Final blog post!!

This semester has been a struggle for me and i’m sure it has been the same way for everyone else. One thing that made this semester a little less of a struggle was having the privilege to be around wonderful and creative thinkers.

I’ve always appreciated how much writing has influenced me. I’ve always appreciated the many mediums one can use to create something special. Writing for me was something that started in my high school. Beginning with making up inspirational quotes, to poetry, and then to short stories, it’s safe to say that writing has always and will always have a place in my heart. It’s also safe to say that deciding that I was going to minor in writing was something that was easy for me, but i still wasn’t sure of what to expect. Being in T’s class last year was great but opening up about myself in my writing was something I really wasn’t expecting to do. I think in some ways my decision to write about myself in the way that I did last year influenced a lot of what I decided to do in this project.

And I want to end this blog post with a thank you to T for always pushing me to think more of what to do with my ideas and how to make them grow in to something worth sharing.

Link to my project:

A break from turtles

I was so sad to say goodbye to everyone over the past week; I’ve loved learning more about everyone in our class and growing our projects together. 

However, one thing I am happy about it the short break I will have from Mia the turtle. I have spent hours drawing her and her friends perfectly in many different poses, only to have her file crash my computer. And reading through her dialogue dozens of times, I think I might start speaking like her. 

While as of now I believe the book is done, I think if I read it again in two weeks, I might think differently. So, while I’ve posted it on my site for now, I will wait to try to publish it until after break. 

My other reason for doing this is the Kindle updates. Right now, Kindle doesn’t offer any fun fonts, which are necessary to making Mia kid-friendly. Kindle should be updating their software soon, and I hope that with this update they will include more fonts so Mia can be properly portrayed on their platform. 

I’m also still hoping to create a print form. However, I will need to add a few more drawings for this (most importantly a title page). 

Either way, I’m so thankful for everyone in this class who have kind but meaningful critiques of my work throughout the process. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and shows off their new creations to family and friends, (or maybe just your dog… that’s where I’m going to start). 

It doesn’t end here

Not the project, not the friendships. None of it ends here.

This is my last blog post, and I can’t say I’m sad about that (sorry T). I have a love-hate relationship with blogging; on the one hand, it helps me vent and clear my thoughts. On the other hand, it’s a pain. I think I complain about blogging in each of my blog posts, so here’s to keeping the tradition alive.

As for my project, I’m really excited about its future direction. Ray and I talked at length about what the project would look like if it were a novel – I didn’t misspell novella there – and I’m really excited about the results. The novella itself, Death narrates the story of Amir, the son of a grave robber. In the novel, Death simultaneously narrates the stories of Amir and a younger Baba (his father) side-by-side, showing the progression into adulthood and the different choices each take to end up where they are at the beginning of the novel, and where they will be by the end.

As for the friendships I’ve formed through this class, they’re unforgettable. I know sometimes gateway students read these posts, and if they happen to read this, I’d like them to know that the depth with which you get to know and care for your classmates and their projects is one of my favorite things about the capstone class. You become so invested in realizing your classmates’ visions that you the class seems less like a class and more like a bi-weekly meeting between friends. And not that I’m biased, but definitely take capstone in the Fall. You’ll thank me later.

Alright, I’ve reached my word count so it seems (darn). This is goodbye, for now. Maybe I’ll come back for another blog post after I’ve finished the novel, many MANY (emphasis on MANY) years from now ;P Hopefully by then, I’ll dislike blogging a little less.

Thank you for everything, T, Ray, and the 420 F18 squad.

Until then,


It’s not goodbye… it’s see you later!!

You all know how much I’ve struggled to blog this semester and since I haven’t really been in the headspace to think about schoolwork I thought I’d use this last blog post to thank all of you!

Each of you brought something very special to the class and helped to make it a semester that I’ll never forget! So, as a token of my appreciation and it hopes that it’ll make you feel a little better about finals I would like to thank each of you personally!!

Zach: Thank you for pushing us all. Your project and the passion behind it truly inspired me to reach higher. I truly admire your constant desire to become a better “YOU”!

Jude: Thank you for being a good listener and for always having positive to say. I grew to appreciate your chill personality and the fact that you always had great things to say about everyone else’s projects.

Fatima: Thank you for always thinking out of the box. Whenever we workshopped I knew that I could always count on you to throw out some bangin’ ideas and get our juices flowing!

