^How I feel heading into finals season as a arts/social science major with a ton of final essays to submit.
This semester in the MiW Gateway has been one heck of a ride. I came in thinking one thing about writing, and kind of had that all turned on its head, for better or for worse! I loved the Gateway process and the emphasis on learning through the lens of genres and their conventions, affordances and limitations. It makes me so conscious of how texts operate in everyday life and how we partake of that as writers.
Some major takeaways from this semester:
- My belief that you could write from start to finish was crushed to pieces. I learnt many things about the implications of genre conventions, and how they both can be a cage or a scaffold/foundation on which you can build a skyscraper. Writing in confused, terrible fragments was a major challenge for me, but I learnt that it is way better to write a shitty first draft than to write nothing at all. You can edit a shitty first draft, but you can’t edit nothing.
- Related to the point above, I realized that I struggle with linearizing my thoughts, and what I used to do in all my previous paper writing was that I’d stare blankly at my “New Document 1” screen for a couple of hours, agonizing over how I would put down these words. I thought of it like a sprint from the starting line to the finish line, and the few hours I spent staring was me trying to organize my thoughts in my head, until it was acceptable for me to start writing the thoughts, like laying down a neat little footpath from beginning to the end. Nah, doesn’t work like that. And I had to learn to see this not as a failure on my writing juices, but as a process I needed to learn how to embrace.
- You write best when you have something to say. I got so stuck at some experiments because I was so caught up in meeting deadlines I lost sight of why I was writing in the first place! And that is such a rough spot to be!
Anyway, I’ve learned so much about writing, and myself, and myself as a writer this semester. Something I might work on for the Capstone? Spending more time reading fiction again, but also learning to harness how my brain works. I learned that I love exploring contradictions and the idea of holding two contradictory ideas at the same time (1984, anyone?), as well as embracing a non-linear train of thought. I guess I want to learn how to use/harness that in my writing, rather than forcing myself to be at odds with how I naturally think and process by creating a “I must write from start to finish!” idea.
I guess that’s all I have to say. With regards to the GIF above, that applies to all the other classes 😉 My GIF for submitting my portfolio (EYY IT LIVES HERE) looks more like this:
But anyway, here’s my Gateway ePortfolio! Lots of pain and agonizing in the process of creating this, but hey, 5 semesters of college has taught me the work you value most is the one you left a piece of your heart in, and that only happens with the pieces that were the hardest to write.
https://jamietohsl.wixsite.com/gateway come visit me!!