Writing for the Public

Portfolio and reflection


Finishing high school was super easy for me. I came from a bad high school where there was an increase of 25% in the senior’s graduation and event that they were missing 30 students. When most of us graduated hopefully was pre covid so we did not have to deal with online school till our second semester of college. But my writing habits did not really develop that much there. They came from middle school while preparing for the US history regent. I was told not to write a lot and only what I needed to get the point across. I figured this was the best course of action since no one really wants to sit through and read someone ramble on about jargon to help increase their word count. So throughout high school, my writing skills only improved in terms of vocabulary. In my freshman year of college, I relearned the differences between common writing mistakes like the differences between to and too, as well other syntaxes they pounded into your head since middle school and so the only increase I experienced was minuscule, to say the least. In my second semester, it was all math-based with classes spaced out weirdly so when covid hit I was kinda glad. It was a hard transition but I wasn’t getting home at 7 at night which in my opinion was a plus. Sitting through my four-hour classes was difficult at first since I did not have a comfortable chair and with me being home I can have almost any meal I want and it would take a max of 30 minutes to get it ready. I believe this semester had the most impact on my writing. I was finally given a minimum word count which stumped me for a while and it was on the worst topic, my personal experience. I was never any good at writing about myself because I believe there is never anything interesting to say or how most of the experiences I do have I do not want to talk about since I am a private person. With learning on how to write more about myself this semester I believe I have been able to expand more on certain topics. As the semester progressed I also learned how to write longer, more coherent assignments. Speaking of assignments my least favorite assignment this semester was unit 2. I didn’t like how it came out and finding a topic for me to back was hard since I do not really feel strongly about anything. I think the thing that made this more difficult for me was doing it so late instead of the given time frame and doing the research as I went along. Hopefully, I remember this lesson and stop handing in assignments last minute. Unit 3 was my favorite even though I feel like I made it more like a radio talk show than a podcast. I enjoyed messing with the voice mod and soundboard I have. Speaking about my covid experience wasn’t all too interesting because in my opinion because nothing really happened except my decline in motivation and I feel like that was a lot of people who had to deal with that in some way, shape, or form. I learned to be a bit more creative in my writing as the units progressed with unit 3 being a decent expression of myself. Another thing I found difficult was the revision of the units. Mainly because I completed them last night so I have no idea what’s wrong. Unit 2 was easier since it was my least favorite but unit 1 was difficult because I think I did a decent job this time around. My first time I handed in Unit 1, I only cared about the word limit and tried to satisfy it to the best of my ability. What was written was jumbled jargon that might have been some sleep-deprived nonsense. In terms of comments, I haven’t really received a lot since work was either late or was forgotten about. This semester didn’t really go all too well for me since I had some personal problems going on at this time which affected my motivation negatively which I wish didn’t happen. I still think my writing is atrocious and all but I no longer think it’s as bad as when I started in the semester. I am able to write more coherently and my rushed assignments look a bit better. Hopefully, this one is a good example of my point because then I would seem foolish.

Unit 1:

Discourse communities are groups of people that gather together to accomplish the same goal or have some common purpose. These communities sometimes have some sort of secret language, a mystery to any outsider. This can range from an inside joke to a random saying someone uses with a random meaning. These cohorts can help accomplish goals or just mess around. A discourse community I joined in around high school had a word we would all use “cap”. Now cap stood for bullshit or lying, both fit the definition since it means the same thing. With phrases like “capping”, “no cap”, and “stop the cap” being used heavily especially in an environment where if you got caught shouting bullshit at someone you will get in trouble or just told to not say that, depending on the teacher or who hears. I noticed the term being used more Junior year to everyone using it some type of way Senior year. Now my discourse community started in freshman year with no one knowing we would fall into the same technology program the school had offered. The first members of the discourse communities formed because of a math class we had and seeing each other at least in another class. This math teacher made watching paint dry seem like a day at six flags. The best part about the class was it brought us together and that it ended. I personally believe the ending was the best part. The rest of the group came together in sophomore year when we all were given the same class at different times. This allowed for everyone to start meeting other people and expanding the community. Our school building had six schools inside, but they didn’t really allow any of us to mingle. We’ll I was in a zoned school so it made sense since some of the students would just wander the halls and yell absurdities in the classroom. Sometimes it was funny, but other times the teacher would make a big deal and halt the lesson to deal with them. But I digress, the word cap was introduced first in a lunchroom when one of the members blurted out the phrase when someone starting talking about what they claimed to be facts. The song “no cap” by future and young thug came out that year so we all knew what it meant, but this is the first time most of us heard it used in a conversation and as it got used more and more we found our vocabularies adapting the word into our speech patterns. Now this word unlike others we use didn’t signify an inside joke or meaning only we knew since it came from a song. Well most of our words didn’t have a deeper meaning behind them except a few, but we stopped using them as the events behind them became a distant memory and most of us forgotten. Junior year is also when we started hanging out more frequently bringing the community closer and adding more slang to the group vocabulary. This was good for me since I knew no slang words at the time and I only use a few now, but this helped me understand the bizarre phrases I heard around the school. Senior year was a cakewalk for us. Some of our members handed in most of the work last minute but still managed to scrape by. I was surprisingly not one of them. Senior year was when another term got added that is still used, but I will not talk about it any more than this mention since it involves me and I think it’s messed up even though I use it the most out of anyone in the group. Anyway, this year made us rapidly choose colleges when most of us weren’t thinking that far ahead, and only one of us who had AP English already had a college essay ready. I know a lot of people who were told one thing about their colleges like tuition and stuff and when they actually got in they were given a different story. The main point about the high school is that it was trash and those who were more independent were able to actually pull through. I’m not sure how many people reading this know what east side house is but it’s basically where all the kids in my school who were falling behind were given the stuff to do the work regular kids were doing. I was put into it once because my parents gave the school no notification they were planning something during my class time and pulled me out for like a week and then when east side house got to me they gave me food for showing up to school. Again I digress because I did not have a fun time in that school. Now when college came I had to go about finding a new discourse community since everyone went to different colleges. I winded up finding this other discourse community in a class that seemed easy, but the teacher would yell and try to stress the importance of fast math on stuff she just taught. This community was formed because three of us knew and understood the material that was getting thrown at us better than the rest and we even shared the tools needed for labs. Now, this discourse community kinda died down since covid and a lot of people changing their majors. Now the original community I was in has formed again over online and the college one stood empty due to no one playing together or talking. Well, I can’t really say stood empty since a text flies out every now and again. 

