Your First Assignment

Welcome to WRTG 213. We’ll interact as a class primarily through our use of the blog this semester, so let’s get started.

Your first assignment is to post a little about yourself here on this page. (Look below where is says "Leave a Comment").

Tell us about your educational goals, your future ambitions, and something about your life. Why are you taking this class, and what do you hope to gain from it? What have been your favorite classes and why?

Next, once you've done the reading for Unit 1, you’ll post your reading responses as comments on the "Reading Responses" page located in the menu above. After you’ve posted a response, you will reply and comment on other students' comments as well. Think of this as a kind of virtual classroom.

I will read all of your comments and post your grades in BlackBoard.  Feel free to comment on other students’ posts to say hello and ask questions. This is the place to get to know each other.

This first assignment will be worth 10 points.

Here's a little bit about me:
IMG_2603My name is Christie, and I grew up in rural Oregon. I graduated with a history/writing degree from Oregon State University (go Beavs!) and then lived in Aberdeen, Scotland for three years, where I studied creative writing (and Scotch) at St. Andrews University.  I left Scotland to move to Fairbanks, AK (thankfully, on the same latitudinal line, so I was used to the dark), where I completed a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from UAF.  I am currently preparing a collection of short stories for publication, and writing a novel (when I'm not teaching, that is).

I enjoy all forms of outdoor activity (hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting) but my real passion is hot spring soaking.  My favorite thing to do on a long weekend is hike into a remote pool, and soak for a couple of days under the stars.  In Alaska, my favorite spot is Tolovana (though the ten mile ski-in will kick your butt), and in Oregon I love Hart Mountain, where friendly antelope will chew holes in your clothes if you're not careful.

I have a nine-year-old son, Gus, who enjoys making weapons out of things he finds on his dinner plate, feigning death in public places, and building dog-propelled vehicles with our boxer, named Luke.


50 thoughts on “Your First Assignment

  1. Gin Blake

    My name is Gin and I reside in Bethel, Alaska. I have lived here for a little over a year and I love it. I work as a CNA at an Elders home working with elderly Alaskan natives. I am currently pursuing a nursing degree and only have two classes left before I can apply to the program. This is one of the courses that is required to graduate in the program. I have chosen to take this course before entering that way I can make my actual nursing semesters easier. I am hoping this class will help provide me with tools to write adequately throughout my nursing program, future employment, and as an individual.

    My son is a huge part of my daily drive (along with dads) and has impacted the person I have become today. My son had the odds against him from the day as he was born into a terminally ill diagnosis. It was a matter of time for us. He lived just shy of two months before his fourth birthday. Our worlds stopped while he was here with us and our everyday began growing into providing as much joy as possible for him. He inspired people all around the world and has truly changed many lives.

    My nursing career will not only provide job stability in the future but it sets my path for retirement. My plan is to reside in Bethel for another ten years and then retire and relocate back to Florida where I have lived for the past eight years. Dad and I want to retire by building a home where we can foster hospice children. We want to give them the same joy and love our dear son Bren had. We are extremely passionate about helping/volunteering with families who have medical fragile children. We still remain heavily involved with a foundation called Hope From Harrison and travel back yearly for fundraiser known as Sunfest which is located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

    I hope everyone has an awesome semester and we all pass with “A’s”!

  2. Matthew

    My name is Matthew, I am located in Fairbanks, Alaska; where I have resided my entire life. I am currently a full-time student and YouTube content creator. The full-time student role is pretty self explanatory, but as to the type of content I create on YouTube; it is primarily about bushcraft, survival, guns, outdoor gear reviews, hiking, and hunting. I’ll leave a link around here if you want to check it out!

    I am actively pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis on Entrepreneurship. With this knowledge I am gaining, I hope to be able to continue the steady growth and monetization of the YouTube channel, and be able to start an outdoor equipment company.

    The primary reason I am taking this class is so that I can get all my graduation requirements met before moving into my degree specific classes. I also wanted to take this one early on, so that I will be properly prepared for any and all writing assignments that I will inevitably face in my future classes.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      I’m gonna check out the link, Matthew! My 9 year old son is obsessed with being a YouTube Entrepreneur! 😉

  3. Thomas Vordebruggen

    My name is Thomas Vorderbruggen. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, as I have my entire life. My childhood days were spent hiking and camping in the Alaska wilderness. I love Fairbanks, and plan to start a career here if possible.

