Some stuff that I wrote

Art by Lulu Tang. I'm not really sure why I'm flexing.

About Me A Brief Introduction

Hey, I'm Joe, and this is my e-portfolio for the Minor in Writing. About Me pages are hard, but I'll try to provide some context for the artifacts below, if you happen to explore further. When I think of things "about me," the first thing that comes to mind is my love for creation, for making things. Writing just so happens to be one of these things. There's something captivating about its simplicity as an art form - it is merely the manipulation of language - yet its complexity as art. I especially like writing essays, short fiction, and poetry. I enjoy the challenge of brevity, of saying more by writing less.

In addition to writing words, I also have a passion for writing music. You can often find me making songs with my midi keyboard and a piece of software called Ableton Live. Other times I may be playing the double bass in an orchestra, or the guitar in my living room. I enjoy the heightened sense of abstraction and freedom in writing music: there are less expectations of what it's supposed to sound like, or what should happen next.

It was definitely my love of creation that pushed me into unfamiliar territory to create this portfolio. I tried to make it concise without being shallow, and simple yet elegant (StartBoostrap definitely came in handy there). So look around, click some links, and check out some of my attempts at making things.

About My Portfolio What You May Find

To the left there's a picture of animal or maybe a famous actor. I can't say for sure because it changes every time you refresh the page. In any case, it works well as a forced metaphor for the pieces contained within my portfolio: you'll find something different every time you look! Just kidding. But in all honesty, I did try to accomplish two things with the pieces in this portfolio. For one, even though I presented my own arguments, I ultimately tried to leave them open to alternative interpretations and critiques. I think this makes the writing more interesting for both myself and my readers, which leads me to my second point. In a lot of these pieces, I plunge head on into topics, whatever they may be, and at first, where I'll end up isn't all that clear. I think years of writing formulaic essays steered me in this direction. I'm all about the transitions and fluid progression from one idea to the next, rather than spelling everything out at the beginning. Hopefully this strategy keeps your attention for a bit longer. If not, you can still stay entertained by refreshing the page.

My Writing 220 Portfolio A Catalogue of My Work for the Minor in Writing

A Reader's Guide

Join me on a walk through the artifacts in this portfolio. I'll give you some insight into the messages I attempt to get across, my purpose for writing about them, and some thoughts I have on them now.

Why I Write

Modeled after the prompts that George Orwell and Joan Didion have famously addressed, I approach the question of "why I write" from a slightly different angle.

Repurposing an Argument

An Atlantic-style magazine article repurposed from a blog post I wrote last year that examines how Facebook has exploited our innate tendency towards social competition.

Remediating an Argument

The continuation of my discussion on Facebook, which this time is more user-focused and in podcast form.


My reflections on the project that occupied most of our semester, from blog post to journal article to podcast.

Behind the Scenes

A look at the multiple drafts that my repurposing essay went through. I chose the repurposing essay in particular because its drafting process was particularly extensive.

Blog Posts

A list of the blog posts that I've written over the course of the semester on the Sweetland Minor in Writing Blog.

Vaccine Database Article

A peer-reviewed article about the VIOLIN database that I co-authored as a result of my work in the He Lab. Published in Nucleic Acids Research on November 19, 2013.


Check me out!

Copyright © Joseph Ostrow 2013