1. What was your favorite writing assignment? Why? I enjoyed when we looked at a picture and then had time to write about the picture. This helped me to create one of my favorite pieces that I wrote for this course, and I also used this activity again on my own.
  2. What was  your least favorite writing assignment? Why? Truthfully, I do not think any of them were not useful. the one that was hardest for me was hands down the translation one.
  3. Discuss your reactions to full-group workshops. Would you change them in any way? I enjoyed full group. I had the opportunity to hear so many different pieces written in so many different styles. It honestly helped me to find what I like “best.”
  4. Discuss your reactions to small-group workshops. Would you change them in any way? Small group was also enjoyable. Starting small group even sooner (not replacing big group!) would be enjoyable, at least I would like that.
  5. Did the overall course structure (two portfolios, emphasis on invention before revision, arrangement, delivery) helped your writing practice? Yes. Without this process I would of been lost seeing that I had no previous creative writing experience.
  6. Would you have liked more specific instructions on genre conventions (e.g. poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, etc.) or were you comfortable with the multigenre or genre-less approach to writing? Explain your answer. I think this would of been nice. I did not fully understand all the differences between the genres until about half way thru the sem. when students would eventually cover the differences. (mostly helpful since I lacked experience)
  7. Did you like having the opportunity to negotiate grading criteria? Were you able to fully participate in this process? How would you change it for future classes? It was nice to have a say, though I’m not sure we were helpful, seeing as grading creative writing is a rather tricky process for anyone.
  8. Did keeping a journal and blog help your writing practice? Explain. I enjoyed the journal much more than the blog. The main reason being that I have to do so much work on the computer for my other classes it was nice to be able to hand write something for once, and the blog just reminded me of all my other com. assignments.
  9. What did you use the blog medium for (creative writing, reading response, journaling, etc.)? Mostly journaling.
  10. Discuss my performance as an instructor. Did you find the way the course was conducted satisfactory? Would you have liked the instruction to be different? Explain. I thought your performance was great. I was never afraid of sharing my work due to fear of the grade or though process from others. I guess what I’m saying is it felt like a welcoming environment to read my work.


I often use writing samples from past students as models in my classroom.  Please check one of the boxes and type in your name and today’s date below:

_X_ I give you permission to use writing samples from my English 227 portfolio

__  I do not give you permission to use writing samples from my English 227 portfolio

Print Name:Katie McKenna


Signature:Katie McKenna


I remember a time when opening a door for someone was NOT a big deal. It was a polite action, that was almost expected. Or, when seeing someone drop their books all over the ground, there was a time when someone would take the time to stop and help them pick up their books. This morning I was thanked for simply saying “thank you.” After this occurred I simply smiled and walked away, but soon began to think about this…

All they said was “wow, too bad more people aren’t as polite as you, thanks for saying thank you.” Lets think about this.. to me something is wrong with being thanked for saying thank you. To me that shows that very few people a polite and use manners that were so easily found back in the old days. Of course it was nice to be thanked and told my politeness was appreciated, but that being said, it almost made me sad at the same time. It sure made me wonder…

I gave this some more thought over the weekend, and I can’t say I came up with any other ideas than those we mentioned in class. Creative writing has got to be one of the most difficult courses to grade, for the simple question of what should and should not be graded? We all had different opinions about this, for we all have different opinions in regards to what is most important when writing creatively.

I agree with those who said effort should be a huge part of it, but how does one observe effort? Yes, if the student does all that is asked of them they are putting forth effort, but when it comes to looking at every students portfolio, it gets trickier. I feel the basics should obviously be counted for something.

-requirements (cover letter, at least 7 pieces, and so on)

When grading the actual content of the portfolio, I have mixed feelings. I’m not sure where I stand with the whole grading for grammar. While grammar is important in english courses, in creative writing it kind of sets a limit on the writer. I’ve read some of my classmates work in this course, and proper grammar was not used, but I did not like their work any less. Creativity was also brought up, but again, how does one judge creativity? Two students could of written two different pieces of work about the same subject and they both could be completely different.

I know this is something we will have to discuss again as a class, so until then I’m hoping some new ideas will come to me, because for now I don’t feel very confident with ideas that have been brought up.

though it’s 12:44 on this gloomy sunday afternoon, it is still morning in my head. that’s how all sundays are for me. sundays feel like one longgg morning and then next thing i know i’m going, “shit, it’s monday.” funny because i always seem to think of the song “sunday morning” by maroon 5 whenever it is in fact sunday morning, BUT specifically when it is gloomy JUST like today. perhaps maroon 5 is also on my mind since i am banking on getting tickets to see them when they come here in november. love, love, LOVE.

well random post, and that’s quite alright.

excited for big group this tuesday, and continuing to discuss NSF, which i’m also LOVING by the way.

now back to enjoying this beautiful? i can pretend… sunday morning/afternoon.

