Gateway EPortfolio

Dear MIW Community,

Welcome to my EPortfolio! The portfolio is titled “Will Ruben: Writer and Musician, and showcases my efforts to combine these two interests. As I state on my homepage, I hope that viewing my portfolio will be both entertaining and educational, as my goal is to increase general interest in both music and writing. At this point, I would like to thank my teacher T Hetzel for all of her wonderful advice and feedback throughout the semester, as well as the members in my cohort for their support and genuine interested it my work. The writing minor has been an incredible experience so far in terms of developing as a writer and meeting lots of wonderful people–for that I am grateful!

Here is a link to my EPortfolio:


PS: here is a preview into my music side.



Future Cohort:

The Gateway class  is not like any other english or writing class you have taken. This class should not seem like it is for school; it should not seem like it is for a grade. This class is for YOU. In the gateway you have the freedom to create something unique that is your own. Now that I have your attention, I want to share the three most important rules for being successful in the MIW.

1) Be open minded! You never know where this class will take you.

2) Be original! You will be introduced to many new resources throughout the semester. These are valuable…so pay attention. Pool your resources and your brain power to create art that you are proud of, and that you feel has expanded who you are as a writer.

3) Be friendly! One of the greatest things about the MIW is your own cohort. No where else will you be in a class room with so many people that love to write and want to learn. Bounce ideas off of your peers, in and out of the class. Look to them for advice, and share advice with them when you can. People are your most valuable resource.


Cheesy, but it had to be done.

Writing: Saying What Others Wont

Saying what others wont–that is what sets writers apart. Dreaming what has never been dreamt–that is what makes fantasy come to life. Doing what others won’t do–that is what makes a story worth reading. I strive to be a speaker, a dreamer, a do-er, a writer. My consciousness is a constant stream of thought that flows from pen to paper, and from paper to countless minds.

Moreover, good writing has a purpose; this purpose can present itself in many ways, and at different moments for each individual reader. A written purpose is immortal, and immortality can only exist in writing. Unlike other art (paintings, music, sculptures, etc), writing has the power to convey a message that strays from the abstract while remaining creative. This creativity allows writing to create a timeless portal through time, appreciated by generations to come. Writing is a small pebble in a river, forever advanced by the changing current. Which way the river will flow is up to you. Create, innovate, and challenge the status quo…I dare you.


Albert Einstein is a man who possessed the qualities that a great writer must also possess. His curiosity and dedication changed the world forever.



Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 9.17.41 PM


Princess Bella on her mat in the backseat.

I am grateful for my dog, Bella. She is a loyal friend that always greets me at the door when I come home. She will sit with me for hours on end and not demand anything in return (except for treats and belly rubs). I never get tired of her company, and I miss her when she is not around. The room just isn’t as lively. Whether she is playing fetch or sitting off to the side chewing on her bone, Bella always provides entertainment for my family. In other words, Bella give us something to talk about–something to connect with. My parents, my siblings, and I take turns feeding her, taking her on runs, and even driving her to the vet if she is sick. As a team, we provide a great life for an animal that we rescued from an abusive environment when she was 3 years old. Its hard to remember what my house was like before Bella arrived, and I cant imagine what it will be like when she is gone. Bella is the daughter my mom never had. She constantly talk to Bella throughout the day, keeping my mom company while I am away at school. I know they will both look after each other. When my mom tripped and broke her ankle while on a run, Bella barked loudly until getting someones attention to come help. After my mom got a brace at the hospital, Bella would sit gently against it and lick it, as if to help heal the injury. It is safe to say that Bella will always be a contributing member of our family. She unites us, protects, entertains us, and gets plenty of treats along the way.



