Final Portfolio Project BY Peter gonzalez

Before we Begin

I remember it like it was yesterday. There I was, enrolling in classes for my second semester of my freshman year (pictured above). I was overconfident in my abilities, naive, and had no idea what I was doing when I hit "enroll" on Computers and English Studies, or ENGL 52. I figured I am a decent writer who spends three quarters of the day on his laptop anyway, so how challenging could it be? I was dead wrong in all the right ways. This class challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone whether it was in technology, speaking abilities (albeit to a computer), and of course, my writing. I enjoyed learning new skills and I hope you enjoy my sharing of them.

Kind of reminds me of Dan, his fingers bloody from frantically posting a new assignment on mashlit, smirking as he knows his students do not stand a chance.


First up was the playlist. We were given the task to create a playlist of songs that corresponds with any character of our choosing, either fictional or nonfictional. House of Cards being my favorite show, I immediately began thinking of power-hungry songs to define Frank Underwood, while also refraining from using too much Kanye. In choosing six songs ranging from different genres, I then learned how to properly utilize html code and embed videos into my playlist. On the literary side, I was able to extract typically generic song characteristics and apply them not only to Frank Underwood, but to specific scenes within the series. This in depth type of analysis where one must draw parallels between two things that aren't blatantly similar is actually my favorite part of all of literature studies and something I'm fairly comfortable with, so the first project was off to a good start.

Childbirth: nothing compared to the ding of a mashlit notification


Twine was unlike anything I had ever experienced. As a person who loves to write, it was amazing to see all the methods in which I could enhance my stories through the use of coding. I do not pride myself in my technological prowess, but through researching on the internet I was able to learn bit by bit and even the simplest of code had the capacity to transform my story into something greater. What I gained from this was a new appreciation for the use of technology in literature, and I think this was the moment when I began to realize what this class was ultimately about.

"Please, let me go home Dan." "But have you heard about camtasia Peter?"

Gone Home Game Review

With Gone Home, we each had to purchase a "video game" and play it in order to get a good feel for it. It was more of an interactive story than a game, but it was interesting nonetheless. Having never made a movie on my own before, I had no preference for iMovie, Adobe Premiere, or any other editing software. That meant I could go into Camtasia ready to absorb everything the program had to offer. Apparently I forgot to absorb the save function, as it crashed, causing me to lose everything after working on the project for a decent amount of time. I've never gone over 10 minutes without saving since then. In immersing myself into the story as a game reviewer, I was able to look at more than just the casual gamer's perspective. Sadly, Gone Home still left me with overall feelings of disappointment and dissatisfaction, but as with all video games, these sentiments are subjective.

Mashlit is the arrow. Dan is hawkeye.


Once it came time for the E-Poem, I was a little more comfortable with editing videos. Experimenting with a multitude of custom transitions, altering the opacity, molding clips together, and performing several other maneuvers allowed me to create a fast-paced E-Poetry video, which was different than most of my classmates who opted for softer, slower tempo songs. As I began my video, I was unsure in which direction I was going to take it. Deciding not to read online about what the poem truly meant, I chose to make it my own.

Ultimately, and hear me out here, I discovered that to me personally, "The Arrow and The Song" was about human advancement and our eventual destruction through our own faults. On judgement day, when the earth is being torn apart, you will only be able to find solace in your friend, who obliged to never leave your side. Perhaps this dark apocalyptic interpretation of the poem only came to mind because I knew we were reading "The Road" next, but it still fits in my opinion. With lines such as "I shot an arrow in the air; it fell to the earth, I knew not where" it is clearly mirroring our reckless abandon when it comes to exploring what we can do with technology. "For who has sight so keen and strong, That it can follow the flight of the song?" Man can not keep under control its ambition, and because of this we are all doomed. But at least you'll have your friend.

"What would you do if I died?" "I'd write a twine about it"

The Road Trailer

Following the story of a man and his son in an apocalyptic wasteland, The Road by Cormac McCarthy sparked an interest in reading that had been dormant since middle school. I used to be an avid reader, but once high school came, a mix of laziness and never having enough downtime killed that passion faster than the boy can yell Papa. I love end-of-world scenarios, with the last book I read for fun being World War Z (the movie didn't do it justice). As this was a trailer, I needed to have a natural progression of suspense, enticing the audience until their eyes become glued to the screen. Juxtaposing a fun jive with the sirens of an imminent nuclear blast encapsulated the hook I was looking for. Afterwards, it was all about revealing bits and pieces of the story, without giving away too much detail. In using my little cousin to voice the boy and an old high school teacher with a raspy voice to deliver the man's lines, I felt I had nailed the two characters perfectly. I walked away from this project having liked The Road even more so than I thought I would, and I have plans to start my casual reading up again this summer.

Not even Dr. Manhattan sees me finishing this portfolio


Last but not least, I created a storyboard much like the one you are viewing right now. Through Adobe Spark, I was able to delve into the theme of Free Will vs Fate in the critically acclaimed comic series The Watchmen, all the while touching upon the isolation that Dr. Manhattan feels whenever confronting fate. I enjoyed not only writing about this topic, but simply thinking about it. Whether I was laying in bed or binge watching Lost, the idea of fate and the universe always correcting itself still intrigues me. I feel as though if I were in Dr. Manhattan's shoes, I would try to separate myself from everyone and everything as well. Adobe Spark's unique pairing of media and text allowed me to deal briefly with this topic, without going too far in depth.

Not enough folders for all my mashlits...

Portfolio 1 & 2

Through the portfolios, I was able to showcase exactly how my revision process works. In these instances, I demonstrate the revising processes for both the Playlist and Twine.

Did Camtasia just crash again?

All in All

I am proud to say that I am no longer the baby in front of a computer screen that I once was. After going through months of meticulously learning the finite details that make up computer programs like Twine, Camtasia, and Adobe Sparks, I am much more confident in my technological prowess. No longer need I shy away from taking the reigns on a group project involving computers, and no longer m I constrained to basic powerpoint for class presentations. My writing ability has also improved, as I received feedback from both my peers and Professor Anderson on how to alter my writing to better suit a given scenario (Twine vs Gone Home script).

Created By
Peter Gonzalez

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