The Secret Language of Comics

Literacy Narrative 1 Reflection

In my literacy narrative essay, I explored my infatuation with books and due to my upbringing and how moving to America drastically changed my relationship with reading and writing forever.

After brainstorming about several poignant moments in my life, it felt natural and easy to write about my memories and my happy childhood bubble filled with Magic Treehouse and Rainbow Fairy novels. The freewriting exercise developed into two paragraphs about how my love for books started. However, the troubles once started when I was forced to relive and analyze my sophomore year of high school. To have something you treasured just ripped away from you was extremely disheartening. Okay, that sounds dramatic, but it really felt like I had nothing after witnessing the wide gap between my abilities and my classmates’. I wanted to convey this pain of understanding that I wasn’t good enough at something I had so deeply loved, and that everything I had known about literature was quite amiss.

I tried using a contrast of sentence length to show my misery. For example, one paragraph states: “I was so, very terribly mistaken. And I never fully recovered from being wrong.”

In retrospect, despite the enormous difficulties I encountered when I decided I hated English, it was an important moment of growth. I would never be the writer I am today without the help of my English teachers in high school. Ms. Dolan moved away after my first year, but I will never forget everything she has done for me. I did find it surprising when I realized how much time I spent reading and writing before moving to America, considering how much I’ve cried and broke down over English courses. I honestly forgot about my devotion to literature. Writing the essay brought back many estranged and sometimes unwelcome emotions about my past, but by the end, I felt that I received closure. Crafting the last paragraph brought upon an epiphany about how I want to continue: I want to keep writing to show everyone my culture.

Read the essay here.

Visual Physics Notes

I take a lot of notes on notability. It’s sort of therapeutic, using calligraphy to write notes and creating colorful diagrams to aid in visual learning. However, in this assignment, I wanted to make a mind map of everything we’ve learned so far in physics. The portion enclosed within the blue rectangle are sketches from my previous notes, and everything else is hand-drawn for this assignment. Creating this actually helped me prepare for my test since I was able to visualize the material better. Furthermore, two parts of the sketch are “step-by-step tips” that explained how to solve an electricity problem. In addition, an aliens and astronaut are stuck together in physics land and the only way out is to answer a question. Answering an electric field problem using the steps outlined in the notes was a great way to practice for the upcoming test. I really liked incorporating funny doodles and characters with dialogue within these notes, and I found myself having fun studying physics (never happened before). I also kept looking back at the notes because it was pretty, and before I knew it, the steps to solve an electric field problem were ingrained in my head.

I think I got carried away as I really enjoyed doodling—the planets sketch took more than two hours alone. I kept wanting to add more and more elements, despite having spent ages on this assignment. Maybe I could sell this study guide for some money.

Link to image:

Close Up Details

24-Hair Ring

Rambutan is one of the most delectable fruits found in Indonesia—it has a sweet, juicy center hidden in a red shell with soft spines, or hairs, sticking out. I used to wake up early and excitedly head to street markets in search of a pound of fresh, aromatic rambutan. Then, I would devour the 50 of these tiny, hairy, heavenly fruits in one day, and then complain at night that we ran out of rambutans. In the midst of my longing to go back home after more than a year of being away from my family, I wanted to incorporate some of my culture for this sunday sketch. After ruminating between exotic fruits, fried street snacks, and praying women at the mosque, I decided on rambutan, my favorite fruit. I struggled with finding the second image that would fit nicely with a rambutan. However, the inspiration was right in front of me: rings. I love rings, and I collect a numerous array of vintage rings. I found the image on Flickr, and this ring had an every similarly to the one I’m wearing on my left index finger. The second struggle came about when the editing websites wouldn’t work on my iPad. I wasn’t sure why, but I downloaded Photoshop Express as a result. But then, there was no precise cropping tool, and as you can see in the image, the cropping of the ring is… rough around the edges. The final image conveys my wish to go back home, compounded with a touch of my personality. Even though Jakarta is my home, I don’t feel like I fit in there after leaving when I was 15. In a way, this fusion of rambutan and a ring expresses my desire to create a new normal where I can exist. Honestly, if I saw a ring like this, I’d buy it instantly. It’s quite a statement piece.


Being The Butt of the Joke is No Fun

I feel like I’m constantly the butt of the joke from the fortune cookie gods.

As I scanned my room for an object, a measly remnant of my Chinese takeout caught my eye: a fortune cookie. Normally, I’d excitedly open the package, crack the cookie in half, read my often dismal fortune, and eat the cookie to soothe my superstitious soul. Last week, my fortune said that I have a lot of problems! That day, I was so busy, I forgot about the cookie. I thought I could use the cookie for my sunday sketch, but figuring out an idea proved harder than I originally imagined. I tried a couple of ideas—UFO, Asian conical hat, hair—yet none of them really worked. The odd, crimped, protruding shape of the cookie was working against my favor, and any minuscule change in the camera angle drastically altered how the cookie looked.

On Sunday night, I held the cookie in my hand, trying to ignore the urge to crush it into pieces and give up. I thought “Haha, this kind of looks like a butt.” I instantly dismissed the crude idea, but the more I thought of it, the more it seemed to fit. Yes. A corgi butt. I immediately got to work on my iPad, and voila! Fortune cookie butt! I then edited the photo to adjust the lighting and dimensions and felt happy with the final product. Now, I’m currently eating the cookie while reading my fortune about failing at the stock market (I don’t know anything about it). I think I’m going to start kicking the fortune cookies’ butts and decide my own future.


This is my DIY avatar! 100% homemade and au naturale. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what kind of animal it is. It’s an odd amalgamation of a feline, bear, and dog, combined with a chaotic explosion of pastel colors. However, I feel like this simple image represents me as a person and my interests well. Firstly, it’s a creative mess. I’m very creative, and one of my hobbies is art, even though it may not look like it. I consistently try to explore the boundaries of my imagination and endeavor to create art that that transcends all horizons. Secondly, I love finding new ways to make digital drawings, and I’m very inquisitive! It was my first time using pixlr, and it took a while to get the hang of it and figure out what the various tools were for. Since I had used adobe before, I feel like utilizing a new platform would be a great experience. I was curious about the extent of this program and spent an hour tinkering with the brushes. Thirdly, the bright, pastel colors illustrates my personality well: easy-going, blends well with others, bright, but also somewhat mellow at times. The dotted fireworks symbolizes my capacity to be dynamic and daring, as well as my desire to be brilliant. Lastly, I like cute things and animals. The only difficulty I had was that iPads were definitely not made for these programs. I also lost my apple pen.