Brynn: Thank you for your transparency! You were always very open about your points of struggle in regards to the project and it helped me to remember that I wasn’t alone!! PS: your project was so unique and I can’t get enough of the cute pics of baby Brynn!!

Eva: Thanks for exposing me to different forms of our art! I really appreciated your project and the personal things that both you and Hannah share in the podcasts. If it weren’t for your project I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to hear about all of the foreign artists with cool names or how you got into painting or Hannah’s painting series!

Natalie: Thank you for making such cool characters! No matter the type of day that I was having your cool and spunky drawings always made me smile. PS: can’t wait to see your project in print!! *wink wink*

Last, but NOT least…

T: Thank you for pushing us all to take our projects one step further and produce things that will exist outside of this class!! You were such a good motivator and just a great person to bounce ideas off of!

Welp, since this is a writing class and all… I feel like I have to say something about my project so here it goes…

I’m so happy I did this project and I hope that the mini-me’s that come to U of M use it and love it as much as I do. If it weren’t for this class I don’t think I would’ve ever done this and I think it is sooooo important for fostering a more inclusive environment on my campus!

Until next time,


Interviewing Cristian

I’ve known Cristian since my junior year of high school and over the last couple of years in high school I’ve gotten to know Cristian as a straight forward thinker. When you ask for his advice he doesn’t hold anything back and really just tells you everything that comes to his mind. When interviewing him I saw a lot of that straight forward attitude.

A couple details that stood out to me in his interview was when Cristian said that he doesn’t feel like his language is part of his identity. Cristian’s parents are from Guatemala and he was born in the U.S. so most of his life was  spent in the U.S. and he doesn’t know much about his culture. He also doesn’t know how to speak Spanish very well and struggles to say certain things in Spanish. I think that what surprised me most was what he said about not seeing his language as a part of his identity. This surprised me because many of our conversations in high school were about our family and where we came from. I remember him even inviting me over to his house to eat tamales. I remember seeing his mom cooking the tamales in the biggest pot i’ve ever seen. I’m not sure why i’m try to connect eating tamales to language but I guess what i’m trying to say is that i’ve had many experiences with him that involved things from his culture and so because of this it was surprising to me.

Mrowy does not like cartoons

I’ve been working on my cartoons a lot lately. I use a white board to draw each character, then take a picture of it one my phone and use a photo editor on my computer to remove the background and fill in the colors.

At first, I was using an online photo editor, but this took about half an hour for each image because my computer is very slow. My cat, Meowcolm Catwell or Mrowy for short, hated all the time I was spending on my computer working on the cartoons.

He often sits on my keyboard while I try to do work. But a few days ago, he sat on it while I was processing an image and deleted all of it. Unhappy, I picked Mrowy up and set him in the corner, where he laid down to sleep. He could have left the corner, he is just very lazy.

When my husband, David, asked me why Mrowy was in the corner, I told him about how Mrowy deleted the photo. David showed me how to use Paint 3D which was already installed on my computer with the new Windows update, and now processing images is much easier.

Mrowy still has not gotten over the fact that I have to do work on my laptop – and he is in fact sitting on my lap right now – but thankfully I have an easier way to create my cartoons so that I can spend more time playing with Mrowy, and he can spend less time meowing incessantly as he is currently.

Interviewing Natalia

Natalia is a professor from the Sweetland writing department. She’s originally from Russia and has lived in Russia for the first 30 years of her life and has lived in the U.S. for 18 years. T recommended for me to have this interview with her. I have to say I was really nervous coming in to her office to have this interview for my project because it was the first time I interviewed someone that wasn’t my peer.

I’m not sure if I want to include this interview in my project mainly because when I asked her about her assimilation process in the country she focused it more on her efforts in trying to pass on her native tongue to her children. She talked about how she consciously made the decision to raise her children as bilingual and went in on the details of how her daughter knows the language but not on the same level as she does. She mentioned how her son, who didn’t spend that much time in Russia, doesn’t have that much grasp on the language either. In a way I can understand how this is how she sees her assimilation process from the view of a mother, but I really wanted it to be more on her personally.

However, I still found this interview to be helpful towards my future in research. When interviewing Natalia we talked about many things within the bilingual research field. Things like different researchers that study the field and interesting studies that came out of it.

Update on the Coat of Many Colors

I feel as though I have been doing everything, but blogging this semester. Mostly because I prefer to just talk sometimes (since I do so much writing both inside and outside of class) and also because it’s just one of those things that I keep moving to the bottom of my to-do list. So… here’s my shot at it.


