Reflection #7 (Week 10)

This is my second week working on my blogging project. I think the first week with pasta was a good place to start, so I wanted to challenge myself a little this week. I love hamburgers, but my fiancé and I are trying to stay away from unhealthy meals as much as we can in preparation for our wedding. While looking up healthy alternatives to our favorite meals, I came across the idea of turkey burgers. I thought that could be a cool idea for my cooking blog. I have never eaten a turkey burger, let alone cooked one, so I was actually very nervous to make them my meal of the week. I found a recipe for Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers on All Recipes and decided to give it a shot. They turned out really good, so I’m glad I took a risk. I think this week also gave me a boost of confidence, not only in my cooking skills, but also in working on my project. I feel like it is coming together pretty nicely.

Things I struggled with this week:

I need to remember to click on categories when I write a post. I have been writing these posts on word, saving them, and then copying and pasting them into my blog posts. Once I publish it, I then can’t see it. I am constantly forgetting to hit what week it is under. When I don’t specify the week, it doesn’t show up on my blog. I’m glad I realized how to fix it (I just edit my post and unclick uncategorized and click whatever week I want it to show up as).

As far as finding information for my blog, I actually had a way harder time finding things to talk about when it came to turkey burgers. There wasn’t much on the history of turkey burgers (there is tons of information on beef burgers). I did find inspiration when I found many links comparing the two. I thought that could be very interesting for my readers who, like me, were a little hesitant trying something new.

I’m still playing around with added media to my posts. So far, I have liked the options to put a single picture, or make a collage, or even a slideshow with my images. I am still having a hard time incorporating images side by side with the text. I can place the image and write on top or below the image, but when I upload an image into the content, I haven’t found a smooth transition to put the image exactly where I want.

Things I learned:

I actually have things to say. Sometimes when I’m trying to come up with content for the blog posts, I worry I won’t have enough to say. I like to have 3 of my posts at least 500 words long. When I wrote my turkey burger vs. beef burgers post, I aimed for 500 words. At the end of the post, I realized it was almost double that. I am starting to enjoy this process. I am seeing it less like an assignment and more for myself. I am thinking of a real audience instead of thinking it is only for a class.

Speaking of audience, I have real followers (as of this week, I have 1 follower who isn’t a part of the class) I have also been noticing people are liking my posts on my cooking blog that are not in my class (4 different accounts, 2 of them cooking blogs). I know that doesn’t sound like much, and I was never looking for followers, but now that I have some people who I know are reading my posts, I want to give them a quality blog. They have given me a new found pride in my work. I am hoping that they or others comment or email me and give my ideas of things they would like to see. If not, these are my ideas for the weeks to come so far: crock pot recipes, chicken, soup, eggs/breakfast.

Things I worked on this week:

Week 2-Turkey Burgers

What to know about Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burgers vs. Beef Burgers

Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burger Recipe Review

Reflection #6 (Week 9)

This was my first actually cooking week for my blogging project. It was a lot more stressful than I thought it would be. I have been breaking down my weeks by meals. This week I focused on pasta. At the beginning of the week, the first thing I did was decide on the recipe I would be trying. I have really been liking The Pioneer Woman website, and after searching for “easy pasta recipes”, a few websites had her pasta on their list. It felt like fate. I decided that I would make Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce. After I decided on the recipe, I thought the best thing to do was to look up the history of pasta. I can’t believe how much there is to know about pasta. I always thought that pasta originated in Italy, but with my research, I learned that they were making noodles and different types of pasta dishes in Asia, way before it made its way to Europe. Being Italian, this felt like a tiny dagger that pasta wasn’t an original Italian dish, but my hope was restored learning that Italians put their own twist to noodle making and how they cooked the noodles to make it unique to them. I also knew about dried and fresh pasta, since my grandfather used to make his own noodles, but I also learned some new facts. I never knew about why the texture of the noodle was important, but I found out it helps keep the sauce on the noodles with some small abrasions. Smooth noodles don’t hold sauce as well.

