A big part of my writing process is distractions and stray thoughts. The thoughts usually lead into a side conversation . Somehow that part of my thinking/planning process. When I’m not spaced at, staring at the screen, I have the information in my head and it sort of simmers. After a bit of tomfoolery, I tell myself I am ready or that this project is due soon. The next part is a back and forth, recursive like Tony, writing “spree”. I write all I have to say, which are bits and pieces at a time, then go back and add in or take out words that sounds like I’m twelve.

If I were to break it down to percents, although I’m sure I’d be under or over one hundred, here’s how it would go:

Before Planning (Which includes reading and rereading the prompt): 15%

Drafting: 37%

Revising: 13%


Distractions: 16%


As for codes I’ll be using and their meanings, here’s as follows:

[D] Distractions: Singing the glorious hits of the Backstreet Boys, talking, etc,

[DST] Stray Thoughts that lead to distractions: my mind is a waterslide of pasta sauce and at the bottom is a mountain of cheese and porcupines. Don’t think about that too much. It makes no sense and that’s how I want it.

[R] Reading: Includes the words I’ve written as well as the articles. From memory I remember saying “scrolling scrolling scrolling” when trying to find a part I vaguely remember but wanted to use.

[RD] Reading Directions: When your mind is a fantastical place of foodstuff and animals, you let me know how well you stick to the prompt

[P] Pauses: There were times I forgot to talk as well as times where I had temporarily given up.

[R] Revision: includes word choice as well as crappy grammar. (I AM TONY!!!)

[C] Commenting: Sarcasm at its best, I suppose.

[TW] Writing Aloud or Talking while Writing: It’s a bit hard to type something different from what you’re saying out loud.

[PG] Planning in General: when I just trying to figure which way to go.

[WG] Writing in General: possibly happening with my pauses. I forgot to speak sometimes.

[UKN] unknown: No clue what was happening at that point in time

This Title is Not As Thought Out as Murray’s

The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers is an Article by esteemed college researcher Sondra Perl. In 1979, she conducted a major and much needed look into the writing process of college students who’ve just begun their higher learning writing careers. What she found was that students already know how to write however when they are given a broad topic they dichotomize, or split up, it until they can write about those subjects. An example of this is when the topic of “Equality” was given. One student broke it down to “White vs. Black” and “Rich vs. Poor”.  Also when they are given a topic they know more about, their writing is noticeably better. Perl also went into great detail about the students’ revision processes. As they would write, they would immediately go back and reread what they had written. That broke up their flow, often losing their train of thought. They were merely “fixing” grammar. However, they had written such complex sentences that the rules they were trying to apply didn’t.

When he speaks about himself and his opinions, he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about as he should. Who else knows what goes through other’s minds. However, he makes a lot of assumptions that the reader would know about him. (We don’t.) After he wrote his sample on equality, Tony read in missing parts, and didn’t notice syntax errors. I often do the same as I don’t consider myself to be a very skilled writer, in short it makes perfect sense. When I would, or forced to, read my writing aloud, I found that I had either forgotten some piece or come up with an idea that sounded much better. That’s nothing new, I suppose people have been doing this for centuries.

In Berkenkotter’s article about esteemed author Donald Murray, Decisions and Revisions The Planning Strategies of a Publishing Writer, she goes into great detail of his writing processes. At the start of the research, they were sending tapes back and forth. often times he would stop talking and Berkenkotter would be at a complete loss, as she is not there to know what actually happened. Murray carries a day book around with him, jotting down every idea and plan he has. Once he is ready to type, Murray dictates his ideas to his wife, who is an speedy typist. From there, he rereads it and often goes back to his day book to write additional ideas as well as omit a few.  Situational Variables are introduced to us when he is brought into Berkenkotter’s university. As he is to explain death to an eleven year old subscriber of a magazine he had never heard of and actually doubted it’s audience.

He has it all figured out. When I was younger, I carried around a small book with me at all times. Well, it started as an entire binder, which was cumbersome, and then upgraded to a small notebook I had gotten as a gift when I was about thirteen. I suppose that was my version of a day book. However, most of those ideas didn’t get very far out of that notebook. As for differently, I don’t exactly have a wife who is good at typing. I have to type everything myself, which isn’t too bad. I don’t like reading my own work out loud so there would lie another problem with that model.

