Posted in Electronic Literature

Adding A New Poem

My apologies for missing last week’s class, I was knee deep in cutting sweet yams for Thanksgiving. But besides the point, I am pretty happy with the direction my e Lit piece is going. As discussed the prior week with two of my fellow e Lit scholars, I have been plotting on turning my poetry from last semester into some form of a digital piece. I am continuing with the idea of using instagram as a medium to host my art and poetry. I am in three posts so far, and I have about 13 more to go! These past two weeks have been my most creative weeks since starting the semester (perfect time to get creative again!). Alongside continuing with creating my art work, I ran across another poem that I have recently created that I would like to add to my e Lit Poetry experience. I know this was not created along with the other poems during my spiritual journey through COVID-19, but it is a great reflection on how I can now recognize and embrace all that I am. Below is the draft format of the poem that I will be refining soon.

This only the draft : )

Through the use of hashtags that either mirror the poem, imagery, or current moment at the time, this is where I am using the sense of literature to connect with others through the open space. The map out for the rest of my project is to create a piece everyday to post on my instagram. Please follow me e Poetry on instagram: @Mad_Black_Buddhist

Posted in MA Thesis

Pushing Through Strong!

Hi all! In this week’s progress report, I am proud to announce that I have officially finished the student version website! Between getting my own writing scholars ready to end their semester, and preparing for the last  three weeks of mine; I was in a Go Mood. Alongside finishing the site, I made major edits to my Research Proposal, completed my  #OTESSA21 proposal submission, and finished off my last major assignment for my NJIT course. Getting all of this fun stuff done before Thanksgiving really helped relieve some stress off my shoulders. Posted below is the video of my presentation, where I discussed the creation of both the student and instructor version of the e Learning websites.

Posted in MA Thesis

Progress, Progress, Progress!

Hi fellow scholars! Unfortunately, my news from last week of presenting at Research Day at NJIT will not be happening. The university has decided to postpone it to next semester. Even with this unfortunate news, my thesis is still trugging along. I did MAJOR edits on the introduction and literature review within my Research Proposal. I am currently finishing up the last three tutorial videos for the student version site. Since I will not be sharing any more of my tutorial videos into the end of my thesis, in this week’s blog, I will let you guys read the edited version of the introduction and literature review within my Research Proposal.

Click Image to access my Proposal! Access is limited to Kean University accounts

Goals for the coming week:

  • FINISH student version site
    • Add in “notebooks” for 6 different scholars
  • Continue to make edits to Research Proposal
  • Make slight edits to instructor version site

4 more weeks to go.. It is grind time!

Posted in Electronic Literature

Mad Black Buddhist: An Instagram Experience

Can you all believe that we only have four classes left for the semester? Through the course of the semester we learned about my different genres of electronic literature. This is the point of the semester where we get to create our own piece! Honestly speaking, I had my idea for my elit project since the beginning of the semester. It was inspired by a class I took last semester titled, Advanced Poetry Writing. From this course, I birthed a Chapbook of poems titled Mad Black Buddhist. From these poems, I went from finding my poetic voice to facing a full on pandemic. Through these poems, I was able to have a spiritual awakening that would set me on the path of open mindness. 

In yesterday’s class, I was paired with my lovely Nives and the brilliant Tom to figure out the beginning elements of my projects. Below are some notes I took from our discussion: 

Poetry – Drawing – Music. I want to turn my poetry from my Chapbook: Mad Black Buddhist. These poems are a reflection of me during the earliest stages of the pandemic 

I decided to turn my poetry into an instagram experience, which ironically, due to being on my phone so much is one of the main elements that made me go a little crazy during the early stages of the pandemic. I am looking to add artwork to each post of poems.. Maybe add a video and audio into it.. Still doing some research!

Posted in MA Thesis

Work, work, work, work, work!