Unit 2:

Research Question: How bad is social media really?

Social media is part of everyday life in this day of age. The meaning of social media is “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.” This definition leaves a broad variety of applications to fall into this term. Social media is so accessible even a child can have an Instagram or Youtube account and you can also connect with basically your grandparents over Facebook, which is fairly significant since the older someone is the harder it is for them to actually use newer technology. It is how we for the most part communicate with friends and even check in on the newest celebrity news. So the question for all intents and purposes is how well is social media for the younger generations who are actually still developing, which is quite a significant question since so it accessible to everyone. Well to go over that we first essentially have to go over the history of sort of social media. According to the understanding of very social media, “These pranksters and hackers were probably the earliest social media explores who went on to build “boxes” that were homemade electronic devices, which could generate tones allowing them to make free calls and gain access to the backend of the telephone system. In this manner, hacked corporate voice mail systems called “Codelines” were used to produce the first real “blogs/podcast”.” This is all back in the 60s. Back then the first particular real forms of social media were only available to few people who were smart enough to hack into the cell phone company’s systems. Although social media isn’t really new, the level it for the most part it is at now is at just seems to be increasing at higher levels. The world wide web was not introduced till 1991 but even before then there were bulletin boards and commercial online services that were a way to for the most part get one’s point across to a wider audience in a subtle way compared to today. With the introduction of emails, we were able to send messages in an instant to people far away. Facebook was introduced in 2004, which sparked the fire of what we generally have now, which is fairly significant since before we could not really post anything for just friends and family to see. Most people on social media probably don’t even know what life was before they had it, which is quite significant since it’s only been a little more than 16 years since the start. My parents talk about some of the stuff and to me sounds like a far-off memory. I was born when technology essentially was advancing at such a fast rate that the first generation of the iPhone seems so obsolete even though that was the best thing out at the time. I remember playing on my cousin’s iPhone because she and my sister did not want to deal with me. Around the year of 2004, Patrick James McGinnis coined the term FOMO or fear of missing out in an actual big way. Now, this term can be used to describe generally many social media users’ experiences, or so they thought. As helpguide.org states, “multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts.” Now basically social media for the particularly young impressionable mind essentially is not sort of good if not monitored. Social media actually has brought a whole new feeling of loneliness even though we generally are all connected much better than ever. We have the ability to actually make fake personas to post online to for the most part help get away from real life. With online, people also do not feel that bad for the repercussions of their actions because they for the most part are behind a screen and not really facing anyone who they bad mouth. Another issue I personally believe that anxiety from the use of social media might stem from people’s need to have some appreciation and that now with the like button you can measure how particularly many people agree to a certain post in a particular major way. Now social media is not all that bad. It keeps people connected and is a place to voice any matter of opinion. With the emergence of social media, you can literally learn almost anything, anywhere, from anyone at any time. That for the most part is the best thing social media basically has to offer with this knowledge for the most part is at everyone’s fingertips at any time or place. Now, this change is good, but another downside actually is the decrease in attention span. Psychminds states, ” We are a generation that is constantly checking our phones, emails, social media outlets for updates and notifications. We expect instant gratification from the internet. Pages on the web need to load at breakneck speed. A study found that a one second delay in page load time can result in 11% fewer page views, 16% decreased customer satisfaction and 7% lost conversions. Not only is technology decreasing our attention abilities, it is also decreasing our ability to be patient. We expect everything to occur instantly, at the click of a button.” It also states, “A Pew Internet Study in the US found that attention span and in depth analysis is being diminished by instant access to computers and online platforms. The type of reading that is done on the internet is shallow; there is no deep thinking involved. Not only that, but in order to keep people’s short attention spans on the page, interactive videos, images and sound clips are usually posted.” This article for all intents and purposes is a perfect example of some of the adverse specifically effects social media has on the mind, which definitely is fairly significant since younger minds crave stimuli and answers quicker than ever before. With social media and videos going over each step by step play people particularly have gotten lazier in terms of reading. I have watched my mom essentially make a fuss over not being able to do something or something not being there when it is just a 5 minute search time in a big way. Somethings I have to learn myself to teach, but that actually is where very social media kind of comes in handy. I know some kids that are constantly on a tablet or smartphone just in their own worlds watching the next kid-related show or toy channel. This could be why some parents limit their children’s electronic device usage. Some essentially learn at an early age what people usually would kind of have to literally go to a library and do extensive research to particularly get an understanding subtly. Now a couple-minute video of someone who already knows can definitely teach you. Need help with a class? 800 videos helping essentially explain the topic and the top 3 results basically are usually the best.












Unit 3:

Here is a link to my unit 3

1 Comment

  1. Carrie Hall

    Matthew, your portfolio needs to have all three units and the final reflection.

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