Task 3.1 – Intertexuality and the Discourse Community

My discourse communities:

  • UCF Women’s Lacrosse
  • UCF’s Recreation and Wellness Center (RWC)
  • AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) – Group Exercise Instructors
  • Simply being a UCF student, and then of course we can break that down into Majors or Degree Programs
  • Pope John Paul II High School Alumni
  • PJPII GLAX
  • Fellow yogis
  • Instagram – a lot of the people I follow and interact with on Instagram are part of a specific online community
  • My family
  • My friends
  • People I met at a BARC meeting and movie showing- UCF’s Body of Animal Rights Campaign; fellow vegans, vegetarians, and animal lovers

At UCF’s Recreation and Wellness Center (the gym), I am part of the fitness discourse community. At the RWC I am a Fitness Attendant and progressing group exercise yoga instructor with an audition coming up soon to become a full time yoga instructor! Although I am new to the RWC, there COULD NOT be a BETTER example of a discourse community. The mission of the UCF Recreation and Wellness Center is to foster healthy lifestyle choices and wellness through efficient services, comprehensive programs and high-quality facilities. The RWC is designed to enrich campus life and advance the university’s educational mission.

All the FA’s understand what an FA is, what Krono’s is, who Nicholas Black, Valerie Wexler, and Cayla McAvoy are, the gyms hours, what progression means, knows what at PT, BM, and SS is. Everyone in Fitness is part of the “FitFam”, a nickname someone before my time started using to refer to all the people that worked in Fitness at the RWC. The RWC has many different areas including Outdoor Adventure, Aquatics, Rock Climbing, Building Management, Event Management, Business Administration, etc. Each of these areas also have there own discourse community. A few more examples of what creates our discourse community are as followed:

  • We have a Facebook page where the FitFam connects, wether it be for an event or looking for shift covers.
  • We say things like 801 to 803 over the radio during work to get the attention of our shift supervisor.
  • We do in fact have a well-established ethos. Healthy living and lifestyle oriented.
  • The values we go by are: safe, clean, dependable, quality, and fun.
  • We know that we would never wear anything other than our RWC Nike Polo and plain black or khaki shorts/pants.
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Shitty First Draft (Core II)

The Journey is Just as Important as the Destination

Space. The infinite, incalculably expansive three-dimensional realm in which all objects are located and all events occur. Not the void that exists between celestial bodies, but the space in which I occupy and identify as sacred. Not to be confused with “personal space”, my sacred space connects me with higher energy, and continually, wildly shapes my life and self. Practice. The intended repetition of movements over time so as to improve a skill, activity, or performance. Space and practice, two words with lighter definitions than meanings, go hand in hand. Think, firefighter and Dalmatian, think Batman and Robin. Cultivating here some behind-the-scenes groundwork, understanding the importance of space and practice, I am prompting you, just a little, to take you further.

While I work hard at everything, I have two specific practices close to my heart that regularly plays roles in the lifestyle I live. The physical practices of each are worlds different, but the discipline, character building, and release of tension I gain as I partake in them, relatively the same. Through the foundations of my space and practice, the art of writing and the application of yoga, melts the outside world, drawing attention within.

*

My stainless steal teapot shrieks upon boiling point as I rush out into the kitchen to retrieve my warming herbal tea. Sipping ever so gently, my body thanks me for the warmth as I cup my hands around the piping teacup and allow the warm steam to kiss my face. Setting my delicate Vincent Van Gogh painted china off too the side, giving it time to steep, my hands find the floor and my legs fly towards the ceiling. As I practice creating length through my spine, my eyes close, feet tapping the wall for support, mind quiet. When the earthy scent of green tea hits me, I gracefully return to upright position, snatch my tea on my way to my bedroom, close the massive cinderblock of a dorm room door, and enter into my space.

Yoga mats rolled up and off to the side, sun shining though my fifth floor window, treetops swaying to the rhythm of the wind, a smile automatically paints my face. Beginning to settle into my space, my fingers know they are about to run a marathon. With a quick flick of my wrist, a bright white light apple illuminates from the top of my laptop. A click or two, and then I am faced with a blank abyss of whiteness, begging for my words to sweep the pages.

