See ya!

Well, this is a bit surreal. This blog post marks my last assignment at Michigan. High Stakes!

I’m happy to share with you all my new portfolio. My last one was an utter disaster and I wish there were some way to destroy it. Without further adieu, here is the link you have been waiting for:

http://jasonrubinstein4.wix.com/jasonbr

Check it out. Read every word. Just kidding; don’t do that. Well, unless you want to. Anyway, my portfolio, titled “The Writer,” was a way for me to showcase my personality through writing. When I began to write my Evolution Essay, I realized my writing progression is gigantic metaphor for who I am. That essay is what I want you to read most. And hopefully that will give you an urge to read more of my work which is plastered all over the site!

My capstone was a long-form feature about an Ann Arbor chef, who wants to end the stereotype that Gordon Ramsay has created for all chefs. They don’t all yell and scream. Writing about a chef was difficult; especially because I had no idea what would be cliché and what wouldn’t. I gave it my best shot and hope you enjoy it should you read it.

Most of all, please read the evolution essay: I never opened up like this before — that should entice you.

Before I go, thanks to everyone in my class. You’ve all been great. Special shootout to Julie — you challenged me when I didn’t want to be.

Cheers

PS: Check out my portfolio! And read the evolution essay.

Becoming a Chef

I’ve always wondered who was cooking my food at a restaurant. I can count on my hands how many times I’ve encountered the chef at a a place I was eating. So for this project, I wanted to uncover who these people really are.

Thanks to the friendly people in Ann Arbor, I was able to shadow the Chef at Ruth’s Chris steakhouse. I interviewed him for three hours and spent the day with him in the kitchen and he even let me cook my own steak (with significant guidance). I learned more than I ever thought I would about being a chef, what it takes to get there and the amount of work it takes.

In fact, when I got to the restaurant, he was doing dishes! Why would a chef do dishes? Read my final project to find out.

I think this project will really show my passion for food, obviously, but also my interest in uncovering who people really are? Chef Charles could’ve acted entitled like his title might suggest, but he was down to earth and a real blue-collar, awesome dude. With more research, I can’t wait to learn more about him and use Charles as a case study when talking about the life of a chef.

 

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As for my new portfolio, I am incredibly excited to have another chance. My old one was crap and really embarrassing. I plan to showcase both who I am as a person and a professional. I will most definitely post my best sports stories from the Daily on the site, but also include other writing as well (My annotated bibliography has some pieces I’d love to share with more than just myself and teachers).

There is no reason for my work in these classes to die and be stored only on my desktop. Why not try and showcase them to whoever comes to my site. I am not trying to make this site to impress employers per se, but with that in mind, I wouldn’t put anything on this site that would make a recruiter feel questionable about me.

I will also format this site professionally, such that is follows the basic format of all major sites. If you look at Apple, Uber and airbnb, they all have the same general layout on their home pages and top tab bars.

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When it comes to social media, I am all Twitter.

If you look at my computer, it will be open nearly all the time. (I’d post a picture but some error message keeps popping up when I try to upload a picture)

A second introduction

Hello again.

My name is Jason Rubinstein and I am now in my last semester here. It’s crazy how fast it all went. Anyways, to give a refresher: I grew up in Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb 30 minutes north of Chicago. It’s also next to Highland Park, which everyone seems to know at this school. I don’t know why. I write hockey for The Michigan Daily, and also edited sports for 2.5 years. However, that ended last semester and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all this new free time.

Anyways, as you could probably deduce, the largest writing community I am apart of is the sports journalism world. I probably spent 30 hours a week in every semester of college in that community whether that be physically writing, editing, interviewing or even just watching the sporting event. What I loved about journalism is how the writing is so concise, quick and calculated. I loved getting to piece together the sporting event in the way that I think makes sense. Deadlines also make for significant pressure while reporting, but deadline writing is the best type of writing. I think the best writing comes when you’re under a strict deadline.

However, journalism also allows you to write features, like this one I wrote on JT Compher on the hockey team. Writing this allowed me to develop a character in a non-fictional way that I loved.

Aside from the journalism community, I recently joined the short fiction community after taking English 223 last semester. I ended up writing a fiction piece on a turtle who can talk to humans and befriends a bullied student. It was weirdly a ton of fun to write and I have absolutely no idea how I came up with that story. Writing fiction is incredibly different than journalism. There aren’t deadlines. My professor said she had been working on a novel for over two years. That is crazy! The word choice is less concise and instead, a bit more flowery. It’s all about showing and not telling. Journalism is the opposite.

However, like the feature listed above, short fiction allows you to create your own characters: You can pick his/her flaws and strengths. Just like you get invested into a feature, you get invested into these characters you create. And that might be hard to believe, but just try it. I promise.

So while the worlds are much different, writing is writing. Its core is the same. And the two may be more intertwined than I once thought.

I’m looking forward to a great semester.

Cheers.

 

Oh, and here is a picture of my Dog, Roger, and I. He is my favorite thing on Earth.