    I am a full-time student at UAF, where I am pursuing a degree in economics. (Granted, UAF has done a rather splendid job of making that harder and harder.) I feel that economics is one of the few things in the world that actually make sense. Someday I hope to work as an economic adviser on a government level.

    Writing is a large hobby of mine, so I am excited to see what the course will be like. I ran an online series for a few years before abandoning it to focus on an actual novel, which i am currently working towards. I am hoping this course will aid me and improve my abilities as a writer.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Wecome, Thomas! My maiden name was Schwartzengraber… I’ve got you beat by 3 letters. 😉

  4. Emily Nerbonne

    Hello, my name is Emily Nerbonne. I live on a farm that is 45 minutes outside of Delta Juncition towards Tok. Some of you may know what farm I am referring to, but if you don’t, I live on a farm called Dry Creek. I have lived in Alaska all my live, which is all eighteen grand years.

    Right now, I’m am going for an Associates of Arts. Eventually, I hope to achieve a Bachelors in Accounting. After that, I want to become a CPA. Math was always my favorite class. I love working with numbers! So, that is where I am heading at this time.

    This class is a basic core requirement I need for my Associates of Arts. I do prefer to read than to write, but I am quite excited about this class. I’m excited to learn more about writing properly and to advance my writing skills. Writing has always been a harder class for me, but I believe that I can keep learning and can keep improving my writing.

    Good luck to everybody on this class. I look forward to getting to know all you better throughout the semester.

    1. Cassandra Lane

      I am from Fairbanks and knew that there were some farms out that way but never knew any names. I am going to be 31 this November. My husband and I plan on moving back to Alaska when he retires, buying a good chunk of land and building our own farm. Our children will be about 16, 14, 12 and 10 when my husband retires. I just pray that they enjoy farm life.
      I am the opposite, I like to write more than read, but I do love to read also. I just have a hard time with it at times with 4 noisy and busy children. It gets difficult to concentrate. I also love working with numbers and my first degree was in applied business. I had to take a couple of accounting classes and they were a lot of fun. You will enjoy it a lot if you like working with numbers.
      Good luck this semester and with the rest of your college education!

    2. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome Emily! I built a 25×45 foot greenhouse this year, and am so far a miserable farmer. Maybe you can teach me some tricks!

  5. Angelica Kougl


    My name is Angelica Kougl and I was born and raised in Fairbanks, AK. I am 19 years old and I share a small apartment with my boyfriend, our siamese cat, and our black lab. I like to go “fishing” (I am not good at it, but I did catch my first halibut this summer) and take my dog kayaking.

    After finishing the D.A. program at UAF CTC last semester, I am working as a dental assistant at a local practice here in town. I am currently finishing my prerequisite courses so that I can apply for Dental Hygiene school. I am taking this writing course in hopes of becoming a more analytical reader and a more thoughtful writer.

    1. Brooke Mattice


      I love fishing! I spent some time in Cooper Land on the Kenai River last summer, fly-fishing. I think it is probably my favorite place on the planet. Halibut fishing looks like a good time, I know it’s good eating.
      Good luck to you this semester!


  6. Amanda Carr


    My name is Amanda Carr, I am from Winthrop Washington and moved to Fairbanks the Spring of 2015. My family moved here because my husband and I both found new jobs working for the BLM, Alaska Fire Service. I work in Dispatch, but before dispatch I fought wildland fire on fire crews since 2002, straight out of high school. I loved fighting fire because I love being outside, if I am outside… I am happy.

    My favorite thing to do these days is spend time with my family. We have 2 full of energy, funny, growing, some times cranky, loving boys, Wiley (3), Trapper (9 months) and our Sled dog Trucker who we adopted this winter and could not be luckier, because he is absolutely amazing.

    I am taking this class to try and receive my fire science degree and am a lot like Emily Nerbone in that I “prefer to read than to write” but I am hoping that by taking this class I will over come some of my fears and become a better writer. Writing is intimidating and a bit scary to me, that is why I am excited about this class, because it will push me out of my comfort zone.

    1. Janelle Pascoe

      Hi Amanda, it sounds like you are in the right place for fighting fires and being outdoors as this state has so much to offer and usually is pretty busy with fires in the summer.
      I also am intimidated by writing and would like to gain more confidence in my writing skills from this class.

