Reflection 11 (Week 15)

This is my seventh and final week working on my blogging project. Last week, I decided to not focus on a certain kind of dish, but a type of cooking; grilling. I had a lot of fun trying new things on our grill. This week was by far my favorite just for the tasting portion. It wasn’t my favorite learning the history of dessert and researching, but I liked the actual making of the desserts. I have always said that I’m a better baker than I am a cook. My fiancé would have to agree with that. He loves when I make cookies or homemade brownies.

THINGS I STRUGGLED WITH THIS WEEK:

I do want to talk a little about last week as well since we didn’t have a reflection. Last week felt very work intensive. We had to keep up with our project for the week, as well as do our studio tours. I was actually very excited to check everyone’s blogs and wikis out (I have clicked on their links, but haven’t had time to look in depth). I didn’t realize how hard I found it to review others’ work. It also made me second-guess a few elements in my blog (Do I have an appropriate format? Should I have added this or that to it? Should I have left that out?). I found others’ work so interesting, but I struggled to write the tours. It took me hours thinking and re-working my words to do the assignment correctly. Even after I posted my tours, I didn’t feel as confident in my work that I thought I would. For this week, I have known that my final week would be the dessert week, but after the work intensive week last week, I felt a little less motivated than the past weeks. It actually bummed me out that I wasn’t as energized, especially being the last week I still enjoyed making the recipes, and documenting my process, but the write-ups took more time than usual. I think a big part of my lack of energy was my fiancé and I brought our new puppy home this week so we have been exhausted with him.

THINGS I LEARNED:

A good thing that I think came out of last week’s studio tours was when I was comparing my project to others, I realized how truly proud I am of my project. I obviously like to get good grades, and like my work to be up well done, but I have taken a whole new pride in my work for this blog. It doesn’t feel like another assignment to do for a class, it has become something I enjoy doing. I have always liked to write, but I never really found something I was passionate about writing about. I have truly enjoyed writing my blog every week, and get very excited when people I don’t know comment or like my blogs. I feel like people are interested in what I have to say. This week also taught me that I need to give myself more credit in my abilities, both in blogging and in cooking. For the homemade brownies, I had the recipe out, but I didn’t even look at it to make them. I have made them so many times, that I’m confident in my abilities to “just do it”. I also have learned that something might make sense in my mind, but I have to explain it a different way in the blog for others to understand. I will re-read my blog posts before I post them and most times, I have to fix a direction because it is either too vague or it doesn’t make sense. I have learned a lot of my style of writing during this project.

THINGS I WORKED ON THIS WEEK:

Week 7-Dessert

Facts about Dessert

Homemade Chocolate Brownies

Philadelphia 3-Step Cheesecake

Philadelphia 3- Step Cheesecake review

Last Week:

Week 6- Grilling

Grilling 101

Grilled Cheeseburgers and Corn on the Cob

Grilled Mexican Lime Chicken

Grilled Mexican Lime Chicken Review

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Studio Tours

Tour #1

JKaufenberg: Interactive Middle School Novel Studies: Creating communication link between parents, teachers, and students

She says at the school she teaches at, all the students have ipads, access to internet and course materials online, so her project was testing the effectiveness of using social media in the classroom.

She used several media platforms for her project. She used twitter to share facts about and articles that dealt with different aspects of the reading. She also tweeted and linked her #interactivenovelstudy to twitter so teachers, parents and students could have several ways to get to her blog.

For safety concerns both by parents and schools, She used kidblog.org to create a blog for her students to use for their novel study. From the website, the teacher can create a private blog by using a class code that only her students and their parent can access to provide a safe space for students to work and connect. She also created a remind account where teachers can connect with both parents and students from anywhere where she can post reminders and things for her students to do and communicate faster. It keeps numbers hidden, so it is safe for students to use.

She had to teach her students, not only how to do the assignments but also how to use the new social media. She planned lessons within her unit, to just teach and give students practice using these new social media tools. Many of her reflection posts for the class, explain in depth how her unit got started. She explains what an interactive novel study  is for anyone which is helpful to know what it is before trying to understand how to use one.

She has one post about setting up her interactive novel studies where she goes in depth about how to set up the novel studies using the new blog and twitter media. She also screenshot pictures of the steps to make it easy to create one. She also explains what students will be doing, from daily reading responses, to reading the chapters online, to having a free space where students can comment on what they are thinking while reading.

