I was blessed with two snow days this week. Unfortunately, my wife and kids only had one. On Wednesday, I had the house to myself for several hours and was able to get some work done. Not enough, but still. We've all had those writing sessions. The type where you feel as though you just haven't written enough.

     It's hard to look at a few paragraphs and rationalize the hours it took to write them. What was I doing the whole time? Is the clock wrong? On these occasions, it's helpful to remind yourself about the process you just went through. You may not be able to see all of the deleted work you were forced to abandon because it "didn't lead anywhere."

     But in truth, it did lead somewhere. Sometimes growing from an initial idea can be misconstrued as going off topic. Well, your topic just changed is all. You had a kernel of an idea that decided it wanted to be something different. Don't fight it. See where the writing takes you and what develops from it. It's finally starting to hit me that being stubborn stunts the process.

     My wife came downstairs after I had been writing for an hour. I felt embarrassed to show her the half page I had written, feeling it was unworthy of the time I had. An entire page that wasn't working for me had to be deleted and what remained looked pathetic. The abundance of white space on the screen mocked me, daring me to fill with amazing writing. When a new idea surfaced, I began to read about it so I would sound somewhat intelligent. This "research" took up most of my time.

     I looked at her sheepishly, expecting her to react negatively. Would she assume I've been spending all of my time looking at sports news? Instead, she said nothing. I confessed to her, "I had to change a lot of this, I've deleted about an entire page."

     She looked at me and said, "Isn't that how writing works?"

     I'm glad she already understands what I'm finally starting to.

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2017-03-16 13:10:00

           So, I really just want to use this post to state the accomplishments/changes that occurred since the last blog post. The second scheduled open dialogue was successful. There were unexpected moments beyond the expected unexpected moments, but I am satisfied with the results.
           I did a reflection after the open dialogue to briefly write down what occurred and what I learned. I have to say I learned more about my parents and myself. I am so proud my parents felt free to answer however they pleased, and I am proud of my myself. Only a couple of things were really prepared like the questions, the brief introduction before the open dialogue that stated what it was for etc., and when and where the open dialogue was going to take place. I also recorded myself on my phone for a few seconds just to make sure the volume was right. I thought about the questions. I knew how I would respond to certain questions because of my own personal feelings, but I did not go out of my way to memorize my answer or even write them down. To be honest, my dad asked questions that put me their position to just think really quick and respond. Overall, I am grateful for all the help I received and even the excitement to help.
My written prayers continue..........

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2017-03-09 20:55:00

          This week I thought about some more questions I could ask, and I intend on looking at my paper again today to see if anything else comes to me. I originally planned for the conversation or open dialogue with my parents to be this past Sunday, but my dad was not feeling well so I rescheduled. As weird as this sounds, I am nervous. But, I am always nervous (LOL). I want to be as prepared as I can be, but there might be something magical about preparing a little and just letting the rest happen. I want to thank Dr. Zamora for helping me with the questions and expanding my original idea to incorporate my parents. Both of my parents have agreed to be a part of the open dialogue, and my dad is really excited. He likes to be included and discuss how he feels about certain topics. I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

