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Shed Parker

Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

50 Sheds Of Black
Why does black have to be so negatively connoted? Fear. Evil. Death. Mystery.
My e-Portfolio isnt evil and neither am I. Instead, this website utilizes black for the class
and elegance surrounding vintage New York and Broadway! Think of 50 Shaeds of
Black as a grand performance, but with the finale first. Let each successive tab be a
scene to make up the production. Linguistically, you should recognize the informality of
my word choice. Visually, you should take in the fast pace of Times Square in the
background. I chose a calming blue-green accent to contrast the hustling of the
background. Aurally, you would notice that there are sound components on the Portrait
of A Writer Essay tab, which are meant to enhance the understanding of musical
importance throughout the writing process. Spatially, I broke up embedded documents
and related artifacts by images or video to make each page flow smoothly and be a bit
more interesting. Gestural modes of communication vary from end to end of my ePortfolio. The confident swag flowing from the homepages main image differs greatly
from the serious, boss sensation emitting from the head image of the Portrait of A Writer
page. I wrapped up my e-Portfolio with a blog that consists of posts ranging from my
second day of class to November the twelfth. I really enjoyed blogging in between
drafting for my major assignments because it was an informal way to share my feelings,
mention personal experiences, and even relate new things Ive learned to old things Ive
learned. I included on related picture to every blog post to supplement the ideas

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

Getting Engaged With Key Concepts

How in the world is the writing process similar to the dating process? It was
pretty random how I thought of this when we were sitting down in class brainstorming
freedoms that we had as writers in our work one day after a draft workshop. I started off
by trying to think of what I felt like I was good at and how it could be compared to the
general writing process for my Portrait of a Writer essay. As I closed my eyes to think I
could hear a classmate of mine say, Hmm, think of something out of the box! A light
bulb sparked up in my head. Writing a good paper is like meeting and courting a woman!

Most people have a type when it comes to whom theyd like to pursue and our type
when it comes to writing is our preferred genre to write. I realized that the pre-approach I
make to a female is strictly non-verbal which includes things like smiling and smizing to
show interest. In writing, our ways of pre-approach are the visual, spacial, and gestural

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101
modes that appeal to readers before they even read anything weve written. Beginning
with a compliment, question, joke, or general (but relevant) statement is a good way to
initiate conversation before I introduce myself. Our introductions and thesis statements
do the same thing in our writing just as if we were courting the reader. Every
relationship Ive been in included some level of flirting between the individual and
myself, even if it was just during the earlier stages. We can flirt in our writing by taking
risks and experimenting with various tones of voice and viewpoints. When I show how
committed I am to a woman by texting back fast, staying up late with her on FaceTime,
and meeting her family, I get more favorable attitudes and reactions from her. The same
way, we can commit ourselves to our writing by sticking to a theme, revising, and
detailing our work. Generally, most guys dont like to rush and put titles on their
relationships until they know for sure that what they have is what they want. We have the
option to wait until we complete our writing to put a title on it also! After brainstorming
this comparison, I realized that I was very engaged with the making connections key
concept on our syllabus. Additionally, I realized that I could utilize comparisons and
metaphors like these to help me relate personal experiences to factual knowledge.
Furthermore, I was very engaged with getting out of my comfort zone. As stated
before in my Midterm essay, I have always been the type of person to enjoy sitting back
and soaking up class lessons verses heavy group work and conversation.
(#introvertprobz) Group work was something I always tactfully avoided in high school
because it made me nervous! I can be very awkward at times. In all seriousness though,

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101
this class has sort of helped me to see that it isnt so bad when everyone chips in. Being
required to work as a team to respond to class readings with my first group encouraged
me to talk to other people in this class and my other classes too. Because of this, I was
able to be heavily engaged in a third key concept: providing and receiving feedback.
Going into my very first peer workshop in September, I didnt really have to be nervous
about what to say or how to take what others said to me about my work. The day before
our first workshop, we had our second reader response letter (shown below this
document) due that was to be a reply to Richard Straubs RespondingReally
Respondingto Other Students Writing in our course textbook entitled The Subject Is
Writing by Bishop and Strickland. My response was very appreciative to how simple
Straub gave his instructions. Straub tells us to playback to the reader how we read and
understood the paper. I had never before thought of peer review that way, but giving a
playback is a great idea because youre showing the author exactly how their work
made you feel, and from there the author can determine whether it is doing the job they
want it to do, or not. Revisions are needed when a piece or passage is not quite fulfilling
the purpose you intended for it. As a class we ended up using Straubs article to compile
a Peer Review Dos and Donts list (also shown below this document), which was a clear
recipe for a delicious and savory review session. Throughout this course, I held this list
with high honor because without it Im sure I would have given vague & short feedback
that wouldnt benefit the writer whose work was to be reviewed. This list eliminated

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

ignorance associated with peer review and left it behind as a thing of past high school
English courses. Peer review no longer had to be challenging for me either.

