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Writing Across the Modes Collection ECI 509, Integrating Writing and Technology Student Name: Spencer Ziegler Instructions: Throughout the course, students should insert their various pieces of writing into this template, until all of the required pieces of writing are complete. Students may embed any images onto the template that go with a given piece of writing. At the beginning of the course, students will create an Issuu account, upload this document into their account, then embed the Issuu document on their Weebly portfolio page. Throughout the course as new pieces of writing are added to the template (in Word), students will need to reload this Word doc into their Issuu account, then the updates will automatically be reflected on their Weebly page.

Part I. Expository Writing My 1-2 Page Reflection About Expository Writing I write. Constantly. Yet I hardly ever take time to reflect upon the process of writing. I consider what I write without contemplating how I write or, more importantly, why I write. At least, until this summer. This course has been a refreshing opportunity to reflect on myself as a writer, be it expository, expressive, or poetic. Refer to the preceding paragraph for information on my expository writing. When prompted with this assignment, I found myself unable to simply throw together three disparate paragraphs without an introduction to provide structure. (Note: I say this not to brag, but rather to express my unhealthy OCD.) Herein lies the appeal to expository writing to me: I tend to be an objective, formulaic person and I appreciate the systematic approach to this mode of writing. There is something gratifying about designing a structure to a piece and finding pieces to fit in. I think I always kind of knew this preference of mine, but I never quite acknowledged it. At least, not until this summer, when we categorized writing into these three modes and bounced between them, allowing me the time and opportunity to compare. Expository writing, though not necessarily my preferred mode, is the one that comes the easiest for me. Conversely, expressive writing can be quite challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The lack of a structure can be intimidating. Well, I write that, but to be honest, the true issue is the personalized nature of these assignments. When given an expressive prompt, instead of focusing on the content of the writing, I find myself dwelling on the perception of the writing. This class shined some light on this tendency of mine and I have since resolved to work on it. As with anything, this can be improved with practice. With each expressive task in this course, I found myself more and more able to simply write. Actually, it is not as much the writing that helped me overcome my trepidation, but the sharing. Each time I read out my expressive writing, I found myself a little more comfortable. This has been a wonderful benefit of this course because there is something remarkably cathartic about expressive writing. I am extremely grateful for this course for providing me with this realization.


The most profound revelation of this summer, however, stemmed from the role poetic writing can play in my life. Or should play in my life. As I write this reflection, it occurs to me that the reason behind this statement might be that it serves as a blend between what I enjoy about both expressive and expository writing. Poetry allows me to connect with something deeper, truer inside myself. However, it feels less intimidating because the poetic form oftentimes masks some of the bluntness of some expressive tasks. Furthermore, the structuring of poems provides me with the systematic approach of expository writing that I find so appealing. As much as I enjoyed writing poems, I equally despised reading them. However, I am proud to say that I forced myself to share mine with the class as much as possible so I could overcome this barrier. My voice may have trembled and cracked in nervousness, but, as I mentioned with expressive writing, it became easier and easier each time. When the course concluded, I did not remember the fear of reading the poems, but rather how writing those poems helped me come to terms with some complex, complicated topics. Today we were introduced to a study where elementary students were divided into two groups when provided a prompt: Some jumped directly into an assignment whereas others took time while processing the assignment. I see now that I am both of those. With expository writing, I dive in. With expressive writing, I delay. Yet, with poetic writing, I find a delicate balance between the two, providing myself with just the right amount of time to grapple with the task. The result is that I am a better writer. And a happier person My Scribe Report Wednesday’s class began by reviewing the previous day. After Stephanie’s scribe report (featuring a mesmerizing performance by a stellar young actor), we received an update from the Royal Baby Trackers, Laura and Rachel, which featured such quotes as “Oh, it’s just the commoner’s parents” and “I could’ve been American, but I’m British.” From there we launched into the meat of the class. In the sleepy shire of Guildford, under the tutelage of Ruie, the class worked on their writing. Acrostic poems, inspired by our travels, were carefully crafted by the class. Dripping with inspiration, students shared their verses, transporting the class to lands both known and unknown. Brimming with confidence, the class turned our attention to sentence patterns, and hungering for more knowledge, soaked up the droplets of wisdom rained down upon us from our teacher. After learning about ways to vary our writing, artistic arsenal now fully stocked, we confronted Day in the Life poems. The Thomas Hardy pattern, confusingly convoluted, will not appear in this paragraph. GoAnimate Review At this point, the midday heat wafting in, we travelled our separate ways to work on our projects.

One-Sentence Summary


After being transported to the Renaissance upon travelling through the timbered gates of the Globe Theatre, I stood, mere feet away from the stage, in slack-jawed awe of the company’s portrayal of Macbeth, leaving me entertained, enlightened, and invigorated.