*

When I was fourteen, I had an English teacher named Mrs. Hildebrand. Mrs. Hildebrand was the biggest Florida Marlin’s fan out there, and also one of the biggest assholes. Luckily for me, I was the president of my middle school’s National Junior Honor Society (yay for Kelsey) and Mrs. H was our Chapter supervisor. We organized school trips together, we conducted NJHS meetings together, we talked about current events together, we planned food drives together, and to toot my own horn, I even arranged a school fundraising event where we raised enough money to build a house in Haiti after the devastating earthquake.

Let’s put two and two together. She fucking loved me.

Mrs. Hildebrand was easily the first English teacher I had that really taught me how to love writing. Scratch that, she taught me writing. Up until eighth grade, I never put any ummph towards writing. I was just a person who wrote, not a writer. A writer doesn’t fill pages with words, a person who writes does. A writer deliberately dances around with word and comma placement, creating an alphabetical maze, illustrating personal thought and emotion.
It was here; kiss ass and all, that I fell in love with the practice of writing.

Through out high school my knowledge and desire to continue to write blossomed. Eagerly becoming the Editor in Chief of the school’s literary magazine, Prism, and continuing to breeze through my honors and AP English class. Unfortunately I went 0-2 on AP English tests, but that is a whole other essay on education.

I loved (and still do) the unlimited capacity of possibility. Confidence slithered down my spine when papers of mine reached teacher’s hands. Unfortunately my high school writing career did not consist solely of glamorous, creativity induced, literary poems and killer free range essays, oh no. There were Document Based Question essays for AP United States History and AP Government, which created a challenge for me seeing as though I did not comprehend a single speckling of information from either of those classes. And let’s not forget the 2,000 bullshitted word religious essays! Oh yes, two a quarter!

*

Now, as a third semester college student, I can easily say my writing practice has developed ten fold. I am in an English class where one of our textbooks title is, “Writing about Writing”… are you kidding me?! I am in an English class where I post most of my “homework” assignments to a blog using my own voice, in a laid back atmosphere. I am in an English class with a teacher that wants us to dig deeper than we thought we could, and relish the moment when a light bulb goes off in our heads.

Practice, the intended repetition of movements over time so as to improve a skill, activity, or performance. In the major league of writers, I am less than a rookie. I’m like a rookie of a rookie. But every professional was once a beginner.

*

*

*

I’m stuck. I would like to make a connection between the two practices in my life, taking the reader a little deeper into who I am and how my thoughts arise and drift. I’ve been mentally mapping out and playing with a few ideas and transition bridges, but can’t seem to find their way into words yet.

Patience though. That’s part of practice.

*

It’s funny, now that I am aware of writing processes I feel an utmost detest towards following any type of writing rule. I write to feel free, not to be bounded by what feels like hard-core rules. Hell, rules are made to be broken anyways.

Personal Narrative

I feel as though in this module, every posting is extremely similar. We have had to talk about our writing habits and process in every. single. one. I guess that makes sense since that’s what our essay will be about, but why so extensive?

Maybe as I write my writing process over and over again, I am becoming more aware of my process. Up until now, I haven’t ever really thought about my writing process. It was more of a “things I do and don’t do” when it comes to writing. Ex: I DO use my computer, and I love it… and I DON’T write in places I am even remotely uncomfortable. Since becoming aware of processes all together, let alone my own personal writing process, I sorta feel like it’s put a constraint on my writing. Like i just wanna goooooooo and writeeeeeee, but now theres a writing process putting pressure on my sub conscience.

A Walk Down Memory Lane of Task 2.4

(I’m picking this writing task because I went off on it and it was the first posting since being in module 2 that I felt like I finally understood what I going to be writing about/understanding personal narratives)

(And the most recent)

It was mid Monday when I wrote it, plus 10 for me cause I usually wait till 9pm Tuesday night to start and submit my postings. I had coffee next to me, and my blinds were open, with the sun shinning on the tree tops. I have the greatest view ever. That’s why I write where I do. I’m in the comfort of my home and my view keeps my head level and continually inspires me. It makes me happy. The sun greets me right where my fingers lay on my keyboard and it reminds me that this is something I enjoy.