The Big Why?

One of the first questions I asked myself after reading over the entire syllabus for
this course was Why do he have to write so many drafts if we only have three major
writing assignments in total? In high school, I became accustomed to writing one draft
per paper and I liked it that way. Most times my draft was my final paper because I didnt
like to change anything. It was simple and everyone was used to it. I knew right off the
bat that this course was going to be unusual for me. It wasnt until after the completion of
our first major writing assignment that I got an idea of why so many drafts and peer
workshops were needed. To simply put it, there is no way that I could prove my growth
or have anything to reflect on without those components! If I were to never alter my work
or seek guidance from another source, I would never improve or challenge myself.

A Tribute to A Beloved Sponsor

The Literacy Narrative was my most favorite assignment to complete in this
course, but it didnt start out as my favorite. It was a challenge to think of every person
who has played a part in my various literacies. I decided to begin brainstorming by listing
different family members and English teachers Ive had since the sixth grade. I went on
to list all clubs, churches, and school systems that have contributed to my literacies as

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101
well. I dont feel like my brainstorming for this draft was very helpful because I couldnt
really think of how all of the organizations and people had each affected me. I used it to
write my first draft anyway.
As instructed, I wrote a warm-up to my first draft on the back of it to serve as an
introduction to my work for my peer workshop members. Because I wasnt very
confident in my draft, I didnt sound confident in my introduction. I simply wasnt sure if
what I wrote was the right thing to write. I also felt like what I wrote was boring because
I only talked about the different teachers I had. One thing I like about my draft was my
ability to use details. When describing a teacher I had in 6th grade, I said, Mr. Neal
taught English and had an abbreviated stature with a face as straight and solemn as
Laurence Fishburnes in The Matrix.
At the completion of our first peer workshop, we received new instructions for a
second draft that asked us to narrow our focus in three new pages of material.

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

Honestly, I was a bit perturbed because I felt like it was difficult enough for me to write
the first draft! I decided to narrow my focus on a moment with one of my most important
sponsors, my grandmother. In a class exercise, I took long, silent moments to close my
eyes and place myself back in some of those times I spent with her. That exercise was the
foundation of my second draft and I wouldnt have had good sensory detail if it werent
for it. When describing my grandmothers living room, I said, The living room, often
referred to as the den, had sparkling pine wooded walls that were flooded with framed
memories that journeyed from my little brothers birth all the way to Nanas high school
years. All was covered except a four-foot by five-foot window, over which long vertical
blinds hung perched just enough to let a wee bit of morning sun in. I tried to take what I
felt like I was good at, which was providing detail, and do it even better in this draft.
Before beginning the peer workshop for this draft, I wrote and presented yet another
warm-up to introduce it. This time, I was far more confident and my word choice
reflected that. I began this introduction by addressing detail because that is what I
focused on the most throughout the process. I wanted my sensory and relatable detail to
be so strong that a blind person could visualize what I was describing if someone read my
paper aloud to him or her. While workshopping, a group member expressed to me that I
might have overused the term Nana in my second draft. To help me further understand,
he suggested that I circle the word every time I used it on my copy. To my surprise, I
used it twenty-one times over three pages of material! This occurrence made me think of
something that Richard Straub said about presenting comments in the article on peer

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101
reviewing that I mentioned earlier; Feel freein fact, feel obligedto tell the reader
what you like and dont like, what is and is not working, and where you think it can be
made to work betterTry to engage the writer in considering her choices and thinking
about possible ways to improve the paper. My group members circling suggestion not
only showed me what didnt quite work, but it engaged me physically and visually, so I
could already be thinking of different terms to break up the stacks of Nanas with. I was
able to cut my usage of that word by about half by using her, my grandmother, and
Based off of the feedback I got, my third draft was received very well and it
fulfilled the purposes I intended for it to. As far as grammar, there were a few words
missing that I spoke, but neglected to type, so going back and filling those in was a
breeze. One thing I didnt do so well on was spelling out all numbers fewer than 100. My
previous teachers never stressed this rule, but I realize that it is better to be safe and
follow it for academic writing of this level and beyond unless otherwise noted. Kelsey
Summey, a good friend and classmate, was the first to review in the workshop for this
draft and she left a few good inquires in the margins that helped me to expound on
different thoughts. For example, I highlighted elements of my grandmothers home when
I said, Entering Nanas home, I was welcomed by the perpetual aroma of a well-used
oven and warm French vanilla. In response to this sentence Kelsey asked, What caused
this French vanilla aroma? Like, what food? Well, the answer to her question was sort
of unique because the French vanilla aroma was not the result of a food, but Nanas

