To Erica Peterson's Homepage
Senior student at Eastern Michigan University
Secondary Education Major with a dual major in English and History and a minor in Psychology
This webpage is a portfolio of my work in my English 328, Writing, Style, and Technology Course. This class has been an amazing journey, one that I won't soon forget. Considering my web design skills prior to this class, this page is no doubt a masterpiece. Feel Free to explore and enjoy my work. Also, I have included some of my personal reflections on this waning semester, so scroll on down! Thanks for stopping by.
Feel Free to e-mail me any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
To professor Marquard:
I find that the end of this semester bring me pride, joy, and relief. From the outset, I was really in a difficult situation when it came to this course, simply because I did not have home access to the internet. This made the many web ct responses that were due on all sorts of days and times a total nightmare! By the sixth week of the course, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. The fact that I had to either borrow a friend's computer or drive thirty miles to campus seemed to leave me in a black hole which I could never get out of. Frankly, by mid semester, it was all I could do to not throw in the towel.
Make no mistake, when in class, I thrived on the discussions that were held. I was thoroughly impressed with the readings. Even if I didn't agree with what these authors were saying, I was still guaranteed a great learning experience. The readings weren't the only thing aspect of this course that challenged my preconceived notions though. In general, as the projects went, I feel like I came into this course with my thinking backwards. The projects that I thought I nailed got the worst reviews, and vice versa. I guess it really is a lesson for me that not only writing, but being a writer, is truly an evolving process, and it is only when writers become stagnant that they backslide.
I went into writing project one with a fury of passion. My mind was set aflame by Prensky and how technology should be handled in Education. My major problem with this paper at the outset is that I failed to a large degree to incorporate writing. This was emphasized and remphasized in class, I just really had blinders on I think. I think too, that education is such a multifacted entity, as are its' problems. I have a tendency to get on a rampage and try to touch on all of these problems, which really doesn't aid in cohesiveness. I debated a lot over what sections to remove and leave in the paper. For example, I chose to take out the section concerning the use of the calculator as opposed to writing math problems out long hand. I'm not a math teacher, nor will I ever be, so I felt that example was extraneous. I had to focus on my rhetoric as well, for I found myself making a lot of strong declarations like "everyone believes," or "indisputibly." These strong words are probably a byproduct of my passionate feelings towards my topic, but they had to go. I really also tried to add more examples of writing, and how technology is effecting writing. I grappled a lot with this, but feel that this paper has improved greatly since its working draft stages.
Project two was all over the place. I think I did everything but the assignment. The element that I created wasn't as far off target, and was something I truly enjoyed doing. When analyzing a found object, I took one of Barbara Kruger's pieces, and again, I was off to the races with ideas that had come from past semesters and what the symbolism of the piece reminded me of. I basically had to scrap the majority of that piece and start over. Also, I somehow missed the memo at first that the two elements had to be connected. I was very greatful for the class presentations of the webpage, because although I was having technical difficulties and couldn't show people my work, the mere explanations prompted such great feedback on how the two items are interrelated. I had to add a segment connecting and introducing the two elements, as well as finally get my images to load on my webpage. I know that the assignment specifies the found image before the created one, but in my webpage layout, I chose to place them in the opposite order. I feel that thematically there are traces of project one in my created image, and I felt that placing it at the top of the page provided a more consistent flow, or train of thought.
Project three was really fun for me to do. Oddly enough, this is the one that I was the least sure about, and it's the one that has gotten the best reviews. A lot of the changes for project three involved the visual aspects of the webpage, and including photos of a "food cube." Also, many people suggested that I more clearly define this forum of food cubes, which in retrospect, my working draft did not do. I hope that my definitions are more clear now, they seem that way to me. I believe all my papers have come a long way. I really like the whole work in progress mentality as well, because it really allows for significant reflection and growth.
Last but not least, the webpage. I feel like I need an audio clip of menacing music to accompany that statement. I had no experience in web design, and the thought of creating an entire fully functioning webpage only reinforced the mentality I've had all semester long of climbing furiously out of a really deep hole. Personally, I felt at the beginning, and still feel that the webpage design really requires a seperate course entirely. What I did like is that in many ways, we all learned it together. I think that the webpage made this class bond almost like a family: it happens a lot with stressful or traumatic experiences. I'm so grateful for the help of my fellow classmates, especially Amelia, because without them, I would not have a functioning webpage... at all! Notice that this letter is not posted as a link and is put at the bottom of my homepage. Yep, couldn't figure it out. I can make links just fine, but it does me no good if they don't actually go to another website, and therein lies my problem. Despite some setbacks, I feel I've really learned a lot. I've even been able to solve some of my own problems: like making the size of my pictures in project two proportionate to the remainder of the page. To some, my website may not measure up, but I'm really proud of it. I worked hard on it, and I believe it shows tremendous growth. I even got excited about trying to figure out how to add all the sparkley bells, whistles, and colors. All and all this has been an amazing and exhausting ride. In retrospect, I can appreciate the journey, and all that I've gained from this course. I'm really glad that I didn't throw in the towel, and stuck out the semester.
David, thank you for working with me, for not giving up on me, and for providing me the opportunity to learn and grow. Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
Erica L. Peterson