WordPress: 987342 Me: 1

WELL IM DONE. MYYYYY GOSH.

I have never been so frustrated with electronic as I have been with this e-portfolio. It’s weird because I consider myself to be a pretty tech-y person but HOLYYY SHIZZZ wordpress hates me. After the complete mess I created, I have managed to sort through the rummage and put together this baby under so much pressure.

BUT ITS DONE.

Here is the link: sarahlynvollmer.wordpress.com

CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!!! Then tell me how much you love it–it will ease the pain of what I have gone through in the last 48 hours.

Goodbye for now!

Sincerely,

Sarah

My Writing Zone

I’d like to start off by saying  that I thought Shelia Murphy was hilarious. Talk about a really unique and outspoken individual. I thought it was really cool that she was able to share some personal details about her life and how it got her where she is now. I think sharing personal details will make your audience more likely to really listen to you and take you seriously. If she had just talked about her writing process in a really impersonal way, I don’t think I would’ve left there with the same feelings.

One part that I found to be really funny and interesting was the “writing zone” that Shelia enters for her writing. I remember she said there were lots of sticky notes and odd little things to look at in her writing space. I think she mentioned a cactus of some sort? Hahahahha I found that to be so random and hilarious.

So then I started thinking about my ideal writing space and what I would want in it. Rather than tell you, I have decided to show you!

ahhhhhh a doorway leading to “THE WRITING ZONE” !!!
a clean white desk with lots of space on the wall above to tack up weird things, reminders, and inspiration
is asking for a separate little sunroom off to the side of my writing area too much? nahhhhhhh
HANGING BED?!?!?!?! like talk about ideal.
this chair is like a sweater…. for your butt. its a must!
paper lantern lights. its just a cool ambiance.
a countdown till christmas. doesn’t matter if its 364 days away… it still would make me happy.
a poster of mcdreamy. no explanation necessary.
inspirational sticky notes!!
chunky sweaters for dayyyyzzz
HOT CHOCOLATE!
more chocolate!!
fuzzy socks…. my feet tend to get very cold. gotta have those cozy socks 🙂 the best are the ones with bath and body works with aloe infused in them…..!
sometimes i wear glasses when I write (I don’t need glasses….) because they make me feel smarter.
and a full body sweater for the day when things just arent going my way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well that was super fun to make. Now I need to make lots of money so I can afford to make this happen. I hope this made you laugh like Shelia made me laugh at the “How I Write” event!

The Perks of Being Sick

I’ve been sick for days. What started off as a tension headache turned into the full blown flu. I suppose it was bound to happen, with the amount of pressure I’ve been under but it’s still no fun regardless. And apparently I’m good at spreading it! My best friend and boyfriend have the flu now, too.

(Note to all: don’t sit too close to me………)

The past week has been a train wreck.. Between two exams, two papers, two ten hour shifts at my job, the football game, the mess of my sorority’s social calendar (I’m the social chair.. so this is my job!), the pressure of friends and family visiting, and the damn flu that I can’t seem to purge from my body, I have officially lost it.

Now you’ll note that the name of this blog is called “The Perks of Being Sick”, when all I’ve done so far is whine to you about it. Here’s where the perk part comes in.

When I am sick, I take a quick chug (oxymoron? hahahah) of nyquil before bed. After the subsequent gagging from the distgusting flavor (it tastes like black licorice to me… BLEH!!!), I pass the hell out for an interesting night of sleep. I say interesting because when I am sick and take nyquil, I swear I have the trippiest dreams. Maybe that happens to other people too, but I feel like my mind gets so creative in the subconscious thinking that I do in my sleep.

I have found that after being sick, I actually do some of my best work? Maybe it’s because I get so happy to be feeling better that I just have tons of energy? I can’t really find a logical reason, but I honestly think part of it has to do with the all of the crazy dreams that I have! I really could write five terrific short stories based on the dreams I had this weekend. Maybe I should?

Experience says that now that I am on the way to feeling better (I ate a bagel this morning……. and didn’t throw it up! YAY ME) I am gonna do some great work this week. That means taking all of the ideas that I have developed for this repurposing project and actually putting them together in a way that I am not embarrassed to show others. And this creative energy may also help me think of a bomb re-mediation project proposal! And hopefully it means that I will ace the test that I have tomorrow morning in my psych class. Fingers crossed!

I’m still in this haze of sickness so hopefully you were able to follow my train of thought. Here comes the creative flow!

[insert creative title here]

And it all comes back to Andrew Sullivan’s “Why I Blog”. Good thing I liked that piece, huh?

