hani_backup: (Xena -- Gabby writing)


Happy April Fool's Day!
hani_backup: (Stress - wake up)
Worse writer's block ever.

Need to write 6 pages in 2.5 hours. Haven't even started it besides 5 sentences.

In the past, even when I've put off writing a paper because of my anxiety and procrastination and perfectionism, I've always had ideas running around.

This time, there are no gerbil ideas running around in my head.
hani_backup: (Pondering)
Kyle also took this class a few years ago with the same professor. I wonder what he wrote. I remember reading one of his poems, based on sensations, and there was another poem based on a color. I think Kyle chose "white" and talked about sambuca. I wonder if the professor will stick to the same assignments...

For the first one:

Mini-memoir: Bring four copies for workship on TH.

I'm thinking of this as assignment as "memoir as a series of snapshots of short films." You don't need to worry about creating a story at this point, or about whether or not the "snapshot" fit together. Hopefully this assignment will lead you to your longer nonfiction essay: this is practice and exploration time. Your goal is to create (re/create) part of the world you grew up in, to make that world tangible to readers. How do you do that? Assignment description )



I will admit some visceral dislike to this "place you grew up in/hometown" theme/question. The Ice-Breaker exercise on the first day of class was interviewing another student. Two of the questions on the handout were "What is your hometown? How would you describe it?" >_> My simple answer was "Malaysia. Hot, humid, delicious food."

Then, the next class we had an in-class assignment of writing "what we were made of" based on our hometown and poet Linda Gregg's describing what she's "made of" of where she grew up. (As an example of writing concrete images.) Excerpt ) I know the professor told us to avoid generalizations or abstract concepts but the first thing I wrote was "I am made of uncertainty built upon..." Grand abstract concept, that, "uncertainty." I envy Linda Gregg for having such vivid memories of a home-town.

Frequent rant, I know. I don't know if a lot of people take it for granted, having a sense and feel of "home" and memories of a school and/or a residence that's more than 3 years, but sometimes I feel they do. They don't really see how lucky they are. Even as they grow older and have different homes where they live with roommates, partners, spouse, family, pets, whatever, they still have a "home" with Mom and Dad (or whatever arrangement of parents and siblings there are). I can't imagine what it feels like moving out from a house you'd lived in for 16-18 years, or living/leaving in a house that's been in your family for generations. I can't fully empathize with the feeling of that kind of broken attachment. I can definitely empathize with the hassle of packing and unpacking, and some of the missing-home/homesickness, but I imagine my magnitude and degree of missing-home is different from theirs.

I also know there are a lot of variance in people's home situations. I'm describing an "ideal" childhood home life where there was no moving, a steady physical thing as a "home" where the parents don't move after the children move out, until they're old or in assisted living, where they can go back for (family) holidays, etc.
~End rant this particular time~

We did some in-class scribbling after she gave us the assignment. I have two memories I know I want to do, but I'm a little uncertain about the third one. And which question I'm answering -- three incidents involving moving, or three settings regarding the place(s) I grew up. *shrug*

We'll see how it goes, eh?

Oh, right! Please excuse typos for the assignment. I re-typed it from the handout she gave us (instead of copying and pasting it from Moodle) and my typing skills aren't fantastic now.
hani_backup: (dancing!)
One was a draft for a psych class, that wasn't graded.  I got a mixture of good and bad comments on it (bad meaning I wasn't clear or I had done something incorrectly).  I should see the professor Tuesday morning in order to talk more about interpreting the results from SPSS.  I thought we were going to look only at results of .05 level, instead of also 0.01, but I think that's incorrect.  I may also have written the results for correlations wrongly, in APA format.

Then, switching to MLA format, I got back my first paper for my Science Fiction: Past and Present class back!  :-D  The only English/writing courses I've taken was English 190 (Borders & Bridging) Fall 2007 - ENG 190 is the lowest level English course and a prerequisite for other courses, just like Intro to Psych or Intro to Philosophy is for Psych and Philo courses - and Writing 100 (Our Animal Selves) Fall 2009.  Science Fiction: Past and Present is a 271 Theory-Designated Topics course and when we first introduced ourselves and our majors and why we wanted to take the course, I was quite intimidated by other people.  A lot of them are seniors or juniors who are creative writing majors or English majors (or double majors for some of them), or Journalism minor, etc.  As the semester went on, I grew further intimidated because a lot of them had really insightful stuff to say, using the several theories of science fiction genre we've read and applying it to the short stories/books we've read, or just the more abstract and conceptual aspects of the books.  I feel like my few points in class are more specific plot-oriented or characterization, and I'm still having a hard time looking "beneath" that surface, and seeing the book as a whole and connecting incidents, themes, motifs (that are not knock-on-your-head obvious) from various parts of the book together. 

