Literacy Narrative Reflection

Once you have published your literacy narrative as a page on your site, you’ll need to also publish a post about the narrative that links to the page (how to add a link in a post or a page). That post serves three fundamental functions:

  • it provides a compelling preview of your narrative that summarizes your controlling idea in a sentence or two;
  • it reflects on what you have learned in the process of writing your literacy narrative;
  • when your post syndicates to the class site, that constitutes turning in your narrative.

Some questions to consider in your reflection:

  • What was your writing process for this narrative like? Did it feel strange for you to do the freewriting exercises first? How did the freewriting influence the essay you eventually wrote?
  • What did you learn about yourself by the end of writing your narrative? Was there anything that you found surprising, or something about yourself that you came to view differently in the process of writing this essay?
  • What sentence from your essay do you think someone else reading it would identify as the most interesting sentence?

Halfa Kucha Reflection

Due: Friday 4/16

Export your halfa kucha slideshow as a set of images (in Powerpoint: File > Export… and then in File Format select jpeg and “save every slide.” Powerpoint will create a subfolder where you tell it to and save each of your ten slides as images). Then in your WordPress dashboard create a new post and upload those images to a Slideshow block.

Then write a couple of paragraphs reflecting on the process of writing and then giving the presentation. How was it different to construct an argument that you were giving to the class as a presentation than to write an essay? How did you make choices about the structure of your argument? If you made a choice to organize your presentation in a certain way so that your audience would follow it more clearly, is that something that you could also make use of in your written work? Was your analytical thinking process any different?

What decisions did you make about the visuals for your presentation? How did you go about creating an impact for the slides that accompany your spoken words?

What did you learn by giving this type of presentation, where you had no control of the timing of the slides and couldn’t put much in the way of text on your slides, as compared to other presentations you have given? What did you notice about your classmates’ presentations that you might think about incorporating into your own presentations in the future?

Halfa Kucha assignment prompt

Tracing Stitches and Spinning: Reflection

Once you have completed your Tracing project and published the pages to your site, you need to publish a reflection post as well. The post serves to turn the project in when it syndicates to the class site, and is also an opportunity for you to explain your process in the work you just completed.

Your reflection post should link to the main page for your project and also to the assignment prompt. Tell us in the post what the thesis of your essay is and give a one or two sentence preview of your argument.

You should also address the following questions:

  • Before writing your essay, you went through a pretty involved process of tracing and annotating two pages from the books. Briefly explain what that process was like for you — probably this was very different from most other writing you’ve done, so try to explain what was useful about the process for you. What productive thoughts or analysis occurred through the act of tracing and annotating?
  • For this assignment, I asked you to be very conscious of writing an inductive essay with your thesis at the end, which is probably a pretty foreign way to structure an essay for you. How did your writing process change to address this assignment?
  • This assignment is a close reading exercise focused on identifying aspects of the “secret language of comics,” the series of choices the authors make in crafting comics that probably pass by many readers with little or no conscious notice. Do you feel that this assignment helped you to get in on this secret language? Do you understand Stitches and Spinning better after having written this project? What’s the single biggest insight you gained about the two books during the process of tracing, annotating, and analyzing these pages (maybe something you “knew” on some level before you started but that you really get now, or maybe something you hadn’t really noticed until you worked on the project)?

Literacy Narrative Comic Reflection

Now that you’ve completed your Literacy Narrative Comic, publish a reflective blog post of about 500 words about the writing process, paying special attention to how the work you have done has helped you to meet the Learning Outcomes for this class. That post should link to the page with your literacy comic.

Some other questions you might respond to: How was it different to write your literacy narrative as a comic? How did you think differently once the visual component was added? How did that help you to see the story you were trying to tell in different terms? Was your analytical thinking process any different? How have your thoughts about your alphabetic literacy narrative changed in the process of transforming it into a comic?