For my repurposing project I have decided to take a piece of writing that I wrote last semester in academic argumentation and turn it into a magazine article. The original piece was about the importance of immunizations, since more and more parents have begun opting their children out of them. The fact is that if our youth isn’t vaccinated against potentially fatal viruses, we could have a serious outbreak on our hands. What I want to do is repurpose this persuasive essay and format it as an article in a parenting magazine. I think this would be cool because it would allow me to really personalize my previous writing for an intended audience (and also add pictures and graphics and charts YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY). In my head I was like oh cool I’ll just make the magazine article in microsoft publisher! Turns out, the microsoft office package that I got for my mac didn’t include publisher??? (WTF!) So I downloaded some program from the App Store called iSwift 2 and it has actually been pretty decent so far (which I am very happy about considering it was just $5!). I picked up the magazine “Parents” and have been using that as my guide to what the article should like! So I messed around for a while tonight (ohhhh where does the time go? This is where.) and this is a screen shot of how its going so far. I’m definitely happy with it.

 

And now back to the prompt. 🙂

SO when I re-read Sullivan’s piece, the part that struck me this time around was the part where he mentioned that the due date for blogging is always NOW and that the opinions (even if not necessarily based on any fact or truth) be immediately published. That specific feature of blogging is what differs most from the writing I am about to do. My health magazine article needs to be EXTREMELY accurate with little to no personal opinions, but rather hard hitting facts. As opinionated as I am, I do believe I am good at delivering cold impactful facts.

This all relates back to why I write. I write to prove a point, to make my view heard, to persuade my readers, etc. Writing for a health magazine and convincing parents why they MUST get their children up to date on all of their shots is right up that alley. Funny that I wrote my “Why I Write” piece in a dramatically short time frame, yet so far, it has rang so true.

 

Sincerely, Sarah

Holy excitement.

That’s how I feel about starting my E-Portfolio!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I named it Sincerely, Sarah. Since Tuesday, whenever I have a spare minute I mess around with my website. I’ve changed the theme a million times but I think I’ve found one that I like!

When I started working on it I first decided that I needed to figure out the purpose. Since I am applying to law school and plan on putting the link to my e-portfolio on my resume, I really want it to be very professional. I saw a lot of themes that I really liked because they were fun but I decided they maybe weren’t appropriate for the message I am trying to convey. I don’t want it to lose my personality though, so I decided on a theme with just a bit of color. I figure law school admissions looking at my site should see that I am more than just a good student and talented writer, but an outgoing and colorful individual, as well!

I also decided that I wanted to have two separate areas on my site… “professional” and “creative”. This way the viewer of the site can find exactly what they are looking for. I guess I hope that a law school admittance counsel would look at my argumentative writing but maybe also take the time to check out some of my creative writing, too! I think my engaging and outgoing personality along with my unique sense of humor is something that will set me aside from other students. My hope is that my e-portfolio will help me do that!!

I’ve considered the idea of music or media but I’m worried that it will take away from the professional aspect. What do you think? Maybe I could utilize media in the “creative” section of my site but veer away from it on the “professional” aspect? What about the theme? Is it appropriate? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!!

Check it out here sarahlynvollmer.wordpress.com !!!!

What? I Can’t Hear You, Reader!

Writing tends to be a one way conversation. You write what you are thinking and how you feel without feedback. In a normal conversation with a friend you receive feeback and responses to what you say, which is what helps guide what you say. When writing, you don’t have these responses. In an essence, you are blindly writing knowing that the reader cannot respond. What I have learned this week is that we do need to think of our writing as more of a two-sided (or more!) conversation!

For class this week, I was assigned to read “Reading and Writing Without Authority”. One of the main points of the piece was that your writing should sound like a group full of people talking and discussing different views on a topic, with the author also participating with their opinion. I was excited to see that the prompt this week was directly related to my reading!

If a writer were to incorporate views other than their own in their writing, they allow their readers to have a voice, as well. If the reader doesn’t agree with your personal opinion, they may agree with one of the other voices in the “conversation” of your piece. This can actually help keep the reader interested and involved with your piece rather than simply disregarding it if they disagree with your view.

When writing an argumentative piece, the author’s goal is typically to guide the reader to agree with their opinion. If the author doesn’t shove their personal view down the readers throat by including opposing viewpoints, the reader will probably be more likely to “listen” to the conversation and be open minded.

As I continue writing essay in classes, I plan to take this idea to heart. Sometimes when we are so passionate about a topic, it is difficult to want to include opposing viewpoints, but the bottom line is that by including them we could actually have a better chance of swaying our reader’s opinion!

Well, that was officially the wordiest piece of writing I have written. Sorry about that! Hopefully you were able to follow along…!

It’s Time to Begin, Isn’t It?

 

“Glee” is my favorite TV show… and the music from it is often my inspiration during my writing process.

01 It’s Time (Glee Cast Version)

When I’m stuck, I’m really very stuck. So you know what I do then? Listen to my writing music. Today the song of choice is the “Glee” version of “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons. You should actually be able to listen to it because I attached it to this post. Even if you don’t watch “Glee”, it’s a great cover of a terrific song. Hopefully it will bring you the same inspiration to you that it brought to me today.