My coffee keeps me warm and cozy, settling me into my seat, preparing me for my endeavor: finalizing a posting which leaves me satisfied and with a better understanding of where I am going with my up coming essay. I really enjoy these tasks and using our blogs as platforms for them. Like I said at the beginning of this semester, it’s innovative. It get students, at least me, excited about writing in the cool laid back comfort of the blog.

Task 2.4 took me a while. I was getting really distracted, and I allowed myself to. My lacrosse team had just gotten back from Austin, Texas the night before and we had the most incredible time. We bonded as a team and many inside jokes were created. While I was trying to knock this task out, my team began a group chat in GroupMe and we were sending embarrassing pictures of each other, along with jokes about our Coach. So, trying to be the funny gal I am, of course I engaged with them… putting my writing via text to my team, rather than Task 2.4.

After getting stuck, but knowing I want to keep writing more, I took multiple walks to the kitchen to grab handfuls of chocolate chips (my fav) and throwing my legs into the wall to practice my handstands. This pulls me away from my writing, but ends up aiding me in the long run. It creates space. Space for my thoughts to unwind, and space for my thoughts to form.

When I’m done with my yummy chocolate chips and inversions, I take a few deep breaths and then head back into my incense scented room and plop back down into my already concave imprinted seat and begin typing away.
This was a hard task. I had a hard time recalling everything I did and how I felt, but my overall feeling I had during task 2.4 was frustration actually! It took me so long, and although NOW, (after task 2.4) I understand personal narratives and what my essay’s going to be about, I didn’t during writing 2.4.

I liked what I had written in task 2.4 and when I got to the part where I had to come up with my inquiry questions, they hit me. “How does Kelsey, put Kelsey, into Kelsey’s writing?” seemed so fitting for me, as a writing, and as a being. Since we’re getting personal, I am at a part in my life where I am learning Kelsey and seeing Kelsey in action, and I’m really excited to get to the bottom of why I write like I do.

Task 2.4: Personal Inquiry (Path to Core II)

My most ideal writing environment is at my desk in my dorm, that has the most beautiful view of the tops of trees and the vast sky. I like rolling out of bed, drinking coffee to help waken me and ignite my senses. If at night, tea. I try to approach writing as a fun challenge or a way to relieve stress, rather than an unapproachable stress producer. I like it being slightly cooler, and using my blanket and heat from my drinks to provide warmth. I enjoy the coziness of my writing space. It makes me eager to write and helps me feel grounded. I compose my work on my laptop, in Word or Pages, but keep open notebooks around and near me. I love how fast I can type and get my ideas across the page, because they are so fleeting when I’m on a roll. I go to paper and pen when I’m stuck, when I need to visualize where I’m going and how to get there.

Of course, distractions surround me. I write in my bedroom! My phone is constantly vibrating and ding-ing, along with notifications that pop up on my laptop, which causes me to navigate away form the task at hand. Another reoccurring distraction I find myself engaging in are casual strolls to kitchen. When I’m at a boring part in my paper or stuck trying to make it exciting, the frequent walks to the kitchen to gather some munchies aid to my procrastination. But, oddly enough, it helps. I gets me to get up from my desk, stretch, (I always get up and do a few handstands or stretches), fill my tummy, and give myself some time and space to recollect my thoughts.

I really cannot put a time frame on my writing process. It’s in constant flux, much like us. I have a general process and routine I follow, but the exacts, well… it’s always different. Every topic, every essay, every idea, effects me differently. The way or speed I am able to grasp or create thoughts varies, just like the way or speed the person that sits next to me in class is able to grasp or create their thoughts. As writers, you must accept that truth. The Core I essay approximately took two to three sittings. BUT, just because I only sat down and typed out words on my computer, does NOT mean that was the only time I thought about it. I was honestly continually thinking about my topic and research. Every time I opened my Twitter app, I saw the accounts of the companies I had followed in order to conduct my research.

