Starting to Create a Foundation...Portfolio 1

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It's hard to believe that our first portfolio is due. I realized how much work we all have completed so far this semester after going back through the blogs. As a group, I think we all work really well blogging together. We seem to really help each other with explanations and blogging tips that we leave on each others' entries. Also, I feel that we are all working to try to help everyone understand some of the difficult concepts we are tyring to grasp in Literary Criticism. Most of all, with the portfolio, I can use to to see how much I have grown from my earlier English classes and will be able to use it later in the semester to see how far I have progressed.


To introduce you to my porfolio, here are several blog entries that could fall under several of the categories listed below. Use them to start getting acquainted with my work, and then I'll introduce you to some more specific topics later.

  • Eagleton = ADD while reading In this blog, I describe some of the frustration that I feel while I read Eagleton. It's usually never a pleasant experience.
  • John + Depression = Obsession with Wallpaper This is my theory for why the narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" went crazy. But then again, since she was unreliable, she could have been crazy from the beginning.
  • Who Is Speaking? Want to know a little more about E.D. Hirsch's historical approach to literary criticism? Click to find out!
  • Keesey vs. Hirsch? In this blog, I talk about how I think I notice Keesey criticizing Hirsch's historical approach. Do you agree with me? Let me know!
  • Where Do I Start? I thought this blog was too short to receive any comments, but it actually received some comments...ones that actually were good too.
  • Avoiding the Norm Another shorter blog that still received good comments.
  • Fast Pace This is a shorter blog that didn't fair out so well. I guess you have to include the good with the bad.
  • What's His Purpose? What to see what my blogs look like when I get lost and confused. Although that occurs most of the time, see what it looks like when I don't know left from right.
  • So That's What I Can Look For I actually share two quotes from Eagleton in this blog. Thats pretty rare. It's usually a struggle for me to share one quote from Eagleton since he's not exaclty on my good side, so enjoy!
  • Leaping Over Stepping Stones Hamilton once again comes in handy with some Literary Terms that I always fail to remember. This one is a little more essential than some others.
  • Just Too Many Here's a small conversation that I started with Greta. We'll get into some of the longer conversations later.
  • No More Please I often get frustrated with the weekly casebook papers that we have to write applying the type of criticism we learned for the week. As I mention in my blog, I can often understand the type of criticism, but I really struggle to apply it when it comes to writing.
  • Antithesis and Anaphora Here are two more blogs showing words that I had to look up from Hamilton. I hope I remember at least some of these words someday!


      Here are a few blogs that are a little longer and had a little more work than usual put into them. Some of them are explanations, many are questions and thoughts that I had on a particular work that I wasn't sure about. Looking back on them, I can see the moments were I started building some sort of a base to work off for new future material.

    • Will We Ever Know? I liked the historical interpretation approach that Hirsch used, but it led to the same ending that we seem to find at the end of all literary will we ever know for sure?
    • On the Fence Looking back on this one, I can say I'm pretty sure I'm not longer on the fence about whether you can write poetry without putting your emotions or experience into it. After a few weeks past this blog entry, I can definately understand how you ccan write poetry about something you haven't experienced. I guess it's like writing a persuasive paper that you don't agree with.  You win Eliot...for now.
    • Can It Stand Alone? My view of reader-reponse criticism changed greatly after reading the essay's and Keesey's chapter 3. To me, it appears to be a really weak form, and I just can't figure out how it would be able to hold its own without calling on for other forms of criticism for help.


~Blog Carnival~

Although this section of the Portfolio took a lot of time, it created some great dicussions. I not only learned a lot from my peers about our topic we chose to discuss, but this activity opened my eyes up to blogging a little more. Through this "carnival", I learned how useful and important creating a conversation with response can be. It has definately helped me to create a strategy for improving my blogging for future assignments, especially when it comes to follow up on comments.

    • Our Blog Carnival This activity was used to turn our ordinary blogging into a carnival with a few creatie twists. For the activity, our group, consisting of Angela, Derek, Greta, Kayley, and I, decided on a topic that we all would blog on. We decided to blog on "The Dead" by James Joyce. We all read this work in Advanced Study in Literature, which is a study on Irish literature. Each of us created our own parts of the carnival by blogging about what we each found interesting in "The Dead". We also continued our participation in the carnival fun by commenting and continuing conversations on each other's blogs. Who knew learning could come in the form of a carnival?
    • For my blog entry for the carnival, I invited The Illusionist for a show. I just happend to find him walking around the streets of Dublin in "The Dead", going almost unnoticed.
          • Just in case you don't want to go through our whole carnival, here are a few short cuts:



    When it came to interacting with my classmates, I always tried to leave a comment that was useful or at least raised another question. I know that although I appreciate comments such as "nice blog!" or "I agree", I know I personally don't benefit from them because they are not really adding to the discussion. In turn, I try to avoid doing the same to anyone else. The blog samples I have below show interaction I have had with classmates. They include instances of me commenting on their blogs, linking their blogs to mine, or a conversation that started on one of my blogs.