Facelift! (First Post of the Semester)

I could’ve cheated and just left my blog the way it was from last semester. I’m sure I would’ve been penalized however I wanted to change the look anyway. For the really snazzy, and sort of pretentious, layout I had to pay. As we all know, college students don’t have that kind of money to waste on a layout! You can create your own for free!

This is what my blog looked like before. 


The background I searched for on Google. My header picture also from Google. The cool thing about it was that it changed. I had three pictures that would appear there when the page was accessed or refreshed.  Take a look at the title. It started as a joke when I was creating this the first time. For some reason it stuck.

Now adjust your eyes from the “blogception” and just take in the work I’ve done. Yes, I didn’t bother adding new pages. The ones there work fine for what this blog is used for. The background changed, still free might I add. That header, you can bet your last dollar it changes. Go ahead, refresh the page a couple of times, the text isn’t going anywhere. Refresh it again. A couple more times. The images might repeat but the setting is on random, maybe you’re unlucky. Last time, refresh it.

The images you -hopefully- just laid witness to are just pictures from my collection. I suppose they say a little bit about me. What that means, I have no idea. Just trying to be a bit funny, even if it failed, because that is who I am.


Final Post of the Semester…

Over the course of the semester, this class has helped me grow as a writer. From different rhetoric situation that were thrown at me, I feel like I have conquered them. Maybe even sidestepped them a bit.

I had considered myself a writer before, but not on a professional level. I still don’t but this class has curbed the amount of terrible habits I have. From the Survey Monkey assignment, I was well aware that it takes me more than an hour per sitting to work on papers. I liked staring at my screen, ruining eyes, and thinking about what kid of topics I could get away with writing about. I personally think that it’s one of the best parts of my writing process. The worst would be editing.

The writing process calls for multiple drafts and revisions, something I’m not a big fan of. I would revise, really it was a once over, checking to see if I had any noticeable errors. Of course that didn’t always work as I can’t spell worth a darn. Your class demanded that I have multiple drafts and I’m not saying that as I bad thing. Usually, I wouldn’t even bother with it (before I was I your class, of course). I absolutely hated reading my own writing. I still hate reading my own writing. It’s the same with hearing my own voice on a video or recording. There is a process to writing and rewriting the same paper or creating the same project over and over again.

Project 2 is a prime example. The first draft was uploaded to the forum to be reviewed and revised by some of the others in the class. I couldn’t turn in my rough draft just as it was. In my opinion, it’s was god awful! They told me what I needed to fix and what needed to be kept. Without their comments, I’m sure I would’ve gotten a lower grade than what I had actually gotten. Also noting that earlier this semester you had us read about Down, Up, and Dental drafts. Those terms are much better than “Good Draft” or “Bad Draft” as that doesn’t really encompass the work that was used to create the Up Draft. This leads me to my next point, how to develop strategies for interpreting, evaluating, and responding to visual, electronic, written and verbal texts.

I had to read their papers. I had never been big on that. Reading someones work and the possibility of them flipping out on me because of the comments I give them. Even though I’m not the best writer, when I read I sometimes find myself “grading” kind of harshly. For someone who can’t spell, I can find spelling errors like a bloodhound. Sometimes, the essay was extremely hard for me to understand. This should be surprising as whenever someone -including you- would rad made my paper, there was always some confusion about some part or another. I suppose that I when I read and write, I have, what I like to call, thought dyslexia. My thoughts bounce all over and when I write or type them down, often times they don’t get put into the right order.  I’m so hard to follow when in my own writing, it’s not surprising to me that I get confused reading others. I suppose this makes me the wrong person to go to for peer evaluation. I am brutally honest at times. For example, a friend of mine had written a short story. The main protagonist was given up for adoption at the age of twelve. I had to break it to her that the plot made no sense at all as that kind of adoption is known as abandonment.