Things that I want to get done this week:

  • Interview Fitz (medical student at U of M) about his experience as a person of color and a medical student. As a medical student who was been through the process and now mentors students like me I think that he will be able to provide some great insight!
  • Get some quotes!! I want to include some quotes from people with different majors (pre-med) talking about why they like their major and how they (if applicable) they feel that it prepared them for applying to medical schools.
    • PS: if you have a dope major (wink. wink. Zach, Eva, Fatima) it would be helpful if you could give me a cool little pull quote in the comments LOL.
  • Play around with Google Sites a little bit more. While I appreciate the simplicity of Google Sites and the way that it is compatible with other google products (Docs, Drive, etc.), I am very bothered by how limited it is– can you believe you can’t even save the font color?? (UGH, this really bothers me). Anyways, I know I don’t want to switch my platform, because I don’t want the aesthetics of the website to be distracting
  • Companion essay — No explanation, I just need to get to it and get to it fast!
  • Finish cutting the videos into smaller, more digestible clips so that I can thread them through the site (I want to give my audience the option of watching the full-length video, but still be able to get with they need if they don’t have time).

I think that that’s it for this week. It seems like my to-do list just keeps getting longer and longer, but I am determined to get these things done. Please send some end-of-the-semester motivation because I definitely have the end-of-the-semester blues!!

I call upon the blog gods (and zach) for inspiration on this one

Hey guys,

As you might know, I’m not fond of blogging. But, here goes nothing.

Image result for gif deep breath

I’ve decided to try and submit my final project to Hopwood. That being said, I realize it might not be possible. Thanks to all your beautiful suggestions, there is a RIDICULOUS amount of editing that somehow needs to occur between now and December 5. My inner optimist seems to think this can happen – at the expense of sleep, of course. My inner optimist is also an asshole, but it’s my last full week of college, so why not give it my all?


I’d like to meet with Ray one last time before I graduate, because he was the reason my novella ended up the way it did. He was so helpful in shaping my characters and plot in more realistic ways, and hopefully he can work his magic on the novella again. What still blows my mind is how Ray had all this amazing feedback without writing anything down; he just remembered it all (!?!). I can barely remember my classes without having a calendar to remind me to go to my classes.  I cannot overemphasize how helpful Ray was. In fact, I’m going to go schedule an appointment with him right now.

Update: I scheduled it.


Here are some of the edits I need to find time for:

  1. Developing Ayah further. This will be hard to rush, because genuine character development should come naturally, rather than seem forced due to time constraint.
  2. Providing more detail on Amo and Baba’s past.
  3. Discussing how the holy man saves Baba in more detail.

If I have extra time (HA!), I will also incorporate the following edits:

  1. Include more on Mama.
  2. Discuss the Karbala scene and its implications further.
  3. Include some war stories from when Abed was in the army.


That feels good, to write it all out. I’ll have some downtime at the airport later today, so I’ll plan to write for one hour. Then, tomorrow, I’ll dedicate a lot of time to writing. That means that, by tomorrow (hopefully), I’ll have a better sense of what edits I will have time for.

Hmm. That seems like a very productive plan…too productive. Maybe I’m lying to myself.

Image result for lying to myself gif

*fatima out*

Bam, Done, Yippee! (Well…Done-ish)

My 3 podcast episodes are up on Soundcloud in their final glory, my website is nearing its final edits, and I’m sad. This podcasting project has been a blast and something I don’t think I would have done without the platform of this class.

In chatting with Hanna over our LONG sessions in the airless room (that some call a recording booth), I learned a little more about myself as an artist and where I want to go from this point on. It helped me remember my artistic values–that maybe I should make prints of my art, so I can share my work with people who can’t afford original. That maybe I should think more about long-term artistic goals (you know—besides becoming a famous artist in the field and besides subsidizing my 9-5 income with some art cash).

Anyway…I sill have a little tiny bit to do:

I probably need to figure out some font stuff cause its inconsistent over the site. I’m not sure if my artist statement/intro companion essay still needs some work or if it’s done. My photo gallery for episode 1 is an absolute mess. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY I need to actually send this thing out to people and publicize it, WHICH I ABSOLUTELY HATE DOING. So that will be fun–yes?

Other things I’m bitter about:

So, of course in recording my podcast I provided the wrong link to our website in the audio. I had to rerecord that bit on my phone and it sounds kinda different but whatever–It’t good enough.

This is my final blog rant. What fun. 🙂