An ePortfolio At Last!

It is done! After so much writing and revision and overall Googling when I could not get the webpage to work, my ePortfolio is up and ready for viewing.

This semester, I would say that the biggest way that I have grown as a writer is that I have really learned that I have the power to control what I write about. After years of high school writing papers assigned by teachers and the past couple of years of undergrad writing only professionally/technically, I have given myself a chance to open up and let my writing be about me. I have also learned to let my audience for this writing also be me, as the primary purpose for this writing is for me to be proud of it and enjoy what I have done. Looking back at my ePortfolio, I am proud of the work that I have put together over the past semester and the effort and hours that I put in, and as long as I am proud of my own writing then that is all that matters.

This ties into the idea of perfectionism that I also have about my writing and everything else that I do, and I want to continue to build on this throughout the minor. I want to reach a point where I am always proud of my work not just when I have had a moment of inspiration, but just knowing the time and effort that I have put in should be enough.

With this, I would like to continue to add onto my voice in my writing in future semesters of writing classes. If I am writing primarily for myself, then hopefully it will be easier for that true voice to come out and be known to everyone else. This major that I have may for the most part be for getting a job, but this minor is for me.

Check out my ePort here!

Letter to Future Gateway Students

Dear Future Gateway Students,

Welcome to Writing 220! It will be quite a journey, but hopefully you will be able to look back on your time and finished product fondly at the end.

My biggest takeaways from this course is the necessity of not just writing well, but writing often. I think the two really go hand-in-hand. After a long summer of not really writing, it is easy to have fallen into a slump where the words no longer come to you as easily and you sit and stare in front of your paper for awhile and wonder what to do next. This course had a LOT of assignments, oftentimes being due between 2 and 4 times a week. Not only is this a lot of constant writing, but it is a constant reminder of the importance to keep doing small writing assignments to keep your brain active and thinking. I really do think that this constant writing has helped get me back into the flow of writing that I had previously lost from years of taking non-writing based classes.

I feel like I was most challenged in sharing my work with my peers. As a perfectionist, it is hard for me to let something go to share with others before it is in what I consider to be its best state. As there were so many small assignments and constant sharing and feedback with the members of our blog group, I was not able to make everything that I wrote a completely polished piece with tons of revision and thought put into it, and it was frightening for some assignments to know that people were reading and reflecting on something I had done that had not yet reached its full potential. As I have been having more practice with writing as I mentioned above, it also became easier for my thoughts to come to me faster in the way that I want them to, and so it became easier to write on the fly. Still working on that perfectionism thing though. TBD.

What surprised me most about the course I think was how much I found that I liked blogging. I had never really tried it much before, the only time I had being for another class where we blogged with a response to something we had read. In that class though, it didn’t feel like I could be personal like I could with this blog, and it was always fun to search for memes online that I thought were fitting for my topic. I’m considering doing something similar just for myself personally, maybe not even publishing it but just having this online presence that I can return to. Perhaps I can make it a part of my ePortfolio and keep it updated.

The practical advice that I have for incoming minor students is to relax. Relax if your writing isn’t perfect, or you don’t know what your final project is going to be, or you are overwhelmed by how much has to go into the ePortfolio. Just relax. It’s going to be fine; just breathe.

If I was starting the course all over again, I think I would have more fun with my blog posts. I would try to make them sillier and funnier and just let myself laugh at the things that I had to say. I would also make keeping up with the assignments in this course more of a priority. This semester with all of my other work and classes it was hard at times to keep up with the workload and I found myself submitting assignments last minute and not being as pleased as I could be with the quality of my work. If I were to do it all again, I would force myself to make time.

This class has made me excited for what the rest of the minor will bring. I took a class last semester that counts towards this minor, but I didn’t get the full picture of what my experience would entail until I took this class. I love that this class has pushed me to create an ePortfolio showcasing me, and giving me something that I can continue to work on and be proud of. Hopefully you will too by the end of your gateway course.

 

Best of luck,

Amy

I DID IT, IT IS ALIVE, IT IS WELL, IT IS AN E-PORTFOLIO

Hello my people!

I am so excited (and ready) to announce that my ePortfolio has not driven me completely mad, but has tested my patience and self-motivation. It has been a long time coming, and by long time, I mean I cranked this out in the last 2 weeks. Regardless, I am so proud of how this website turned out. I could spend hours and hours editing its appearance, but I need to just sit back and let it be. I am happy with how it looks, so I should just chill out.

This semester, I have learned more about tone and audience than I thought I would.  Going into this project, I was always unsure of what tone I was going to go with. Do I take the serious route, the funny route, or the sentimental road? It was truly conflicting and I found myself going back and forth between many ideas. When I expressed my concern to Shelley, I finally realized that I didn’t need to be constrained to a certain tone. In fact, I could pick many different tones and allow them all to stand on their own. This was refreshing and such a relief. It is once I stopped worrying about my tone, that my tone began to form. Suddenly, my pieces were falling together even if they were unique in and of themselves. I took an honest approach, one that I was unfamiliar with.