      Good luck this semester!

  7. Janelle Pascoe

    Hello my name is Janelle, I was raised in North Pole, Alaska and currently still living here. I play hockey for the UAF women’s team and am a personal trainer. I teach fitness classes at the SRC during Spring/Fall semesters. During the summer season I work construction, mainly in the remote areas of Alaska. I enjoy doing all things outdoors (fishing, camping, snow machining, hiking) or anything exercise related.
    I am taking this class to fulfill the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Writing has always been a weakness of mine, I couldn’t agree more with Amanda Carr “I am hoping that by taking this class I will over come some of my fears and become a better writer.” I would like to be able to boost my confidence in my writing by the end of the semester.

    1. Brooke Mattice

      Janelle Writing has always been a weakness of mine, as well. I hope that you grow and become more confident this semester! Good luck to you!


    2. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome, Janelle – we are going to work on that pesky fear of writing! Just let me know if you want to pow-wow about it anytime!

  8. Cassandra Lane

    Hi. My name is Cassandra. I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska but I currently reside in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. My husband is in the military so we move often. This is actually our second time living in Virginia. We have also lived in Alabama and are currently waiting to see where the Army wants to move us next summer.
    We love to run, hunt, fish, camp and most anything outdoors. We have 4 children, 3 of which also started school today. Our oldest is a 9 year old girl in 4th grade. Then we have 3 boys, a 7 year old in 2nd grade, a 5 year old in kindergarten and another little boy who is almost 3.
    As far as school goes, I took about 5 years off because I didn’t know what I wanted to do after getting my associates degree and a few certificates. I just started working towards a bachelors degree in June and just decided this month what my major will be. I am working towards a bachelors of arts degree majoring in Child development and family studies and also becoming a lactation consultant. I am excited to take this class to help refresh college writing for me for courses I take in the future.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome Cassandra – 4 kids, wow! I’ve got a 9 year old son (Gus) and he’s about as much as I can handle – kudos!!!

  9. Brooke Mattice

    Hi All,

    My name is Brooke Mattice. I am from a town about 30 miles outside of Reno, NV called “Fernley.” I left my hometown when I was 18 in the pursuits of an adventure in “The Last Frontier.” I was in Alaska for two and a half years. I ended my Alaskan adventure(that will hopefully be continued at some point) in January of this year. I picked up and move outside of San Francisco, CA to try and get a jump start in the business world!

    I am currently working in the city and trying to adjust to the pace of life here. My job has sparked a curiosity in the real estate world. The market here is so competitive it blows my mind. My latest aspiration is to be a successful real estate agent and eventually an investor.

    I am pursuing a degree in business administration with a minor in marketing. This course is going to challenge me. i look forward to becoming a better and more analytical writer this semester. Best of luck to all of you!


    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome, Brooke! Have you read HEROES OF THE FRONTIER by Dave Eggers? I read it over the summer, and you might enjoy!

  10. Tarean Allen

    Hi All,
    I’m Tarean, like tear’in a piece of paper. I am a military spouse. We have been stationed at Eielson for almost 5 years. I have 3 children, aged 11, 8, & 3, 1 dog, and 2 birds. Alaska has become a second home for us. We were born and raised in Illinois. I home school our children and we enjoy almost every minute of it.
    I love roller derby, although I have not been active in the sport for a few years. I played with the Kokeshi Roller Dolls, when we were stationed in Japan. I also briefly played with the Fairbanks Roller Girls. I hope to re-join the league soon. My current hobbies include fishing, dancing, playing computer games, and writing.
    I am finishing required courses to gain a Nursing Degree. I have wanted to be a nurse since high school, but couldn’t continue any program in Japan. I am enthusiastic and determined to get it done before we leave Alaska in a few years.

  11. Keith Bell

    My name is Keith Bell and I’m a lifelong Alaskan originally from Homer, I now reside in Anchorage as of last year. I’ve been out of high school for a good ten years now and have had minimal advancement in my education since then. I’ve been a commercial fisherman for close to 15 years now and currently run two separate vessels around the state. One boat I ran this summer in Bristol Bay catching sockeye salmon and we also long line on it for halibut (just got back from Kodiak). I took over as captain of another boat about two years ago now and with it we catch Pacific Grey Cod in pots out of the the Bering Sea. My plan is to phase out of that job in particular and I’m hoping that by concentrating on my education it will help me to do that.

