know which one I want to make my final project. Is that a problem? It’s all a lot, but it’s okay. There’s still time. I’m still just learning to embrace the chaos.
I’m Hannah, a junior from New York studying English, and I’ve been writing and reading since I can remember. I write everything: academic essays, personal narratives, poetry. I’ve recently been experimenting more with my writing for other classes, changing a normal academic essay into something much more personal and interesting. I like taking risks.
My origin piece is an academic essay I wrote for English 125 my freshman year. It discusses the TV show Shameless, and how it accurately portrays mental illness in comparison with other popular TV shows and movies. It was the worst grade I want in the class, so although disappointing, I’m super excited to get the chance to make it better. By writing an open letter, using the cut-up technique, and possibly attempting a video essay, I hope to make this essay reach the potential that I saw in it in that small classroom in Mason Hall two years ago.