Writing Becomes Fun Again

After reading the excerpts from Ong and Brandt and looking at the gallery compiled by our class of what constitutes as writing, I’ve come to a rather abstract conclusion. I still firmly believe that writing is not defined by written text alone, and to me, it’s a language that comes in various forms. Although after our discussion in class I found that some may disagree, I believe that any sort of compilation of work can, and does, constitute as a form of writing. Looking at the media gallery constructed by our class, the things individuals classified as writing ranged from something as controversial as a photo with no text to a seemingly middle ground of text/image compilations to examples as concrete as a purely written note.

Noting that most of our class comes from various backgrounds of every major and previous academic experience, it didn’t shock me that there was some disagreement amongst the group in terms of what counts as writing. I didn’t expect a Pre-Med major to perceive a painting as writing. Based off of my own preconceived notions and judgements, I unfairly assumed that because of the concrete, science-minded academic culture they’ve been entrenched in for the past two years, individuals of this breed wouldn’t be able to conceive the idea that something as obscure as a painting could count as writing. However it shocked me that others of more liberally academic backgrounds felt the same way. Many didn’t think a painting constituted as writing at all, and in fact, it seemed that most of our class agreed there had to be some text involved for something to count as writing. Is it because of the rigidity of our previous academic experience that most of us feel this way? As a Communications major I’ve spent the past two years of my college experience writing to analyze, argue and synthesize, as most of us have. I, as well as others, am fully aware that all of these things constitute as writing, but maybe the fact that I’ve spent so long doing all of these things is why I’m now yearning for a more open-ended of idea of what does count as writing. I think, even if it’s not (although I don’t really believe there is a correct answer), I want what constitutes as writing to be more open-ended than what I’ve been used to my entire college experience because for me, that’s why I love to write.

As noted in the Brandt reading, “Several people that I interviewed made analogies to the arts in describing their workplace writing, highlighting inventiveness and perspective taking often associated with painting, sculpting, filmmaking, fiction writing” (Brandt, 155). As noted in the reading, even in the professional world, writing can be as equally expressive as a painting. So, in my opinion, it’s a simple connection that not only can writing be like a painting, but it doesn’t feel far-fetched to say that painting is writing. Looking at what I enjoy as a writer, the array of examples in our media gallery and pulling from the reading, my goals for the minor in writing have become pretty clear to me. I want writing to be fun again. I would love to express myself, entertain others and weave in various media forms to convey messages. I think that throughout this course and the minor as a whole, I’ll have the opportunity fulfill these wants. Hopefully the minor will allow me to grow as an expresser and as a learner, so that all of the work I produce is something I feel is creative, but not too abstract. I feel like the minor will allow me to grow my creativity projected in my writing, hopefully making what I produce more powerful because of it. I want writing to be open-ended because I want writing to be fun again.

if i had the time

By the Huron River
The Huron River is one of my most favorite–and peaceful–places on campus.

Too many things exist in this world that I want to see, do, and experience, and yet, I seem to never have the time. While having to listen to an episode of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour for my Syntax of Sports class, I couldn’t help but think about how I wanted to become a regular listener of the show, as well as sample many of the options on NPR’s site for podcast and others in the iTunes store or online. This caused me to spiral into a thinking storm about everything else I always want to do but can never get around to do them because life gets in the way. Our hours are tied up in school, work, clubs, and engaging with our family and friends. When we stumble upon free time, it usually goes towards catching up on sleep or de-stressing through whatever means necessary.

If I had the time, I would want to frolic in the Arb almost every day, or at least hold frequent picnics and runs in what I like to think as Ann Arbor’s forest. During warmer times, the Arb is a place free from air air pollution, the hustle and bustle of campus and generally, most people. The steps that lead into the Huron River is my favorite place to hang out within city limits. A close second is the meadow area, vast green open space where frisbees fly freely, kids act as kids, and the occasional lovers embrace each other under the shade of a large tree on a hot day. I spent many summer afternoons there last year tanning, reading, and feeling careless on my blanket I always carried around me. I also got used to taking power naps outside, something I never really embraced until last year either.

If I had the time, I would vary the places and topics in which I expanded my mind more. I’ve always wanted to spend an afternoon just reading a novel for pleasure in the Reading Room of the Law Library. I’ve also wanted to re-familiarize myself with the very particular rules of major sports so that when I watch them I know what’s going on at any given time and can speak intelligently about it. Also, I want to watch more sports documentaries and live of the great stories of our time. While I’ve watched over twenty of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, there’s so much more sports history to explore.

If I had the time, I would binge watch successful shows like The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, which until today I have not seen a single minute of. Also, I would watch Academy Awards winners of years past and explore the stories of brilliant cinema throughout time. Then I would re-watch my ultimate favorites more, movies that can make me smile no matter how contrary I may be feeling otherwise.

If I had the time, I would practice activities where I lack good skills, like swimming. Swimming at the Bell Pool in the CCRB is something I do more when in the summer where scheduling an hour swim in my day won’t intrude on other obligations. As someone who only learned to swim when I was a freshman in high school, I still can’t do a regular freestyle stroke and opt for a modified side stroke to awkwardly flow through the water. It feels good and gets my heart pumping, even though it takes me about 50 minutes to swim a mile. I always wanted to swim properly, and would put forth the time required to reach that goal—if I had it.

If I had the time, I would also play the piano more and reignite the mastery I had with it when I played for six years in my youth. If I had the time, I would go on bike rides to nowhere more often, intentionally getting lost so that I may find my way back again and just enjoy the ride. I could go on and on about all the things I would do if I had the time. Hopefully these ideas and dreams can turn into stories of using my time how I’ve always wanted to use it. It’s just a matter of when that will be.

So, y’all, what would you do if you had the time?

 

E-Portfolio Fun!

I just have to say… I have procrastinated on work for so many other classes because of this e-portfolio — it’s way too much fun!  I really enjoy putting everything together and finding pictures that I want to represent me and my work, as well as actually making sure that all of the links work and everything is in order.  I actually forgot how to upload my essays onto my wix.com page and keep them in the browser, so I was trying a bunch of different things and searching for help for about 10 minutes before I figured it out again!  (You have to link to a pdf version of the document, in case you were wondering!)  I’m really glad that this feature is available for my e-portfolio, and that it’s so easy to use — having to download a document to read it gets really annoying after a while!

Screen-shot of my e-portfolio
Part of my unfinished “Creative Non-Fiction” page

As I continue to work on my e-portfolio, I’m excited to get more in depth about the different pieces I’m using and my “About Me” section.  Right now everything is very bare and there are no descriptions (as you can see from my screen-shot), and I can’t wait to start reflecting on my writing and making the pages come to life!  Most of my links are in place for different essays, so it’s just a matter of finding an appropriate time (ie NOT when I have a paper due on Wednesday that I should be revising) to start putting everything together and continuing the fun 🙂   Hope everyone is doing awesome on your e-portfolios!  Can’t wait to see them all!