    I enjoy working on the ocean and it pays well if the fish show up which isn’t always the case. It’s seasonal work so I get a lot of time off which I usually use to travel. I’m taking a stab at a degree in Business Administration to further my understanding of the industry that I’m a part of.

    With this course I’m hoping to gain a better understanding of the fundamentals and technique involved in putting an idea to paper. I, like many here consider myself to be lacking in this subject so I’m pretty eager to become a better writer just as a basic life skill. Looking forward to getting to know you all!


  12. Erin

    Hello my name is Erin and I am really not in the mood to do a peppy cute little introduction because of how busy I am but here it goes.

    I guess we all try to balance school and work and kids and sick parents (and these damn animals that I love but also require SO much), but it’s new to me this year.
    Anyway I’m from Fairbanks, sadly. I hate the winters here and I don’t do any outdoor sports so yay for me. I’m native Alaskan, so this is home. “All” of my family is “from” here.
    I’ve taken this class already but I’m just trying to raise my GPA and get an A in this class. It sucks because when I initially took this class I had a professor that was retiring so he didn’t care what we did, so naturally I did none of the assigned work. But that was like 8 years ago, HAHAHAHAH. Sad.
    Now that I have matured and accrued debt, I find I need to make more money before I completely sink into destitution and depression. Cool.

    So yeah, this class will be great and I will totally learn things.

    PS I love using passive voice and I know I’ll get into trouble for it.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome, Erin – thanks for gutting it out. 🙂 And I hope you have a much better experience this semester! (PS – death to the passive voice!)

  13. Rebekah Melchior-Waldron

    My name is Rebekah and I grew up in Pennsylvania. I’ve moved around quite a bit since then and most recently Alaska. What first brought me up here was working in the hospitality industry. During this time I had taken a hiatus from college to figure out what I wanted to do as a career. I’ve learned that I don’t want to stay in hospitality, so I decided to finish my B.S. in Biology that I started a few years ago right after high school.
    After school I hope to find a job that uses my degree. Ideally ,I would like to be employed by a government agency like the EPA or a public health inspector.
    I am taking this course to meet the requirements for my degree, and I like that it’ s online so I can fit it easily into my schedule. I also thought this particle English class would be more interesting to me and relevant to my degree.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome, Rebekah! My partner is from PA, and we just visited in July (Pennsburg), and went to the Jersey Shore (Wildwood) – loved it!

  14. Angelina Lund

    My name is Angelina but I go by Angel. I was born and raised in Fairbanks and have not lived anywhere else. I have visited Washington State a couple times and have also been to the East Coast once for a visit over 20 years ago. I work in the Radiology Department at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Full time and have for over 20 years. I really enjoy my job.

    I am taking this course as a prerequisite to apply for the Radiology Tech Program. I am a single mother with 2 beautiful daughters ages 22 and 8. I am 40 years old and finally decided that my youngest daughter was at the perfect age for me to start taking some college courses part time. I want to prove to my daughters that you are never too old to work on your future. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends and family or just relaxing on the couch watching a movie. I also enjoy a nice hike or a weekend of camping.

    I look forward to getting as much as I can from this course and I also look forward to getting to know all of my classmates.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome, Angel! As another single mom about to enter her fourth decade, we’ve got lots in common!

  15. Michael Williams

    Hello my name is Michael Williams though I am often called Mike. I was born in Jacksonville Florida but I don’t really count that as I was only there for my first three months of my life since both my mom and dad were in the Marines at the time. Shortly after we moved to South Carolina for a few years and then finally Alaska where I’ve been ever since.

    I am a Wildlife Biology major so as may be expected I plan to work in that field. My dream job would be to sell my soul to an oil company so I could get paid real money to do what I love, which is of course staring at animals. I am very excited for this course as I have had little to know idea how to correctly write the scientific papers that are often required of me. Thus far I’ve mostly been winging it, with varying success levels.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome, Mike! If you have any family left in FL, I hope they are safe this week – scary!

  16. Spencer Jacobs

    Hello my name is Spencer, and I am From Gresham Oregon, where I have lived my whole life. I have a brother in the Air Force, my dad is an electrician and my mom runs a veterinarian clinic. I enjoy traveling the United States and visiting National Parks.