Summary Paragraph The Fable Method I reluctantly slid the two pound coin into the device and the rented bicycle popped out. Inhaling deeply to catch my breath and swallow down my trepidation, I hopped on the bike and rode it out onto the busy London streets. Suddenly the city opened up before me. Somehow I found myself riding alongside the canals of Little Venice, a section of the city previously unknown to me. Somehow I found myself moseying through the luxurious Regal Park. Somehow I found myself in the main arteries of downtown, caught up in a blood-curling stream of aggressive taxis and power-walking pedestrians. This morning perfectly encapsulated my trip to the UK. It’s been relaxing. It’s been stressful. It’s revealed the best parts of me. It’s highlighted the areas I need to address. Travelling throughout this country, be it by train, feet, or bike, has allowed me to better understand the UK, but also to better understand myself.

1st Additional Expository Writing (see Moodle for description of additional expository writings) Shakespeare Today Expository Essay Spencer Ziegler Section I: Who? William Shakespeare is, according to Elliot Engel, “the greatest writer of all time in any language” (25). This claim, on the surface, seems simple enough as it is supported with centuries of data. It is practically impossible to browse through a bookstore, turn on a TV, or even flip through a dictionary without being bombarded with the influence of The Bard. Yet how dependent is Shakespeare’s status of the greatest writer of all time on the actual time in which he was writing? If Shakespeare was born not into Elizabethean England but rather the modern day, what type of writer would he be? For whom would he be writing? What would he be writing? Where would he be writing? And, the biggest question: would he still remain the greatest writer of all time? Section II: For Whom? The first question that must be asked is for whom would Shakespeare be writing? At first glance, this seems elementary as the Bard is the darling of the educated and the enlightened. It is easy to envision Shakespeare’s work being heralded in the New Yorker by some esoteric journalist. Yet this isn’t the audience for whom Shakespeare wrote in the 16th century, so why would it be his audience in the 21st century? William Shakespeare, despite his modern reputation, was a writer for the masses. Elliot Engel points out that “40 percent of the audiences at a Shakespeare play were people who possessed no more than the equivalent of a fifth grade education today. Yet these folk loved Shakespeare and attended his plays in huge numbers” (33). Granted,


many of these theatre-goers were the groundlings, and there were plenty of educated attendees in the higher levels, but it shows that Shakespeare was not a writer who would cater just to the elite. With that said, it is not necessarily a given that he would write for the masses today just because he did so 500 years ago. For instance, this supposition raises the question whether he wrote for the common man in the 16th century out of choice or necessity. Engel does point out that Shakespeare “could not afford to write solely for the queen and the court. To earn a living he had to write for the general public, and because the general public was largely uneducated, he had to write at a lesser level” (33). Even more so, it is debatable just how comparable the common man from the 16th and 21st century are as a brilliant young student “could have absorbed enough classical learning by eighth grade that he could have left school with the equivalent knowledge of one of today’s Ph.D. candidates in English history plus a master’s candidate in Greek and Roman mythology” (Engel 28). Due to cultural relativity, we often forgive those in the past for their inferiority; yet, perhaps the reverse is true today; have the tastes of the masses dwindled over the centuries? We are, afterall, living in a world in which Journey 2: The Invisible Island, a movie with a 42% rating from critics (“Journey 2”), earned over 325 million in 2012 (“20 Top Grossing Movies of 2012”). True, it is easy to cast dispersions on the masses today, but the same can undoubtedly said of the 1500’s. For example, this is a time when the groundlings would bring what they assumed were poisonous fruits to the theatre and if they were unsatisfied, they waited for an unsuspecting actor to deliver their soliloquy, “picked up [their] tomato, aimed it, and let it fly” (Engel 32). Despite this, Shakespeare still wrote for the masses. Why? Because he was one of them. William Shakespeare’s humble beginnings prove that he would continue writing for the common man were he working today. Though he became wealthy in his lifetime, he never chose to abandon his roots. He never travelled much on the continent, or moved his theater to a safer section of town. William Shakespeare would write for the common man for the same reason why he is arguably the greatest writer of all time: He was a common man. That is not to say that he would be shooting out Farrelly Brothers’ comedies, consisting exclusively of low-brow, bottom-feeding jokes. But neither would he be creating stories that would solely be working for the educated elite, sending movies to Cannes with the hope of bagging a couple of awards. No, modern William Shakespeare would be one of the rare artists who can appeal to every segment of the population. Section III: What? We tend to think of Shakespeare as a writer, but that is not how he viewed himself. Writing was simply a means to an end, which was a memorable, dramatic performance. Elliot Engel supports this claim when he writes that “Shakespeare never wanted anyone simply to read his plays [...] he wanted you to experience the words by listening to them, not by reading them. It is this combination of hearing and seeing a work of art that makes drama so exciting”(26-29). So if he wasn’t writing novels, what would he be writing? It might appear that this section should consist of a single word: plays. However, it’s not quite that easy. Shakespeare did not write plays because that was all he could do, but rather because it was through that medium that he could reach the most people. It is for this reason that William Shakespeare, the greatest playwright of all times, would not be writing plays at all were he alive today, but rather movies.


