Why am I a writer?

Because science is way more than mixing things in test tubes and looking at things under a microscope, much to my elementary-school dismay.

Because there’s only ever one right answer to a math problem.

Because it’s really hard remembering all the names, dates, and places that come along with historical events, let alone being able to make the necessary social, political, and economic connections between them.

Because what’s the point in learning if you can’t discuss what you learn with other people?

Because I’m much more comfortable putting thoughts and arguments onto paper than I am saying them out loud.

Writing is my thing. I write when I’m uncomfortable, when I’m angry, when I’m excited, when I’m sad, and even just when I don’t know what else to do. I mainly write to create conversation with other people, to express myself, and to engage with scholarly material. Initially, I thought I only wrote because teachers told me to. After (involuntarily) thinking about it for awhile, I write for far more reasons than just because it’s required of me.

This online portfolio is representative of the work I have done in my Writing 220 class at the University of Michigan. Writing 220 is the gateway course for the Minor in Writing, so it’s my first step toward getting a writing minor. I wanted my portfolio to be something that I can show family and friends (as if they haven’t already read all of my stuff, right guys?), but I also wanted it to be useful for more than just show and tell. I included a resumé so that potential employers (give me a job, please!) can get an idea of my skills as a writer and what I’m passionate about.

The first thing we were supposed to do when we were brainstorming how we wanted our portfolios to represent ourselves was come up with a running theme that we wanted to carry through all of the elements of the site. The only themes I could come up with that I could carry through my entire portfolio were totally cheesy nonsense like “journeys” and “stories.” So rather than applying a clearly visible theme, I chose something along the lines of transparency and straightforwardness.

I’m relatively cut-and-dry – I don’t feel the need to cover up things about myself that may seem unprofessional or ridiculous (I mean, the background to my portfolio in pepperoni pizza. No seriousness here). That being said, I appreciate when others are as straightforward with me as I am with them. So hopefully all of you readers enjoy getting a clear idea of what I do outside of napping and eating.

Keep it real.