Today I took the time to look at my past essays. The essays I have written in college fall into two general categories:

1.) Creative Fiction

2.) Research Essays- typically argumentative

After re-reading several of both, I came to a realization of why I write.

I write to convince an audience of my beliefs. In my essays I work relentlessly to find the most up-to-date and influential data in order to persuade my readers to believe what I believe. I also work equally hard to come up with a “rebuttal” of what the audience may believe. Counterpoints are a crucial part of any argumentative essay for that reason! Examples of argumentative essays I have written include:

1.) Vaccinations DO NOT lead to autism. Every child should receive all necessary vaccinations.

2.) Having single-gender schools for K-12 can be extremely beneficial for students because of the more limited distractions, increased levels of self-confidence and greater sense of sisterhood/brotherhood.

3.) Talk therapy is more beneficial to people suffering from mental illness than psychotropic drugs.

My creative fiction, of course, conveys my beliefs a little bit differently. The characters of my stories often deal with a problem that I see in society and through the plot I indirectly offer my opinions about such topics. I have written about divorce, suicide and campus safety. These are all topics that I feel strongly about and was able to express those views through my short stories.

I am hopeful when I say that my writing has probably influenced my readers. And that is why I write. To inspire a change, no matter how small.

It started off with the song “It’s Time” and ended with my own new personal mission statement to hold close when I write.

 

A Quote and a Mission

“Maybe there is more to a person than a body and a mind. Maybe something else figures into the mix— not a soul, exactly, but a spirit that hints you might one day be greater, stronger than you are now. A promise; a potential.”

― Jodi Picoult, Keeping Faith

 

I think Jodi Picoult’s mission statement of her novel was to perhaps enlighten readers on a topic that they may not know of. In the town where I am from every single family goes to church on Sundays. But I know that it would be naive to believe that the general population also does. I think Jodi Picoult was maybe trying to educate the general public about religion without being “in your face” about it. She told a fiction story of a young girl coming face to face with God and her experience with it. For me, it strengthened what I already knew and really gave me chills. For others, it might’ve been their first time reading about religion, or maybe it might’ve their first time considering it as a real thing. Either way, Jodi Picoult was able to use her popularity and credibility as an author to relay her message to the audience.

 

If you are already religious, I think you would definitely enjoy this book. If you are not religious but are open to the idea or are spiritual at all, I think you should consider reading this book to learn more.

Twitter: The Mini Blog

When I finished my first Intro to Writing class yesterday I thought to myself, “I’m in trouble.” What do I know about blogging? The answer that rang certain in my head was absolutely nothing. I tried to make a blog once… It was called “Sarah Out Loud” and I updated it maybe once. I didn’t understand it and I knew that nobody would ever look at it besides me so what the point, anyways?

So that’s it. Thats the only time I have ever blogged.

Or so I thought. (Yes, this is a piece of self-realization.)

While reading Andrew Sullivans, “Why I Blog”, I found myself in a sync with the author. He started off right off the bat by saying something that I never thought about before: The word blog is a conflation of two words: Web and log. HMM! Right then and there I knew this was going to be an interesting piece that got my gears moving.

One of the major ideas of the piece was that blogging allows for the most truthful instant reaction/thought/feeling in response to a situation. According to Sullivan, “It is the spontaneous expression of instant thought–impermanent beyond even the ephemera of daily journalism” and “the deadline is always now”. And then you know what he said? “It is, in many ways, writing out loud”.

I was hooked. Remember my blog that I tried to write one time? Sarah Out Loud. “Maybe I should give this blogging thing another try,” I thought to myself.

THEN IT HIT ME. I do blog! Probably 8-10 times a day. On Twitter! It’s just like blogging isn’t it? Just shortened. When something makes me mad, happy, excited, sad, silly, hopeful, or intrigued I tweet about it. The more I read the more I confirmed that tweeting is a form of blogging.

Tweeting requires a person to say something personal in a public manner. In the heat of the moment, say when you are mad at a friend, boyfriend, coworker, teacher or other companion, it is so easy to tweet right on your phone about why you’re so pissed! Hey, it’s probably good for you to let it out a little bit. But then a few minutes later when you’ve calmed down… There tends to be that “oh crap” feeling when you kinda wanna go delete that tweet before many people see it. But you know what? I never do. I think a true tweeter doesnt go through and filter their tweets after its all said and done. The point of twitter is instant thoughts, feelings, opinions and reactions, so by going through and filtering your tweets afterwords just ruins the whole idea of it. And as I read this article, I started to understand that many bloggers also feel the same way.

“To blog is therefore to let go of your writing in a way, to hold it at arm’s length, open it to scrutiny, allow it to float in the ether for a while, and to let others, as Montaigne did, pivot you toward relative truth.”

Needless to say, I was a large fan of this piece. Like a huge fan.

Both of the other articles were interesting and unique in their own ways, but it was Andrew Sullivans piece that really struck a cord for me.

Guys, I think I just became a blogger.

Or have I always been?