Things came up and she wasn’t able to follow her project proposal exactly how she had in mind, but things happen, and she had to be flexible in making it work  for her own classroom as well as for the project. She also created categories and tags so you could find either a certain post, or a certain grade novel guide. She had both 7th grade and 8th grade novel guides she created. Since these were real novel guides that she is using, she had all of the information blocked from visitors who are not in the class. I would have liked to see how these were playing out in real time, but I understand for student safety not to let strangers see what the kids are doing.

Tour #2

Tony Lien: Infinite Headphones

His blog is about finding and talking about forgotten music. He creates a more relaxed approach to researching different artists and music. The blog wasn’t created into forcing any type of music on anyone. It was created to let others know what he is into and to show another path into finding “new” or “different” artists and music.

His blog is very simple to use. He has his main home page, his about page, where he explains what his blog is about, contact information, and then he has his blog entries of different kinds of music and artists. For each blog post, he chooses an artist to give information about and includes what the genre of music is. You can click on his music entries to see all of them at once, or he has created a down arrow where you can see just the name of the artist and the genre to just look at one at a time. He has a wide range of genres that he chose for this project (experimental /improvisation/contemporary classical, Canterbury scene/psychedelic/progressive rockcinematic drone)

Each blog post gives some background on the artist and on the genre of music while also adding his personal comments about what he thinks of the artist/genre. He also gives an interesting fact. In his project proposal, he states that he wants to share not only the music, but share a little bit of the life of the artist with others. He then has a recommended listening section where he names the song from the artist. At the end of each post, he also uploaded a Youtube video of the recommended song. This is nice for visitors who can just listen to the song right on the blog without having to open another tab. You can also read through his post on the said artist while listening to it.

I noticed that the links he included were the same color as the rest of the text, so you have to really be looking close to see that they are bolder than the rest of the text. At first glance, it doesn’t look like he has any links, but he does. They range from articleslistening stationreviews to a documentary.

He also included a blog roll that has a few sites to check out that become a place to search for music. One site is a blog created entirely to release cassettes and talk about what kind of music it is. Another cool site he added on his blog roll is Music Map. It is a site where you can type in an artist you like and find other artists who are similar in music you might like.

Tour #3

Blake Jackson: Fitness Tracker

His blog project was connected to his class blog. His project proposal did say that he would have a fitness tracker category on the bottom of his blog, which he does. His blog posts were like diary entries counting the days since he started the project. Each post is labeled what day of the journey he is on since he started. The last entry was day 34, but he doesn’t have 34 entries. Some days he doesn’t post about his fitness day but still keeps track of the days. His blog posts are informal entries where he track his daily nutrition and his fitness plan and lets others know how his journey is going. On Day 1, he started an 8 Week 5K Training Plan which breaks down the weeks into what and how fast you need to run.

He has a previous and next button on his blog posts, so you can read his blog posts in order starting at day one. You don’t have to keep going back to the main page to find the next post so it is nice and easy to follow.

In his daily posts, he shares what he is eating and adding how many calories each meal consists of. Each week, he recaps how the week overall went for him. I think these weekly reflections are good to include because day to day can vary for a lot of reasons, so its’ he’s showing a bigger picture. He breaks the weekly summaries into workouts, runs, diet, and groceries to discuss them separately and how they worked for him. On day 9, he decided to start posting about his day the next morning to give himself more time to reflect on the day before. He also shared his new stretching routine from Youtube and said Youtube could be a helpful resource to find fitness and health related videos.

He shared links to different kinds of foods he was eating as well as a few articles. One thing I was noticing was he talks about his calories he was eating and making sure to try to hit his caloric goal. I thought maybe he could link his resources on how he found what his caloric goal is and how others can find their goal to match their own fitness and health needs.

He stays honest on his fitness journey, which is nice to see. When things don’t go the way he planned, he write about that and explains how he plans to fix it. He also gives himself a cheat meal every so often. He’s being real with his fitness goals and journey.

 

 

 

 

Reflection 10 (Week #13)

This is my fifth week working on my blogging project. Again like last week with cooking chicken, I was used to making eggs every day. My fiancé and I love eggs and from the beginning, I knew I would incorporate an egg meal at some point. I am actually surprised I like eggs so much. Both my parents don’t like eggs (my dad actually gets sick when he ever eats them), so I didn’t eat a lot of eggs growing up. I started making eggs a lot in college because it was cheap, easy to make, and filling to eat. My fiancé claims he ONLY lived on Omelets in college. I think eggs were a really good choice for my blog because they are a simple meal and you can make them so many ways.