Between our last class meeting and coming into this week, I have been focusing on finishing up the tutorial videos for the students’ site. These past couple of days have felt more heavier and crunch time. Alongside completing work for the M.A. program here at Kean, I am also trying to finish my semester strong at NJIT. Luckly, I was able to carry my thesis work along to the course I am taking at NJIT. With that help of my fellow communication peers at NJIT, I have been able to refine the lit review version that is within my research proposal. This week, I will not be giving a preview of my last three videos for my students’ site. But I would like to leave you all with some cool news:

  1. I will be presenting my thesis work at NJIT Graduate Research Day this upcoming Monday! Below is a flyer for more details:
  1. I will start back preparing to move forward with starting my research with the 3rd grade students within my AmeriCorps position. I will need to talk to Dr. Zamora and Dr. Charles and what my next steps will be.

Lastly, I will leave you all with a checklist of the all last bit of wrapping up for my thesis project

Posted in Electronic Literature

The Hunt for the Gay Planet

This piece was an interesting satisfying piece! In The Hunt for the Gay Planet, we are thrown into a hyperlinked adventure to find the planet of the gays. I was most attracted to this piece through the actual literature rather than the technical aspect (me inner literature fanatic jumped for joy)! This piece differently had some surprising turns I did not expect. As per usual with my elit blogs, I will break down the different aspects of this piece.


The navigation for this piece was pretty straightforward. Using hypertext as mediation for game-like play, we follow our heroine (I do not believe they gave us a name for the character). By reading short passages and clicking options that are hypertext in hot pink, us as readers get to choose what our heroine explorers. When reading the Editorial Statement it states:anna anthropy’s The Hunt for the Gay Planet is a text-based Twine game that uses the medium of Twine to comment more broadly and bitingly on the status of queer representation in videogames.” Through my first go around of the game, I was a bit confused on the aspects of the twine being a form of representation for queers in video games.

Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Theory

When looking at literature in different lenses, what I mean by lens is by using theory. Of course it be most fitting for my use to use Lesbian, Gay, Queer Theory (the hyperlinked texted will take you to a presentation I made for my college students to explain the theory). If many of you can recall, I also used this theory to dissect my elit piece earlier in the semester. With that being said, I want to target the Basic Concepts of theory to dissect this piece a little more.


Homophobia can be defined as dislike of or prejudice against gay people. I know this may be a stretch of a claim, but if there is an entire planet dedicated only to lesbians, that is saying something..

Homosocial Activities

Before reaching Lesbionic, we are hit with the scene You swing open the metal saloon doors and step into a bar. It’s full of men. All men, tangled in each others’ tentacles. They stare at you like a poo just stepped on their shoe. Homosocial Activities is any social or interactive activites happening between two people of the opposite sex. Obviously, this scene (alongside other erotix scenes), shows these activities but it does not necessarily have to be so extreme. Acta such as kissing, holding hands, or any other romantic gestures can fall in this category.

Homoertic Imagery

“You step out of your ship, your eyes adjusting to the foggy light. The first thing you see is two forms on a bench nearby. A topless chick is pressing a mohawked femme down against the bench, her hand busy between the babe’s legs. The femme’s leg is over her partner, the painted claws of her toenails scraping the chick’s back. In public! Unmolested! Their eyes burning into each other like two stars colliding. The look in their eyes is fire. The curl of their lips is freedom.”

This piece did not imagery to guide us as readers, but through the vivid descriptions of scenery between characters, I was able to paint my own pictures! 

Deeper Reflection – My emotions

When experiencing this piece, I was brought back to my highschool years where I “explored” my sexuality. I felt this connection with our unnamed heroien who is exploring the galaxy to find a society that will accept her loving the same gender. I found it interesting how with each planet our character lands on, the small dusty pLanet is Lesbionic. Quite honestly, I think it was a bit much to make the dusty small planet the gay planet. This piece sheds a light on aspects of literature that still needs to be discovered. LGBQ Theory is still a new theory that seeks to bring awareness in not just literature, but many different aspects of life.

Posted in MA Thesis

All Most There!

This week’s thesis blog post is going to be simple and sweet. I have been doing a lot of creating throughout my entire process of creating a site centered around a student’s perspective. Through tutorial videos I have been uploading to youtube, these videos are a greeting starting point with these moc version sites.

I did a little self reflection of my understanding on educational technology. It is definitely a big field, and I wish to grasp as much as possible so that I can finalize TAWP. I was also entertaining the idea of pitching my content to google; due to the fact that creation of the site (which as puts protection to an extent), on who can access the information. Would anyone have any suggestions on this matter?