This approach gave me the liberty to say what I wanted and how I wanted. I found myself having the most fun with the blog portion of my site. This, once dreaded feature, became the home of all my reflective pieces. I feel like I will keep adding to it even after this class. Between now and capstone, I would like to continue building upon this honest approach. I think it has strengthen my writing in more ways than one. I sure have had a fun time with it.

So, welcome to my ePortfolio – “MS is a Bitch,” it has been a wild ride.

Goodbye, Gateway!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s December already.

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The past semester has certainly been an interesting obstacle for me. I’m not sure whether the sophomore slump is real or it’s just one of those periods in your life.

I don’t often believe in fate, but the Minor in Writing gateway course could not have come at a better time. The last semester has actually been a rough, yet productive learning experience for me. Despite many success, Fall 2016 certainly had some of my life’s lowest lows. I genuinely believe that I could have sunk even lower had Writing 220 not been in my schedule because the course gave me an outlet to explore my feelings and evaluate my situation.

I originally applied to the minor because I knew I wanted to improve my writing through mechanisms like word choice and sentence construction, but to my surprise the class forced me to use my writing to improve myself.

I learned a lot about the art of writing. Shitty drafts should not be a source of vulnerability; in fact, they are normal. Writing can be strengthened by proper word choice and sentence construction, but the true value lays in the content behind the message and a writer’s ability to communicate to his or her audience.

Although I have found my voice and started constructing clearer messages, I still have a way to go. My struggle with word choice, concise statements, and sentence construction will be the topic of discussion for my next writing course, and my writing voice is still too conversational at the wrong times. I want to learn how to better embed arguments within a piece and do so with a non-condescending authoritative tone.

The gateway course was an experience. I started the semester uncertain about which original piece to use and what genres I wanted to explore. Now, after my final submission, I am happy that I made the decisions I did. I was able to open up and become more honest with the world. The drafts and edits of my works reflect my journey outside of the classroom during my off semester, yet I sit here now with a sense of ease and excitement for next semester. It may sound corny or cliche, but writing helped me work through what could have truly been a catastrophe.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Shelley. The conversation about my pieces have been more than just editing sessions. Words seemingly flow more easily when I sit to write now because you helped me find my purpose for writing, and I will always appreciate that.

Without further to do, I introduce my Gateway blog.

Thank you for a great semester, Writing 220.

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Finally

It is over, it is really over. Today feels like it has been one of the longest days of my life. It has been full of last minute editing, making sure I have met every requirement and making sure the E-Portfolio looks and functions successfully. I should also mention I got my wisdom teeth out today. Terrible scheduling aside, getting them out was a nice break from stressing over my E-Portfolio. So as I write this I am lying in bed, intermittenly replacing the bloody gauze in my mouth and fighting the urge to take a pain killer like I was instructed because I am afraid it may compromise my ability finish this project the entire semester has been leading towards. So I will continue to fight through the pain, mainly because of how proud I am of the product I just created. The portfolio I made and am turning in now blows away all the expectations I had in the begining of the semester. Wix and I had our battles, some which I did not win, if you can find where it says “I am busy working on my blog posts, watch this space” you win a prize. Another battle I lost was not finding a way to include my teacher feedback when I was breaking down my piece by piece process for my repurposing essat. I could not find a way to transfer the feedback from Canvas to Wix in a way that was at all intuative or reader friendly, so ufortunatly I was not able to figure out how to achieve that requirement.

But that does not mean I am any less proud about the E-Portfolio I am now sharing with the world. I am incredibly excited to have a living website that represents me online. I eagerly await the chance to show it to friends and family. One thing I will really take away from this class is considering my audience more when I write. When I am talking to someone in person, I am always letting what I think and know about the other person influence what I say and the arguments I make. I do not know why I never tried to take this same mindset to writing, and this is something I hope to continue to improve on as continue with my minor in writing.

So without further ado, here it is: http://grantberkshire.wixsite.com/mysite

Read, think, enjoy and feel encouraged to leave comments or ask questions on my site.

It was a tremendous semester, and good luck to everyone in our class as we continue through the minor!

