The literacy narrative project has been a long journey. After having a one on one meeting with Dr. Morgen, I had to restart my literacy narrative part one and create multiple rough drafts. I realized that there were many mistakes in my essay and I could improve on several literacy aspects. My first draft did not dive deep enough analytically, and my second draft was slightly confusing. I met the writing as a process learning outcome as this project taught me that multiple drafts would be needed in order to have a successful final text. The second literacy narrative, the comic, allowed me to articulate my narrative through multiple nodes. Through visuals, I had a better understanding of the emotions that were involved in my experience that shaped my reading and writing. It was a different style than I am used to, and it overlaps with the rhetorical composition learning outcome.
After creating my comic, I had a different approach to the literacy narrative part 3 than the first literacy narrative. I focused on different elements in writing and tried to emphasize on the emotions I felt during my story. In my comic, I had to draw facial expressions of my parents and I and it made me realize that there are different aspects to my narrative that I did not know and should include. For example, in my comic I had a panel that was a zoomed in on my face displaying frustration. In my third literacy narrative, I tried to emphasize the frustration I felt when I could not write comprehensible writing pieces. Additionally, the comic process made me realize my first literacy narrative had some flaws in the flow of the story. It was harder to create the comic if I followed everything I wrote in the first narrative, so I had to compromise and change some things in the comic to make the whole story flow better.
I see my story differently now because in my story, I not only grew as a writer, but also as a person. I tried to convey character development in my final literacy narrative by describing the transition of frustration and hopelessness I felt initially to enthusiasm and ambition. My analytical thinking process is different as I have experience now in conveying my story through not only writing, but also through drawings. I feel as if describing emotion through text is significantly different than describing emotion through illustrations.
Creating this comic has targeted multiple learning outcomes related to this class. After creating the rough draft, I had my class peers review it and give me feedback on what to revise and improve on. While my peers critiqued my comic, I also reviewed other peer’s comics as well and gave my own opinions on what they should work on. This exchange of positive criticism targets the learning outcome, writing as process, as I learned to provide constructive criticism for others’ works and learned to receive feedback with an open mind. Additionally, it took me several drafts until I finalized my comic and I had to revise it multiple times. Another learning outcome that this literacy narrative overlaps is digital citizenship. Since I am a poor drawer and drawing is an essential component to comics, so I would search up creative common licensed pictures online and use those images as a guide for my own drawings. This insures that I am not copyrighting other people’s intellectual properties. This comic process allowed me to practice being a good digital citizen.
I found it hard to write my literacy narrative as a comic because there were a lot more factors to consider. I had to use certain choice of moments that would emphasize what I was trying to convey. For example, I wanted to emphasize how hard it was for me to write summaries of the chapters I read in books by utilizing the choice of moment, moment to moment. In the second page of my comic, there are five panels dedicated to illustrate my struggles in writing and they are all moment to moment panels. When the visual components were added, I realized there is a lot more emotion involved with my literacy narrative. During the process of creating the comic, I had to take consideration in the choice of image used and the emotion I had to convey through facial expressions within my panels. In my literacy narrative, I wrote about how my parents were concerned with my lack of ability in expressing my thoughts. On the other hand, in my comic I had to show my parents’ concern through visuals. I did this by drawing my parents’ facial expressions that displayed confusion and concern.
I focused a lot on choice of image for this comic to convey what was going on in my head when I tried to write a summary about a chapter in a book or when I tried to explain to my mom what happened at school. I tried to illustrate the racing thoughts that were going on in mind by drawing a panel that zoomed in on my head and a tornado inside my head. The tornado symbolizes the racing thoughts. Another example of choice of image is the panels that focus on my parent’s facial expressions. In one of the panels, it is zoomed in on my mom’s confused face. To further exemplify her confusion, I also drew question marks around her head. This close up angle of my mom’s face was an intentional choice of frame as I wanted the reader to focus on my mom’s bewildered facial response when I told her about my day in school. One thing I would like to add more if I did have the resources and skills is speech bubbles. In Spinning, there were a lot of speech bubbles that provided more conversations between the characters. In my comic, there is barely any conversation and I would want to add more to make the comic more flavorful and keep the reader interested.