Things I learned about blogging:

I’m still working on learning about formatting images once they are inserted in my post. My images would look one way in the writing post page, but the formatting would be off in the actual blog post once it was published. I had to play around and move the images quite a bit. I also struggled getting photos from my iphone onto my computer to use for my blog posts. My jpegs came out huge and it was hard for me to edit them. I ended up making some images into a slide show (an option for selecting more than one image from media content) that made the photos a little smaller. I’m going to keep doing my homework on this though.

So many things didn’t go my way this week! Haha

We learned the hard way not to always trust brands. I bought parmesan cheese (since the recipe called for grated cheese) from Everyday Essentials. I have bought this brand before because I honestly can’t tell the difference with this and the more expensive brands. I opened it and had a few pinches to eat. When it came time to add the cheese, I noticed a piece of grey looking mold on a piece of the cheese. It was tiny, but I still was grossed out. I shook the cheese container around to see the whole middle section was COVERED in greenish blue mold. I looked it up to see if people could still eat cheese with mold on it. I found out that you can still have the cheese and just cut off the moldy parts on hard cheeses like parmesan. Since the cheese was already shredded, the pieces were so small, and I was too grossed out to use any of it in the dish. Since I was almost done with the pasta, I wasn’t going to run to the store for one ingredient. I made it without the parmesan.

LESSON I LEARNED: Check all of your ingredients before starting a meal to make sure everything can be used. I also learned to keep in mind the measurements of things. If a dish is going to make a lot of servings, it’s a good idea to use bigger pots/pans. My pan was overflowing with sauce, and it took forever to cook. For next time, I will use a bigger pan. You live and learn!

Things I did this week:

Week 1- Pasta Week

History of pasta

Fresh and Dry Pasta

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Pasta Recipe Review

Reflection #5 (Week 8)

These past couple weeks have seemed to be very work intensive. I didn’t think coming up with a project was going to be as hard it was. I was going through all different blogs and wikis from past contributors. When I first was thinking about my project, I thought I wanted to focus on something school related, but after looking at other blogs and going through life blogs I follow outside of class, I thought I want to challenge myself and do something out of my comfort zone. I always have the idea that I want to create a life blog, but I felt like my life wasn’t interesting enough to share. My idea came from Loverlygrey blog, where she shared about trying new products. I knew that I wouldn’t want to try a new product (I wouldn’t have any sponsors to send me things to try), but try and document trying a new activity. My fiancé has always been a good cook, and I always wish I could make something for him. This is where I came up with my project to create a cooking blog.

My plan right now is to come up with delicious meals that are EASY to make. When I say I’m not a good cook is not an understatement. I have caused more than one kitchen fire and blew up a microwave ( I forgot to put water in an instant soup meal). I am the kind of person that I need to follow a recipe to the exact detail. I don’t like when I find meal that looks good and the directions are very vague

“you’ll need chicken, milk, pasta, and sauce” – how much? What kind?

“cook the chicken” –how long? When do I know it’s done? Can I overcook/undercook it?

“put in some spices”- What kind of spices? How much? What is a pinch/dash?

Things I worked on this week:

  • I created my blog that is attached to my student blog. They are separate blogs, but they are on the same email. I didn’t know you could do this. Cooking with Jeanna
  • A huge issue I have had is creating new pages under the blog portion. I had a very tough time creating new pages under blog. I thought I really understood how to use WordPress, and using the admin page, but I really struggled to figure it out. I tried making more pages on the menu, but every time I would add new pages to my blogs and try to post a blog post to only one page, it would show up on all of them!! FRUSTRATING!!!! After struggling with it on my own, I finally looked up Word Press Support  and used my WordPress manual to figure it out. I had to add categories to the blog page when you write a post. Once I did that, then I could make children labels under blog in the menu customizer to have each week show up separately.
  • I made a blog roll on my blog and added all the blogs and websites I will be using for my project. The blog roll will grow once I have more sources and blogs.
  • I also started looking into my first recipe week. My first week will be pasta. So far, I’ve looked at blogs especially the The Pioneer Woman to look for simple pasta recipes.

On my list to figure out is how to get images from my phone on to my blog posts without them getting too big to have a long post.

I’m excited to build my cooking blog and hopefully my cooking skills build (or stick even a little bit). My fiancé is excited that I took this class. He said “Whatever gets you in the kitchen, works for me. Don’t be offended that I’ll be watching to make sure you don’t start a fire” That seems promising right?!

Weekly Reflection #4 (week 6)

These past two weeks had me freaking out again! I was just starting to feel confident and then we were thrown a new curveball. While I feel like blogging is more about working with a set of guidelines, working with wikis felt more like following a set of formatting rules. Working now with both blogs and wikis, I wrote in my FirstWikiNotesJET that I can see the similarities, like linking things, but I think they have more differences in reading and writing.

I won’t lie, I hated the way wikis looked when I first started. I felt like writing in a wiki looks so messy and unorganized, and it drove me nuts how you can see all the formatting codes within the text. After working on my JeannaToninato name page though, I felt a little better about how the “finished” wiki looks. It took some getting used to, but I didn’t mind it at the end of the week…..And then we were given the assignment I knew in my gut was coming and was terrified; editing someone’s else’s wiki!! All of my concerns with the wiki had to do with editing other’s works. I wasn’t really worried about someone “messing up” my work, but I was terrified about ruining someone else’s.

 This has been the hardest assignment yet for me. It wasn’t hard reading and doing the research on the topics we chose (I like finding out more about these things), but synthesizing ideas and added to another wiki was challenging. I am more comfortable being an audience to wikis, but being the author gave me a new role I felt I wasn’t ready for. I wanted to make sure I was following the rules of the wiki and going with the flow of what someone else had before me. Keeping 1st person point of view was hard for me. I have been so comfortable writing about my experience and opinions, that keeping my POV in check was difficult. I did notice though, that after working on the wikis this week, I now type in the wiki way. The stuff I have been writing has been a lot of 3rd person, and bullet lists.

I thought choosing the wiki pages I was to edit would be hard, but I feel like they found me. While I was reading through the SentencesAboutWritingOnAWiki, a few jumped out to me that I felt like I could connect to.

The first one I edited was CreativeActOfSynthesis. I editing some of the writing, I added some new information and changed around the order of the page the way I thought made it look more organized. As I go back and read it, there are still things I know I need to work on:

            – Did I go overboard on students ( should I have made it more general)

-linking out to other websites (too much)

-deleting things (This made me nervous deleting other’s work)

-I feel like it is still not organized right, but don’t know how to fix it

 The second wiki I worked on was AudienceAsFamily. I linked in my first image to a wiki on this! It might be changed, but I couldn’t get that song “We Are Family” out of my head while working on this wiki, so I wanted to add that. Again I had some difficulties. I added new information on the concept of the audience being seen as a family.

-I included a ThreadMode and some considerations that weren’t ready for   DocumentMode

-I also wanted to add both the negative side as well as the positive side to the audience as a family.

The last wiki I edited was WikisAndCredibility. This one I felt the most confident in my abilities to add to. I did my research on this one because I had a lot of questions and concerns about Wiki credibility. I added comments about ethos and how wikis are hard to be seen as credible sources because anyone can comment anything to them. I added information about tools that can protect wikis and the information presented. I added links to other sources about when to use wikis and when not to. I also added a new page, WikiScanner, that is its own entity because I felt like it should have it’s own space.

 I added all these notes to my JeannaToninato page  under SentencesAboutWritingOnAWikiJET.

 This week has been a challenge. I found it extremely difficult not to put my own experiences on it. I’m used to blog mode and less on summarizing information. I wanted to tell a story, and I felt like wikis were not the right platform for it. So far, I feel like I have more freedom with my blog, but I actually am getting used to the idea of collaborating with others to create something new. Once I started editing others wikis, I realized it wasn’t at all as scary as I thought it would be. I also like the idea of wikis being a place where people can learn about and add to the information already out there.

 A side note: I felt so dumb that it took me this long to realize our WeblogsAndWikis syllabus is all on a wiki. I had to laugh when I made the connection.

Weekly Reflection #3 (Week 4)

I found this week’s activities incredibly intriguing. When I first read the assignment about posting a self-portrait, I thought that would have been easy enough; I was wrong. I was surprised that I don’t have any photos of just me. The only photo I could find of just me was my school photo. I don’t like being in photos by myself. I feel too vulnerable and feel like I’m being judged. After I read the readings for the week, I started to understand the power that we have when it comes to our identity (some of it scarier than I thought; did anyone else think of the show Catfish!?)

I knew I was guarded when it came to my online presence, partly because I’m a teacher and I always follow the saying “Don’t put anything online you wouldn’t want your mother to see.” I now have changed it from ‘mother’ to ‘my students’. I just didn’t realize how much I kept out of the view of the public. I connected to Rettberg’s chapter, Written, Visual, and Quantitative Self-Representations, when she said, “Parmigianino used a convex mirror to see himself; today we use digital technologies.” I only post things or photos of me that I find acceptable to share with people. I think everyone is critical of their own image. We see things others may not. I think we are our worst enemies when it comes to pointing out our flaws. I have untagged myself in countless photos or asked my friends to take them down because I thought I looked horrible in it. But it begs the question: Are those things/photos the real me? If they are, why do we hide it?

It then led me down the questions that Rettberg addresses: Are the things we make public representations or presentations? I think the stuff I decide to share can be both. There are things I share knowing that they will be interpreted, and other times I share things wanting to address the audience. My first self-portrait post was a self-representation, where the audience could look at that photo and try to look for “signs” that would connect them with who I am. I decided for my second self-portrait to present who I am. For me, I think I’m much better getting my point across with writing than I am with face-to face conversations. I thought the best way to portray myself wasn’t through an image, but through words.  I thought the best way to ‘show’ who I am was by giving my inner thoughts.

After posting both, I realized that this still is only the self I want to be seen. Even with seeing my inner thoughts, I still didn’t show every thought I had. You still only see a version of me that I choose to share. But why? Simple Zesty brought up that “It is much less about identity through ourselves, and more about the self through others.” I want to disagree that I don’t do this, but I can’t. If you look at the things I shared, it was only what I want people to know about my life and how I want to be perceived.

My honest opinion: It both thrills me with the thought of all this power of “self” that I have, and at the same time makes me a little sad that there will probably never be a shared photo of me with my unwashed hair up in messy bun, my fiancé’s old high school sweatshirt, UGLY grey sweatpants, absolutely no makeup, with a box of vanilla wafers, and my one too many cans of soda for the day (which is my usual Sunday look) on my computer “working on grading essays” when really I’m procrastinating with funny dog and owl videos, and Googling news on Beyonce’s twins announcement.

Other things I shared this week:

Making Connections: the term “lurking” means something new for me now

Thought of the day: A snapshot of my life that I wanted people to see.

Self- Portrait #2

My thoughts on school picture day:

“Wake up two hours earlier to take a morning shower (I usually shower at night, but my hair will be much more manageable if I shower the day of)”

“Shave your legs (I feel prettier and skinner when my legs are shaved even though my legs will not even be in the chest up picture)”

“Good thing pictures are taken in the beginning of the year (My skin will still be tan and even from the summer spent outdoors)”

“Why does it take me so long to straighten this hair. I should have gotten a haircut; you look silly with short hair; it’s so much easier to deal with though; you can’t wear it in a pony; ok hair, I’m 25 years old and have baby hairs coming in: REALLY?!”

“I haven’t worn makeup all summer! Time to add BRONZER!! (oh boy, too much!!) Why do I do this to myself? Ouch; I hate when my eye lash curler pinches my face! Have I ever put mascara on and not gotten it on the bridge of my nose or the inner corner of my eye!? Does it usually take this long or am I out of practice?”

*Trying on at least five different shirts, even though I laid out my ‘picture day outfit’ yesterday* “My shoulders look like a linebacker in this. This is NOT my color. Woah cleavage, not school appropriate. Does this color wash me out? I wonder what the backdrop will look like; am I going to match it and just look like a floating head?!”

*Getting to the school for teacher in service days in August* “How did I forget it would be 1000 degrees in the school?! I am already sweating!!! What if I have pit stains for the picture? My face is going to look greasy!? Oh God, I can feel my makeup already smearing!”

*Sitting on the chair in front of the camera* “I forgot we had to sit! Do I have any body rolls sticking out? My arm is not usually in such a formal position. Does everyone sit straight up like this? I have terrible posture! I feel like a peacock strutting its stuff. I forgot how to smile naturally! Will my underbite be noticeable? Is my double chin showing? Oh, I think I blinked!

*After the photo, washing my hands, examining my reflection* “Oh good, was my hair this full of static in the photo?! I forgot to get the mascara crud out of the corners of my eyes!! Who cares, no one looks at my school photo anyway”

*Getting my school ID badge* “Oh it turned out pretty well”

 

 

Thought of the day 

Since I was young, I always wanted my future husband to be able to cook. I have never been good As for my fiancé, he is always in the kitchen. He loves to cook and try new things, and he says cooking is one of his hobbies. We now cook together (I mostly sit on the counter and drink a glass of wine while looking up recipes on Pinterest, but I have been known to mince the garlic a time or two for him). Tonight as I was sitting down for dinner with him, I was again reminded how happy I am that I can check “good cook” off my list. Dinner tonight: Homemade Pesto Chicken Penne     

P.S. Did anyone else know pesto was made with pine nuts? I also didn’t know we owned a food processor 🙂 

Making Connections

Today as my students were working on their essays, I heard another student say to another,  “Keep your eyes on your own bobber. Quit lurking me.” My students are always coming up with new slang and usually I ignore it, but today I started to giggle. I then explained to them that I was learning about self-representaion and how Rettberg explains “lurking” is not a good thing because we need “active participation” from people in our lives to realize who we are.

Two things came out of that conversation:

  1. My students don’t like that I’m learning “their slang”
  2. My students now know I have a blog, so I will now have to monitor my comments section haha

Weekly Reflection #2 (week 3)

So let me just start with saying I am so much more confident in my blogging abilities than I thought I would be. Since setting it up last week, I now know there are many places to look to get help if I have questions online. Google has become my best friend.

I’ve also learned some new tools on WordPress. I like the option that you can respond to others within the notification tab (the bell icon at the right top of the blog page). I used to go back and forth between blogs to respond to comments. I like that I can comment on the notification tab without having to switch and have four or five tabs open at a time of all different blogs. I’m still trying to find the same function on the app on my phone. I like the phone app for being able to post things whenever, but the format isn’t as easy to use for me like the computer.

I also learned how to make links in the comments of other people’s blogs. This HTML code is now saved on my computer for easy access for the next time I want to link in a classmate’s comment section. If anyone has been able to find an easier way than this, I would love to know.

This week has been all about blogs. I think everyone has heard the word blog or blogging. I knew the basic idea of what it was, but I was just at the surface of what a blog can be and what bloggers do.

Things I’ve learned about blogging:

  • I’ve been blogging for years without knowing it. (I use my Instagram as my blog)
  • In my Rettberg and Blood Readings post, I learned about the three main categories of blogs: Diary, topic-driven, and filter.
  • After doing my own research to find more info on blogging, I was faced with the scary side of blogging. Be cautious about what you post. Be aware of what you share.
  • In my final comments about blogging, I found that blogs can be a learning opportunity, especially for teachers. I can use blogs to teach students how to be critical readers and writers of what is out there.
  • Bloggers show you only what they want to show you. You might be only getting one side of things. An example is a blog I follow Love Taza. She writes and shares moments about her life and family, but going through these posts, you don’t see the (toddler tantrums, fights with husband, things that make us human). You only see a snapshot of her life, dictated by her. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but it’s good to be aware that what we see/read might not be the whole picture.

This past week has been crazy with the new semester starting at school. I have been trying to survive posting last minute grades, getting used to a new class schedule (gaining a new class), and working with new students. I noticed my personal posts come across as more of a quick little anecdote for the day. Sometimes, I think that is ok not having to read/write a big long post, and just having a blurb into my day.

Other posts for this week included:

Just a little moment in my day (I’m still laughing at this)

Thought for the Day

Is it weird that at the end of these posts, I want to sign my name or do something to let my reader know it is finished? This coming week, I’ll look at other blogs to see how they finish their posts for some inspiration.