I’d also like you to discuss choices you made in creating your comic and to explain why you chose the way you did. Especially if there’s something you were really trying to do in your comic which you felt you couldn’t realize as perfectly as you would if you had a lot more time, more resources, or if you could have hired an illustrator to turn your vision into exactly what you wanted. If there are aspects of your comic where you have a clear sense of what you were trying to accomplish and how you would have done so if some things were different, then explain that in your reflection. Doing so allows you to demonstrate that you have the knowledge you need about this sort of writing even if you have not yet developed all the skills necessary to make that knowledge visible in the final artifact you’ve produced

Sunday Sketch Assignments

1: Avatar (due: 1/31, tag: sk1)

2: Sunday Sketches (due: 2/7, tag: sk2)

3: Visual Note Taking (due: 2/14, tag: sk3)

3: Combophoto (due: 2/21, tag: sk4)

5: Triptych (due: 2/28, tag: sk5)

6: What’s in your bag? (due: 3/7, tag: sk6)

7: Quadriptych (due: 3/14, tag: sk7)

8: Data viz from everyday life (due: 4/4, tag: sk8)

9: Recreate a movie scene (due: 4/11, tag: sk9)

10: Tell a True Story (due: 4/18, tag: sk10)

Cancelled

12: Assemblies (due: 5/2, tag: sk12)

Final Portfolio and Reflection Letter

Length: 1000 – 1250 words (4-5 pages)

Due date: 5/10

Look back over the writing you’ve encountered and produced this semester, and then draft a cover letter for your portfolio that explains how you have met the learning outcomes for this course. This letter is an opportunity to think about your writing and clarify — for yourself and portfolio readers — how your skills and awareness of your writing processes have grown this semester. Think of each piece of writing included in your portfolio as an “exhibit” that you are analyzing and reflecting on in this letter.

What should your letter do?

  • Explicitly address the course outcomes and how you encountered them throughout the reading and writing for the course.
  • Guide your readers through the exhibits, discussing your writing while looking for larger patterns. What do you see about yourself as a writer when you step back and look at the work you’ve produced this semester?
  • Discuss at least one piece of writing in depth, considering the stages of the writing process as it developed. How did you think about audience, purpose, or genre while you wrote this piece?
  • Explain how you have applied (or will apply in the future) insights from this course in your other classes or other rhetorical situations. Use specific examples, if possible.
  • Employ evidence to support your claims. Just like in the other writing assignments you’ve completed this semester, you will need evidence to support of your argument; however, in this case, the evidence you will use is your own writing.
    • Remember that you need to incorporate quotes into your own writing with clear framing language.
    • Also remember that you always need your own interpretation and analysis of any quote you use in order for it work as evidence.
    • Forms of evidence from your writing exhibits could include, but are not limited to: quotes from your own finished writing (embedded in sentences or longer quotes in blocks); quotes from early drafts of your writing or notes; reported or quoted feedback from others; illustrations or quotations that show how a particular exhibit evolved; or screenshots or images from your work.

Publishing your cover letter

The reflection essay should become the new home (or index) page for your course site and should begin with a note indicating that the site is an archive of the work that you completed as part of ENG101 at Emory University during spring semester 2018. You should link to the course site, so that a reader who is going through your work can easily find out more information about the course you were in.

You should organize the work on your course site into a finished portfolio showing all the work you have done this semester. Make certain that your entire course subdomain looks complete, coherent, and like you’ve given some thought to its overall design and aesthetics.

Just like with any assignment you’ve completed this semester, your reflection letter should include at least one image (though you can certainly include more than one. You might consider using your Assemblies image as the primary or feature image for your letter — hopefully constructing that chart will help you to think about how the work you have completed this semester fits together, and hopefully it will help to communicate that understanding to your readers.

Halfa Kucha

Pecha Kucha Background

pecha kucha is a particular style of oral and visual presentation where speakers present while showing 20 slides, each one timed to display for exactly 20 seconds. Hence, every pecha kucha presentation lasts for 6 minutes, 40 seconds. 

Here’s a sample pecha kucha, which I chose almost at random from the pecha kucha site, called “Drawing to Document,” by Charis Loke:

For your third major project this semester, you’ll perform something akin to a pecha kucha, but in order to keep the scope of the assignment manageable and to have enough time for you to give your presentations to the class, we’re cutting the number of slides you’ll have in half — so you’ll have exactly 200 seconds, with 10 accompanying images, to present your argument.