Both plays and movies can provide the audience with a visceral, sensory reaction, but movies can do so in a more elaborate fashion, and that is something that would appeal to Shakespeare. It is his flair for the dramatic that would eventually push Shakespeare to the big screen. One needs to look only at the first few minutes of his stories for confirmation as “the opening scene of everyone one of Shakespeare’s plays always promises the audience one of three things: supernatural creatures, violence, or youthful sex” (Engel 36). Take, for instance, three of his most famous plays: Romeo and Juliet; Hamlet; and Macbeth. Romeo and Juliet kicks off with a dramatic fight scene between the Montagues and Capulets. Hamlet begins in dramatic fashion with a ghostly apparition. Macbeth is introduced to the audience with “three hideous witches incanting over a bubbling cauldron” (Engel 34). Each of these could be pulled off as a play, but would benefit from the staging and special effects that movies offer. Shakespeare’s affinity for special effects can be seen in one of his later plays, The Tempest, which features shipwrecks, disappearing banquets, and flying chariots. Like the protagonist of The Tempest, Prospero, Shakespeare was a magician of sorts who crafted dramatic, mystical worlds for the audience. Whenever possible, he pushed the boundaries of technology to do so. Were he alive today, he would continue to do so by making movies. Not only would movies allow Shakespeare to do more, but they would also allow him to reach more. According to CNN, “in 2010, 12.11 million people attended shows; in 2009, 11.88 million; in 2008, 12.88 million” (“The Truth Behind Broadway’s Best Season Yet”). Comparatively, movies in that same stretch brought in attendance numbers of 1.33 billion in 2010, 1.42 billion in 2009, and 1.39 billion in 2008 (“Domestic Movie Theatrical Market Summary”). Shakespeare sought to reach the most people in the most dramatic way, and movies would allow him the opportunity to do precisely that. Section IV: Where? As we further unfold this hypothetical, the next question that arises is where exactly would he be working. There seem to be two possibilities: Hollywood or England. The unofficial but undeniable film-making capital of the world is Hollywood whereas England is, by the terms of this hypothetical, Shakespeare’s home. It is difficult to decide since Shakespeare himself worked in England, which was both the stage-play hotbed under the support of Queen Elizabeth as well as Shakespeare’s home. However, by delving a little deeper, an argument can be made supporting England. Shakespeare did indeed work in London, but the specific location of The Globe Theatre proves that he valued familiarity over opportunity. His theatre was placed “in a highly unsavory neighborhood. The only people who daily frequented that area were prostitutes, robbers, and murderers” (Engel 30). Surely this location must’ve influenced the admission price, and “a Shakespeare play in the 1590s cost exactly four pennies [...] that was inexpensive for three and a half hours of live entertainment” (Engel 29). Considering his plays were widely attended, he might not attract more people, but it seems logical that he could attract more money. Yet, it appears this is a man who valued the audience and home over money. Afterall, “he never seemed to go anywhere of interest” (Engel 27). If William Shakespeare wouldn’t move across a river to earn more money, why would he move across an ocean to do so?


Section V: How? Now that logistics have been worked out, only one question remains: Just how would he be writing? More specifically, what would be the plots of his films? This can be answered by looking at his writing style. Shakespeare was a master of dramatic irony and it played a central part in almost everyone of his works. Yet if these stories were transposed to the present day, almost every plot would falter for one reason: The invention of the cellphone. Modern day plots would not work, as evidenced in the four plays referenced above: Romeo and Juliet; Macbeth; The Tempest; and Hamlet. Juliet’s lost message to Romeo about the poison could’ve been cleared up with a single text. Macbeth certainly would’ve been aware of Macduff’s sneaky Birnam Woods in the era of camera phones. Caliban wouldn’t be so easily fooled and manipulated in The Tempest if he could fact-check on his smart-phone. Laertes wouldn’t have his misinformed hatred for Hamlet in a time when contacting someone countries away is a matter of dialing a phone. These are but three examples of many, proving that Shakespeare would refrain from writing in the present day. Therefore Shakespeare would do today what he did in the 1500s: Set his plays in the past. Perhaps he would harken back to that time between his actual death and the present day. Or, perhaps, his inspiration would remain the same, and he would base his stories on the same events, thus crafting the same ingenius stories he did during the Renaissance. There is another way to address the question of how Shakespeare would write, and that is by saying “effectively.” Be it for the educated or the masses, plays or movies, Hollywood or England, present-day stories or period pieces, William Shakespeare would be a tremendously witty, inventive, successful writer. He is, afterall, “the greatest writer of all time” (Engel 25).

