Why I Couldn’t Finish Writing 101

In September I starting Blogging University’s Writing 101 course.  I really liked it and was learning a lot about writing.  It was especially helpful to see some of the posts from some of the other bloggers with more writing experience.  It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything.  I had to stop partway through my Writing 101 course.

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Day 13 – Composing a Series of Vignettes

Day 13’s assignment of Writing 101 is called “Compose a Series of Vignettes.” This is my first time composing one of these, so any feedback would be appreciated.

Repetition and accumulation give structure and momentum to a piece of writing — and help your readers stay engaged.  Today, tell a story through a series of vignettes (short, episodic scenes or anecdotes) that together read as variations on the same theme. They can each be as short or long as you see fit — they don’t have to be the same length — but they need a common feature to tie them together, whether it’s a repeated phrase, a similar setting, or the appearance of the same person.

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Day 12 – Procrastination is Bad


The semester is only a few weeks along and I am already an anxiety ridden mess.  I procrastinated on grading papers, and have some deadlines coming up.  I want to have some time to enjoy some personal time, while still being able to get most of the stuff graded.  I know procrastination is bad.  Why do I always do it?

Day 11 – What do I do When I’m Not Writing?

What do I do When I’m Not Writing?

My assignment on day 11 of writing 101 is called “Writing and Not Writing.”  The description of my assignment is below:

As much as we love to write, it’s important to take breaks — to live your life and have new experiences, and to reflect and recharge so you can come back to your desk, ready to hit the keyboard again. Not writing allows you to gain the distance from your words, and thus perspective, which are both needed when it’s time to edit. What do you do when you’re not writing?

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The Virtual Coffee Date


For day 10’s assignment on Writing 101, we are having a virtual coffee date.  Take a second to go grab your hot beverage of choice, and I will update you on what’s been going on.

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you that I have maintained my position on refusing to get a new neurologist.  I like the one that I have.  I’m going to just change my health insurance, and then I can see my neurologist.  I am probably being stubborn, but why change a system that is working?

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you that I have an appointment coming up with my primary care physician.  While it is only for a checkup, I hope there will be no bad news.  I have been getting mysterious blood blisters in my mouth, and I am a little nervous about the upcoming appointment.

If we were having coffee right now I would also tell you that the Fall semester has begun at both colleges that I teach at.  I hope for a semester free of any major seizures.  My attempt to find a full-time job in higher education did not succeed, but I did get a few interviews.  It is a positive step in the right direction.

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you about the Writing 101 class that I am in right now.  I feel like it is making me a better writer, and that I am getting into the habit of writing more.  I am only half way through the course, and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

Day 9 – Dear Epilepsy


Dear Epilepsy,

At the age of 17, I was a junior in high school making plans for my future.  I knew what I wanted to do with my life, and stubbornly refused to listen to anyone who would attempt to convince me otherwise.

However, none of my plans including me meeting you.  I convinced myself that the doctor was wrong.  I was just like the other students.  The only reason that I took the medicine was because of my mom.  She always diligently checked to see I took my medicine when I was supposed to.  Naturally, a few weeks later I had another seizure.

I’m not sure how this happened, but I had convinced myself that if I took my medicine regularly and did everything right, you would go away.  It happened for others, right?  I carried this belief into college, and managed to do well for myself.

Until a fateful summer when I tried to do too much.  I had another seizure.  It finally dawned on me that you were not going to go away.  I lost a lot of weight after that.  I wasn’t taking care of myself or going on a diet.  I got depressed and ate only enough to make sure I would stay out of the ER.  Worst of all, I didn’t tell anyone.

That was a long time ago.  Gradually I learned how to live with you, but it wasn’t an easy process.  I am not going to say that I am happy with some of the limitations that I have been forced to live with.

I will stop here for now.  I have much more to say about how you have affected my life, but I like to keep my letters brief.


What would you write in a letter to your chronic illness?

Epilepsy & Feeling Out of Place

My assignment for day 7 in Writing101  is called “Hook ’em with a quote.”  The description for the assignment is to use someone else’s words such as a quote or passage to give you a boost.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Apple Inc.

This quote really resonated with me.  Yet I am sitting here trying to figure out why.

Maybe it is because I felt like a round peg in a square hole.  When you are a teenager, standing out is not always a good thing.  I felt different than everyone else in my hometown.  When I was diagnosed with epilepsy, I felt like there was no one else that could understand.  It was not until much later in life when I realized that being different is not a bad thing.

Maybe I’m hoping that some rebel will come along and find a genius method for changing the health care industry for the better.  Maybe some fellow troublemaker will find a cure for epilepsy that no one else has tried.