Introducing, my capstone

The Writing minor gateway and capstone projects are daunting. They’ll require hours upon hours of research, revision, re-revision, etc. They’ll make you question your choices, perhaps doubt your ability to finish the task, but they will also inspire you. They’ll make you aim higher, work harder to achieve your goals. In the end, they are always rewarding if you put the effort in.

Here is the link to my capstone project. I hope anyone who visits it will find it useful in their own way. Feel free to contribute to the site as well using the last tab on the site.

chetalijain.wixsite.com/50ways

Bitter sweet

Minus the bumps in the road and the never ending change in timeline of this process, I am more than satisfied with the final outcome of my project site. Before beginning this course, I never in a million years thought that it would impact my life as much as it did. However, it is the sole reason that I was able to make an immense shift in my life in terms of technology. More specifically, it encouraged me to create a list of 15 ways to use technology less, and furthermore, act on them for 15 days straight. This experience changed my life for the better, and that is all thanks to the minor in writing.

Even though it is upsetting to think about the fact that my minor in writing experience has come to an end, I am happy to know that my project has the ability to improve others lives, just as it did to mine. I encourage all millennials who are reading this post to check out the link to my site below, and to try out my 15 challenges to disCONNECT!

Link to my project site: https://emilykorn4.wixsite.com/disconnect

What NOT to do.

After contemplating which project pitch I wanted to choose and finally coming to a decision, I felt immensely relieved. I thought the hardest part of the process was over, however, I soon realized that this was not the case.

The next step of the process was to create a timeline for the project. The actual making of the timeline was not the extremely difficult part, it was the sticking to the timeline that I began to struggle with. When creating the timeline, it was not very simple to predict my schedule for the remainder of the semester and take into account my commitments outside of this course. Life began to get in the way, and the deadlines I made for myself began to become unrealistic. This caused my timeline to be a continuous revision that I updated and changed multiple times throughout the semester.

Although I put a lot of time and effort into my original timeline, reflecting back on this process, I wish that I had devoted even more time to it. Taking the time to closely examine the dates of my other course deadlines, extra curricular activity events, and any friends and family commitments that I had during the semester, would have made it significantly easier for me to stick to my original deadlines.

DON’T PANIC !

I am a strong believer in signs.

During the second stage of the capstone process, I began to panic. It was time to choose ONE project pitch and turn it into a project proposal, yet I was still madly in love with each one of my ideas. I had absolutely zero clue how I was going to possibly pick only one of them. It was not until I heard a sermon given at Hillel on campus that I finally came to a decision. I was waiting and waiting for something to pull me towards one of my ideas, and this sermon was the sign I had been waiting for.

The sermon discussed the reality that social media has caused our society to lose our true selves, and ignore what actually matters in life. I have always wanted to change my social media and technology habits, but have never had enough motivation to do so. The combination of this speech and this capstone project were the motivation that I had been lacking.

That being said, my advice to future capstone students would be to not come into the semester with a set idea of exactly what you want to do for your capstone project. In my opinion, it is much better to approach this class with an open mindset, because you never know what other people or experiences will influence you to do.

Time flies

Wow— where did the time go!? The beginning of capstone feels like yesterday. I remember feeling overwhelmed, lost (which is completely normal for all of you future capstone students) but excited all at the same time.  However, there was a downside to my excitement. I was equally excited about each one of my project pitches. Four ideas that I wanted to follow through on, and only time to choose one. Indecisiveness has always been a flaw of mine, so alternating back and forth between which pitch I thought I was going to choose was definitely part of my process. Which again, is completely normal and almost to be expected.

Before beginning this course, I was most concerned with the lack of ideas that I had for my project. Little did I know, the biggest problem that I encountered was having too many ideas! There was something about each one of my pitch’s that was meaningful to me, which made it extremely hard to let go of the three that I did not choose to pursue. If only there were time to do them all…

 

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye

As my final chapter in the Sweetland Minor in Writing comes to an end, I wanted to introduce to you all what has been one of the most exciting projects I have ever had the opportunity to work on: Ad Evolution.

