4850 Portfolio Ellen Hudson brown howard

Reflective Table of Contents

  1. Multi Genre Project....................................................... I really enjoyed the multi genre project because I was able to explore more into one of my favorite books that I read this semester. What I loved about it was all of the visual aids that I was able to include in the project. For example, I found pictures of Dr. and Mrs. Flint who were Harriet Jacobs slave masters. Seeing their portraits was disturbing to me in a way that I never expected, but seeing their picture also made Jacob's narrative more real. This was my favorite project that we did this semester.
  2. Lesson Plan from student-led lesson.................. One of the primary reasons that I want to be a high school english teacher is because I want to contribute to the building of community through educating students. To do my job in the best way possible I feel that establishing community is going to be one of the most important things that I can do. I picked this topic to teach on, so that I could learn more about building community and so that I could also share why I think it is so important with my classmates.
  3. Feedback from Peer Writing........................................ I picked the poems that Drew, Allie, and Ivy wrote about their names. I picked these blog samples because it was the blog that I had classmates write and I loved learning more about my classmates. I thought that both the essay format and the poem format worked well for this assignment. I think that this is an activity that would work well for the future classes that I teach, especially if we do the activity the first week of school because students will learn so much about one another.
  4. Blog posts.................................................................. For the blog posts that I picked I choose the blogs that I most enjoyed writing and that I felt were most important. The blogs that I chose were: Novel Setting, Social Justice, and the Essay Prompt.
  5. Poem.................................................................................. This is one of my favorite poems that I have written because I was able to wonder a lot while writing. In my poem I played with the word sun and son. This made writing the poem really fun and it kept me engaged.
  6. Revision of an essay I have written............................ This is probably the worst essay that I have ever submitted and there is so much that I would like to revise about the paper. I would begin by expanding my conclusion paragraph. I would like to expand in my final couple of paragraphs about the similarities and differences between Cymbeline and Othello. In the revision of my paper I would make changes to my formatting and would edit my topic sentences and my link sentences.
  7. Grading Rubrics........................................................ For my grading rubrics I picked three topics that I will most likely actually have students complete in my class. The first is a student presentation, the second is a writing rubric for a 10th grade class, the last rubric is a collaboration rubric.
  8. Social Media Links..................................................... For my social media links I picked topics that I am interested in right now and that I know will be necessary when I start teaching. The topics that I included are building community in the classroom, teaching alternatives to essay writing, and a worldview literacy project.

My Name: Definitely Not Drew

I didn’t find out my real name wasn’t Drew until about 3rd grade. I remember being called “David” on the first day of school, and truly I did not answer. My dad’s name is David, though, so I at least looked up. That caught my teacher’s attention and she asked if that were me. I stood still, so then she read my full name: “David Andrew Huskey”. It’s a very average name. I like it. I’ve never gone through a particular time in my life that I didn’t like my name or got picked on for it, like some did. I just didn’t know that Drew wasn’t my actual name. It never even occurred to me since I was only called Drew around my house and amongst my family for so long. I mean, it wasn’t even my middle name! It was a "piece" of my middle name. I liked it though. It opened up a really good story.

I went home that day and asked my parents why they named me that. They said it was based on a quarterback my dad used to watch in the NFL in the 80’s. He was a big fan. I thought that was cool. Still, “David Drew” didn’t really sound right, and they wanted to name me David because that was my dad’s name. So, “David Andrew” it was. I liked it. I was named after a cool guy, got the “An” added on at the beginning so it fit with my first name, and got my first name because it had been my dad’s. I really looked up to him, and still do to this day, so I was really happy to know that’s where my first name came from.

It's still funny to think about not knowing my true first name. Even now, at interviews, first days of class, etc., I still pause for a minute before answering to David. If nothing else, I'm one of the few that always fills out the "preferred name" page on internet surveys.

Say my Name

Alondra, Alondra from the novella Alondra

It means lark in Spanish, the yellow free bird

The bird that means day break, or a break from the day

I hope I’m a break and never a delay

Alondra, but I go by Allie

Allie like Sally

People always butcher my name

Disrespectful, and it drives me insane

Alejandra, Alexandra, Allieondra,

My name is Alondra

Like the lark.

Abby? Avi? Allie?

No, Ivy.

Like poison ivy?


"Oh no! Don't touch me!"

I laugh like it's the very first time I've heard this joke,

instead of almost weekly.

Why is that your name,

they ask.

Like I had any sort of control.

Maybe they wanted you to ask questions,

of what, when, why, where, who,

maybe that was their only aim, their only goal.