THINGS I STRUGGLED WITH THIS WEEK:

Something I struggled with this week was deciding what exactly I was going to make. Every day, I make myself eggs over hard with a little salt and pepper. It is a two-minute meal and probably could have fit in with my cooking blog, but I also want to challenge myself as a cook and find meals that are still easy, but give people a little more variety in their life. I had the same issue last week because the chicken we make every day at home is pretty bland compared to what we made for the blog. I want there to be a balance because I want to get recipes to represent real life beginner cooks, but I also want the recipes to be something people actually want to go home and make. Another thing I’m already struggling with is finding ideas of what I want to make for next week. I usually have a pretty good idea by the weekend before, and my fiancé and I do all our grocery shopping on Sunday (the work week gets way too crazy to sit down and meal prep and find recipes and still go to the store). My original plan was to make some kind of soup, but since it has been unseasonably warm out for April, the last thing I want to cook and my fiancé wants to eat is hot soup. I have a few ideas, but we’ll see what happens.

THINGS I LEARNED:

I have been practicing with editing my photos some more this week. A coworker told me you could edit your photos on Photoshop software before uploading the photos to the blog media content. I am not sure if I’m ready for that step yet. I don’t want my photos to be too edited. Like my Instagram, I don’t use that many filters and I thought, especially for a beginner cooking blog, I want it to look like how I see it in person, the real life cooking for beginners. Another thing I have learned this week came from my research on eggs. I never knew what labels meant (nor did I ever take the time to look). I learned this week that if your eggs say “no hormones added” that is just a way to sell you more expensive eggs when ALL eggs can’t have hormones added according to FDA guidelines. I also don’t like when things are labeled “organic”. What does that mean? Well, in the eggs case, it doesn’t mean anything. Eggs aren’t organic. It just means the chickens were only fed with ingredients that don’t have any pesticides. I know I say this every week, but I really am learning more than I ever thought I would and have enjoyed learning.

THINGS I WORKED ON THIS WEEK:

Week 5-Eggs

Everything to Know about Eggs

The Basic French Omelette

The Basic French Omelette Recipe Review

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Italian Egg Bake

Reflection 9 (week 12)

This is my fourth week working on my blogging project. I got really into the project this week. My fiancé are constantly cooking and eating chicken and so it felt right to add a week about chicken. It wasn’t hard talking about chicken meals because lately that’s all we’ve been eating. My fiancé teases me because of how into the project I have been getting. I am really enjoying researching my meals and learning the history. I have also been sharing my newfound knowledge with my students, who mostly rolled their eyes when I told them a new fun fact about chickens. Since my fiancé and I are watching what we are eating for our upcoming wedding, I wanted to incorporate a healthier option meal, but I also found some really fun (not so healthy) chicken meals.

Things I struggled with this week:

Personally, I struggled with wanting to make these elaborate calorie filled chicken goodness recipes I was finding, but also knew that if I ate those kinds of meals, I would never get into my wedding dress at this rate. I want my recipes I choose for the blog something people can enjoy and are less bland than baked chicken breasts and green beans. I love that meal, but to me, it just didn’t seem to fit into my blog style. I want easy meals, but I also want people like me to try new things and get out of their cooking comfort zone. If I stuck only to what I know, then I wouldn’t be able to build on my skills (both blogging and cooking). I decided on two meals again this week; one a little healthier (chicken fajitas) and one not healthy (chicken fries). I’m still working on finding a balance that I will be comfortable with.

Things I learned:

I learned how to edit pictures! While I’m making my recipe, I am taking pictures with my iPhone and then uploading them to my computer to upload to my media content on my blog. I noticed last week that some of the pictures were not that great and that I should’ve cropped some of the background out. While I was choosing my images for this week, I noticed the edit button!! It does the bare minimum (crop, rotate, zoom) but that’s all I need. I could crop out some the background. Also, I took one of my photos sideways because I needed to fit more into the frame, and all I had to do was rotate it to make it look good for my blog.

Speaking of pictures, I also need to just take better pictures in general. I know it is just a amateur blog that was originally designed for a class, but I haven’t been happy with some of my photos. Some of them look good, but my end result with the chicken fajitas in the tortilla doesn’t look as appetizing as it could be. When I am looking through a cooking recipes, that’s the first thing I look at: the end product. If it doesn’t look good, I might stay away from making it. I don’t like that because my fajitas were delicious, and I wish the picture showed how good they really were.

