Here it is! Introducing: The P Word

The time has finally come! What I’ve been waiting for all semester. This project was HARD and doing it amidst a pandemic made it that much trickier. However, I’m so happy with the work I’ve done and published into the word.

I’m still grappling with my privilege and how to not feel guilt or anxiety surrounding my experiences. This project was a giant step in the right direction for me to really unravel these thoughts and feelings and put them into words. I learned so much about myself and my identity when writing these and I hope after reading you learn more about yourself as well. It’s easy to get sucked into your own world but when you start to look at different angles and perspectives, your world gets a whole lot bigger.

The meaning of my work began changing as the environment around me did. I’m now home in Chicago, living at home with my family. The world is shifting before my eyes. I was able to put my privilege into context today. To apply it to the pandemic and the consequences around it. That was something super eye opening as well.

I can’t thank my writing community enough for sticking with me and helping me as I wrote these uncomfortable essays. It definitely wasn’t easy but I’m so proud of how it turned out. Enjoy!

My advice to you!!

Welcome to Senior Year!! And welcome to your writing capstone. This is such a unique and special community where you learn from each other, harbor safety and support, and create unbelievable work. This semester has definitely been a rollercoaster. There are days when I love my project and days when I can’t stand it. Having switched online in the middle of the semester, it has taken a lot of will and motivation to complete this daunting project.  Here’s some advice I have for you as you embark on this exciting class. 

  1. Try to pick your project as early as possible and really find a niche idea/opinion/genre/medium. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my project since writing about privilege can be super uncomfortable. I recommend writing about something that is out of your comfort zone, a passion, a curiosity. It can really be anything which is the beauty in it but make sure it is something you want to write about. Purpose will come with passion. 
  2. Create a detailed production plan and stick to it. With classes going online halfway through the semester, creating a new production plan and sticking to it was very difficult. If classes are online, I recommend staying on track as much as possible because the work will creep up on you. 
  3. Lean on your peers. This capstone community is such a unique and strong group that is truly there to support you. Lean on your professor but also the peers around you. Get to know them. This made it much easier to share personal work with them and so much more rewarding getting feedback and advice. This community is truly awesome, take advantage!
  4. Know that your project will not look like how you envisioned it in the proposal, and that’s OK and normal. Your project will likely take many turns, edits, forms, etc. This is all part of the project process! Embrace it and don’t get too hooked on the details or the changing landscape of your project. In the end, you will create something you are proud of and that’s what matters most!
  5. Have fun! While this project is a lot of work, it is truly a time where you can reflect on your time at college, use new skills, and be creative! Take advantage of the opportunity!

Good luck!!!

Project Update! Am I ready for this?!

Woah. How is it already March. This semester is flying by way faster than I want it to. I’ve had a lot of confusion and ups and downs with my project. I decided on the subject first: White privilege and my experiences with it in the crazy world we live in. But finding the right medium and the right way to share my experiences and educate others is super super hard and confusing. I need to share my experiences and discomfort in the right way and it’s been SUPER tricky to navigate.

This is T to me as I try to explain to her my many conflicting ideas. Anyways. I think I made some headway today with T which is awesome!!!! So, I’m planning to either make a video essay or an audio essay (leaning toward video) and incorporating everyday moments when White privilege affects me and I don’t even realize it. The video shots will be taken on my phone and will be inspired my Peggy McIntosh’s “Daily Effects of White Privilege.” Over these images of my personal life and video shots I’ll be narrating and educating on White privilege and how to ben productive after learning about it. I’m hoping to open people’s eyes more, take others perspectives and show that if we can all shift our mindsets just a little bit, we notice a whole lot more about ourselves and others. And we are then able to live kinder and greater lives. Lots of hype but with more direction I’m excited to see where it goes and what you guys think at my workshop!!

Reflection: What In The World Is My Project Going to Be On???

Finding a topic that I’m passionate about and not going to get bored of for the next 4 months is daunting! I want it to be meaningful, personal yet also academic and significant. I want to learn about subjects and topics I know nothing about yet also connect it back to my life. It’s a tricky balance and I still don’t know what topic is going to do both for me.

Me rn. Also obsessing over this season of the bachelor sadly :/ so thought this worked pretty perfectly

Talking with my group members was a really awesome experience. I loved listening to their ideas as it inspired to dig deeper in myself and find something more personal to me. My group members had mostly personal topics that made me want to turn mine more personal as it will be something more signifiant to my life. I liked explaining my ideas to them but they also felt a little to rigid and academic to me. One of my topics about exploring modern love on campus and in our world was the most personal, yet I couldn’t concisely find a way or a theme to string a whole 4 month project along. So yes, I’m still in the brainstorming mode and marinating with a lot of different ideas I have.

The one main thing I’m trying to grapple with as I begin my last semester is my impact on this world, as one human being, and the legacy I will leave not only on University of Michigan but the rest of my life. It’s SCARY to think about and makes me rethink and reflect on a lot of what I have done here. I’m putting a lot of pressure on this project and my topic as I feel like this is one clear way I can distinctly make an impact and create something significant that I can show to interviewers, employers, family, friends and be something awesome that I can point to and display after my 4 years.

Getting creative while keeping it real; Creative Nonfiction

For my next experiment, I want to try writing a creative nonfiction piece where I will be able to bring in personal stories about sexual assault and account for the real memory and event that happened to Dr. Blasey Ford.