To combat my way of thinking from taking over, I have to think like a “normal” person for a while. I have to go beyond the rubric for a moment and think if I was the actual target audience, then what would I  get from the media put in front of me? Is it informative enough? Did I truly get the point of whatever they were writing about? My general rule for project 2 was if I were to be looking at their topics as a possible career, were their papers enough for me to change my mind entirely. Since we used more than three sources, the essay was essentially where all the information of the chosen topic should be compiled. If the truly important information isn’t presented, then the job wasn’t done.

The same approach was used in Project 3. Having read the papers, I know what was actually in the paper. It was somewhat fun figuring out what was omitted and what wasn’t. A little something that I found out, based on feedback, is if you feel a certain way when making the video, a paper, or even an Animoto it carries over into the project. For example, if you just get the feeling that you’re one hundred percent done with the project and want to end right were it is, it feels that way to the people watching it. That’s something all “artists” should pay attention to.

For the most part, I spent arguably the most time on Project 3 and 4.  Finding sources, tracking down people, waking up earlier than everyone else so I’d have a working computer in the lab, etc.  I have no idea how people can write entire volumes with all the right citations and the most up to date information. Just the one paper was enough for me. Having somewhat irrelevant sources didn’t make it any easier. However, I persevered. My first draft was by far the worst paper I had turned in. My somewhat irrelevant but necessary interview was sent to e via email very last minute. Beggars can’t be choosers but life isn’t always fair so you roll with it.

When I revised my essay, I had had another interview with my professor. I asked more questions and got what I needed plus about two extra hours worth of conversation. A bit of that ended up in the essay. Turns out that her 1965 career wasn’t too important. Having whole paragraphs crossed out was a bit depressing. I had long since thought that I had picked a terrible topic to write about.

Enough of my downfalls, I was particularly proud of some of the work that actually kept people interested. I think the Animoto was one of those projects. From the initial paper, I knew that I at least had Natalie interested. When I made the actual Animoto, I threw in some overly dramatic music, originally for fun but then I kept it as fit perfectly.

All in all, I’d say that this class has made me a much better writer. I enjoyed the Animoto project, the Youtube video not so much. I rather enjoy crossing mediums. I still have a problem remember the word minimum and maximum, often getting them mixed up. That’s just something I’ll just never learn!

59 More Slang Phrases From The 1920s We Should Start Using Again

Yes, it is time to bring this shit back.

Thought Catalog

I learned a couple things from the response to my article on slang phrases from the 1920s. Number first: The Roaring Twenties really did have the coolest vernacular ever. However, I also found out that the internet loves the 1920s as much as I do  — except for the overt racism, ban on alcohol and regressive gender politics, of course.

In terms of vocab, the 20s got all of us beat. For all you 20s junkies, here are 59 more great slang phrases from the decade that keeps on giving. Let’s bring this shit back.

You should like Thought Catalog on Facebook here.

1. Absent Treatment: dancing with a shy person, inexperienced dancer or awkward partner.

2. Air Tight: extremely desirable or attractive. (Note: A “sheik” is an attractive male.)

3. Ameche: a phone. (Also use for telephone: “blower.”)

4. Baby Vamp: a very popular young…

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I Hate Depending on Others

 For my project two, I chose to write about becoming a teacher in Japan. With more than a few setbacks, I still manage to pull through. I was surprised at how many people don’t want to interview for anything. I think it’s partially because of the Oakland post interviewing about how teachers are paid such amount without benefits. That’s none of my business and it’s a real hassle when trying to interview someone on campus. Finding someone was truly the hardest part.

When I first started this paper, I just sat in my chair and stared at my computer screen. What was going to put in this essay?! That’s how a lot of the things I do start, even outside of writing. I enjoy just sitting there, blank faced, thinking about random things that lead into more random things. If there’s technology that can let people view what’s going on in my mind, I sell tickets immediately. Most of what I thought of didn’t make it to the paper. Even after all the research I did. Some of that didn’t make it either.

My first draft terrible. The one person I got to interview with me sent me the reply to my initial questions the day my draft was due. Hence why I don’t like to depend on people.  However, they read through that mess so they’re not all that bad. I had one source missing completely. My sources were not in alphabetical order either. A lot of my sources were web based. I used a bit of job outlook sites provided by my professor but also some that weren’t. There’s company in New Jersey that dedicates itself to finding out information on teaching positions around the world. What it takes to get them and how they compare to other countries. I used their ebook for the information. That was extremely helpful as I don’t have the knowledge to translate entire sites in Japanese to use for a paper. Google Translate can only do so much and the rest, like images, you are your own.