Works Cited "20 Top Grossing Movies of 2012: THR Year in Review." The Hollywood Reporter. N.p., 28 Dec. 2012. Web. 31 May 2013. "Domestic Movie Theatrical Market Summary 1995 to 2013." The Numbers. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2013. Engel, Elliot. A Dab of Dickens & a Touch of Twain: Literary Lives from Shakespeare's Old England to Frost's New England. New York: Pocket, 2002. Print. "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Reviews - Metacritic." Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Reviews - Metacritic. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2013. Shakespeare, William, and A. R. Braunmuller. Macbeth. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997. Print.


Shakespeare, William, and Alan Durband. Romeo and Juliet. Woodbury, NY: Barron's, 1985. Print. Shakespeare, William, and Christine Dymkowski. The Tempest. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2000. Print. Shakespeare, William, and Harold Jenkins. Hamlet. London: Methuen, 1982. Print. "The Truth behind Broadway's Best Season Yet." FORTUNE Features RSS. N.p., 16 June 2011. Web. 31 May 2013.

2nd Additional Expository Writing (see Moodle for description of additional expository writings)

London: The Tower, The Theater, and The Transit For artistic purposes (read: I’m too lazy to type up everything), I’ll divvy up my London trip into three categories: The Tower


I’ll confess that I was initially a little reluctant to visit the Tower of London. It just felt like it would be a tourist trap. And it was indeed overflowing with tourists, but it was less of a trap and more of a warm, embracing tourist cocoon. Following up on this forced metaphor, we were turned into tourist butterflies by this fellow right here:


Never before have I met somewhere who possesses the ability to hold the attention and interest of hundreds of people so forcefully and entertainingly. Perhaps that’s because all of the yeomen that lead tours served at least two decades in the military. Furthermore, we later learned upon chatting with one afterwards that they all live on the grounds of the Tower itself, which must make for a fascinating life. But I digress. The Tower is not just a tower, but a whole campus, overflowing with a history of political intrigue, vicious torture, and beheadings. If you visit London, be sure to find your way into this tourist cocoon. Those that know me are aware that there is nothing I enjoy more than forcing my interests down the throats of others, so I’ll end each section with an unsolicited recommendation. If you’re interested in this era of British history, I would direct you towards Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle trilogy. Isaac Newton features prominently in the series and his time in the Tower is highlighted. But Stephenson’s work stretches even further, as a plethora of significant figures pop up, from Gottfried Leibniz, to Blackbeard, to William and Mary. It somehow manages to be a breezy, entertaining swash-bucking tale that densely packs in volumes of details about how the modern world was formed. The Theater


Have you ever seen such an expression of unadulterated joy? That’s me basking in the (replicated) presence Shakespeare’s The Globe Theatre after viewing Macbeth. It was undoubtedly the most remarkable experience I’ve ever had in a theater. When I walked into the building, I was instantly transported back hundreds of years. It’s such an intimate venue, with the crowd right on top of the stage. Here’s a quick pan of the theater:

As for the play itself, the cast did a remarkable job bringing The Bard’s work to life. Those playing Macbeth and his wife perfectly encapsulated the diverging reactions to violence. In addition, Banquo


was played by Billy Boyd, also known as Pippin! Laura and Rachel, the two most talented stalkers I have ever met, even managed to track him down afterwards to get a picture. And who was he hanging out with? Dominic Monaghan, (Merry)! How perfect is that? Unsolicited recommendation: There are few better historical romances thanShakespeare in Love. Haven’t watched it in a couple of years, but am itching to do so once I’m back. The Transit

London not only overflows with history and theater, but people as well. It is a mammoth city. Which should make it a stressful, unnavigable one. But that was not the case at all due to their stellar public transit. Taking the train in from Guildford is an uncommonly pleasant experience. Instead of travel being measured in minutes wasted, as it was back when I was commuting from Durham to Raleigh each day, it’s measured in chapters finished. When I arrived in Waterloo Station, it was time to hop over to the Tube.

Before this trip, I recall glancing at the Underground map and feeling incredibly stressed at that tangled web of crossing lines. With that said, it is an incredibly intuitive system. Within a day I felt that I could get anywhere in the city simply and safely. That is not something I would’ve been able to say had I been relying on a car. With that said, I wouldn’t have been relying on a car anyways


because London made the bold and intelligent decision a while back to tax heavily cars entering the city. As a result, the streets lack the congestion of many other large cities. This makes the city feel quite accommodating, inviting people to walk around freely. Even more to my liking, it invites them to bike around.

There is no better way to explore a city than to bike it. The Tube will get you there quickly, but you don’t see the city. Walking will allow you to take in your surroundings, but you don’t cover much ground. Biking offers the best of both worlds. Thankfully, London offers a bike sharing program. For only £2, I was able to rent a bicycle for the day. I simply hopped on and explored. I intentionally lost myself in the city and ended up in Little Venice, which features a series of canals weaving their way north of Hyde Park. From there I made my way through Regent Park, read by an ornate fountain for a while, through Covent Garden, ate lunch at Princi’s in Soho and ended up by Westminster Abbey. When I wanted to stop by a shop or was done for the day, I simply found a bike corral, which are located every couple of blocks, and popped my bike back in. Every city needs to have one of these.