 

WHOA

I can’t believe it’s all over. This class has caused me more stress, sweat, and tears than probably any other this semester (no blood, thankfully). However, I didn’t get the sense of relief that I usually get by finishing the final or turning in the final paper. No, this time I feel accomplishment. This is the culmination of a tough semester, and unlike a paper or even a cumulative final, I actually care about this material (imagine that?). I’ve put so much thought, energy, and time into these assignments that now I’m excited to share it with the rest of the world, even if employers aren’t a part of that world thanks to my stubborn insistence on incorporating Pooh. I never thought that employers would be reading this; it was just for me, because I wanted to and because I could. This has helped me realize that there’s so much more to my writing than just what I’ve been forced to do my whole life, and the awful irony is that it took me being forced to complete it before midnight tonight to realize that. That’s why I feel so accomplished: because I actually wanted to do this, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I hope that now I’ve figured out what this all feels like that I can continue writing just to write, that I can write things that please me just because I want to. Because in the end, what will I remember from college? I have an awful memory, so I can already tell you that I’ve forgotten most of freshman year. But this course, these assignments, this mountain. I won’t forget that, and not just because it’s saved on the Internet forever. So without further ado, I release you!

http://benbug.wixsite.com/writing220

Website Posted

After hours of procrastinating followed by hours of work, my website for the Gateway is finally published! The theme is sensation and perception, with an especial focus on how that relates to the business world. I have learned so much this year about being able to explain what I find interesting to other people and make it fun for them also. Similarly, I loved working with my classmates, learning more about their topics and being able to explain mine to them.

I hope to continue working on my website, finding ways to include my work from other classes in this portfolio. This will help me have a better multidisciplinary education, while giving me a reflective place for these pieces of work to see how my studies relate to me personally.

Wrapping it all up…

Well, this is it. I’m done. I feel as though this course has flown by; I have so many more places that I could go with the pieces that I’ve created this past semester.

I would say that there are two categories when it comes to becoming a better writer; the first being how good you are content-wise, and the second being about the fundamentals. Content-wise I grew as a writer this semester because I’m better aware of the fact that people are interested in what I’m really interested in. Throughout the process, my peers just kept asking me for more. More on the specifics regarding my relationship with my sisters, more on what I was feeling at the time, more about the why. On a slightly more boring note, fundamentally, I grew this semester because I have gotten better at playing with my drafts. I have always struggled with heavily revising pieces, letting go of previous brain-children. I like to think that all my first drafts are perfect and don’t need any radical revision, but that is rarely the case.

My blog group played a huge part in how far I’ve come this semester, and I want to take that newfound strength of being able to listen to and trust me peers forward with me onto the capstone. Trusting people, especially when it comes to your personal writing, is scary and hard. It’s difficult to hear people do anything but sing your praises, and, when they don’t, it’s difficult to imagine that they might be right.

I can’t wait to see what the next three semesters in the writing minor have in store for me.

My site!

Introducing… my ePortfolio!!!!

WOW. Creating my ePortfolio was quite a process. However, the blood, sweat and tears that were shed during the making of this project was all worth it. I am so proud of everything it has become 🙂 Making this ePortfolio has been such a unique experience because it has combined so many different skills, like visual design, creative writing, reflective writing, planning spaces, and argumentation strategies.

Looking back at this semester, I think about all the ways I have grown as a writer. The one way that sticks out to me most in my mind is the relaxation that I have learned to develop as I sit down to write a piece. Before this semester, writing was something I enjoyed and loved and was passionate about. However, it was something that was always associated with stress because I felt the need to get it right the first time. As I have previously mentioned, this is not the way to go about writing a first draft. I have learned to look at a first draft in a completely different way. This is something I would like to build on between now and the capstone. I want to make sure I do not forget the philosophy I have learned to have about taking time and having patience with the first draft of a piece.

I also can’t help but think about the way my blog group played an immensely important part in my writing processes. I learned to open up to them about my concerns and questions for each major project. I also learned how to critically read and analyze other pieces to give advice, which definitely contributed to my writing skills as well.

The End of the Beginning

It feels so good to say I have finished and published my ePortfolio, finally!!! You can see it here if you so choose. After a semester of reflection and hard work, it feels good to have a place that showcases all of that work. While it may seem anticlimactic, I have felt the most growth just now, at the end of the semester. Maybe it’s because designing my ePortfolio required that I looked back on the steps I took to get to my final drafts. While I know that I grew throughout the semester (after all, how else would I have completed all of the projects without a little internal motivation?), I noticed my growth most at the end.

I feel I have grown in becoming a reflective writer. In this class, I had to reflect not on others’ writing so much as my own, which felt different from prior English classes. It gave me the opportunity to think more after I write, which is just as important as thinking (or not thinking) before I write. I thought after writing by re-purposing and re-mediating an original, older writing. Doing these projects allowed me to figure out this whole reflective writing thing we’ve talked so much about in class, from learning why famous authors write to why I write.

I will work more on introducing my voice into my rough drafts, and not falling back on academic language to carry me through a first draft. I noticed that a lot of people in class used the projects to bring out their voice, which is something I would love to do more of in the capstone course.

Overall, I feel like we all accomplished a lot as people and writers in Writing 220. I’m thankful that, in just my first course in the minor, I got to learn so much about myself and about writing, and where the two meet.