Trauma and Recovery

In Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence — From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror Judith Lewis Herman observes:

The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.

Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.

The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.

The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called “doublethink,” and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call “dissociation.” It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms

And here’s another quote from the same book:

Recovery unfolds in three stages. The central task of the first stage is the establishment of safety. The central task of the second stage is remembrance and mourning. The central focus of the third stage is reconnection with ordinary life.

Assignment Fundamentals

Due: In class presentations on 4/13 and 4/15. (We’ll spend the first 45 minutes of each class on presentations. Please be sure to attend class on these days and be a good, attentive, respectful audience for your peers.)

Medium: This presentation will take the form of a “halfa kucha,” which means that you will create ten slides that will each stay on the screen for 20 seconds before automatically progressing to the next slide. Each slide should have a compelling visual image on it with no or very minimal text. Over the three minutes and twenty seconds of the slideshow you will explain your argument orally to the class. I will ask you afterwards to export the slideshow as a video or PDF to publish to your site along with a description of your argument.

Audience: The audience is your classmates, so they have read and thought about and discussed the books — you should not waste time summarizing the plot or giving basic background information that we’ve already discussed in class. But just like with other assignments this semester, assume that you are the smartest, most perceptive reader in the class and you have noticed things the rest of the class has not.

Tone: You can choose a tone ranging from casual to “academic casual” to very formal. Whatever fits your argument, personality, and presentation style the best. Remember, though, that you’re talking about trauma — so if you decide to be casual, still be respectful to the subject and to the sensibilities of your audience.

Title: You are required to have a really good, interesting title for your presentation.

Prompt

Thinking about the two quotes from Herman above and Hillary Chute’s “Introduction: Women, Comics, and the Risk of Representation” that we read earlier this semester, present to the class an argument about how two or three of the books we have read this semester investigate and represent trauma and healing.

Reflection Prompt

Once you have completed your presentation, I’ll ask you to either send me the slides or ask you to host them on your sites — the latter is preferable but might be too much of a pain with the WordPress.com sites you’ve got. Then you’ll write a reflection post and link to your presentation wherever it lives.

Sketch 2: Sunday Sketches

Due: 9/15
Tag: sk2

Christoph Niemann is an illustrator, artist, and author whose work regularly appears in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and elsewhere. He’s got a mixed media series that he calls “Sunday Sketches,” in which he takes some object from his surroundings and creates a sketch on the page around it. Some of the best such works he’s included in his book entitled Sunday Sketching.

Some examples from Niemann’s Tumblr:

You can see that each of these pieces is an actual three-dimensional tangible object placed into a drawing on paper to transform that object into something new. Niemann then photographs the resulting sketch to create a two-dimensional artifact.

For your third sketch assignment, I want you to create your own Sunday sketch in a similar style.

  • Take a picture of your sketch and publish it as a post.
  • Give your post a funny or witty title.
  • Write a paragraph or two in which you explain the process whereby you came up with the idea for your Sunday sketch and the choices you made in realizing that idea as an actual sketch.
  • Include a link back to this prompt and tag it “sk2

Sketch 1: Avatar

Due: 1/31

Tag: sk1

Objectives:

  • Very basic photo editing
  • Introduction to the concept of Creative Commons
  • Uploading and publishing to your new WordPress site
  • Visual images as representations of complex conceptual topics

Avatar

Once you’ve created your web site, you need an image to represent yourself and/or your site for the class: an avatar. Your avatar can be whatever you want it be but try to create something that both reflects your personality and speaks to the topic for this class in some way.

Start by choosing one or more of your own photos as the basis of the avatar, drawing something yourself and scanning it, or finding one or more Creative Commons-licensed images on Flickr that you can modify. (Make certain to keep a note for yourself of the URL for the photos you use if they are not your own.)

CC-licensed images

Creative Commons licenses work with copyright law so that creators can share their work in a way that allows others to use it with attribution. The video on the left gives a good overview of the concept of Creative Commons licensing. The one on the right gives more explanation of how they work. They are short and worth watching.

You can find CC-licensed images by choosing licensed images on Flickr or with an advanced Google image search.

