A Semester in Review: Emily


I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be a CUPID Associate, again, this past semester. As before, this position has given me so much in a year. I’ve been able to develop my skills as a writer, professional, and rhetorician. I am looking forward to entering the professional world this summer and applying the skills I have learned in CUPID to the job. By refining the skills I already had and also developing new ones, I think (hope) I will be an asset. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Rachel, Paige, and RPR this semester, and I think we did a lot of great work.

It was great being able to use what I had learned first semester and put it into practice this semester. First semester, I was a little more hesitant on what work I published on the blog, what ideas I presented, and how to be an asset to the other Associates and RPR. This semester, however, I felt that I had a grasp on the voice of the blog and audience I was writing and appealing to. I felt that last semester, I struggled with finding content to post and would be scouring blogs, websites, and Twitter to find something worthy of posting. But this semester, I felt that it was easier to find content and finish three blogs in one sitting, which was great! The only issue I faced with this was scheduling the posts. For some reason, WordPress disliked me and refused to post when I schedule my blogs to post! But, by the end of the semester, I started double-checking to see if my blogs posted, and eventually got the hang of scheduling posts. I also hope that I was able to assist the other Associates by answering questions and relieving some stress when it came to blog posts and workshop presentations.

workshopOne of the main tasks I focused on over the semester was implementing the workshop Christine, Maggie, and I created in the fall. We had decided, along with RPR, that implementing workshops on Digication and WordPress would help increase English student’s knowledge of resources in the CUPID suite and around campus. The workshops would allow the Associates to increase their knowledge of the materials and present them to an audience that could benefit by developing new skills. Personally, I think Digication and WordPress are great resources for document organization and portfolio creation. I have used both in various classes and have found that, though they can present some difficulties with organization, each has great attributes that allows each student to make it their own.

For the first workshop on Digication, we had three people in attendance. Even though we were hopeful that the classroom would be full of eager English majors, we adapted and were able to give more attention to the participants. Though it would have been nice to have more people at the workshop, I think the more personalized and smaller one-on-one help was more beneficial to the attendants. That way, each Associate could really focus their efforts on one individual instead of running around the classroom trying to help 20 people with 20 different questions.

If Associates in the future are interested in hosting another workshop, they may consider opening up to all majors rather than just focusing on English. This would allow the Professional Writing and Rhetoric students to “get the word out” on all the applicable strategies and skills we have gain through class work and projects.

Our second workshop on WordPress brought in four people. Again, with attendance low the Associates were able to give more one-on-one attention and help with more in depth issues rather than just page design. Because we decided to do the workshops on Digication and WordPress, I was forced to teach myself how to use the software by playing around, watching videos, and reading blogs. I think this was another task that I was able to accomplish over the semester. Since I have worked with Digication in almost all of my PWR classes, I felt very comfortable answering questions about changing CSS code, organizing pages and sections, writing reflections, etc. However, I had only used WordPress briefly in one of my classes and did not feel nearly as comfortable with that software. So, I was determined to learn how it worked and how I could manipulate the colors and design more than I could in Digication. I think this is a skill that is good to have for the future. By being able to go out on my own and look for answers to questions, is something that will definitely benefit me later in life.

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Finally, the last thing we worked on this semester was the proposal for adding more multimedia,specifically video, to the blog next year. Throughout this semester we tried thinking of things to record and came up with some pretty good ideas and we are hopeful that these videos will help reach larger audience and engage our readers. Also, by creating a more versatile site, the Associates will be able to gain new skills and teach others who come into lab asking how to record and edit video.

Rachel, Paige, RPR, and I all agreed that blogs could be daunting, especially if there is just a large block of text thrown at the reader. We have been trying to incorporate visuals, slideshows, and galleries to make posts more appealing, but we realize that video will definitely take our blog to the “next level.” I also think that, if the video production goes well, the CUPID studio may be able to purchase Mac software, which would allow for easier video editing and skills to be developed for the professional world. It is important for students to continue to develop skills so that they can continue to be dynamic professional writers and adapt to the viral world.

Again, I am so thankful and grateful for the opportunity to be a CUPID Associate again this semester. This course has taught me so much about blogging, working with a team, holding oneself accountable as well as team members, and continuously developing my skills on my own and by asking for help. I am hopeful that the following Associates will implement the videos into the blog and the PWR concentration will eventually become better known outside of the English Department!

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