About the Site –

“Coming into this semester, I envisioned a sociohistorical analysis based project on advertising and with countless hours of research and help from professionals in the industry, I had the opportunity to follow that vision all the way through. Particularly, I wanted to understand the changes that advertising has undergone over the years. By analyzing a series of advertisements that were released over the years, I began to notice a pattern. The advertisements were not just staying the same, but they were instead evolving to correspond with the changing technology. With each new decade came bigger and better advertisements that responded to culture of the time. From the newspaper advertisements, to the Internet advertisements and everything in between, it was incredible to see how the course of history changed since advertising first began. I began to think of the industry as some sort of advertising evolution.

Ad Evolution was designed with these thoughts in mind. I had intended to both introduce audiences unfamiliar with advertising to the industry and to build upon the knowledge of those who already have experience with it. By combining two central ideas, the history of advertising and the creation of advertisements, I hoped that Ad Evolution would mimic the advertising website AdWeek, which more broadly touches on similar themes. I bounced ideas around that I found from navigating other popular sites like Ad Age and BusinessInsider, which helped me ground much of the information I present through the site. It is through this multimedia project that my questions were answered. Advertising is complex and is an industry that will constantly be evolving to respond to human behavior. Hopefully your questions will be answered through Ad Evolution too.”

The Sweetland Minor in Writing has truly been one of the most rewarding experiences that the University of Michigan has offered me. If you have any questions regarding the Capstone Course, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Capstone Project Introduction

My capstone project presents a health science research project I completed the summer before entering the Capstone Course. On my site, you will find a complete copy of the research paper I wrote and submitted for publication, as well as my introduction essay that contextualizes the work.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I am more than happy to talk about my Capstone experience.

Email: jerlynn@umich.edu

Dear Minor in Writing

Dear Minor in Writing,

Well old friend, it has come time for us to finally part. It feels like just yesterday that I was applying to Sweetland as a young freshman, sitting nervously in my 9×12 dorm room in Fletcher Hall awaiting my acceptance. Now today, I have just finished the culmination of that very minor, my Capstone project (and plan on submitting it ASAP when my annotated bibliography is done—in due time, I swear).

When I applied to the minor, my original goal was to explore something outside of my major of Elementary Education, but also be able to obtain something that could be used within my major. I wanted to be able to enhance my Language Arts endorsement to use my love of writing for good, to help students learn to love writing as much as I have. I wanted students to love writing not only because they could get an A on a paper, but because it gave them a gateway for escaping, a place they felt safe. I even considered after getting accepted into the program changing my major to Secondary Education, with a focus in English, so that I could primarily help students to apply to college, similarly to how many of my teachers helped me in high school. Writing is where I learned to use my voice, and I wanted to share it with others to help them find their own.

This summer, as we all know, I took a Birthright trip to Macedonia. Through a wild change of plans, I obtained a severe injury that caused a lot to be taken from me. Going into this first semester of my senior year, I almost quit. I was so close to giving up the minor for the sake of my injury. I was so close to not doing it. But I am so glad I didn’t, because I would have been very sorry about it today. I mostly didn’t give it up, though I was encouraged to by many, because I had already worked so hard to allow the School of Education to let me get a LSA minor. I wanted to do it for the future students of the SOE, to inspire them to get a minor if they wanted to (it is pretty uncommon).

But, as the semester progressed, I was surprised but how much the work I was doing was influencing my healing process. I had always been a dancer, someone who chose to escape through movement. Having dance be one of my many limitations at this point, I had to latch onto something else as a means of escaping, a means of coping. And completing this project has given me a sense of peace in this personal trauma, but I know I still have a long ways to go. Yet, I am feeling some closure by the pride I have already felt by being challenged by this project, and succeeding in completing it (I’m not even joking in that I really thought I wouldn’t). But it is done, and I thank the minor, my Capstone colleagues, and the MiW for that.

So with this last signing off, I thank you, Minor in Writing for challenging me, bringing me amongst some of the most brilliantly different yet commonly connected people, showing me that my voice is important, bringing my story to life, and helping me find myself. Thank you for making this one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Thank you.

Nikki

COMING OUT OF MY CAGE AND I’VE BEEN DOIN JUST FINE

So, apparently I have (unfortunately) missed not one but two challenge journals this semester (yeah I suck). So…….stay tuned for my second post of the day later :~)

This post will be primarily to tell you all that I. AM. DONE. I am done!!!!!!! I literally cannot believe that I made it out alive if I am going to be honest with you. This semester long journey has been the hardest of my entire life but I could not have made it without my fellow Capstone friends and T. We did it guys!