Unsolicited recommendation: If urban planning interests you, I highly recommend Jeff Speck’s Walkable City, which illustrates ways in which cities can wane themselves off our dependency on cars. It’s an insightful yet approachable read.


Part II. Poetic Writing My 1-2 Page Reflection About Poetics Writing I write. Constantly. Yet I hardly ever take time to reflect upon the process of writing. I consider what I write without contemplating how I write or, more importantly, why I write. At least, until this summer. This course has been a refreshing opportunity to reflect on myself as a writer, be it expository, expressive, or poetic. Refer to the preceding paragraph for information on my expository writing. When prompted with this assignment, I found myself unable to simply throw together three disparate paragraphs without an introduction to provide structure. (Note: I say this not to brag, but rather to express my unhealthy OCD.) Herein lies the appeal to expository writing to me: I tend to be an objective, formulaic person and I appreciate the systematic approach to this mode of writing. There is something gratifying about designing a structure to a piece and finding pieces to fit in. I think I always kind of knew this preference of mine, but I never quite acknowledged it. At least, not until this summer, when we categorized writing into these three modes and bounced between them, allowing me the time and opportunity to compare. Expository writing, though not necessarily my preferred mode, is the one that comes the easiest for me. Conversely, expressive writing can be quite challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The lack of a structure can be intimidating. Well, I write that, but to be honest, the true issue is the personalized nature of these assignments. When given an expressive prompt, instead of focusing on the content of the writing, I find myself dwelling on the perception of the writing. This class shined some light on this tendency of mine and I have since resolved to work on it. As with anything, this can be improved with practice. With each expressive task in this course, I found myself more and more able to simply write. Actually, it is not as much the writing that helped me overcome my trepidation, but the sharing. Each time I read out my expressive writing, I found myself a little more comfortable. This has been a wonderful benefit of this course because there is something remarkably cathartic about expressive writing. I am extremely grateful for this course for providing me with this realization. The most profound revelation of this summer, however, stemmed from the role poetic writing can play in my life. Or should play in my life. As I write this reflection, it occurs to me that the reason behind this statement might be that it serves as a blend between what I enjoy about both expressive and expository writing. Poetry allows me to connect with something deeper, truer inside myself. However, it feels less intimidating because the poetic form oftentimes masks some of the bluntness of some expressive tasks. Furthermore, the structuring of poems provides me with the systematic approach of expository writing that I find so appealing. As much as I enjoyed writing poems, I equally despised reading them. However, I am proud to say that I forced myself to share mine with the class as much as possible so I could overcome this barrier. My voice may have trembled and cracked in nervousness, but, as I mentioned with expressive writing, it became easier and easier each time. When the course concluded, I did not remember the fear of reading the poems, but rather how writing those poems helped me come to terms with some complex, complicated topics.


Today we were introduced to a study where elementary students were divided into two groups when provided a prompt: Some jumped directly into an assignment whereas others took time while processing the assignment. I see now that I am both of those. With expository writing, I dive in. With expressive writing, I delay. Yet, with poetic writing, I find a delicate balance between the two, providing myself with just the right amount of time to grapple with the task. The result is that I am a better writer. And a happier person

Where I’m From Poem I am from an early May morn To the sounds of my mother saying, “rise and shine kiddo!” I pull myself out of bed and head down to the kitchen There my family awaits, seated around a hearty breakfast My father calmly peruses the Globe’s politics section As my brother sneaks off to watch his sports show It’s all a Rockwell painting, so wholesomely adorned. I am from a lazy August day Where I’m up with the sun, racing out to the yard To meet up with Eric & Allen to play some football Later we meander aimlessly through uncharted woods Till we’re beckoned back by our parents’ call And we race to our deck, following the scent of burgers and rhubarb. We bask in a cool summer’s eve before the mosquitoes chase us away I am from a late October afternoon Where I slip on my home-made ninja turtle suit And rush out the door along-side Donatello We wander the streets, getting lost in our own city My yearly hull filling up my pillow When the candy hits the top, we head back with our loot Guided by a stark-white, innocent moon I am from a cold December evening One elm-tree, sugar cookie, and egg-nog scented And layered with the voices of distant relatives As we gather around to watch claymation specials we know by heart My mind wanders to St. Nick and the presents he gives When the sun sets, I eagerly rush up to my bed To dream of all the happiness that tomorrow will bring.

Poems Created in Class with Dr. Buckner


Grandpa If I were to see him framed in the arched doorway, I'd know so precisely where I am If I were to hear his voice showering me with evocative tales of his past, I'd know so clearly where I'm from If I were to feel his strong, sympathetic embrace, I'd know so emphatically where I want to be But as I once again stare down at this same hospital bed, I have no earthly idea where he is.