Roger, my standard poodle, and I
Roger, my standard poodle, and I

Reflections to the ePortfolio

When you first enter my profile, you will see my name in big letters and my professional headshot.  My goal for this is for the readers to see that and think I am professional writer. It also gives the audience a larger sense of who I am and feel like they can connect to me a little bit more. Having the image of my face linger throughout the audience’s mind can also make them understand my writing, perhaps, a little bit more. Below my name, the viewer will be able to easily navigate my portfolio. I tried to make this as easy as possible. My goal was not to overwhelm, employing the mantra “less is more.”  On the homepage, I also have, in big text, a description of my career aspirations, a brief explanation for the site and a little about myself. Once again, I don’t want to overwhelm and if the viewer is totally interested in me, my resume is posted for their convenience. The guiding idea is to understand who I am as a writer and a professional at the same time. I plan to use this site well beyond graduation and it’s a great place to store my work. Viewers can see my resume and all my work samples, which displays confidence in all my prose.

My articles page was designed as a grid with the ability for the audience to click a picture and it links to the corresponding article. I feel that pictures often times lure readers and I felt this was something I wanted to employ.

My resume is posted for the audience to get an idea of what work interests me and what I like to do. This also provides ethos to the ePortfolio as I am virtually submitting what I submit to future employers online. The catch: anyone with Wifi can view my resume now, not just the employer.

The trickiest part of creating my ePortfolio was trying to determine how I wanted to showcase my proud Writing 220 works. Obviously, I plan to use this portfolio more for employment opportunities, so putting the Writing 220 stuff on it wouldn’t really make sense. But I am so proud of the work I’ve done in this class that I couldn’t leave it out. I truly believe my Why I Write essay embodies who I am as a person and student. It was the first piece I opened up in and anyone who wants to get to know me should know what is in that piece. Therefore, atop the “Writing Minor” page is my Why I write piece. Below that is the space for the repurposing projects and remediation projects. I put a large picture of David Price to link to the original source of writing. Below that, I put my repurposing project and linked it to what I was modeling it after. And finally, at the bottom, is my YouTube video containing my remediation project. I really think the reader will understand the progression well based on my layout.

 Lastly on the portfolio is my contact page. My phone number and email are provided, which, again, adds ethos to the ePortfolio as viewers can directly contact me with their concerns. However, I am not worried.

 Anyone who has seen my portfolio has noticed my Twitter Feed appearing on all the pages. They ask me why. There is a simple answer: a lot of who I am is on Twitter. The social-media site is essential to all journalists and it composes my opinions and believes on all topics Michigan.  I don’t think you can get the full picture of Jason Rubinstein without looking at my Twitter, so that is why it is included.

I really cannot wait to see if my website attracts any buzz. I will tweet it out, link it on Facebook to do everything I can to make it grow. Only time will tell if that is the case.

So thank you Naomi and all creators of the Writing 220 curriculum. I truly loved making this portfolio!

Dear future Writing Minors

First off, congratulations on being accepted to the Minor in Writing. I’ll be honest, when I was first admitted to the program, I wasn’t really fazed by it. However, it didn’t take long for the program to make an impact. Realize that the 15-20 students sitting around you are some of the most gifted writers at Michigan and that this will be one of your only classes where everyone has a similar passion. So make sure you take advantage of that.

Here is some advice:

  • Make sure you really think critically about your “Why I write” assignment. It is really important to really delve deep into the reasons  you want to write as it will help you as the semester goes on. It really will make you feel like you are doing the program for the right reasons — not to say that you aren’t.
  • When you pick the original source for your repurposing and remediation project, make sure it’s a piece of writing that you love and are willing to get creative with. You will be working with it all semester and if you don’t like that piece, it’ll be hard to enjoy the class. I really cannot stress this enough. These projects are something you will take pride in down the road.
  • Take pride in your ePortfolio. It’s a great tool to have in the future and remember: Anyone has access to it!
  • Lastly, enjoy the peer review process. Everyone in the class is a gifted writer and can help in one way or another. I remember hearing that this class had a lot of peer review and immediately thought back to my English 125 class and how horrible and unproductive it was. This is totally different. I  promise. So take advantage of it.

Once again, congrats on your acceptance! Best of Luck.

Jason

Thanks, Writing Minor

If you look back to my original essay for the Writing Minor Application, one of the things I said I wanted to get out of the minor was my own website. I knew from friends who had taken the gateway class prior to this semester that they were able to create their own e-portfolios and I thought that was super cool and something I should definitely do — regardless if I got accepted into the minor. So even before this semester, I kept telling myself to use Wix and create a site unique to me. However, procrastination kicked in and I never got around to it. That is, until now.

Not only does my e-portfolio showcase my proud pieces of writing from this semester, along with my academy-award winning movie making skills, it has allowed me to showcase my Michigan Daily articles in one, easy place. Through that, I am able to link future employers to my website and they certainly can get a full picture of who Jason Rubinstein is. More so, I am able to post my resume on my ePortfolio. By doing this, not only can the future employee read about me through a blurb on the front page, but they can also read my personal essays to learn about me. They also can read my articles to learn about my hobby and get a good picture of who I am before a face-to-face interview.