I decided to recreate a movie scene from one of my favorite movies, Taken. I tried to recreate Bryan Mill’s confused/worried facial expression when he is on the phone with his kidnapped daughter. Since the movie is from 2008, the video quality is not the best, so I tried to mirror the quality by taking the picture on my cheap Motorola instead of my friend’s iPhone.
This quadriptych was inspired by the pandemic and the mandatory wearing of masks. The challenging component to creating this comic was execution of the plot. I found it quite difficult to display a story that was short enough to fit into four panels. For the triptych comic it was easy to create a panel for beginning, middle, and end. However, for the quadriptych, the middle has to have two panels. Therefore, the comic has to be longer than a triptych but just long enough that it can fit into four panels. When creating the quadriptych and triptych, I needed to come up with a beginning, middle, and end for both comics. The difference was that I had to provide a slightly more detailed middle for the quadriptych. Having the middle part stretched into two panels instead of one panel meant that I had to think of a middle with two meaningful events instead of one. I wanted to create a humorous comic that everybody could understand and in some way relate to. That is why I chose to joke about the “gum mask” because everybody is wearing masks to be safe from the corona virus.
In my backpack, there are eight items that I carry around with me. I counted the seven pens/highlighters as one item because they serve the same purpose. In the top right of the photo is a blue portfolio binder. I do not like using the generic binders because they are bulky and easily break. The portfolio binder keeps my class work and notes organized. This displays some sense of personality for me since I do like to be somewhat organized. I have a laptop as well, and it is the most important item I own because it is the tool for all my academics. The pens and highlighters are for note-taking, and I like to use various colored pens when taking notes to keep the notes organized and easy to read. Whenever I feel like reading, I would take a few minutes to read the “Self-Realization” book that is shown in the bottom left of the picture. There really is no explanation to the choice of book, a person I encountered at the airport gave it to me. Such a random book, yet I have learned a lot and it has been eye-opening. I have two chargers, one for my laptop and the other for my phone. My phone is always somehow on low-battery so I need to bring a phone charger everywhere I go. I also bring a pair of blue-light glasses with me. To be honest, I have reaped no observable benefits from the glasses but they look cool so I wear them anyways. Lastly, is a water bottle because I always stay hydrated no matter what.
The image of all the items in my bag is representative of certain aspects about me, but not representative of my personality as a whole. From the sheer lack of items in my bag, it illustrates the minimalistic side of me and that I tend to only bring and have things that I deem necessary. The portfolio binder reveals my liking of being organized. Lastly, the book, “Self-Realization”, about Krishna consciousness, displays open-mindedness and the sake of learning new things. When I took out my items from my bag to take a picture, I debated whether or not to include the “Self-Realization” book in there. I was slightly insecure about what others would think of me reading such an unusual topic that I feel like is not really covered in current society. Representing myself in a catalog of the stuff in my bag is a type of writing because it involves analyzing the items in my bag and how they reflect upon me as a person. Similar in reading a passage, analyzing the passage, and then writing about your analysis of the passage, representing yourself in a catalog of the stuff in your bag is also a type of writing.
The concept I have chosen for this project was happiness. When analyzing how happy I am everyday, I identified five factors that would contribute to my happiness and wanted to see if those five were enough to determine how happy I was. The factors were time spent on phone, human interactions, productivity, stress, and exercise. Are these five categories enough to determine a broad level of happiness I was experiencing for the day?
After two weeks of data gathering, it can be concluded that there are far more factors that these five that determine happiness for me individually. The data is rather contradicting at times, one day I would have the complete opposite data of another day, but still end up having similar scores of happiness at the end of the day. However, according to the chart and data table, there seems to be a correlation between human interaction and happiness. The more I interact with people, the happier I am. When I stayed in my dorm room all day and barely contacted anybody, I felt lonely and in an overall bad mood. In order to score the five categories every day, I set up a 1-10 scale for each category. For example, for the productivity category, 1 would be no productive at all and 10 would be very productive. The judgment call I had to make using this scale was just exactly what score to give if I was just sort of productive and fell in between 1 and 10.