Boxed

Golden-blonde hair practically pulled into a ponytail Slender yet strong arms embracing the densely-packed cardboard box Being placed ever so carefully into the moving truck

♪ The lone voice whispering in the darkness The melodic choice raining down from the rafters

The finger-picked guitar hinting at what's below The elaborate string section highlighting what's above


The intimate introduction to another soul The powerful presence of the universe itself

Bio Poem About Self Spencer Quirky, curious, and certifiable Brother of Eric, Son of Donna & Steve, Owner of Ygritte Lover of a long read and a scenic ride Most at home when he's not at home Who needs sunny days, science documentaries, and supportive friends Provider of affirmation, aggrevation, and alliteration Who fears dinosaurs and slaps Craving to see Istanbul, a Nikolai Tesla, and 100 Resident of Raleigh Ziegler

1st Additional Poetic Writing (Historical Biopoem) Charles: Leader of the Franks Ruthless yet peaceful, illiterate yet studious Son of Peppin the Short and Bertha Lover of security, hater of chaos Who yearns for education for all, and a crown for himself Who needs Pope Leo’s assistance to rise to power Who gives him protection in order to gain it Who would like to see an Empire united peacefully under his gaze Who gained all he wanted, only to have it crumble in future generations Charlemagne: Holy Roman Emperor

2nd Additional Poetic Writing (see Moodle for description of additional poetic writings) Home

Hopelessly lost, I beg for the way


The stranger smirks and responds sympathetically "Just up this street," he says, "Be sure not to stray." I ascend the hill and spot the unfinished spires of Westminster Abbey

Hesitantly I approach the gilded doors below Pushing them open, I’m knocked back by the choral wave Only to be pulled in by the melodic undertow In a trance, I swim in towards some nebulous sentiment that I crave

Desperately I fight the unfamiliar Latin and struggle to stay afloat My body sinks, my vision clouds, my lungs overfill Suddenly something pulls me up: A song, a verse, a note The waves halt, the skies clear, the sea lies serenely still Unceremoniously I’m tossed ashore as the service abruptly ends To the bustling London streets, I return to roam Ahead, I believe, lies a path that’ll bridge the Thames And lead me, hopefully, back home


Part III. Expressive Writing My 1-2 Page Reflection About Expressive Writing I write. Constantly. Yet I hardly ever take time to reflect upon the process of writing. I consider what I write without contemplating how I write or, more importantly, why I write. At least, until this summer. This course has been a refreshing opportunity to reflect on myself as a writer, be it expository, expressive, or poetic. Refer to the preceding paragraph for information on my expository writing. When prompted with this assignment, I found myself unable to simply throw together three disparate paragraphs without an introduction to provide structure. (Note: I say this not to brag, but rather to express my unhealthy OCD.) Herein lies the appeal to expository writing to me: I tend to be an objective, formulaic person and I appreciate the systematic approach to this mode of writing. There is something gratifying about designing a structure to a piece and finding pieces to fit in. I think I always kind of knew this preference of mine, but I never quite acknowledged it. At least, not until this summer, when we categorized writing into these three modes and bounced between them, allowing me the time and opportunity to compare. Expository writing, though not necessarily my preferred mode, is the one that comes the easiest for me. Conversely, expressive writing can be quite challenging, but incredibly rewarding. The lack of a structure can be intimidating. Well, I write that, but to be honest, the true issue is the personalized nature of these assignments. When given an expressive prompt, instead of focusing on the content of the writing, I find myself dwelling on the perception of the writing. This class shined some light on this tendency of mine and I have since resolved to work on it. As with anything, this can be improved with practice. With each expressive task in this course, I found myself more and more able to simply write. Actually, it is not as much the writing that helped me overcome my trepidation, but the sharing. Each time I read out my expressive writing, I found myself a little more comfortable. This has been a wonderful benefit of this course because there is something remarkably cathartic about expressive writing. I am extremely grateful for this course for providing me with this realization. The most profound revelation of this summer, however, stemmed from the role poetic writing can play in my life. Or should play in my life. As I write this reflection, it occurs to me that the reason behind this statement might be that it serves as a blend between what I enjoy about both expressive and expository writing. Poetry allows me to connect with something deeper, truer inside myself. However, it feels less intimidating because the poetic form oftentimes masks some of the bluntness of some expressive tasks. Furthermore, the structuring of poems provides me with the systematic approach of expository writing that I find so appealing. As much as I enjoyed writing poems, I equally despised reading them. However, I am proud to say that I forced myself to share mine with the class as much as possible so I could overcome this barrier. My voice may have trembled and cracked in nervousness, but, as I mentioned with expressive writing, it became easier and easier each time. When the course concluded, I did not remember the fear of reading the poems, but rather how writing those poems helped me come to terms with some complex, complicated topics.