Resolution and Production

So far I am really enjoying the process of creating project 3. For this project, am recording an mp3 of the song lyrics I wrote for project 2, as well as making a music video. This video consists of a series of slide shows (the versus) and a video narrative (the intro, choruses, refrains, etc). I am having one major struggle with each of these aspects. First, for the slide show portions, I am having trouble with the resolution of some of the images. These images are coming across slightly pixilated and blurry. I replaced some of them with better resolution image, while leaving others because I liked the graphic so much. There are a couple pictures that are so great I didn’t mind forgoing the pixel quality. The main issue I am having with the video is matching the motions I make (guitar, lip syncing, etc) with the words and rhythm of the song. I plan on re-cutting some of the videos to avoid lip syncing because I feel like it does more harm then good, even if executed correctly. Overall, I think the project is coming along nicely and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the class!Woodstock-1969


Grammar and My Father

My father is a strict grammarian and self-titled walking Warriner’s who simply will not tolerate incorrect usage. At the dinner table, we take words very seriously.  As a family, we have learned the proper usage of lie, lay lain versus lay, laid and laid (though I’m pretty sure using lain correctly in a sentence would earn me a beat down from my friends).  We also learn the differences among (not between) imminent, eminent and immanent. Then there’s the whole flammable/inflammable thing.  Even a single superfluous “like” can cost the offender dessert.  Coming from this environment, I really cant stand it when people say “like” in between every word. However, I have to admit that sometimes I do it too. Going home for thanksgiving and winter break is always a wake up call in this regard. “LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE LIKE,” my dad yells to interrupt my speech if I am abusing the filler word. Basically, I love and hate grammar. There are subtle grammar rules that most people wouldn’t know, but these remind my most of my father. Hearing the over use of the word “like” also reminds me of my dad, but in a different light. From this blog, I hope you can all learn to appreciate grammar, and reduce the likes because of it.

Practice What You Preach?

Like many of you, I have been writing for a VERY long time. I’ve considered myself a writer ever since first grade when I wrote my first short story: a fiction piece about a young student who gets sucked into his computer screen. Despite my love for writing, there are many things I know I should do, but don’t. I have drafted an annotated list that includes some of the strategies and approaches to writing to which I often fall short. These include:

1) Reading out loud- Just do it!! After spending hours and hours on a draft, the last thing I want to do is read the paper out loud, one sentence at a time. However, after years of getting points off on papers for stupid grammar mistakes, I think I have learned my lesson. It is foolish to not spend the extra half hour reading out loud after spending so much time on the paper itself. You never know if a sentence structure is awkward or unclear until it is read aloud.

2) Try to publish your work- If you think its great, chances are others will too! There are so many publications in our community, many of which are student run and always looking for new work to publish. You can even make money for your work by entering contests. For example,poetry contests are extremely common and often offer and nice cash prize. But more importantly, publishing your work is a great was to get recognition! I once tried to get a poem I wrote about golf published in Golf Magazine, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. Regardless, now is the perfect time to get your name out there through accessible publications.

3) Use a style guide- Don’t under-estimate them! No one is too good for a style. There are so many rules and grammar, and sometimes grammar but be correct but not effective. There may be a better way to organize your thoughts. So, start carrying around a style guide. There are many different versions, my favorite being the Strunk and White “Elements of Style.”

4) Free write- I tend to write drafts very slowly, carefully crafting each sentence as if for a final draft that must be perfect. But, for a first draft, this simply isn’t the case. Sometimes it is better to get all your ideas down on the page before going back to edit and organize. This is why I think it would be good for me, and all writers, to do more free writes when preparing to write a paper. A free write is usually about ten minutes of constant writing, never stopping to analyze or critique your work. I don’t free write enough, but hope to utilize it more in the future as a brainstorming tool.

I plan on instituting all four of these strategies moving forward to improve my writing and increase my recognition as a writer.

Project 2 Concern

Hello All,

I am writing today with a concern I have for my project 2. For those who I haven’t already spoke with, I am targeting Rolling Stone Magazine to publish a short article I am writing about Rock and Roll History Mid 1900s-early 2000s) and the appreciation that is very common, even in my generation. The main attraction to the article is a lyric sheet: I have rewritten the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire,” to reference historic figures/songs/events in Rock history while simultaneously communicating a sense of appreciation for the rich history. My only concern is that the lyric sheet will be ineffective, stripped from the audio/tunes that people know so well. Do you think the project would be well received without an audio version? Or should I attempt a garage band recording (Don’t worry, I’m not tone deaf)? Besides the song itself, the article will consist of an introduction and conclusion to help describe the design and impact of the project.