Basically once I feel comfortable enough to tell someone what my writing/essay will be pertaining too, is when I start to seriously write. For Core I, I constructed a lot of my body for my essay from the different task’s we had to complete. From there, I wrote my Shitty First Draft, which took a very very long time. I wanted something that was going to help me, not just something I could finish in a short period of time and get credit for. After my SFD, I went back and revised. I was moving things around, reconstructing complete paragraphs, deleting paragraphs, adding paragraphs, and even completely reanalyzing certain parts. Once I had read that version more times than Batman has saved lives, I sent it to my grammatically proficient mother. I warned her: DO NOT CHANGE MY CONTENT, JUST HELP WITH EDITING MY GRAMMAR AND SPELLING. Two minutes into it, I get a phone call from Mommy. “Kelsey there are pound signs in front of words though out your essay.” I rolled my eyes and said, “I know, it’s hysterical.” After I made the connection to hashtags and what not, she played it off cool like she know it was, and told  me it was a “good move”. After she edited it, I read it over another thirty times to ensure I dint misses any errors.s

By composing on the computer, I have many more tools to my disposal during the editing, and even the writing process. Tools such as spell check, dictionary and thesaurus apps, and handy tabs to have Google, and any online sources for reference open ready to view.

I’m going to compare myself to Nancy Sommers by relating our style, and how we derive our writing. We feel it. I thought she wrote very beautiful and truly understood and took part in the art of writing and composing and how it not only effects your readers, but how it makes YOU as the author feel. I loved the first sentence of her last paragraph, “With writing and with teaching, as well as with love, we don’t know how the sentence will begin and, rarely ever, how it will end.”

The second essay I chose to read was, “On Keeping a Notebook”, by Joan Didion, simply because it seemed fit. I keep mentioning I write in journals, so this intrigued me. I really did connect to this essay, and it had me activity thinking about things I write in my journals, and how similar some things were. I can recall times when I go back and read things I wrote a while back, and struggle to remember the situation, or if I do remember it, I can relate the way I fell to it. Joan Didion’s definition of a writer struck my heart and almost made me cry; “a person whose most absorbed and passionate hours are spent arranging words on pieces of paper. I write entirely to find out what’s on my mind, what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I’m seeing and what it means, what I want and what I’m afraid of…”

She has also said that, “all writing is an attempt to find out what matters, to find the pattern in disorder, to find the grammar in the shimmer. Actually I don’t know whether you find the grammar in the shimmer or you impose a grammar on the shimmer, but I am quite specific about the grammar—I mean it literally. The scene that you see in your mind finds its own structure; the structure dictates the arrangement of the words. . . . All the writer has to do really is to find the words.” However, she warns, “You have to be alone to do this.”

If you can recall, I mentioned I had a thing with comma placement and grammar in class once, and Didion really summed it up by saying, “to fine the grammar in the shimmer. Actually i don’t know whether you find the grammar in the shimmer or you impose a grammar on the shimmer, but i am quite specific about the grammar- I mean it literally.”

NOTE: THIS IS TAKING A LONG TIME. I AM GETTING VERY DISTRACTED, MORE SO THAN CORE I. At least I feel that way, haha.

  • How does Kelsey, put Kelsey, into Kelsey’s writing? // Similarly to a theme I covered in Core I, how do I reveal myself, as a being who has their own sense of thought, knowledge, curiosity, and vision, through my writing?
  • How do distractions circumnavigate me away from and though my writing process?
  • How have I seen myself grow grow as a writer and thinker though out this semester?

Rigid Rules// Writer’s Block

So how it goes when I’m writing an academic paper is that I either got it or I don’t, and I recognize when I don’t. Sooo, when I don’t, I simply don’t. Get it?

Writer’s Block with school papers comes and goes, but for the most part, I wouldn’t say I have writer’s block with the majority of academic papers. When I don’t know what to write, or where to go with what I’m composing, I just leave it… and come back to it later and my fingers fly across the keyboard. I take a LOT of timing writing papers, typically. But I like it. I like the challenge of creating and thinking and playing with my words, grammar, structure, and ideas.

However, I get writer’s block, ironically, when I have the freedom to write and say whatever the hell I wanna. Journalling. I keep multiple journals for different reasons, and as I keep saying, I am getting better, but it’s still hard. Maybe when limits are set and parameters must be followed, I am more capable of accomplishing a task? Is it hard for me to write in my journals because there is no write or wrong? It kinda sounds right to me actually as I type this out.