Here is the link to my site if anyone is interested: https://ntkrings.wixsite.com/nkrings-capstone17

It has made significant changes even since the last time you all saw it (I think a week ago) but I am so proud of where it has come and SO thankful for the feedback I received along the way. I will give you a little walk through:

  • First, I have the landing page which is obviously titled “Čudnata, the miracle” as you all already know. I took the texts off and included just one quote from my dad, which I think looks a whole lot cleaner than it did before.
  • Next, I have the about section. In the “About the Project,” I have included my intro essay. It morphed from talking about coping and escaping to really integrating the MiW experience for me. I talk about how dance and writing have always been huge parts of my life–loving dance because of the passion it allowed me to feel and loving writing at first through the art of simply being considered “good” at it. I then give short snapshot into the story I present on the site and connect that to how the minor has evolved into being so much more than just a boost of my Language Arts endorsement and how though I originally thought this would be a means for me to help other people, it has really just helped me. My “About the Author” page follows 🙂
  • Next, I have put into one tab “My Story,” where I house all portions of my project. This seems to be significantly cleaner on the site and I really like having a landing page so people can choose to look at the narrative, the choreography || poem, or the photo journey first.
  • The narrative (Near Stillness) has been what I would probably consider my life’s work and is presented as a flip through of 12 chapters. I can’t even express to you the amount of times this semester I had to sit down and just cry about it because it was so hard to write. Even last Monday, knowing the amount of other things I had to do on top of editing the narrative (a whole bitch of 35 single spaced pages in itself), I just came home and cried for like 20 minutes right after our last class. But, having finally come up with a finished product I am extremely proud of, I have decided to pursue making a 65 page novella of it through blurb! I am really excited to see how that turns out and plan on giving copies to my mentors, significant people in my story, and my parents (and you of course, T!)
  • The poem and the choreography (Body, Limited) blossomed into something much more than I could have imagined over the span of the semester. I was so set on having the poem influence the choreography after being influenced by the narrative, but being sidelined by how long the narrative turned out to be, I had to switch my order up a bit. The choreography actually came the first out of everything, and it portrays a straight on recording of my dear friend Anna breathing through my piece. I LOVE how it turned out. The poem was intentionally made indirectionally (not a word but I made it a word for this purpose) and is supposed to be read however feels natural to the reader.
  • The photo journey as you know, has captions and pieces to bring the story to life!
  • The “Background” tab now includes the original inspiration (the OG Google Doc), the downloadable version of Near Stillness, the Mentors, and Resources.

Whew. I almost had to breathe after typing all that. I am SO proud of where this has taken me, and as I say in my About the Author, I truly believe that life has destination points. Upon completion of my Capstone, my culmination of the Minor in Writing, I am at a new place and extremely happy to be here. Would love if you checked out my site when you have a chance to breathe over break! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for this semester, it meant the whole world to me.

Farvel!

(Author’s note: I’m officially 5% fluent in Danish, according to DuoLingo, so I’m trying to practice Danish every chance I get.)

With my project presented, pizza consumed, and a couple sad goodbyes now behind me, I can finally say, “Oh my god, it’s over.”

This semester has been a whirlwind. The first month or so was pretty slow, as I got into a routine. But then, as the leaves fell from the trees (taking my STRAT and ACC grades with them, tbh) everything got so much faster! I was reading my old posts (and also making sure I wrote enough of them because I solidly recall a point in November where I forgot that blogging existed and was a thing I was supposed to be doing) and some of them felt like they’d been written just yesterday!

Crazy how quickly life is moving.

I’m going to miss my class a lot. It was the smallest class I’ve ever had at U of M, so we were able to get really close. I’ll miss the workshops and I’ll miss T. I’ll miss grabbing falafel before class, and I’ll miss making the trek to East Quad from north campus.

The capstone course told me just how important collaboration and critiques are to the writing process. Before, I would usually just skim over my work and hope that everything was fine. Now, after realizing just how important it is to have many pairs of eyes look at your work, I’m more grateful than ever to have such amazing classmates. I know that, should I do any cool writing projects in the future (which I know I’ll have many in ENG 223 next semester) that my friends are some of my most valuable resources. To my classmates, thank you so much for everything. Thank you for laughing at my jokes, and thank you for telling me to fix my spacing and buttons. (I’m not the most design-conscious person.)

Catch y’all later!