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

longtime obsession with French vanilla Glade plugins. I revised my original sentence by
tacking that information onto the end. I was welcomed by the perpetual aroma of a
well-used oven and warm French vanilla from her favorite Glade plugins. This draft
was reviewed a second and final time by my professor, Ms. S. Ingram. While I did not act
on every starred suggestion, I could not pass up giving further description of my
grandmother. This suggestion was actually given to me from both Kelsey and Ms.
Ingram. That fact alone made me realize how important a description of her would be to
this narrative. I felt like the best placement for such a description was towards the end of
the first paragraph because that would put it just before the vignette of her house. In her
description, I tried to emphasize that no matter how delicately dressed she was, her
gracious presence reached all who were around.

Halfway There

Im already half way there! is what I kept repeating to myself as I sat down to
begin gathering ideas for each letter segment of what would end up being my midterm
essay. Surprisingly, I did not have much trouble putting my ideas to paper for this essay.

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

The rubric outline was straightforward about what was expected. I was excited when I
realized that I would be able to use the rules for creating blogs that I wrote then to keep
my blog up to par as the presentation day approached. Ms. Ingram reviewed my midterm
and I was surprised at her openness to utilizing music with this course at some point.
Unfortunately, we were never able to do so. To make up for that, I have decided to
incorporate music from YouTube on my Portrait of A Writer Essay page of my ePortfolio. In the B section of my midterm, I expressed some stress associated with idea
development. For me, the initial writing process is the most challenging. I tend to still
have a hard time forming and sorting ideas for essays and RRLs at times. I would like to
know more techniques for idea development. In her review response, Ms. Ingram
introduced the idea freewriting. Freewriting is method where you make yourself write
for a set amount of time without stopping. It turns out that I had been using this method
the entire time, but I never thought it was a good way to write. Ms. Ingram helped me to
realize that I could be just as effective with freewriting as with anything else.

Make Me Like Martin

It was time for essay number three and this time the rubric asked us to paint
portraits of ourselves that showed who we were as writers. In my first draft, I focused on
answering every question the rubric offered. I feel like that was the best way to start at
the time because that is the approach I took for the first draft of my literacy narrative.
After finishing my first draft, I was not exactly pleased with it because it lacked a flavor

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

that I felt was present in my previous writings. I was answering every question
specifically, but it sounded like an essay of just answers and nothing else. I did not
change much between my first and second drafts of this assignment because I struggled
with what element I could add to make it more me. The day after our second peer
workshop for this essay, I was sitting in my room with my usual rap radio running on
Pandora. At the time, Jesus Walks by Kanye West was playing and I was really vibing
with it. It had been about 2 years since Id last heard the song entirely. The beat and drive
behind the melody immediately helped me visualize Martin Luther King Jr. marching for
the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The soulful female vocalist that comes in at
about the halfway point of the song was just the icing on the cake for the image I had in
my head. I then wondered how I could incorporate this in my essay. I landed at answering
all of the questions from the rubric in the style of Kings famous I Have A Dream
speech for my third draft. The reviewers of this draft were another good friend and
classmate, Bryce Harris, and Ms. Ingram. I was given more great ideas for expansion that
I was thankful to receive because I felt like it was a bit shorter than Id liked it to be. For
example, I said, I have a dream that one day we will be able to experiment with poetry,
my most favorite genre, in my 1101 University Writing class. To which Ms. Ingram
responded, Do it here! What is stopping you? What was stopping me? Nothing.
Nothing was stopping me, so I took the chance! I did it in hopes that maybe other readers
would have a similar appreciation for poetry and could relate with me.

Shed Parker
Ms. Ingram
UWRT 1101

I Would Like To Buy A Vowel

The last portion of my midterm essay was dedicated to my grade prediction. I
explained that I felt like I deserved between a high B and a low A because I have put
forth my personal best in my work by making thoughtful revisions and using great detail.
Ms. Ingram confirmed that I was sitting at a low A during the halfway point of the
course. In spite of expected winter laziness, I still believe that I am deserving of a low A.
I have not changed the amount of effort and heart that I put into my work. As long as I
am working on something, Im always going to find a way to knock it out! Hopefully,
you can get a real feel of the heart I put into my work while you experience my ePortfolio. So much practice and preparation has been put into this production. Please kick
back and enjoy the show!