Dirty Laundry

I began English 325 this week and now feel somewhat ashamed of my Dream Journal. We discussed a quote stating that it is the writer’s job to write for the audience, and self-expression is selfish.

I originally created my Dream Journal to make me feel more comfortable posting my writing in front of my peers. I wasn’t expecting anyone to read them, so yes, it started out mostly for myself.

Am I being selfish? Am I abusing this beautiful part to the Minor in Writing?

I told myself that my posts were supposed to be personal, pathetic, and extremely vague. I wanted to take my thoughts and put them in a blender. I wanted to paint the pieces of my thoughts onto the walls so they turned into art–or at least, something new.

The more I think about it, the more my Dream Journal seems like it does not fit into the blog. I could turn it into a collection in a physical journal in which I would be the only audience. This seems most appropriate.

Yet, the jaded artist in me wants to be the shitty “selfish” writer. I want this to be in your face. I want this to be confusing. I want this to make sense. I want it to be as ugly as I am.

This is my dirty laundry that I just don’t know how to clean.


I am drowning
and I am the lifeguard refusing to jump in.
I’m letting her flail and grasp for anything
but the water slips through her fingers as
her eyes
get wider with fear

I am drowning.
Struggling to keep her head above the water
she gasps for
but gets a mouthful of water instead–
and I am watching it.

I am drowning.
and I am the water filling her lungs
pulling her deeper
energy depleting
she’s losing hope
and I am the lifeguard watching it.

I am drowning and I am the water and I am the lifeguard and it’s all my fault.


I am a kid in Business Casual

At my desk in the corner my life wastes away–
Fingers clicking. Pens racing.
A phone call is made.

My laptop is dying;
I have 40 tabs open
trying to solve a problem I didn’t create.

Oh, the office job is not for me.
The place where I receive eye and neck pain from staring at my bright computer
The place where my frolicking is limited to three flights of stairs
The place where I scroll through instagram vacations of my friends during my lunch “break”

I am a kid in business casual wearing my mother’s suit

pretending to be an adult.



I haven’t been able to spam everyone with my dream journal in almost a month. I’d like to blame my hiatus from the journal on how busy I am with work.

I am currently the Productions and Artistic Intern for the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. I started working full time when I got home in May, and the festival started on June 15th. The first week has been crazy.

My job is basically the Primary Liaison between festival staff and the musicians– so I get to meet and “hang out” with the top musicians in the world. I am happy and dumbfounded to say that I am friends with the Emerson String Quartet. It has been a wild ride running around Detroit and Metro Detroit with these musicians, and I look forward to the second half of the festival (even if I spend 14 hours a day on my feet for 7 days a week).

This festival is making me go a little insane.

This is a warning that I might be very active with my journal over the next couple of weeks.


sydneyatwork: works for right now

Hi Everyone!

I am very excited to roll out my Eportfolio: https://sydneyatwork.wordpress.com/

My work in progress area for displaying all my work! Right now I welcome you to visit to check out my experiments and final project. I plan on continuing to work on evolving this space to fit me and my future work. I am excited that this is the beginning point and for all the work that is to come. It is done for the time being but will forever be a work in progress so check back later for next version!


Alexis Aulepp’s E-Portfolio

Hello, world!

It’s been a long and tedious ride (you can read about that under the “Final Project/Reflection” tab under “Experiments” on my E-Portfolio site), but now my E-Portfolio is ready for viewing!

Check it out at the following link: https://aaulepp.wixsite.com/eportfolio

I hope you enjoy it! And email me or leave a comment here if you find something interesting! Happy viewing!

p.s. – check out my Final Project (book website) at this link: https://sites.google.com/umich.edu/writing-220-experiment-3

Other than that, enjoy a few snapshots below of some of the stuff you can find on my E-Portfolio and Final Project website!

