This first short assignment will require two steps. One of our main assignments this semester (“Electronic Portfolio”) will involve developing a website that you create and use specifically for this class. I will ask you to use the same platform I use for my website: WordPress. To get started, think about what you would like to name your site. You don’t necessarily need to share this site beyond our class, so you are welcome to use a name that is mainly functional or fun. You might consider using this as the foundation of a professional site (something you use beyond this class), and in that case, it would help to use your name for the site or something else that captures your professional identity.
Once you have decided on a name, register your own WordPress site. For our class purposes, there is no need to pay for anything, although you are welcome to do so for your own purposes if you would like to register your domain name or get more functionality. You can start playing around to your heart’s content (this overview might help), and we’ll discuss WP together soon.
The second step of this assignment asks you to create a new page or post on your site. This short writing (400-700 words) asks you to reflect on our readings from Burke and Frost. Your thinking should address the following prompts and questions. Feel free to take advantage of the functionality offered by WordPress (adding links, embedding images or videos, etc.) however you are inspired.
- Kenneth Burke’s thinking on “orientation” helps us consider how our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and values shape and constrain our ways of encountering and responding to the world around us. These “bundles of judgments” help us see the world in a particular way, but they also function as “trained incapacities” that limit our perspectives. How would you describe your orientation? What are some of the main influences shaping your thinking about the world, whether familial, educational, social, political, religious, personal (coming from within), or otherwise? What attitudes, values, and beliefs have these influences instilled in you? In what ways does this orientation function as a trained incapacity? What types of people, experiences, or perspectives are you less likely to listen to or seek out or recognize because of your orientation toward the world?
- More specifically, how would you describe your orientation toward writing? What role does writing play in your life? What does writing mean to you? What makes writing unique as a mode of communication, expression, or connecting with others?
- Following Frost’s thinking, what metaphor would you use to describe writing? What is writing like? Where does the metaphor work, and where does it break down?