Edit Photo

Crop and otherwise edit the photo(s) in a photo editing application (like Photoshop or Pixlr). You can create a layered or collage effect, if you’d like. Add your name on your badge in such a way that it’s legible — it can be your full name, just your first name, or the nickname you want to be called this semester.

Your final badge should be square and at least 512 pixels wide and high. Please make certain your badge is square so that it will fit into the design on the student sites page.

Publish

When you’re done, you’ll need to put the image two places, with an optional third:

First

Load the badge into your Media Library and publish it to your site in a blog post. (If adding it as a feature image means that the entire square image won’t display, then also insert the image into the post itself.)

Include information and links in the post about the source(s) for images included in your badge.

Write a paragraph or two about why you chose those images, what aspects of yourself and your interests are represented in your badge, and/or what difficulties you faced in creating the badge.

Please tag your post with the tag “sk1,” plus any additional tags that you think are appropriate.

Second

Go into your dashboard to Design > Customize > Site Identity. Load the image as your site icon (not as the logo).

Finally

If you do not already have a gravatar, create a gravatar account and load your avatar there. From then on, your avatar will show up as your picture when you leave comments here and on other students’ sites.

Sketch 3: Visual Note Taking

Due: 2/14
Tag: sk3

Overview

For your sketch assignment this week, I want you to create a set of visual notes for one day in one class (other than this one) that you are currently enrolled in. You do not need to take your visual notes in real time; in fact, I recommend that you don’t. I recommend that you go to your classes and take notes in whatever manner you normally do, then after class go through your notes and recreate them as visual notes.

Giulia Forsyth

Domain of One’s Own by Flickr user Giulia Forsyth

I’m a big fan of the work of Giulia Forsyth. She works in a teaching and learning center, where she helps professors and instructors be more innovative in their teaching practices, and she also works as a visual note-taker and facilitator, which means that she is sometimes employed to go to presentations and meetings and to doodle notes for the meeting.

Check out the four minute video below, where she gives a quick summary of how she began to take her doodling seriously and where it has led her.

On her Visual Practice page, Forsyth has lots of videos and images explaining how she approaches the task of producing drawings that help her and others to not just grab the information that’s been presented in a class or discussion, but to grapple with the material and better understand it. You can also see numerous examples on her Flickr page, especially her Visual Practice album.

Kenneth Robinson

As another example of visual note-taking, you might check out the video below from RSA Animates illustrating a lecture by Kenneth Robinson about educational philosophy. I suspect you’ll find the video much more powerful and engaging because of the illustration that goes along with it than you would if you were simply listening to the audio. What does this mean for your own practice?

Prompt

For your sketch assignment this week, I want you to create a set of visual notes for one day in one class that you are currently enrolled in (probably not this one). You do not need to take your visual notes in real time; in fact, I recommend that you don’t. I recommend that you go to your classes and take notes in whatever manner you normally do, then after class go through your notes and recreate them as visual notes.

You do not need to draw your notes in a digital environment, either, though you are certainly free to do so. If you prefer to doodle with pen, pencil, or marker on paper then do that and once you’re done with your drawing, just scan the pages as JPG files so you can upload them to your site. If you have an iPad or other tablet or would like to draw on your laptop or desktop, then you might try apps like GoodNotes, ProcreateInkflow, or Adobe’s Sketchbook or search for other free/cheap drawing applicationsI am completely tool agnostic on this assignment, so make your drawings in whatever manner make sense to you.

Your visual notes do not need to be polished or beautiful or anywhere near as intricate as Forsyth’s. Do try to take this assignment as an opportunity to really engage differently with your material – don’t just make a series of doodles that follow the outline of the lecture or discussion in your notes but try to translate the concepts and information into a new, visual set of notes. You might think about creating flowcharts or diagrams, which are also visual devices.

Once you’ve got your notes, load them onto your course site as a sketch post. Embed the images from your notes into the post and as you do, take a few moments to reflect on the process and then write a paragraph or two about what you learned during the process of creating your visual notes. Did it help you to understand the course content any differently or better to create notes visually rather than just as text? Did you discover anything new about yourself or the way you think in the process? Did you find it enjoyable or find some aspect of it particularly interesting? Someplace in your reflective text, create a link back to this blog post assignment.