To end off this lovely blog post, below are the components of my thesis I worked on today, alongside my course schedule of what I am working on this week.

FYI: My course schedule is showing the things I planned to do in advance. All other material below is me putting on 3x times the work … Graduation, here I come!):

TAWP Editing Notes Tutorial Video

TAWP Students “notebook” 

Working Thesis Progress Calendar:

Posted in NJIT (Fall 2020)

You are in grad school, now what?

Congratulations, you are officially a graduate student! I know the road has been tough (and hopefully fun!). This is where the real fun begins and where you get to shape your academic path. By all means, there is no “right” way to go through your graduate career. Everyone experiences life in general in different ways, and school is no different! With that being said, I want to cover five main components of areas to help you through your time in your garden program:

  • Get to know your professors
  • Get to know your fellow cohort of scholars
  • Stay organized.. At at least try
  • Make everything count!
  • Try applying theory to practice

Get to know your professors

Please do not let the intellect, or seriousness, of your professor intermediate you into not talking to your professor. As graduate students, some of your professors might be your biggest supporters. I am not saying invite your professors out to eat.. Maybe try talking to them after class to get a better understanding of their field of work and what academics interest them. Attempting to make that extra effort  goes a long way!

My experience: 

In my own experience within my current MA program, my biggest supporters are my professors! From my program director (who is also a professor within the program!) to my Research & Methods professors have become my extended academic advisor/family! Through afterclass talks, small emails (and some perks of being a GA), I was able to find out about different opportunities to further my academic and professional interest. Which no bring me to my next.. Making friends.

Get to know your fellow cohort of scholars

I truly believe that this is one of the most important aspects of being a graduate student. Getting to know other people with your program helps you not just learn about them, but your own understanding/interest in your particular field of study. There may be some upperclassmen that can give you great advice on how to navigate through the program!

My experience:

I was able to make friends with two of the graduating “seniors” of my program before they left. From talking to them and attending their Senior Simposime, I was able to get an idea of the direction I wanted to go for my future thesis project. Quite honestly, because of them, I was able to get a read of how professors were in curtain classes and how to prepare for them!

Stay organized.. At at least try

Even though this point may sound self explanatory.. I still am going to explain it. As your semester goes on, assignments, projects, meetings, personal life, and everything else you can think up will come to bite you in the butt! So to prepare, I would recommend buying a wall and hand calendar. It’s easy to both write things down while in class, and then transfer them to your wall calendar at home. I promise, these will probably be your most used school supplies.

My experience:

I am a bit extreme.. So take this advice at your own risk. Since I wear MULTIPLE hats, I try to keep separate calendars for each aspect of my life. I currently have two calendars in my room (one wall and one regular hanging). I write down important personal information and dates to keep track of. I also have a weekly calendar I use to keep track of school/job todos. Lastly, I have a calendar on my ipad to keep off things that are too much to write on a paper calendar. As I stated previously, I am extreme and I have multiple calendars…

Make everything count!

This tab is more so for the next blog post, but I think it is vital to mention it now. Believe or not, there is life after academia! So with that said, try to make everything you do or experience in your graduate program count towards your future ambitions. Employers will be impressed with seeing that you can transition from academic work to practical work. By all means, it is always easier said than done, but try to get creative with it!

My experience:

I like to do multiple projects and occupations at once because it helps me develop my understanding and professional experience. So to break it down, my future career ambitions are the following:

  • Tenured Professor (English Studies or Media Design)
  • Instructional Designer 
  • Media Design Specialist (I have some experience, but I would like to go in different aspects of the field!)
  • Researcher (The Pedagogy of Writing and education technology)

Through my educational blog (this one here!), work that I do as a graduate student/assistant, currently being an adjunct professor, and other side projects I work on; I try to make all my materials align with each other so that I could put it on my Cover Letter (Cover Letters are important.. Start making one!).

Last Remarks

Starting a new degree can be both exciting and challenging at the same time! But if you follow at least some of the steps I presented to you, it will make the process even more enjoyable!