unfortunately, i forgot to bring an object to class on tuesday. i want to write about what would have been my object…    had i brought something in, it would of been an interstate 4 sign that is currently in my dorm room. why? interstate 4 is down in florida (1) and two, it goes directly by walt disney world. random? not really if you’re me. first, i want to move to florida SO BAD. for proof read one of my previous blogs creatively titled “florida.” and on one of the many trips i took to florida with my mom, we realized interstate 4 is what we’re always on since we spend most of our time in orlando when visiting the state. we found this odd, since my favorite state is obviously florida, if you did not figure that out by now, epic fail. and two my favorite number is 4. how perfect of a fit. and as i talked about earlier it runs right along walt disney world. what’s so special about wdw?? oh nothing except for the fact that i am in love with it and everything disney. after i graduate spring of 2011 i’m moving down to florida and doing an internship thru walt disney world, cannot wait! and after that comes to an end… my MAIN goal is to get a position with disney cruise line. either as a performer, or children’s counselor. i have many many plans for the future and they all revolve around one thing. FLORIDA 🙂 hence the interstate 4 sign.

This week I’m going to try something. When I have some down time I’m going to find a spot on the quad and just listen to what I hear. I always hear stories about random conversations and activities taking place on the quad, funny thing is I spend a lot of time out there. If I have to read for a class, which is ALL THE TIME, I always go to the quad for being outside just makes it more enjoyable. However, this time when I go on the quad I will just observe. I’ve done this before in different settings. For example, I went to the Coffee House a couple weeks ago and couldn’t help but observe this one group of people. I just found their behavior fascinating. I guess you could say I’m guilty of “people watching.” I think this is something I could implement into this course though. I can write down what I hear, what I see, what I think they might be feeling, and see what I come up with, if anything. So first attempt will take place on the quad!

i honestly don’t know whether to say i do or do not like povel. i’m leaning more towards a yes. it is very unique, and very hard to read at times, but it’s also extremely refreshing. reading her work makes me feel like i should be less conscious about what i write. i feel as if she didn’t have a filter when creating povel, and that is how she was able to make it stand out from other types of work. in class some were discussing how it was annoying to read a book where there was no definite end or lesson if you will. i think it is too soon to tell if there is a definite ending, and that some may be surprised for i feel like as i keep reading i keep understanding more and more of what she is saying.

i was suppose to move to florida when i was in the third grade. obviously it didn’t happen, for i am here, going to college in illinois. i’m so over this state. do you ever feel as though you were meant to be doing the things you are doing just somewhere else? that’s how i feel. if i had moved to florida i still would of graduated high school and gone off to college. i most likely still would have majored in education. i just feel as though the smaller aspects of my life would of been different. i always wonder what if… and for me that is the most annoying feeling in the world. my plan is to move out to florida may of 2011. about a year and a half away. and in my eyes that is a year and a half too long. i’m over illinois, i want a change a scenery. i love my friends to pieces, but it’s time to move on and meet new people from a different background, NOT an illinois background. i feel trapped being in this state. whenever i go on vacation, usually being florida, i feel this sudden relief come over me and feel liberated almost. guess i will have to keep counting down the days for the next year and a half.

After having read 3 pieces of work by fellow classmates, I am amazed as to how much they all differed. And I fear as though I was not blessed with a creative gene. No, I’m trying to be optimistic, and thinking over time this will come easier for me. I’m nervous to pass out my first piece of work in class tomorrow. It is my very first attempt at creative writing. I thought and thought and thought about what to write about. Long and behold, I ended up creating a poem about my inability to come up with something to write about. IRONIC. It’s funny cause at this very moment in time I feel I will both love and dislike this course. I love reading others’ material. I even DO enjoy writing my own stuff, I just feel as though I never ever know what to write about.

  1. Finish this sentence: Creative writing is… a form of writing which in fact has no form. The writer has the ability to create any type of work they desire. (no limitations)
  2. Briefly describe your history or background in reading and writing literary texts leading up to taking this course. I have no experience when it comes to both reading and writing creatively. In high school I was always TOLD what to write about, or at the very least given a topic. I am hoping by taking this class I learn to be more daring and honest with my work.
  3. Are writers born or made? Explain your answer. This is a question where I feel no one knows the real answer. I have a friend who is a brilliant writer and wants to do it as a living. I feel her talent is not something that can be taught, and that she was made to write. However, I also know of people who struggled much like myself but improved greatly over more time and with much practice.
  4. What do you think the writers you admire are like as people? What do you think they do each day? I bet they are very interesting people. Interesting, such a broad word. But people who may see things differently than most. Have different view points than the norm. And I bet they have had numerous experiences throughout their lives. Good, or bad.
  5. What is the purpose of the writer in contemporary society? For me I see it as a way to escape. Not always, for sometimes reading s work can bring us back to a particular reality we may have faced at one point or another. But more often then not I see it as an escape.