We finally got our papers back in the mailbox today. (We handed them in October 1 and we expected to get them back on Monday, after Fall Break.)  I was pretty anxious about getting them back and checked my mailbox 3 times today before it was finally there!  My professor wrote her comments on the last page, folded our papers in half, stapled it shut and wrote our names and box numbers on the outside.  Man, I had a hard time resisting ripping the paper trying to get the staples off!  (This was a 6 page page.)  Anyway, I made several errors (wrong words, using past instead of present tense for fiction works, some mistakes in grammar -- grammar is the hardest part of any language for me), but most of her comments were encouraging, or rhetorical questions about some points, usually about a possible alternative interpretation, or taking it further.  I wish she could have seen the full outline I had, because I had a lot more to write, but 6-7 pages didn't fit it all!  I had to cut the third beauty that, ironically, would have answered a question my professor posed in her end comments. 

I got an A!!!  A full-blown A!!! Not an A-!  I had this professor previously for my Writing 100 class, and I got an A- for that class and both essays and the presentation, so it really feels good to take a high-level English course and get an A on the first paper.  It definitely helped to have written out an outline and a quarter-fleshed out essay to bring to the Writing Center beforehand.  (And this kind of takes the sting outta getting a bad grade for the exam the same day the paper was due, since I put forth more time writing the paper than studying for the exam...) 

Wheeeee!!!!
hani_backup: (Writing)
I stumbled upon this on a friend's Facebook. I've seen it floating around before, but I find it relevant as the semester is grinding down and things are heating up!

Though this sounds like high school, too... )

You can tell it's antiquated by its use of ICQ in the second note! And Kazaa in the 12th! And number 21, using "newspaper listings" to find out what's on TV... I use Yahoo's TV listings! :-P
hani_backup: (Writing)
[Error: unknown template qotd]


I don't have much fictional writing ability. Or any kind of actual writing ability, besides the basic able-to-stream-together-sentences for an essay or letter or whatwhat. I would never be a writing tutor. Grammar is my weakest point, though I think my organization is getting up there, too. Flow -- yeah, that's hard. My mind just jumps around and it's too easy for me to write down what I'm thinking and think the jump is logical to my readers. A returned draft of a psych research experiment showed that! I need to be more explicit and active when writing those kind of papers.

So, no, I would never exchange writing styles permanently. I would never make an author lose their livelihood with my horrid writing style. It's not fair to them.

So if I could temporarily have the writing style of an author I admire, it would be Jacqueline Carey. I really admire Neil Gaiman's stories and books, but I don't know if I'd want to write his genre(s) of stories. I admire Jacqueline Carey's epic fantasy series. I admire the sexual scenes she writes, the depth of the more fleshed-out characters, the interweaving ties within and between books. To be able to write such scenes/books like that, I would be ecstatic. To have strong female characters that aren't stereotyped or one-dimensional, to write morally ambiguous dialogue and events...
hani_backup: (Clap)
I got an A- for my second Writing paper. I feel a bit demoralized because I spent about two hours on this paper, in a panic. In the past I've used this as justification for procrastination being alright. I KNOW it is bad student behavior. But it's hard to let go of it. In comp sci class now...
hani_backup: (Writing)
This following topic is my first paper for AI. I love the subject matter, though I'm scared to even begin it. It's due Wednesday...

Read on! )

I'm leaning towards Alan...
hani_backup: (dancing!)
We had to give her a first draft, then do a rewrite after her comments.

I don't know what grade I got for the first draft. There were a lot of comments, though. :'(

But I got an A- for my final draft!! There were some grammatical mistakes, still (urgh) but I'm glad I did relatively well!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!
hani_backup: (Delerium - Out to lunch)
which is an assignment for my writing course, Our Animal Selves. It's the first five chapters of Genesis. King James Version.

Our assignment is:

Respond to the following questions: How does the Bible portray the relation between humans, animals, and the natural world? What have Adam and Eve gained and what have they lost? Pay particular attention to the Bible's treatment of language, clothing and companionship. Make sure to support your claims with specific evidence from the text (quotations, examples, and interpretations).

Well, seems simple enough. I know I have to get over this hesitation/block to get anything down on screen/paper beacuse it'll never be good enough compared to what I envision in my mind, you know? Also, just the instinctive recoil from anything religious... I've never been in a class where I was suppose to read the "Bible," religoius or literary so this is a first for me. I hope I can put aside that bias...

I mean, God gave man "dominion" over the creatures on the earthly firmament and waters and air. (Or was it sky?) And Adam and Eve got kicked outta the Garden.

I also have 50-ish pages to read for computer science and a reading test on that tomorrow. Luckily I've finished my AI reading already though that was a bit technical.

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