Words of Wisdom

Five tips (just for you!) written in five minutes (or less)

Tip 1: The semester is what you make it

At least this semester (Winter 2019), it seems like there isn’t a lot of direction/instruction to the Gateway course, so you really have to forge your own path/journey. There were a few structured assignments at the beginning where everyone is doing basically the same thing, but the Experiments start the snowball of “whatever you choose,” so choose wisely! Your depth of learning depends on your own standard/threshold of research and engagement, so if you’re not careful to do as much as you can while you can, you might miss out on this great opportunity to explore new avenues of your writing ability.

Tip 2: Embrace the chaos, but stick to deadlines

“Dive in” early on, plan ahead, and keep up with the deadlines. There really isn’t time to waste when it comes to the experiment cycle, so make sure you know ahead of time where you’re going with your projects, and then make sure to start trying to get to that place as early on as possible. It’s perfectly normal to make changes as you go, but try to have a game plan, even if you expect things to change a bit.

Tip 3: Share!

The “tote bag reading series,” as my professor (T) called it, was born out of a hesitance against participation when T asked for a few people to read their work each class. Essentially, then, we had to pick several names out a tote bag each time to decide who was going to read. As time went on, however – after we realized everyone was a great writer and everyone had something to learn – we warmed up a little more to the idea of participating. So, my advice to you is this: don’t hold back from sharing just because you’re not sure if your writing is “good enough” or “worthy of sharing.” As a Minor in Writing student, you can be confident that you were selected for the program because you’re an amazing and passionate writer. Not only that, you are someone who can both contribute and receive to the overall study and practice of writing taking place in your classroom. And that study is much more beneficial when the participants participate, so be happy to share your work! At the very least, your writing can be a celebration of your craft and/or a helpful way for others (and yourself) to learn, so embrace your identity as a writer, and share!

Tip 4: Get to know your professor and classmates

Getting comfortable with those around you will make reading and discussing writing and ideas so much easier, more fun, and more helpful.

Tip 5: Find your voice

Test new genres and mediums, test new styles of writing, take the chance to write the things you want to write. After sitting through a semester of classes, I can see that most people have their own voice. Some voices are academic and clear. Some voices are cheeky and hilarious. Some voices employ dry humor and resigned narration. Some voices wrap things up with a nice bow. Other voices leave the reader questioning. Some voices make you think. Other voices make you laugh. Still other voices manage to do both. Embrace the different voices around you, and learn from them. Start to tease out how your voice is similar and different from the others in the room; what it is that makes your writing style what it is? Hopefully, by the end of that process, you’ll have a little better understanding of who you are as a writer.

That’s all from me for now! Good luck in Gateway!

here it is! (my eportfolio, v1)

I’m pleased to have completed the first version of my EPortfolio after completing my gateway course. You can access it here: https://writing.baileystein.com/

For my EPortfolio, I used a BootStrap template and hosted the page for free via GitHub Pages. As part of the development process, I made considerable edits to the structure of the theme and, of course, integrated the bits of work I completed throughout the semester.

I placed everything except for my “Why I Write” essay under a dedicated “Projects” section. When you hover over the custom icons I made for each experiment, you’re prompted to click to expand to see more details. You can then read the proposal and go further with links to each experiment’s full PDF.

I think presenting the Final Project center-justified, below the experiments, and as an obvious “click me!” button, draws the kind of attention I want to it. There’s also a quick link to see the bibliography for the final project in the same section.

Both my “Why I Write” essay and my about section have their own sections, which I decided was the best move as I hope to update those in the future. So, by giving them dedicated space, my goal is to signal their dynamic nature.

I’m really happy with how my EPortfolio turned out. It’s a single page, unlike some others, but I think it actually works out quite well since you can get a high-level overview of each piece of work without needing to delve too deeply into a particular part.

I’m also very grateful for the template I used, as the clean design, light animations + scrolling behavior, and single-page encapsulation would have been much, much more difficult to build from scratch. By minimizing technical overhead, I was able to better focus my time on improving the presentation of my work.