I love it now, I love my name.

It brings me attention,

and bewildered looks.

No one expects it,

no one thinks it's real.

I walk away with a smile on my face,

because just the question,

"Is that your real name?"

will always bring me my own sense of fame.

Memoir about Mom

I chose to write my memoir about my mom because I wanted to use the opportunity of interviewing her to be able to really learn more about her. As a mom she has sacrificed so much for me and for my family. I have not always appreciated the sacrifices that my mom has made and it is only as I have grown older that I have seen how much she has sacrificed for me. What I have also learned as I have grown older and moved out of the house is how much I do not actually know about my mom. Moms are so selfless, always looking to the needs of their children and family - asking them about their day etc. that they rarely get to share about their own day or their childhood. I used this opportunity of writing a memoir to learn more about my mother’s childhood - to see how she became the person that she is today.

My mom was born in Charleston, South Carolina and was the oldest grandchild of fourteen. Being the oldest grandchild affected mom personally because it created in her a desire for responsibility. Mom believes that this desire has always been innate to her; she says that she was born with the “responsibility gene”. This “gene,” has had one of the largest impacts on my mom’s life because it has driven her to constantly achieve all that she can. My mom has learned to balance high success while also loving those around her. This lifestyle, while seemingly the ideal, has proven to be quite difficult to maintain.

Mom grew up in a household that expected excellence. Mom had to have perfect grades while also balancing the Charleston social life and while always being challenged to achieve the highest athletic awards. This lifestyle has continued with mom throughout her life and at the root of it is her responsibility gene. Mom believes that it is her responsibility to achieve the most that she possibly can at all times. As stated above this has been quite difficult to maintain for mom because of the practically impossible goals that she has set for herself. In my interview with mom she identified three main areas of insecurity that she believes have contributed to this need to achieve excellence. These areas of insecurity are rooted in appearance and finances. In my interview with my mom she spoke about her experience growing up. Mom went to a small school where there were fewer than twenty people in her graduating class. By the fourth grade Mom was taller than her teacher and all of the boys in her class. She was tall and very skinny, which many noticed and made fun of her for. Like many young girls the teasing and bullying that she received as a young child has made a lasting impact on her today and how she views her body. Mom is absolutely beautiful - she always has been, but she struggles to accept that truth.

Mom also struggles with finding a peace about her finances. Mom grew up in Downtown Charleston and that is also where she raised me. In this area one can never have enough and there is always someone that one can compare himself or herself too. For mom, and for our whole family, this has been challenging for all of us to overcome. Mom’s high sense of responsibility and achievement means that she always wanted to be the best, have the most, and of course, be doing the most all at the same time. Even with tons of success in one’s career no one can ever be satisfied with this desire. This need for an unachievable amount of success has led to feelings of despair and brokenness. It is hard to imagine how one can have so much success in life and still feel like a failure, but it happens all the time and it is a part of my mom’s story.

This leads me to what mom most wanted to discuss during our interview - a women’s wellness weekend that she had just attended. During this wellness weekend Mom was able to identify the ways in which she was not caring for herself well. Wellness does not mean having enough material goods or looking the best, but instead it means maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Mom identified some critical values that she has neglected through the years and now wants to invest more deeply in. They are her faith, forgiveness, friendships, and her health. Mom wants to be, “intentional about how to approach each day with an outlook on these values”. She wants to be “kinder to others” putting them before her - not herself before others. She has seen the value in being vulnerable with herself and others about her struggles and insecurities.

My mom is a champion and role model to me. She loves so well - making sacrifices daily for others, especially my brother and me. I know that I will never fully appreciate all that my mom has done for me because she has done more than I could ever imagine, but I look forward with expectant hope to continue to learn more about her for all of the days I have left on this earth. My mom is a testament to a mother's unconditional love.

Thank you Mom; for all of the sacrifices, heart breaks, and tears that you championed through to love me well - you have been an example of the unconditional love of the our Father God and His consistent mercy on us.

Poetry Slam Poem


I am thankful for the sun.

You bring light into the darkness,

You illuminate the truth

We move past the despair.

You welcome me with open arms every morning.

Even when skies are grey,

I can see your glimmer.

It is not just me that can feel your comfort -

It is all of us

A world without you is cold and dreary

I have felt your absence during the night

I have wandered lost in the darkness


Yet, in the morning you rose again

You greeted me with waves of color and life

I am thankful for you.

The Paper That I Would Revise:

Created By
Ellen Hudson Howard

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