 

Things I worked on this week:

Week 4- Chicken

History of Chicken

Easy Chicken Fajitas

Easy Chicken Fajitas Recipe Review

Chicken Fries with Tamarind BBQ sauce

Chicken Fries Recipe Review

Reflection #8 (week 11)

This is my third week working on my blogging project. I think my first two weeks, I was still trying to get used to blogging about food, and I think this week, I felt the most confident about blogging. I’m getting into a routine of what I want to accomplish every week, and I think what I’m doing seems to be working really well. This week, I decided to focus on meals in the Crock Pot and I think of all the weeks I have planned, I was the most excited to do this week. I absolutely love my Crock Pot because of its convenience. I was excited to share the beef roast recipe that I make, but also share a recipe of a dip that I love to make for parties. I own a Crock Pot Cookbook, so instead of finding a recipe online in another cooking blog or website for this week, I decided to use my cookbook. I have made the beef roast So Simple Supper before, so I was confident that it would turn out great!

THINGS I STRUGGLED WITH THIS WEEK:

I have been noticing sometimes when I post longer posts with different headers, when I publish the page, it comes out with a broken link/page setup HTML code. It doesn’t show up on my page preview and I only see it once its published. Once I go back and edit the page, I can see broken code and can go and delete it and then update the page and it doesn’t show up. I have no idea why the page does that and I’m still doing some investigating on why that shows up. Its an easy fix, but I don’t like that when I share it the first time, it automatically goes to my Feedly looking like that so everyone can see that mistake. After I update the page to not include that mistake, it doesn’t update the Feedly so people have to visit my site to see the fixed post. This irritates me because I don’t want people to see that post with the mistake on it. If anyone knows how to fix this or has suggestions, I’m all-ears.

When it came time to finding information for my blog, I noticed this week was lacking in links. I tried to include everything I used this week, but both my recipes weren’t found online. My beef roast recipe was found in my cookbook and my dip recipe was a friend’s recipe that she taught me. I made sure to link the cookbook so if people are interested in the cookbook, they can purchase it. I also tried finding the recipe online to link it, but I noticed that when I searched “So Simple Supper” for beef roasts, many recipes popped up claiming to be from the cookbook (some having the exact ingredients), but the cook times were different. Being a beginner myself, I would hate if I was following a recipe that said one cook time and then I clicked the link for the online recipe and saw that it was a different cook time. I decided to leave the link out for this reason.

THINGS I LEARNED:

I found this week really interesting about the history of Crock Pots. I am doing this for my class, but I am also learning a lot of the whole cooking process in the meantime. I like that this project isn’t one where I just do it for a grade and move on. I’m learning a lot about cooking, the process, and myself along the way.

Update on blog followers: I gained another follower this week. I probably shouldn’t be this excited for three people following my blog and my fiancé teases me for it, but I am! I feel like I’m a part of something and feel like I’m important. Someone I’ve never met is interested in my blog and what I have to say. Even with the three followers, I still feel that pressure to give my all to this blog. Yes, I want to do a great job for this class, but I have that extra pressure now with followers. I don’t think pressure is a bad thing. It keeps me accountable to produce because people are seeing it. I truly don’t know how bloggers with thousands of followers deal with that pressure.

I am seeing that I have more confidence in blogging AND cooking. I have said from the beginning that I am a true beginner when it comes to cooking, but I have realized that I think part of my problem was just laziness of not wanted to cook. Once I’m making something, I actually enjoy following a recipe and creating something good. I also have noticed, especially this week, that I am more confident in my own skills without a recipe. Like my dip recipe, I have made it so many times, that now I don’t measure exactly and just kind of experiment to know when it is ready. I never would have thought that would be me. The saying goes “practice makes perfect” and now I’m starting to get that. I think the more you make something and get comfortable with it, it becomes second nature and soon you don’t need step-by-step recipes to cook. I’m definitely not there yet, but I can kind of see myself getting there one day. I have decided that next week I will be making a meal with chicken, but I still haven’t decided what exactly I will be making yet. I know whatever I do decide on will all come together.

THINGS I WORKED ON THIS WEEK:

Week 3- Crock Pot

History of Crock Pot

Buffalo Chicken Dip in Crock Pot

Beef Roast in Crock Pot

Beef Roast Recipe Review

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.