Writing Portfolio

Personal Essays

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I kept a journal throughout high school and college, but I first launched a personal blog online in 2008, attempting to record and share my experiences as a young married graduate student. I took time off while writing my Master’s Thesis and picked blogging back up again for a while in 2011. Those blog posts later provided some of the content for the essays posted here in my portfolio, while others have been written much more recently. The contrast in my perspectives from when I was 27-30 years old and at age 40 creates an interesting tension for me as I personally re-read old blog posts and compose personal essays in the 2020s.

To get a sense of my tone and writing style in more personal contexts, I invite you to read some of my favorite essays that I’ve written across the years.


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Since I am an avid reader, I have been influenced by the essays of authors as wide ranging as John Green, Walt Whitman, Anne Lamott, C.S. Lewis, Salmon Rushdie, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ross Gay, and Mary Oliver, among others.
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My Hummingbird Summer

Essay by Lauren Alise Schultz

Before the summer of 2008, hummingbirds had seemed like a beautiful myth to me. I had never seen one out in the world before, nor do I recall having seen one in a zoo or animal sanctuary. Because I have been intensely afraid of birds (the technical term is ornithophobic) my whole life, I had never had a particular desire to see a hummingbird. I didn’t even really think about it.

But then one sticky summer day ...

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