So for those wondering if they need to put more writing on their ePortfolio, I have put my resume and all of my articles.

It’s for the ePortfolio, that I am very thankful for the writing minor. It has allowed me to showcase my writing passion to the public, something that’s hard to do all in one place. It has allowed me to make myself a stronger candidate through jobs just by having my own website.

More so, the writing minor has challenged me to write in ways that I never have. Prior to Writing 220, I never attempted to write a first-person memoir. And while it was super challenging, and something I never envisioned myself doing, I am so grateful I did. It taught me that I can write in other genres and am able to do anything I put my mind to.

So thank you writing minor.

No hiding online

While I don’t agree with Clark on all her points, I definitely agree with her approach to teaching. At this point, I can honestly say I think most classes should be done through the internet. And I think it’s cool that Writing 220 is all done through a Google Drive, which is a step in the right direction. Let me rephrase to make sure my point is clear: I think classes should be done predominantly online, with some paper components. There is still some value to paper; at least for now.

Anyways, one of Clark’s points really stuck out to me. She says, “In my classes, I am challenging traditional notions of essayistic literacy by pushing students to make their writing public and to use digital media. In these classes, students either keep personal blogs, focused on issues related to our class theme, or they contribute to a class blog” (34). Reading this made me smile because this is something that I have always thought about. What I love most about this new digital culture and digital rhetoric is the accountability it holds writers to. Everything can be seen by anyone. Haven’t you ever wondered what your peers writing is like? Now, instead of just watching a peer turn in a paper to a teacher and wondering what they said, you can see all their writing online. (Just like this post!).

By doing this, students will revise their work more in fear that their peers will see it. Students are no longer just bound by their instructors, but rather their friends as well. If that’s not scary, I don’t know what is. As bad as it may seem, though, it is only to the writer’s benefit.

Additionally, a point that stuck out to me was Clark’s view on ePortfolios. Clark says, “ePortfolios first serve as a symbol of the move from a culture of paper information storage to digital information storage” (29). Working on my own ePortfolio, I am finding this process enjoyable. When it is all said and done, I am energized at the prospect of having my own website that can showcase all my writing and who I am as person. In a sense, it’s like a resume but better!

 

 

 

I’m not very good at drawing…

To put it bluntly, writing movies is not for me. I like writing; don’t get me wrong. But I had never written anything like this and I don’t want to do it ever again. Alright, enough venting.

Just kidding. Essentially, storyboarding combined two of my least favorite things: writing movie scripts (or at least bits and pieces) and drawing. Just ask my mom: I never thrived in art class growing up. Anyways, I’ll stop venting now. I promise.

Drawing up the storyboard was shockingly helpful. It allowed me to visualize my video and really sparked the creative side (if there is one) in me. Through creating a storyboard, I was able to think about which parts of my original Michigan Daily story I wanted to use in my piece. This proved to be very helpful and made the decision process easy.

An ESPN 30-for-30 thrives on its creative interviews and scenes. The transitions prove to be critical to the story and the storyboard helped me visualize those.

Here is a lovely picture of my storyboard (hold your laughter):

This is a storyboard of my to-be 30-for-30 video
This is a picture of my lovely storyboard. Don’t laugh!

 

 

 

GIFS/PICS

Sorry for being late on this post, but blog posts that I find compelling generally don’t overwhelm a user with words. If I want to read lots of words, there are plenty of other mediums to go to instead of a blog.

For example, a sports blog: I want this blogs to have pictures and gifs of certain plays, coverage breakdowns or funny moments because a picture of gif can speak for 1000 words, right? It’s easier for the viewer to understand the context with a picture and gif.

Mgoblog.com does this perfectly. They found the right balance of word-to-picture/ratio. I think you’ll agree.

How clever is Twitter?

For the past 10 minutes, I have sat at the Daily looking through Tweets. It dawned upon me the majority of reading I do throughout the day is on Twitter. So I asked myself this question: “Am I becoming less educated because of reading tweets rather than edited prose?” After some quick thinking, I came to the conclusion that I’m not stunting my learning, reading or writing ability in any way by reading an almost disgusting amount of tweets a day.

Rather, I thought tweets are carefully crafted sentences that are restricted to 140 characters. Tweets are to the point and, in a sense, some of the best writing there is. Just because its not in a book, article, magazine, etc., it doesn’t mean the writing is bad. Some magazine articles have word limits of 4,000 words (words, not characters!!!!). That’s a lot of room for jargon and unnecessary language. Instead, on Twitter, you are restricted and it forces the writer to become more creative with word choice.

Just think: writers at the newspaper write stories around 500 words. They then are forced to condense the story in a creative, convincing matter in 140 CHARACTERS. What’s more difficult? I’d bet the answer would surprise you.