Posted in Electronic Literature

The Beauty in Change: Redshift and Portlalmetal

This week’s elit piece I will be diving into is Redshift and Portlalmetal. I truly enjoyed the concept and navigation of Redshift! Through the use of a working website, we explore through the eyes of narrating character, Roja, as she escapes her dying planet. Through beautiful sounds, videography, and interactive text, we share Roja’s story and adventure as she explores life on other planets.


Due to me being extremely tired at this point in the semester, I decide to go the video route first. It was easier to have the video navigate the piece as I view and read, compared to the working site (I ended up going through the working site to fully experience the piece). From the working site, it was pretty simple to navigate by clicking the text that would appear at the bottom of each part of Roja’s narration. 

Deeper Reflection

This piece had so many elements that you can go into a lot of detail that it was really hard to narrow down. So I will try to bring up the most apparent and interesting ones to me:

Roja’s Character:

I find it really interesting in the choice of name. I looked up the meaning of Roja which can be translated to Rojo, and both terms mean the color red (which is the theme color of the piece!).  Both words mean the same, the colour red. When used to describe a masculine object, you use the ‘rojo’ form of the adjective, and ‘roja’ for any feminine object. And just like any other adjective, I believe numbers must be matched too. I thought this explanation was really fighting for the character herself due to Roja being a transgendered woman of color. The idea of one word meaning the same thing but put into a different context makes me put Roja’s character scheme in a different perspective. Through her doule we are presented multiple times with the necessary of packing her hermons (whcih virtual to transgender indviduals). Since I was so obsessed with her name and the color association of it matching her personality, I decide to do a deeper dive into understanding the mean of red: 

Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

Contemporary theme of climate change:

This piece cleverly put together to discuss the current issue of climate change. Roja puts her feelings of sympathy, empathy, and disappointment of what is going on with Earth (I believe she is addressing Earth). Also, I am a little curious about the time period this is taking place in. Even though this issue is contemporary, the idea of boarding space shuttles to leave for another planet makes me question what Earth are we on with Roja?

I also find it interesting who the Earth is transitioning into what Roja sees as a waste, does she reflect this on her transitioning as a person. Through be a transgender woman and deciding to make a drastic change in scenary and life, how she handing it all?

Who is Cora’s girlfriend Cora?

I am not sure if anyone was wondering the same question (or I am bad at picking up on things), but what is the significance of Roja’s girlfriend? Does she symbolize something within the piece? I just was a bit curious and wanted to get it off of my mind.

Overall Reflection

 My overall reflection of this piece was that I was not actually left too stuck (hooray!). Not that I can speak on the experience of be a transgender female, it was interesting to compare to current topic into one space. 

Posted in MA Thesis

Thesis Updates!

This week’s thesis is focused on fixing surface errors within the Instructor’s version of TAWP. Again, giving a big shout out to Karel, for bringing to my attention the audience I am targeting. Keeping in mind that I have two separate audiences (Instructors and Students), I have been rigorously working on a student friendly version of TAWP. Last week, I shared two sample videos of my shirt tutorial videos for each portion of TAWP. This week I am also sharing two more videos that I have created (they are hyperlinked below):

TAWP: Prewriting

TAWP: Drafting

Alongside doing these videos, I have also created interactive google slides “notebooks” that students will have access to. They will be able to take their own notes alongside the ones I have provided for them. I am not quite ready to share the actual student friendly version of TAWP, but I will provide one of the “notebooks” I have created. Below is the google slides “notebook” for Prewriting:

Lastly, I am so grateful that I decided to take classes at NJIT! The reason for this is that it has helped pace me with keeping track of TAWP student versions and my Lit Review. I kind of hit two birds with one stone in this aspect. One of my final projects for this class is to create any form of communication through any multimedia-model, along with any topic (I believe I discussed this in a previous blog). For one of my assignments this week for this class, we are peer reviewing the Lit review we are submitting. This is really fortunate for me because I get to have multiple people give me feedback on this .. including the professor at NJIT (she is AMAZING by the way). She loves what I have so far and she is confident that it will turn out great!

In all, my thesis is definitely moving forward to a positive place. The last note I want to leave off for this blog is my current thesis progress schedule: