Week Five Reflection

Portfolio and Narrative Development

What a week it has been since returning home last Sunday after the Brock-Cornell wedding. Despite my best efforts to stay ahead of the syllabus, this week was filled with many late nights playing around with Web 2.0 tools to enhance my portfolio. How did that happen? I spent four hours the day I left for State College—along with many hours the evenings before my departure day—working on homework precisely so I would not end up in this situation. The life of a graduate student, I suppose. And yet, even with those late nights this past week, I’ve come away with a feeling of success at how my e-portfolio is turning out. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but many times over the last few weeks I’ve found that I am actually enjoying putting together this portfolio. The technological requirements of WordPress, Vimeo, and Youtube continue to frustrate and befuddle me, but the reflection, decision-making, writing, graphic design, and layout provide a lot of enjoyment for someone anxious to use her professional writing education.

I’ve found that one of the best—and continually surprising—elements of the professional writing program at NEC is the expectation that students will push themselves outside of their comfort zone to learn and use new aspects of the profession that before they would have never considered. Many times throughout this program I thought I would never succeed in a certain area of writing, or indeed even enjoy working within that area. New media, e-portfolios, and blogging were all relatively new activities that I was not ready to tackle. How could I, when I just learned how to text-wrap in Microsoft Word or schedule meetings in Microsoft Outlook? Nevertheless, with the patience of my professors and classmates, and my own perseverance I’ve excelled beyond my imaginings in these areas and many others of professional writing. I am grateful for and excited about the possible pathways I can now take with experience in these (and other) new areas.

My e-portfolio is turning out really well. The suggestions in peer reviews of my professor and classmates provided excellent ideas for what to revise and edit in relation to layout, graphics, and content within the portfolio. Now that I know how WordPress works I am pushing myself to experiment with more and more of the website’s features. I hope to explore more of these features in the coming week because all of my content is now uploaded and revised for completion. The resume page needs some work, but as I am out of ideas of how to play with it I’m waiting for feedback from my professor and classmates. I am excited beyond belief about my digital narrative. I really love how the script turned out—again thanks to the peer reviews. The suggestions on revision for the sentences about teaching were invaluable. I spent many hours yesterday uploading pictures and figuring out to work MovieMaker; surprisingly enough, the application wasn’t too difficult to figure out. Thank goodness for built-in microphones on laptops and Audacity. The tutorials on Audacity were not that helpful, but Google provided some good websites for how to use the program. My only pitfall was uploading the narrative to a video site. Thanks to Shea Winton for pointing me in the right direction for my upload.

Only two weeks left to go: onward and upward!


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