Before I started gathering the data, I wanted to know if having high scores in all categories would directly translate to a high score in happiness. That is why I used the graph above to visualize my data because it is very easy and simple to see the trends and correlations between the categories and happiness. These visualizations say that my life has a lot more factors that are tied into happiness outside of the five categories I chose to gather data on.
If I were to continue this project into the future, I would choose a different topic to measure instead of measuring happiness. I would choose a topic that does not have that many factors that influence the topic because it would make creating conclusions based on data and analyzing the data a easier. When attempting to analyze the data from this project I have done so far, it is hard to see how the categories influence happiness since there are so many other categories that effect happiness that I did not gather data on.
I have found this to be a valuable tool for self analysis since I am paying ore attention to my daily habits and actions more and looking deeper into what effects my emotions. From paying more attention to what makes me happy, I have come to the realization that going on my phone too much does not help with making me happy and if anything, puts me into a bored and dull mood.
When coming up with the narrative, I wanted to make it humorous. In order for the three panel comic to to have an ending, the joke had to be said on the third panel. In order for the joke to be on the third panel, that means the first panel and second panel had to set up for the third panel. In order to create of a humorous triptych, I had to think of a joke that would fit in three panels, so I scanned my surroundings for help. Unpredictable weather has been a trend since I’ve been on campus since first semester. Sunshine and high temperatures followed by sudden rainfall is the basis of my triptych. The challenging component of this assignment was finding a narrative that fits in three panels. I had a couple ideas but many of them required more than three panels. This comic strip is similar to the tracing assignment. One of the ways I annotated/analyzed the Spinning and Stitches pages was by identifying the choice of motion of the panels. I can identify the choice of motion just as I did for the tracing assignment.
Stitches and Spinning both utilize a litany of literary conventions to assist the audience’s reading of the text, but Stitches focuses on establishing an emotional reaction from the audience whereas Spinning’s conventions focus on emphasizing the understanding of the plot. When annotating Stitches, I recognized that the panels consisted of vibrant pictures with little to no text. In addition to the action to action panel based motion, Small attempts to deliver an emotional reaction from the audience. On the other hand, Spinning delivers character thought based panels, utilizing facial expressions and internal dialogue to portray the mental state of Tillie, the main character.
While tracing the papers, I became more aware of the facial expressions of the characters and the details of the settings within the panels. Being more aware of the imagery used by the author, I had a greater understanding of the emotional state that the characters were in. Tracing the outline of the panels accentuated the importance of the flow of the panels. There is no defined direction of the panels so it is up to the author to create effective flow of the panels for the reader to easily follow along. Annotating the comic pages consisted of more elements to consider. Analyzing the text within the panels was not much of a priority, but instead, I found myself interpreting the motion of the panels and the imagery.
Traditionally, I would initially formulate a thesis, and then write my essay based on the thesis. However, in the process of writing this tracing essay, I analyzed and wrote the two pattern paragraphs first and then constructed my thesis that built off of those patterns. The structure of this essay was fundamentally reversed compared to the traditional five paragraph essay that students wrote in high school. This method of writing allowed me to have a stronger analytical view on the two pages from the comics.
In conclusion, this essay has revealed to me the dynamics of comics and the secret language that goes along with it. There are many details in imagery, the structure of the panels for reader flow, and more that are overlooked by the audience. I have a better understanding of the main character, Tillie, in Spinning after this tracing assignment. I realized that Tillie has a slight dissociation with reality through the internal dialogue that overpower the textboxes in the panels. The biggest insight I gained from this assignment is the different moments in each page. I never really considered the time period of the scene(s) in each page.
My combophoto was inspired by Stephen Mcmennamy’s combophoto of “cauliflower and poodle”. I wanted to use an animal’s body and replace the head with another picture. The animal I used was a bald eagle and initially, I wanted to replace the bald eagle’s head with a human head, kind of the same concept of the reverse of the the ancient Egyptian god, Anubis. It’s the reverse because Anubis has a human body but animal head while I wanted to create a combophoto of an animal body and a human head. However, it was really hard finding a human head with the same white color of the neck of the bald eagle so instead I used a baseball.