Today we were introduced to a study where elementary students were divided into two groups when provided a prompt: Some jumped directly into an assignment whereas others took time while processing the assignment. I see now that I am both of those. With expository writing, I dive in. With expressive writing, I delay. Yet, with poetic writing, I find a delicate balance between the two, providing myself with just the right amount of time to grapple with the task. The result is that I am a better writer. And a happier person

All About Me Myself (Adjectives that describe me.)

Precocious, Quirky

My Strengths

Open-minded, empathetic

My Weaknesses

Perseveration, actual physical weakness Who or What Do I Love?

My family, friends, cat, and soccer What Makes Me Sad?

Getting slapped


What Makes Me Angry?

Intolerance, Negativity What Do I Need?

Encouragement What Do I Give?

Encouragement What Do I Fear?

Dinosaurs, someone finding out that I have such a lame fear What Would I Like to See?

Tokyo, 100 years old Who Would I Like to See?

Nikola Tesla, Jurgen Klinsmann Design A Room I climbed the metallic, spiral staircase, not entirely certain what I would find when I reached the door above on this antiquated Beacon Hill apartment building. When I pushed against the door, a wave of August sun flooded through, temporarily blinding me. My vision slowly returned and the image of this Boston rooftop gradually emerged into


focus with the glistening golden dome of the capitol building in the center. To either side of this (golden) structure stretched the Boston skyline, an assortment of mismatched skyscrapers that somehow fit together to form a cohesive tapestry. The luscious, green surroundings of the rooftop contrasted this concrete utopia ahead. As I stepped forward, my bare feet felt the soft, dewy grass underneath them. A sinewy web of ivy smothered the brick wall behind me, and stretched around the perimeter of the rooftop, following the railings. A quaint swimming pool sat in the center of the floor, with the slowly lapping water reflecting a quivering view of the sun above. I stepped from the soft grass onto the smooth linoleum steps and finally into the enveloping, cold water, a welcomed respite from the summer heat. I closed my eyes, inhaled deeply, took it all in, only to be pulled out of this moment -- perhaps a minute later, perhaps an hour -- by the musky smell of inflamed charcoal. I opened my eyes to see my friend approaching me with a shouldering hot hamburger in one hand and an ice-cold beer in the other. I perched myself up on the edge of the pool, bit into the seared burger, took a sip out of the frigid drink and looked off, past the summer skyline, catching glimpses of the ocean blue ahead.

Impressions of England Densely packed cities

Luscious rolling hills

Massive influence

Tiny island

Curt & cold

Approachable & accomodating

Beer flowing like water

Dignified tea time

Politically progressive

Maintain their allegiance to the crown

Hectic & exhilarating

Relaxing & rejuvenating

Cultural Capital

Crappy cuisine

At work

On vacation

Two days left

Will never forget

Post Cards Home


Eyes sweep across the board, envisioning a potential departure Dreams conjured of unknown lands and lives that could be ours Inevitably, inescapably on Edinburgh we harmoniously settle Northwards we speed, and five hours later, we exit into the past Between winding streets, we traverse the same steps as those millennia before Under a cascade of medieval buildings, we are covered and cast Royal Crag hovers above, safeguarding the city as a lingering angel Gray bridges layer over gray bridges, illuminated by the naked stars Head dropping on the train-ride home, dreams return me to Edinburgh

A Day in the Life Holyrood The wind carries the whispers of the locke as the sun sets, and rises, and sets again Rolling green hills splash against rolling green hills, and fall into the sea When a cacophony of iron crashing against iron shatters the serenity The flags morph colors and crests, but the sounds remain Then the screaming of swords translates into the clattering of stone placed atop stone As, sprouting from the hillside, grey majestic mountains are grown Reaching ever onwards and upwards, the heavens they attempts to reclaim Only to be toppled back down by their own lightning and thunder Yet they replicate and rebuild, undeterred by their blunder And the wind carries the echoes of their creations, as the sun sets, and rises, and sets again

1st Additional Expressive Writing (see Moodle for description of additional expressive writings)

Impromptu Trip to Edinburgh


On a whim, Laura, Rachel, Jill and I decided to travel somewhere. Anywhere. We sped down to the Guildford train station and checked the board to see where we could make it to. Our eyes scanned the destinations until we settled on Edinburgh. Granted, we booked the train tickets before considering booking a place to stay. There’s gotta be plenty of places, right? Turns out the British Open happened to be in town that weekend, leaving the city literally devoid of rooms. Thankfully Jill came up with the ingenious idea of camping and we stumbled upon a perfect location just outside the city center. For day to day, hour to hour details of our trip, I’d direct you to her blog, where she covers the weekend much more thoroughly and eloquently than I could (including a glorious view from the Crag, tours of the city, a unique Harry Potter tour, and quite a bit more). Instead, I’ll highlight a few hours which illustrate everything that is beautiful and horrifying and exhilarating about travelling. Friday night, after an exciting and exhausting day exploring the city, we wander around the winding streets of Edinburgh. I’ve never quite seen a place like this. It’s divided into an Old Town and New Town, with the latter still being centuries older than the most ancient site in the States. Furthermore, these antiquated buildings are set upon rolling hills, so it gives the impression of the city cascading down upon you:


After a baked potato the likes of which my lips have never touched before, we decide to head to the campgrounds. We throw our hands out into the street and an antique taxi pulls up with an affable driver named Tony. We introduce ourselves to the driver and he heads off in our direction. On the way, we strike up a conversation and learn about how he ended up in Edinburgh after a life in Italy. In the course of a fifteen minute ride, he passes onto us a handful of spots we need to see before returning to Guildford. It is then that we pull up to the Mortonhall Camping Park. To backtrack a little, before leaving for Scotland we realized that camping requires a few supplies. We sprinted down to Tesco, the local grocery stores to splurge on _12 tents. Turns out that when you spend pocket change on a tent, it might not be the sturdiest structure you’ll come across. As a result, here’s our experience constructing these tents: To be fair, the struggles might have been less to do with the sturdiness of the tent and moreso our own incompetence. Nevertheless, the tent only was assembled due to the consideration of our neighbors. Though, I will say, if it was our ineptitude that was the root, than I’m thankful for it as it resulted in us meeting some fascinating people (and me mooching one of their guitars for a few hours). The tent was up. But that wasn’t the only item that you need to camp. Apparently it’s useful when camping in sub-40 degree weather to have some blankets and comforters as well. Unfortunately, that didn’t quite fit in our backpacks, so instead we decided to stop by the local pub for a drink or two to keep us warm overnight. Sound logic, I know. Again, a bad decision that resulted in a memorable experience. Jill and I headed down to the Stable Pub, only to be surrounded by some of the friendliest Scots you’ll ever meet. We soon found ourselves with a few Guinesses, a warm-apple pie, and a game of Jenga. Apart, these are delightful. Together, not so much:


(I won that round) This night at the pub, though warming to the soul, was not quite as warming to the body as we hoped, so we sought heat elsewhere, borrowing table cloths and a few spare towels from the campsite:


Before you judge us too harshly, we did recompense:


After a memorable (though not exactly comfortable) night, we woke and called up our newfound friend Tony. He picked up at the camp and brought us to this dodgy breakfast spot only to find it didn’t open for an hour or so. At this point, he turned off the meter and took us on an impromptu tour of Edinburgh. One of the reasons why I love travelling is to envision what my life might be like if only I lived in a different spot. This one hour with Tony painted a more precise picture of this alternate reality moreso than all the museums and tourist attractions in all of Scotland. Afterwards he dropped us off at Snax, where we had the best (not to mention cheapest) meal of our trip, and we continued our tour of Edinburgh (check out my Flickr set in my next post for the photos). These ten hours highlight all the reasons why I feel the urge to travel. Nowhere else can you feel more lost and more found in consecutive moments. Nowhere else can you so clearly envision an alternate version of your life in a different location. Nowhere else can you feel like people you’ve met just minutes before you’ve known your whole life. Nowhere else can you learn more about yourself.

2nd Additional Expressive Writing (see Moodle for description of additional expressive writings)

First Day in the UK


I have arrived in Guildford! I may not quite be aware what day it is (somehow a curious blend of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), but here are a few things I do know after my first 24 hours in the UK:


When boarding a plane, there is no more beautiful site than this:

Highly recommended book to read while travelling: Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, which details Marco Polo’s conversations with Kublai Khan about the cities he’s visited. All of which are completely fabricated yet somehow capture the true essence of what defines a place. Here’s an example of my favorite one so far: "After a seven days’ march through woodland, the traveler directed toward Baucis cannot see the city and yet he has arrived. The slender stilts that rise from the ground at a great distance from one another and are lost above the clouds support the city. You climb them with ladders. On the ground the inhabitants rarely show themselves: having already everything they need up there, they prefer not to come down.


Nothing of the city touches the earth except those long flamingo legs on which it rests and, when the days are sunny, a pierced, angular shadow that falls on the foilage. There are three hypotheses about the inhabitants of Baucis: that they hate the earth; that they respect it so much they avoid all contact; that they love it as it was before they existed and with spyglasses and telescopes aimed downward they never tired of examining it, leaf by leaf, stone by stone, ant by ant, contemplating with fascination their own absence."

Yep, we have a Harry Potter kitchen. Our JK Rowling obsessions will later culminate in a tour of their sets, and with Laura rolling out the smoothest pickup line ever conceived ("Do you play Quidditch? Cause you look like a keeper!").


Not everyone on this island sports the subtle, high-brow, dry English humor, as evidenced by the former occupant of my

room: (Though at least my room didn’t come with a squatter, as Sarah’s did.)


I’m currently studying at the University of Surrey, which features many essential educational buildings, none moreso than this one:


I am unapologetically a tourist:

This is precisely what a pub should look like:


All in all: An exhausting, enlightening, and exhilarating first day in England. Here’s to 17 more!


W&T Collection