I asked for a lot of help from my professor. Sometimes, they weren’t even real questions. Once I asked about putting the difference between and interpreter and translator in my paper but since it’s about teaching in Japan, there was no real need for it. I also would talk to her about just how hard it was to find people. I had to lower my standards from teaching in Japan to teaching anywhere outside the U.S.

When I revised, I added in much more sources. I had the time to look at some and add them in. In my rough draft, It felt like I was summarizing the interview that I had. When I rewrote my essay, I made the quotes complement the information I was rehashing. I also fixed most if not all of my spelling errors. I was never a strong speller.  Also, since I don’t have Microsoft Word, when I type things incorrectly, there’s no red zig zag line underneath words. I’ve been turning in misspelled papers for the longest!

My central message or idea was, simply put, “How easy is it to get a job as an English teacher in Japan?”. To be honest, it’s as easy as packing up and moving there. Some jobs don’t even require degrees. A bit disheartening since I’m paying to go to college for it but it’s a reverse situation. I’m not getting this degree just so I can teach, I need it for my actual survival! Just on any commute, you’re going to be reading. Which exit do I take on the freeway? How do I get to such and such? Or what if I have a really bad case of diarrhea or I was robbed by two men? Such important things to say that my high school just couldn’t teach me.


For the assignment, I drew the number four. The other person to draw a four was Demetri(os) Agas! That’s his name but from the interview I know him as

because he is just that.

because he is just that.

I began this journey of awkward questioning by asking his hobbies. You can learn a lot about a person just from those. He’s really into lacrosse. Like extremely into lacrosse. A sport more for friends than family, as he put it, but fun and competitive none the less. Not particularly profitable as even the professional ones don’t make that much. Demetri was introduced to the sport his freshman year of high school. A bunch of them banded together and got a lacrosse team assembled. The rest was made up history.

His competitiveness seeped into other things such as his school work. Always wanting to be the first done. I joking referred to Rocky being the best around. Nothing’s ever gonna get him down.  Well, until he gave up on that. But really, we can all relate to that. Being the first done doesn’t always mean everything on that assignment is correct. It’s more of a hassle than anything.

Demtrios grew up in Romeo. A place where everyone knows everything about everyone else. He had no lame jokes about Romeo and Juliet. Don’t worry I got it covered! He described himself as wilder(?) when he was younger, which I couldn’t believe.  He vaguely told me that he did a lot of stupid stuff, stuff he wouldn’t go into detail about. As far as the imagination goes, go nuts.  Once again, don’t worry, I got that covered.

His favorite movie is 300 because he’s Greek. That’s not a joke, that’s what he told me. Seriously. He then said he likes most if not all Greek movies. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, he loves it. Other Greek movies not listed, he’s probably seen them all and memorized each line. Greek is his genre. IT’S HIS LIFE!

Amanda’s lame rendition of Demetri(os)’ wild side, with a mixture of true elements:

Being extremely Greek, Demetri(os) went around on an extended B and E adventure in Romeo. He stole Greek themed objects for his love, aptly named Juliet. He built her an Acropolis out of Legos, gave her Greek yogurt, and even went out of his way to immortalize her beauty in a statue made of starburst. Other shenanigans.

Truthfully said, he is undecided about his major. He has thought about architecture, hence the Lego quip. Demetri chose Oakland as it was close but not too far away.  If he hadn’t, how would he be able to read a ramshackle interview conducted by a sick person? After all, his SpongeBob collection at home is only thirty minutes away.

I asked him, “What is one adjective that would describe you?”

He gave me, “Extraordinary!”

What I got from it was GREEK! So with the super fun times that MS Paint can create, I present to you a combination of the two.

Extraordinarily Greek

Extraordinarily Greek

Author’s Note: I’m not being mean, he gave me permission to edit these pictures. Also, that cape was such a pain to draw using a mouse. I made sure to get the number of stripes right. I also dub him Captian Greek from now on. Please get this as a cape and wear it to class!