Yet Another Blog Post

Retrieved from: The Inspiration Room

I’m back…again! I’m starting to think that I’m using these blog posts as an excuse to avoid working on my actual project but it’s fine, everything’s fine. We’ll get there one day…

I actually really need some help right now – as I’m starting to think about (finally) writing the storylines for my own ads, I’m stuck on what to write about, so I need some inspiration. I’m definitely going to include the car mats commercial I told you guys about in class, and I have a few others in the back of my mind, but I’d really love some other suggestions. I know originally I said I was going to pick obscure objects that aren’t typically the center of marketing/advertising materials (i.e. paper bags or paper clips), but I’m willing to broaden my focus.

Zach and Sydni gave me some really great suggestions yesterday like Q-tips or straws — thank you again — but I’d really love some more! Or, if you’ve seen an ad that you really liked (or didn’t like), I’d love to hear / see those too because it’s really useful for my research and inspiration.

This is me, Caroline, asking for help!

As we chatted in class yesterday about our “Tips for Success” in terms of the Capstone project, I thought about my tip:

“It’s okay to ask for help or to admit you don’t know it all.”

For as long as I’ve been in school (shout out to my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Judy), I’ve always felt embarrassed to ask for help. I’m not sure if it has to do with the idea of feeling inferior to my fellow classmates or the mere act of speaking up in class, but not asking for help has been a habit I’ve been trying to break for at least 18 years of my life. It’s only been in the last two years that I’ve experienced firsthand the distinct difference in the quality of an assignment when I ask for help, compared to when I don’t.

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So this is me…Caroline…asking for help from all of you! Specifically, for my capstone project.

My project is essentially a business plan for an online platform that connects fashion brands, fashion bloggers/influencers, and fashion magazines. Right now, there’s immense competition between influencers and magazines, and the goal of my business plan is to provide a platform that allows these three major players to collaborate, not compete.

Here’s where you come in.

Although I know which brands, influencers, and magazines I engage with the most, I want to get a wider variety of examples for my platform. I have a few short questions that I would love feedback on as I create my platform:

 

  1. What is your favorite high fashion brand?

  2. Which fashion brand do you shop at the most?

  3. Do you read fashion blogs or follow fashion Instagram accounts. If so, which ones?

  4. Do you read print fashion magazines or visit fashion magazines’ online sites? If so, which ones?

Please feel free to provide as much or as little information as you want! Your responses are incredibly helpful as I “move towards the mountain” that is my Capstone project.

A Letter to Future Gateway Students

Future Gateway Student,

Breathe.

You are certainly not a number to the Minor in Writing. You are you, and the gateway class will help you explore whomever you believe you are..

The journey you are about experience will be one of the most informative of your college career so far. The writing minor gateway class is unlike any of your other classes. There is no cramming, no memorization, no true target. It is exclusively up to  you how this class will academically service you. You merely need to show up and involve yourself in the daily discourse to  jump into the deep end. Try not to skip the readings ~ they are the heart of self improvement in this course as you may soon realize some of the greatest writers have a lot in common with you.

What is writing? Why do you write? What is good writing? Does good writing exist? Do not worry about the bigger questions. Just write. Struggling to make the first blog post? Just let the words flow. Afraid to speak during the first conversation about an article? Just let the words flow. Unsure where you want your major project to go? Just let the words flow. If there is one piece of advice I can give you, it’s just let the words flow. The gateway class is about getting the first “shitty draft” out and returning to it for improvement. You will realize that sometimes a heat-of-the-moment fire of writing will let you delve into a sea of honesty and raw emotion. Don’t be afraid to jump. The words on the page, although they may appear to be at first, are not a stranger. The words are you. Use the paper to have conversation with yourself.

Unlike Orgo or States, there is no wrong answer in this room, and there certainly is a multitude of routes to arrive at one. Some of your peers will use this class to improve their professional career aspirations while others may use this course to explore themselves. You will read personal narratives, poems, journal entries, research reviews, and genres you didn’t consciously realize existed.  What will draw every one together is a desire to explore. Try to figure out how the words can be written on a page in an intriguing and meaningful way to communicate your story.

I started this semester a bit knocked down. The sophomore slump can be real (perhaps more real than the freshman 15). The gateway course has made writing much easier for me. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be, but I am willing to let the words flow and get lost in my own brain.

Be careful not to procrastinate too much on first drafts. Once a full draft is done it’s much easier to take your time to return to, but make sure – no matter how bad it may be – to power through and pump out the first round, ALWAYS. You’ll be happy you did.

And even on nights when you get very little sleep, show up to class!

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Enjoy the journey.

Sincerely,

Daniel Greene

HELP: Calling all Com and Psych Majors!!

Hello, Writing Community,

I am posting in an effort to ask any Communications or Psychology majors out there for your help.

For my remediation, I am exploring the idea of vanity, and self-image, as it relates to human beings in terms of development (Psychology) and how this intersects with our relationship with vanity in our social world (Communications).

So…do any of you know of any professors, previous not necessary, who have an interest in this topic, or teach courses about this, who I might want to speak with?

If so, please let me know! My email is daiamm@umich.edu

Thanks!!

Re-purposing woes

For my repurposing project I think I am going to take an academic analysis on the recession that I did for a Political Science class, and re-purpose it into a satirical piece for the New Yorker. I like the idea of making it a kind of open letter from “Mr. Bigg Banks” or “Ms. Lucy Lender” (or something along those lines) to the American people. I have two concerns about this, however. The first is that I am not a POLSCI major; this re-purposing would be a big challenge because it would involve a lot of research just to re-acquaint myself with the issues at stake.  Here, I was reminded about what Shelley said in class about picking something that may be a challenge and seeing how we can meet the challenge. However, I hope I am able to live with the piece for the rest of the semester.

My second concern is that my re-purposing will have a fairly evident political bias. I am hoping to use my e-portfolio as a showcase of my college writing to show potential employers, so do you think that having a politically charged piece on the website will be bad? What if the employer disagrees with my stance?