Revisions, Revisions, Revisions…

Well, I imagine the title explains what I've been doing all week! And yes, I am (again) almost all done; naturally, I want and need the feedback of my group as well as the luxury of hearing some parts aloud to truly be finished. BUT, in the big scheme of things, I am beginning to feel like I have a finished product close at hand. My website is starting to look like a real entity, and I am almost ready to put the scenes--all six of them--on said website in their respective homes. And no fear, they are all next-door neighbors. I do need a few more photos for my character list--hoping they don't get camera-shy and run for the hills as I want their actual faces to place in the spots I have open and waiting for them. Also, I held off on my About page as I need to really give that more thought; I would like to write something about myself, as the author of this lunacy. But, I would also feel it necessary to mention the place I work which prompted the unusual adaptation I chose to write for my thesis project. The role of women, and minorities in my workplace--as well as the general acceptance of this mentality--together provided my impetus for writing this piece. Because it is such a commonplace attitude in blue-collar labor, for certain people to project authority (and automatically receive respect) while other equally competent employees become (or remain) the solid, reliable workhorses, humor is generally the best, if not the only way to get through any "work day."
It is an equally effective tool for re-imagining Aristophanes comical plea for peace between Athens and Sparta into a plea for a non-stress-filled work environment where women and minorities can--and do--know how to effectively take charge. Now, all that I just sputtered about needs to be worded cleverly--but with some punch and then included in my "About" page; I need to put on my smart hat and get that down on paper very soon...In the meantime, I may start putting the scenes I am pretty solid with into their new homes. That way I can see how they look and if they will need any tweaking after they move in. I am still finding weirdness I missed while proofreading before, and will try to remedy all such things, but am rather enjoying my project as I try and build the website. It still makes my head hurt when I try to switch things that should be easier to do, but I am getting more used to the Wix system--limitations and oddities included. Most importantly, I feel more confident when I am trying to move things around on there and for me, that is priceless. So, for now, that's all guys. Hope everyone is getting lots done on their projects and cannot wait to see you all soon!

Feeling Pretty Good

     I'm feeling better about this project after my group's last meeting. I received a lot of good feedback and indications that I was heading in the right direction. The finish line is in sight. The list that I was given of things to work has dwindled and what is left is extremely manageable. Here's to hoping I don't leave it all to the last minute.

     The project finally has a shape to it that I can look at and be proud of. Up until now, I knew the topic I wanted to write on, but I couldn't get beyond the general idea. I'd heard stories of how some people change their ideas completely and I was worried I would have to go down that road. Luckily, I'm still writing about my initial topic, but in ways I didn't think I would be.

     I knew I wanted to address fear, but I assumed I would be focusing on urban legends for the duration of the project. Little did I know that urban legends would be a section of the project, and fear would take center stage. If you had asked me if I planned on researching fake news for this project, I would have said no. Luckily, for the sake of my project, the country has gone to hell in a handbasket, providing me with material (believe me, I wish this were not the case).

     Funny enough, getting started on the last section has found me dragging my feet. Just like not reading the last chapter of a book you don't want to end, putting off writing it has prevented me from saying goodbye to the project. Trust me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. I'm free to revisit it whenever I want and can change whatever I want about it.

     But it also means that I am done on this journey to get my Masters. While I feel that I am a student at heart and enjoy going to classes and completing assignments (really), I will miss the people I've come to know over the past year and a half. Among them I've found encouragement and support that I (unfortunately) don't feel from my colleagues. I didn't mean to get too sentimental about this, but I had no idea where this was going when I started. 

Reflection 7

Question List/Concern List

Doing this list just came to me on it’s on.

I want my MA Thesis to serve these purposes in my life…

*help others both males and females

*remind people of things they know already

*make people rethink and consider what I have to say

*this can be one of my many outlets

*to develop a continued routine towards a successful finished project

*an example for me in the future of what I can accomplish

*to read myself later

* to have all my ideas on hand to read over in the future

*provide a life book/guidebook almost like self-help for others including myself

*intimate relationships, dating, mand and woman relationships, love, lust, singleness

*more targeted towards young women preteen plus women in general

Reflection 6

Influential Text List Reflection

#1 The Secret

#2 The Power of a Praying Woman

#3 The Bible

#4 Emotional Virtue

#5 The Wait

#6 You Can Heal Your Life

#7 In the Meantime

#8 The Woman Code

#9 As a Man Thinketh

#10 Act like a lady, Think like a Man


I have a growing list of influential text. Mine includes articles and different books I’ve read and continue to read. I also have collected studies that flow well with my targeted goal for my thesis-book. I am a little worried about how I will successfully integrate the statistics and information within my book because I want to ensure that I do not date my book. I want it to be timeless.


