– About the Blogger – Ellory Jane –
Originally from Walnut Creek, California, I am a freshman double majoring in business and political science with an emphasis in international relations and economics at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
On campus, I worked as the Social Chair for the pledge class of 2014 in the Chi Omega Fraternity.
I attended The Bentley School for my freshman and sophomore years and Las Lomas High School for my junior and senior years of high school. During high school, I was an active member of YoungLife, Hiking Club, and Creek Kids Care. I was also a player on the volleyball team during my time at The Bentley School and on the varsity lacrosse team both my junior and senior years at Las Lomas. My lacrosse career has stretched since middle school and I continued my activity during the offseason on BearLax, a traveling competitive team and recently graduated from the program. I now work along side of my former coach helping coach teams for her own competitive lacrosse program.
During my summers I work as a nanny for a family with two children and as a personal assistant to the mother of the family. I volunteer as a coach for a local competitive club lacrosse team and aid in helping kids learn to swim at the local community pool.
A big part of my life for the past few years has been volunteering on a mission trip as a part of Family Legacy working as an American Counselor at their Camp LIFE. Based in Lusaka, Zambia, I worked as a camp counselor, personal mentor, and spiritual guide to a group of 10-15 Zambian children, both boys and girls ranging in age from seven to eighteen. My family and I raised funds to open a school in one of the compounds where our children reside. This school has opened its doors to countless children and provided them with a valuable education that they would not have otherwise had access to. I am now anticipating my own, solo trip to Zambia this summer to work for Family Legacy for 4 weeks with around 15 other college students as a part of their Summer Staff.
– Writing History –
Writing for me has always been a bit of a battle in tug of war. After attending a small liberal arts school during my first two years of high school, my writing had become very fluid and free form. My teachers provided a core structure for us to work off of, but were highly encouraging to take our writing where we saw fit. The transition to a large public school proved challenging to my writing style. I had never received lower than a B on an essay but was quickly put in my place after earning an extremely low score on my first essay. In comparison to my private school basis, teachers at my public school valued a more clearly defined and algorithmic writing style. I was quickly forced to adapt in order to succeed in my assignments. This stark transition from one style to another has allowed me to be appreciative of alternate forms of writing.
Coming into this class I was fairly confident in my ability to write a quality essay. I had been exposed to so many different styles of writing that I was, and still am, fairly comfortable with traditional essay formats. The varying styles of essays we completed in this course allowed me to further build upon my knowledge of essay styles. The main challenge that I had to adapt to in this course was composing in a digital space. In drafting my first essay, I found myself crafting and editing in a word document and then copy pasting into a blog post, but as the semester continued I gained more confidence and familiarity with blogging. I’ve never blogged, or even journaled, much in the past as I tend to keep most of my writing to myself. But after this semester, I’ve grown fond of blogging. This summer I am a staff member for an international missions organization in Lusaka, Zambia for four weeks. Ever since I got the job I’ve contemplated how to go about documenting my travels and experiences and now plan on updating a blog as a way to journal my way through my internship.
– Essay Abstracts –
Our first compositional piece was far out of my comfort zone. Modeled off of the popular This, I Believe “public dialogue,” I struggled at first to step into the more creative realm of writing. Head over Heels is my expression of a core belief that I hold, the value of shoes. Although seemingly shallow on the surface, shoes, to me, are much more than a barrier between your soft supple skin and the rough and rocky earth. Shoes provide a sense of belonging and purpose. They gave me comfort in a time of need and ever since, I’ve been hooked. In brainstorming for this essay I was forced to look at my life and my experiences and attempt to articulate a defining moment in which one of my core values, or beliefs was represented. In writing this essay, I learned more about myself as an expressive and creative writer.
My second essay was just as challenging, but in a much different way. #PublicIsTheNewPrivate is a discovery research essay exploring the idea of privacy on social media platforms. As described in the essay, I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of privacy online and have had many first hand experiences in regard to privacy on social media platforms. As someone who this issue directly effects, I found it fairly eye-opening to discover just how un-private the internet really is. While drafting this essay, I contracted mono and was bed-ridden for extensive amounts of time. My absence from class discussion regarding the writing style required for this genre ultimately effected my essay, but I was fortunate enough to re-write the essay with more focus and a stronger controlling idea.
A Meditative Metropolis was by far the most challenging essay for me to complete and attempt to perfect. I feel comfortable when describing situations, settings, and people in great detail, but I struggled with defining a strong controlling idea that went beyond the visual aesthetic of the Fort Worth Water Gardens. My first encounter with the gardens was in August of 2013 when my father and I had toured TCU. I was immediately drawn in by its modern design and city-like lay-out. After further analysis I started to recognize the gardens as a microcosm for Fort Worth as a city. With its various pools and open spaces, the gardens was like a city within its own boundaries, providing refuge from the hustle and bustle of downtown Fort Worth. I drew this parallel to the comfort I felt as I travelled within the metroplex, specifically as I entered Fort Worth from Dallas.
I’ve always liked arguing. I view myself as a strong persuader both orally and in writing so I was not intimidated at the thought of an argumentative essay. As a college student I’ve worked various odd jobs, all earning a meager Minimum Wage. This experience of earning such a small salary coupled by my interest in economics and political science made this topic an easy choice. I had ben exposed to the idea of the minimum wage as an example of a price floor in economics class and was excited at the opportunity to further research a topic that so directly effects me. Although traditionally a supporter of more conservative fiscal politics, after researching the minimum wage I find myself strongly supporting a federal increase in this value as it has not increased parallel to increases in inflation and price levels.