Lee Gutkind defines creative nonfiction as “true stories well told.” This simple definition fits perfectly into my goals for my final experiment. Previously, I have taken a very broad and general position, analyzing images from the hearings and explaining its symbolism. For my third experiment, I want to make the far away hearings, not so broad and far away. I want to tie in what has been happening in the Supreme Court, with the #MeToo movement, and with my personal relationships. While mine might be different and not “as bad,” every form of assault is horrible, and every woman should be able to tell her story and be believed for the problem to come to an end.


Through a creative nonfiction piece I’ll be able to engage my readers through a storytelling genre but enlighten and teach them as well, as the piece is nonfiction; The goal of creative nonfiction is to “make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that your readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy.”


I’m leaning toward public creative nonfiction, because I believe my topic, while relating personally to me, also encapsulates a more universal topic of sexual assault in the United States.


Skimming through some examples of creative nonfiction, I saw they were split up with dialogue. The dialogue puts the nonfiction in creative nonfiction. Some include images throughout the essay, some just include images at the beginning. There are many vivid details and describers that draw the reader in and prove to the reader that this is in fact a true story. The stories reel you in and make you attached to the characters through emotion.


Introducing you to my Visual Essay

For my second experiment, I am switching what I planned to do on Thursday and am going to write a visual analysis on two images taken during the Kavanaugh hearings.  A visual analysis breaks down the components of an image and conveys an understanding of what those components symbolize and are trying to communicate to the audience. The three steps to a visual essay are describing, responding, and analyzing. First, you must describe the subject looking at colors and shading, background, people and places, and arrangements of the elements on the page. After you describe, you then must respond to the description. This section includes reacting to the image and seeing how it made you feel and think. It is then important to include context and analyze the image and the purpose it holds. The thesis should contain the main idea that surrounds the understanding of the visual subject.


Here are the two photos I plan on analyzing and comparing in my visual analysis

These two photos are of the same act, Brett Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford being sworn in, but have very different angles, backgrounds, and evoke different reactions. Comparing these two images side by side represent the discrepancies and injustices between men and women in our society and the societal structures that enforce them. I will also be able to use the biases in my analysis and explain how they evoke sympathy and demand attention from the public, a strategy that journalists and newsmakers use.

I think this genre will be perfect for my topic because it will allow me to use and analyze the visuals I want to include as well as incorporate the two biases of personalization and authority disorder bias. Having images is a huge component of my origin piece. I will touch on the biases that draw people’s attention to the media, and a visual analysis will fit those topics them in seamlessly. Excited to hear what you guys think 🙂

Introduction to Photo Essays

I am interested in the genre of a photo essay because it is a genre that I have never explored before and am excited to write and put together. I think this genre also fits well with the communications essay that I am repurposing. As an academic essay, I can completely change it into an emotional and thought-provoking photo essay that questions biases and images that are portrayed in the news.

A photo essay “ is a set or series of photographs that are made to create series of emotions in the viewer” according to the handy and reliable Wikipedia. Photo essays are meant to be emotional, touching, and symbolize/ convey strong meaning to the viewers. Photos can be placed in slideshows or in lines on the page. The text in photo essays tends to vary. They can be as short as captions under the photo or as long as an essay, an introduction, or explanations beneath each photo.

The essay can be sequential or non sequential. If it is non sequential, it evoke more emotion and if it is sequential, it tends to read and look more like a plot and storyline. The photos in the essay should show the plot rather than tell.


This was the first image that came to mind as it was an emotional image of a young, distraught child being separated from her mom or parents at the border of the United States. I hope to incorporate thought provoking and upsetting images similar to this, to keep students and people questioning and thinking about our government and the country and atmosphere we are living in (cause it’s pretty crazy).

One example that really inspired me was a photo essay written on transgenders by the New Yorker. It is called The Trans Community of Christopher Street. The bulk of the text in the essay is about the neighborhood of surrounding Christopher Street and how the LGBTQ community began and grew in this neighborhood. Interspersed between the essay are photos of transgender individuals and the caption below shares a snippet of their story, family, and transition. I like this sample because it evokes a lot of emotion being so realistic and true but it also has a plot line of Christopher street and the LGBTQ movement. I like how the photos split up the plot line, keeping the reader engaged. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.


Sophie Kalt Introduction

Hi! My name is Sophie Kalt and I am in Julie Babcock’s gateway into the Writing Minor class. Writing has always been a passion of mine so I am excited to broaden my writing skills and creativities in this class. I am a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Communications and minoring in Writing and Sales. I have lived in Chicago, IL my whole life. My great grandfather, grandfather, and my parents went to Michigan, and now me and my younger sister go to Michigan. Having so much of my family go to the University of Michigan was a reason why getting in was such a dream for me. I have grown up going to Michigan football games and eating Zingerman’s sandwiches. I also have a 1 year old puppy named Penny, who is a huge part of our family. She is like the fourth sister in my family.

I love to read. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Two of my favorite books include, The Nightingale and Once We Were Brothers. I also love to run. I ran track and cross country in high school and running continues to be something I do daily. At school, I am a brand ambassador for a spin studio on campus, as well as a writer for Her Campus. Over the summer, I interned at a recruiting technology company called Built In, where I was able to write articles weekly about tech news happening in Chicago and other major cities. This internship gave me great exposure into the content and marketing world and helped me better know what I want in my career.