Blog 5: Reviewing the Handouts

A literature review has never been so broken down as this did for me. Normally I just hear descriptions like think of this as a “brief summary” or a “overview.” This reading made me understand the importance of a literature review more deeply I really like thoughtful questions that come to mind. It is a “showcase of your talents of understanding, interpretation, analysis, clarity of thought, synthesis, and development of argument. It helps “clarify your own thoughts about your study or your creative endeavor.” It really makes me think about the applications and why I’m even looking for outside texts. I’ve actually gotten addicted to this search but I can’t possibly find everything possible out here. No questions came to mind as I read the lit review guidelines.

After reading the guidelines for early thesis proposal development I feel a rush of excitement as well as nervousness about finally getting to this point. I liked how it was described as “early map” or “architectural blueprint for building a house.” In my own words its really about planning and finishing the project successfully. I would like to know what #2 proposal element of “the importance of research in the context of various fields of study” means.

Website Building gives me a headache…by Debbie Bagnato

Yes, I have said it--website creations are super when they're finished BUT while in progress, they give me a headache! I am pleased that I seem to be making headway; I finally "get" the how to's I was previously missing. That is why I am staying with Wix--my aggravation earlier on is paying off now as I figure out the numerous quirks. And my initial work was actually quite extensive so staying put makes more sense than starting over. The tips Dr. Z gave me, and the fact that Colin is also using Wix made my mind up for me so I now have several pages completed and work on other new ones each night. My revisions are happening as I put things on the website and I rather like it that way. I rearrange a lot and am not sure exactly how I will organize this when I have all the pages finished but the game plan is in action and the alternative layout seems to take form as I progress. I will want the feedback of my group and especially Dr. Z so am trying to get as far along as time will allow. The more I have completed the easier it wll be to show them and get their suggestions and opinions. The revisions will continue for the main piece in Docs for the time being but the companion pieces such as the real character list, casting suggestions, and my About page are all workable as I put them on this website. The backgrounds and other appealing features are also becoming fun to utilize with the addition of my words--hopefully the finished product will look polished and inviting. But I find that I spend an exorbitant amount of time working on what seems to be such a small amount of work; perhaps I just am too meticulous or --horrors-- just too absorbed to recognize how longgggg I am taking... Probably the latter. But, in my defense, I am writing, fighting with the Wix quirkiness as well as my own, and trying to use the numerous pictures I have taken of the real people in the script. These need to be included but in a manner that makes sense and is relevant to any reader as they check out the website and the play as well as the reasons behind this unusual adaptation choice. (And I wonder why I have a headache?) Well, the progress is moving along albeit at a snails pace but  at least it has begun--and it is sort of exciting with every page I complete.
 Still a long way to go, plenty of little details to be attended to, and revisions probably right up until May, but I feel excited to be putting my very special project "onstage" so to speak. One day I would love to put this on a proscenium stage but for now this is a great forum to showcase my blood, sweat, and tears. I will go back to my Wix page shortly and continue with my "real characters" and their real photos and try to complete a few more pages so that part will be done. Then its time to work on my About page--oh boy, I have much to do! But we all are singing that song...keep writing everyone--we're almost there.

English and Writing Studies Thesis 2017-03-01 18:58:00

        On Thursday, I worked on my paper some more. In the process of incorporating what I previously wrote down in my journal, I started making changes, and rethinking/contemplating some of the comments one of my group members made in the past. I want to make my paper as clear as possible, and I see some areas where I need to elaborate. Just like prayer is "a process" so is this paper which discusses prayer (Murray,"Teach Writing as a Process Not Product" 3).

       Right now, I am just going to review what I have. I haven't really been talking to anyone about my paper lately. I want to talk to my dad again. I loved our conversation the last time we spoke. I look forward to what Dr. Zamora and my group members have to say as well.