Proposal 2.0

In reviewing what I’ve developed for Project 2, it seems that my thoughts have, in typical fashion, carried me away from my original idea. As such, I’ve decided to refocus my ideas and develop this “Proposal 2.0.”

I originally planned to write a series of “snapshot” profiles on immigration with the goal of contrasting the beliefs and practices of immigrants to the United States. My vision was originally to see how our differences define us in this nation and how immigration plays into what I’ve termed “cultural drift”.

However, after taking my Professor T’s suggestion to limit to just one personal profile, I felt that this no longer fit. Specifically, I’ve decided to profile my maternal grandfather, who emigrated from Romania to Israel, and then from Israel to the United States. In the process of changing my focus, I realized that I am far more interested in similarities (or lack thereof) than in differences among Americans. Specifically, my writing has caused my project to evolve towards the questions of ‘What is American-ness?’ and ‘Is assimilation a myth?’

My “new and improved” Project 2 is still going to be a mid-length profile on my grandfather focusing on his experience as an immigrant. However, rather than focus on differences in political and social attitudes, the focus is now more centered on the concept of American-ness and becoming an American.

For this newly oriented piece, I’ve come up with two sets of goals. The first set is research goals, which are the main areas in which I hope to “stretch” my writing expertise through research. These goals are as follows:

  • What is a “profile”?
  • What does writing about immigration typically look for/include?
  • What is entelechy?
  • Historical background research.

The second set is thematic goals, which encompass the main ideas I hope to include in the profile. These goals are as follows:

  • What is “American-ness”? Is assimilation a myth?
  • How are Americans similar and different? Discuss “cultural drift”
  • Balance of “personal” and “systematic” in immigration/assimilation
  • Does entelechy apply to culture?

By focusing on these specific goals, I hope to create a profile that is both in line with “profile” genre conventions, as well as powerful in content.

My target audience will remain the same: readers of a high-profile, notably cultural, and often controversial magazine, much like The New Yorker. It will follow the genre conventions of a “profile,” much like this one or this one. These profiles both tell the stories of individuals in the context of a specific accomplishment/occupation/characteristic, while keeping a tone that is both investigative and personal; they really tell you who the profiled individual is and how they are, beyond what a biography of the individual would provide.

In thinking about this new idea, I realized that this is an theme that I am strongly connected to and that features in various ways in multiple pieces of writing I’ve done in the past; this topic is rather central to the paper on generational entelechy I settled on for this repurposing project, but it is also strongly related to another piece I considered stretching for this project (the one discussed third in my blog post).

Clearly this has been a lengthy process for me, but I think I’ve finally figured out exactly what kind of a statement I want to make with this project. I strongly believe that the changes I’ve made to my Project 2 will make it more rewarding and impactful both to write and to read.

 

Crunch Time

The thing that has been particularly stressful to me this semester has been actually finding the time to sit down and write.  Actually write.  In the past, I feel like I’ve been able to carve out time to enjoy my writing — to plan ahead, revise, and take my time — but this year, not so much.  Especially when it comes to a project like our Re-Purposing assignment, which is totally interesting, I wish that I had made better choices and had more time to do what I want to do.  (But there is time to turn in revised drafts, which is great!)

As for the assignment, I’m writing a kind of essay that is designed for college freshmen at U of M, which has been interesting to write.  My problems have been that

1.  I haven’t had enough time to write a quality first or second draft, so I have a ton of work to do revising and editing the paper to sound the way I want it to

and

2.  I’m still conflicted about how I want my tone to sound.  The paper that I’m basing my structure off of is very much a professional article with lots of facts and data — but I don’t think that would be the most effective way to reach my audience.  So right now I’m torn between writing to reach an audience in a more colloquial (but still professional) style, or going a completely different direction and using my “model article” to try a new style of more academic writing.

And what’s worse is that it’s crunch time, so I have to make a decision — quick!

Bloggin’ Girl.

Moment of honesty: blogging is still a process for this girl. While I blogged for my study abroad experience this past spring (separately for my program requirements and for my job), I still am not an effortless blogger. Sometimes I feel Andrew Sullivan must just spit rhymes in the form of blogs with such ease. After perusing some of your blog posts for this week, Joe’s three-prong blog characterization really struck me. His first prong reads, “Blogging is instant.” Yes and no, Joe. Yes and no.

In “Why I Blog,” Sullivan goes to great lengths to explain the immediacy of the blog form – that words can be disseminated across the world in the span of seconds. But it is seconds… not a second. It’s an almost-instant… not an instant. I feel like my evolution of blogging is like jumping from rock to rock in a fast-moving creek. (Hold on to your seats because this may get deep.) It’s like the water is opinion, judgement and, ultimately, the eyes that skim my work. The rocks are moments of writing clarity, where I feel like I’m expressing what I want to say in the way I want to say it, and at the moment I want to make it known. Isn’t that what all this is about? Making your thoughts known, yourself heard?

Blogging is not an instant act for me. It involves vocally organizing my words, forming a unique thread or theme to weave through each post, using sentences to communicate that theme and tying up loose ends or underdeveloped ideas to finally post it in cyberspace. This is far from instantaneous. My creative juices need to stretch and get warmed up before the World Wide Web is going to have the freedom (and right, quite frankly) to judge my words.

Moving forward with the re-purposing and re-mediating projects, I know this will still be a process. I know that I need to allow for time to rip my apart work and put it back together.

I know I have to give myself the opportunity to land on as many rocks as I possibly can.

Garnet Canyon – Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

One of the purest places on Earth.

 

Let’s Powerpoint it up, yo.

Because that is what I have decided to do for my remediation project! I wrote about doing a radio interview for my proposal, but as I am sick of fabricating circumstances, and a radio show would involve a lot more making up elaborate backstory, not to mention making up a radio personality, making one of my friends pretend to be said radio personality, and a whole lot of other nonsense like that. A Powerpoint presentation is simple, effective, probably useful in the legal field for explaining things to paralegals and such, and I can create a comprehensive presentation going over my argument in detail in a creative way. I am fairly used to using Powerpoint, as I had to employ it throughout high school for projects, and it is the medium we use at SAPAC for our workshops. I will probably use music clips instead of quotes for examples, and can use pictures for illustration of points. I hope that it will look professional and like something a lawyer might use in a presentation. I am excited to see my argument in such a concise format with so many ways to be creative.