    I am a Business Administration major, and I am really interested in sports medicine. I would also love to own my own business. I am also on the rifle team, which is part of the reason I came to Alaska. I am looking forward to this class, because I want to learn how to write scientific papers properly, and I love to write.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Hey Spencer – I lived in Gresham for a while (grade school) and grew up in Oregon!!! Love to have a fellow Oregonian on the roster.

  17. Sara Church

    Hello my name is Sara Church, and i currently live in Fairbanks, AK. Though I am originally from Moosup, CT. It was a big leap for me to move so far from all i have really known, but I am not regretting it. I prefer the cold over the heat anyways. I currently live with family here in Alaska with also includes the small menagerie that has accumulated over time. My mother hopes to one day have a small hobby farm and she getting really close to her goal. We recently brought home 4 ducklings which run around and terrorize all the dogs.

    I am a Natural Resource Management major, and I am really interested in the GIS portion of the major. I am taking this class because it is a core requirement, but i do hope it will help me better my writing skills. English classes have always been my hardest classes, I love to read but writing is hard for me. I don’t currently have a favorite class yet due to them all being core classes, so they haven’t been really fun yet.

  18. Roger Vang

    Hello, my name is Roger, I am 23 years old, Hmong-American student. My life started on March 24, 1994, sometime in the morning. I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but was raised in a neighboring town called Sun Prairie, where my family still lives today. I was fortunate to have spent my entire K-12 years there.
    I happily graduated from Sun Prairie High School and left my hometown in 2012. I moved to Fairbanks, Alaska and now attend the university there as a Biochemistry major. I am not sure what I am going to do with it yet, but becoming a medical doctor is in sight.
    I have really been enjoying my chemistry courses, even though I may not understand it all. Though, I am hoping that taking Writing 213 will help me better my academic and scientific writing, especially for future research papers I will have to write.

  19. Kristopher Dunkle


    I’m Kristopher Dunkle, but I usually just go by Kris. I was born in Fairbanks, AK and have lived there with my family all my life. I’ve been a drummer since elementary school and have played some gigs together with a band of some of my longtime friends. For the last few years I’ve been working as an IT professional here in town and occasionally in Healy.

    In order to further that career I am taking this course, which will complete the very last requirement of my Associate of Science degree. Writing has always been the single most difficult academic task for me by far, but I intend to finish my degree strong.

  20. Chris Chapman


    My name is Chris. I was born and raised in Chicago. I joined the military and lived in various places through out the time serving. I got out of the military about a year ago and now have four awesome children. For the past year I have been an Investigator but now am continuing my passion of goin to school and learning more than what I have learned throughout my life.

    My ultimate goal is to be in the medical field. I have been going to school taking classes here and there while working full time jobs. I am now focused full time on achieving that goal. I hope to finish strong and show my kids, that everything takes time and comment to achieve a greater purpose.

    1. Juliette Smith

      Hi Chris. Thank you for serving!! Medical field is a great place to go as there will always be a need for medical personel

  21. Juliette Smith


    My name is Juliette. I am a junior and work in the financial aid office here at UAF. I am originally from Michigan, but lived here in my teens and moved back three years ago. I am the mother of two a 23 & 21 year old and step mother to three 28, 28, and 36. I am the grandmother of two an 8 year old and 5 year old. I have two chihuahuas Beanie Bear and Daisy May who are spoiled and loved very much.

    I love to bake, watch movies and learn new things.

    1. Christie Hinrichs

      Post author

      Welcome, Juliette! I’ve got a boxer named Luke, who rules this house – so I can relate!

  22. Jessica Mathews

    Hello Class, sorry I am getting to this late as I just added the class today!

    I currently reside in Fairbanks and just bought a house last winter, grew up in California and moved here from Orlando. My husband and I got married last October and excited to be celebrating our one year next month, we have a 1 year old puppy Rottweiler/ Husky mix that loves to give high fives, his name is Dozer. my education goals are to finish my AA at UAF and continue on to the Nursing program that they have just recently started at CTC. I am taking this class to go towards my English section of my General Education. This is my second semester back in school in over five years, so my goals would be to do the best that I can in all my classes and thoroughly understand everything that is being taught. My favorite class when I was previously in school was my last English class, I really enjoyed the professor and the way he taught, the support and motivation he provided. I really look forward to having a good semester with everyone and hope we all do great!


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