    • Same Start, Different End This was one of my first blogs for the semester. I linked Greta's and Erica's blog to my own. I did this to not only bring up how their blogs related to mine, but also as a hint to some new bloggers that this type of linking is useful and makes connecting conversations easier.
    • Not 100% Formalism...Is It? This blog received longer comments from several people. These longer comments indicated to me that I had touched upon a topic or question that they too had seen while reading and wanted to discuss.
    • Huh? Although the blog itself is pretty much as desperate as its title makes it sound, I do appreciate Derek trying to help me figure out what I was reading. Dr. Jerz, I appreciated your input as well, although I have to confess that after reading your comment I had another "Huh?" moment.
    • Erica's blog is a good example of interaction that happened frequently through all of our blogs. Erica's blog really helped me out with reader response criticism which I was having trouble with. I let her know how much it helped me so she would continue her good work!



There were several great discussions that occured before we even got to class. Check and see what everyone had to say before we had to share our thoughts on Thursday nights.

    • Something a Little More Concrete Not only did I link to Angela's blog in this entry, but it also started a discussion from Greta, Angela, and Dr, Jerz. I think Angela realized in this entry that Literary Criticism, especially formalism, is beginning to follow her everywhere.
    • Not 100% Formalism... Is It? I had to include this one again because it did seem to generate a good discussion. So, in case you didn't get to read it before, here's your chance now!
    • Derek's Blog This was a good conversation that was started on one of Derek's blogs for Keesey Chapter three. Check it out to see what all the talk was about.



All of my blogs (except three that were done on time but failed to link to the course website for some reason) were done on time, some more ahead than others. I surprised myself at being able to keep up with this schedule, and sometimes even caught myself getting a little ahead (although this didn't occur too frequently). 

    • A Step by Step Process This blog occurred when I had those really weird weeks when I decided to get all my homework done as far ahead of time as possible. Too bad those weeks don't occur more often. Anyways, I happened to blog this entry the Friday before its due date...take a look and see if you see a difference in my thinking when I do work ahead of time compared to when I do it under the pressure of an oncoming deadline.
    • Can It Stand Alone? I Don't Think So This blog was a head of time, although it didn't quite beat out the one above. Still counts though!



    I think my best contributions to the xenoblogging categories are my habits of trying to link to other blogs often and trying to be the first to comment on others' blog entries. Below is a few examples of each.

    • Litotes Although it's short, don't underestimate it. It still has room for a little link to Angela's blog.
    • Still Uncertain I link to Derek's blog in this entry. Derek's, along with Erica's, tend to have explanations that really help with the "muddy points" I find each week.
    • Bethany's blog is an example of when I was the first to comment on someone's blog. I tried to do this as much as possible so hopefully everyone would have at least one comment on their blog for the week.



For my wildcard, I wanted to show how much has changed since last year's El150 class (whether it's for better or worse, we'll have to wait and see). Below, I included an example of one of my portfolios from that class as well as a regular blog entry. All I have to say is that I'm glad I don't blog like that anymore.

    • Lots of Blogging + Little English = Too Much Frustration Umm... yeah in case you can't tell by this example, I hated blogging. Not that I still don't...
    • An Example of Telling? I love how the quote I chose for this one is definately bigger than what I wrote beneath it. And, as I look back over my old entries, I notice how many of them are titled with some sort of question. Not that I still don't ask alot of questions now, but it definately reminds me of how clueless I was last year. Wait, did that every change? Maybe...


              Overall, from creating this portfolio, the biggest lesson I learned was that I need to concentrate more on commenting and responding to the comments I received. I learned this especially through the blogging carnival, which at first I thought was a dumb idea, but I acutally learned a lot from it. I also really liked being able to use this portfolio to take a look at all the work I have done this year and compare it to my work from last year. I at least am getting the hang of this blogging, even if I'm not exactly getting the hang of everything we're learning in class. For the content of this portfolio, I can see that I have learned a lot, but I can see that there is plenty of room for improvement. I hope that by my next portfolio, I can look back on this one and think "Did I really not understand that?". I hope.


Go back to the course page.



I really liked how you adopted the list style and made it your own Katie! This is a really good display of your talents!

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