Some pages of my journals are filled with neat, specific things that I wrote down either because I thought about it before or because I’m feeling inspired by something. Other pages are filled with utter nothing-ness and a few kind words here and there, just because I have to get my pen to the page. I’m usually alone when I write in my journal because I write before bed. I’m learning to make this a habit. But sometimes I just don’t know what to say. Which is odd because that’s rare. When nothing is stirring inside me, begging to be written down, I usually resort to writing some kind words to myself, or about myself, as a positive little kick before I go to sleep.

I start off by writing the date in month/day format on the top right of the page, on the first line. Then follows whatever I’m feeling. Sometimes I list, scatter, ramble, print, write in cursive. My journal has zero formatting. Maybe reoccurring patterns, but no format. I like it that way too, but maybe that gets my thoughts jumbled? I say I’m pretty good at writing academic papers without writer’s block, is that because of the formatting and comfortability?

As I think about it more and more, I have to go back to the idea of having freedom to write ANYTHING, which makes it hard.  It totally makes sense. When I know what I have to write and about a specific thing or to a specific audience, it’s easier for me. But when the writing is all for me… well then I have an unlimited capacity for anything. Yikes.

The Writing Habit/10,000 Hour Rule

For most people, writing begins with learning to write your name and then evolves slowly over time. Like every practice, all professionals were once beginners too. J.K Rowling, for example, is a HIGHLY recognized author internationally, (I wonder what her outlier story is), but to this day, she is still practicing and still learning every time she puts her pen to the paper or finger tips to keys.

Some circumstances that have thus far impacted my writing have obviously been the teachers that I have had. I’ve always liked my english teachers. Always. Every single one. What if I hadn’t? Well, that probably would enhance some detest towards english and writing. If I couldn’t enjoy who was teaching me about writing, how could I like writing itself?

Back to journaling, I got a journal for Christmas this year. Because I was given a journal, I now write in the journal! A few weeks ago I started a yoga inversion class, and my yoga instructor friend gave each student a yoga journal. Now, I write in that yoga journal. I keep them out on my dresser and I’m starting to get excited about writing in them. Pages are getting fuller and darker and it’s sorta awesome.

I don’t settle when it comes to reading books. If I don’t like it within the first chapter, bye bye! AKA, I only read good books. (According to my personal preference). So, because I only read high quality books, I perceive writing in a positive way, which may have caused me to like writing and explore my potential with writing.

I feel like there’s a million more, but one cool type of writing I bet many of us overlook is: texting. I text, therefore I write. Sure, it’s a different type of writing, and sure it may not be grammatically correct, but texting is considered a conversation. The way we have learned and adapted to put our emotion and have the receiver of the text understand humor, seriousness, etc. without hearing it come from us, their understanding of our text comes from what we composed and how we composed it. I use certain techniques in my texting, just like writing, to convey my tone or how I feel about something.

Potentially everything could be different if I hadn’t had these specific situations arise. Like I said before, what if instead of loving all my English teachers, I HATED them and the way the taught. I bet I wouldn’t have fallen in love with the art.

The only thing I can relate the 10,000 Hour Rule to in my life would be my yoga practice. I’m not anywhere near close to 10,000 hours of physical practice, but yoga is much more than an exercise. There are 8 branches of yoga, and asana (the Sanskrit word for pose) is only one of them. That means there are 7 other parts to yoga. Now, non yogi’s probably don’t know that, and many people only practice the physical part of yoga. I do practice some of them, and more and more slip into my life over time, learning, and understanding, through my yoga practice. “Yoga is a lifestyle” isn’t some stupid cliche, it’s a truth. Yoga is called a “practice” and there’s reason for that. You are continually learning and growing and even the best of the best yogis out there, still refer to it as a practice. So, because yoga is more than physical asanas, I work my yoga practice into all aspects of my life. Every. Single. Day. Consciously. Sooooooo, I’m bound to hit 10,000 hours at some point.

Yoga is a discipline, and many would say writing is too. You have to break and make habits, just like we talked about in class.

Habits of successful writers probably include creating your own curriculum, which I’ve gotta say I do. I follow guidelines and rubric’s, but a while ago I created the style of writing I enjoy. Secondly, they write every single day, regardless of inspiration. Which, I sometimes do. I’ve gotten better at it. Lastly, every successful writer has gotten turned down, and pushed back. I haven’t been in a situation where my writing has been “denied” per say, but I’ll relate it to getting a poor grade on a writing assignment. Instead of just succumbing to my short fallings, I’ll push back with a much better writing assignment the next opportunity I get.

Task 2.1: Writing Timelines, Writing Rule

Writing Task 1:

  • Don’t use contractions
  • And don’t start sentences with conjunctions
  • Must be __ pages longgggggggggggggggggggggggggg
  • Using first person is just wrong (it’s not like I AM the one writing or anything)
  • Using “is” is bad
  • Prepositions are never good to end sentences with
  • (Include citations, and outside research).
  • Follow MLA formatting
  • Use specific examples
  • Don’t use any form of “be”

Most of these writing rules were given to me by teachers, both elementary, middle school, and high school. Because my grade would be decided upon the teacher that was instructing the rule, I always tried my best to apply these rules, for specific writing tasks. I think some are useful, especially in the learning stages of writing. Some of the rules are implemented with young writers because they help to form good writing habits. Using “is” is bad, is teaching writers to use stronger vocabulary. Don’t use contractions is taught to us at a young age to because it helps teach and establish formality. Some writing rules are stifling, but I honestly can’t even remember being that bothered by any of the writing rules teachers and professors have established. For as a writer, you must adjust.

When I set out to write,  I consider the perimeters.  I know where I am comfortable, and that is when I will produce the best. I like composing academic papers on the computer. Typing helps me. Its fast! My fingers can actually keep up with my thoughts and ideas, sometimes. Sometimes I still get jumbled. I also know when I will be able to produce and when I’ll be wasting my time. One of my personal writing rules is based upon challenging myself. I reread what I write so many times, I practically have the paper or essay memorized when I turn it in. I revise as I go, and I love the copy/paste function on the computer to move my writing around easily and cleanly.

Writing at school on tests and writing at home for papers are very different writing styles. One is more concise and less personal (in school), whereas on a paper or essay I will turn in, I have time to add Kelsey into the mix. I like my writing style. I enjoy adding humor into the mix of it, and I’m always asking myself, will the readers connect with what I’m saying? And if I see the answer being no, back to the drawing boards.
Writing Task 2:

The first piece or writing I composed was a card I sent to one of my relatives. Happy birthday cards to my parents and family followed, and much of my early writing wasn’t done in school. I’ve kept journals for a long time now and I’ve always strived to keep mine “good”. I remember going back to re read what I wrote in journals, and now that I think about it, diary’s as well. I still have a journal, or 2, and I have gotten much better at being constant with my entries. School writing didn’t excite me until middle school when I had an awesome English teacher. I found my voice and creative style and since then, I’ve looked at most school writing assignments as fun challenges. I prefer writing essay’s on myself or topics I believe in, rather than on books. I wrote a lot of book reports and, ugh gosh those are boring! I like writing persuasive essays, such as the one I’ve mentioned before, “The Difference Between BeingPretty and Beautiful”, and I loved writing “Using Twitter as a Twool”. When I was taking AP classes my junior and senior year, essays were abundant. Some good, some awful. ALL AP History essays=terrible. DBQ’s are the Devil’s gift to the world. I struggled with DBQ’s and History essay’s because I have zero interest or knowledge on the topic. There is no passion. It’s dry. The two essays I mentioned before the DBQ’s were both in my mind, successful essays and that is simply because I had interest in what I was writing about! I cared! It excited me! I wanted to excite others!!

Unfortunately I am in the majority of people who have written essays and papers that have not enjoyed it. I’ve writing some cool research papers, like the one about Ocelots. But, during religion class in high school I had to write so so so soo soo so so so soooooooo many BORING 2,000 word papers on awfully dry topics.

I really do enjoy writing, and want it to be a part of my career. Along with school work I have plenty of pieces I have written just for fun, or to release some steam. The notes app on my iPhone is cluttered with random tangents and ideas from here to there, and sort of anything that speaks to me or sparks my imagination and creativity.