Sketch 12: Assemblies

For my assembly, I wanted to draw a rocket to how how everything built up in this class so that it could reach space. I think that the foundation of the rocket is the digital citizenship aspect of the class regarding fair use of images as well as being able to learn to use wordpress. Second is visual thinking, it was learned through assignments like the triptych, quadriptych, and Annotating Stitches and Spinning. Writing as a Process was learned through the Literacy Narrative Project . Critical Thinking and Reading Resulting in Writing was shown through my Sunday Sketches because of how each one is based on another author’s and being able to put my own twist on it. Last but not least, rhetorical composition was shown through my literacy narrative part 2 and my halfa kucha.

Tracing Pages

Traced Pages here

Stitches and Spinning are both graphic memoirs following the developmental years of David Small and Tillie Walden, respectively. Small grew up in Detroit and regularly became ill during his childhood. His parents and grandmother, who rarely showed David affection, regularly abused him mentally and physically. In Spinning, Walden’s upbringing consists of various trauma in addition to the difficulties of high school’s social pressures. On page 289 of Spinning and 275 of Stitches, Small and Walden are both traumatized and lose someone meaningful. Although both scenes portray traumatizing events, these pages are structured very differently. 

In Stitches, David Small became close with his step-grandfather, Papa John. Papa John was popular in their town and would take David to see the trains, which David enjoyed. On page 275, David’s grandmother and Papa Johns wife, who lacked sympathy and apathy for David, attempted to murder Papa John by setting their house on fire while he was locked in the basement. Papa John survived and David’s grandmother was sent to the state insane asylum. David had to experience the trauma of his abusive grandmother trying to kill one of the only people he felt close to. In Spinning, Walden had an SAT tutor who she believed was a friend of hers. On page 289, Walden goes to her final SAT study session and takes her sweatshirt off because of the temperature, revealing that she is wearing a tank top. Her SAT male tutor then sits next to her in an attempt to sexualize her, making her rightfully uncomfortable. He begins to use playful tactics to touch her and becomes increasingly aggressive until she is finally able to fight him off. Walden was scared and hurt by this experience because she “thought [they] had actually been friends.” In these texts, Small and Walden were each betrayed by individuals that were expected to have enough apathy towards them and others to act differently. 

Page 289 of Spinning and 275 of Stitches portray traumatizing events while being structured very differently. Page 289 contains four rectangular panels in a basic two-by-two formation with short and distant text bubbles for Walden. Additionally, the frame for three of the panels is the same and witnesses the event from behind Walden with no shading in the background. These details were included to slow the readers pace and emphasis the discomfort and fear felt during the situation. To contrast, page 275 of Stitches has five panels varying in four differently-sized rectangles with dense shading for the background. This page also uses lines to represent the motion of the grandmother lighting the match in the center of the page. These details and the absence of text bubbles make this scene feel quick-paced. Despite the opposing structures of the pages, both scenes portray intensity and significance.

These texts use different methods to portray intense situations to determine the pace and effect the scenes have on the readers. This page in Spinning has large panels with distant text bubbles and a lot of negative space, causing the reader to slow down and play close detail to the significance of Waldens interaction with her SAT tutor. In Stitches, Small uses smaller panels and the absence of text boxes for the reader to rapidly view the scene and display that time was a pressing matter during the situation in addition to the grandmother’s actions.

Flower Arrangement Writing

My Writing as a Flower Arrangement

I decided to represent what I have learned this semester about myself as a writer and reader as a flower arrangment. The various types of assignments and the pieces of writing I have done this semester have helped me obtain new insight into my poor writing process and gain tips for how to improve my writing. I labeled some of the different flowers as different tips I gained from my different assignments; I realized the importance of doing multiple drafts through sketching multiple page possibilities for my literacy narrative comic, I also became aware of importance to directly state my thesis so the importance of my story is conveyed to my audience—who can possibly relate—and by knowing my purpose I can figure out how to best organize my argument and transition properly between my ideas.

Literacy Narrative Part 3 Reflection

literacy narrative part 3

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.

Halfa Kucha Reflection

Creating the halfa kucha was an interesting and new task. I had never done a voice over on any slide of a PowerPoint; nonetheless, the whole presentation. After getting the hang of it, though, I was able to go through rather quick. In the beginning I was doing each voiceover many times, but eventually I became comfortable with myself and it became much more smooth. Giving the argument verbally rather than an essay was actually easy for me. Personally, I am a good public speaker. I tend to do a good job speaking with poise and confidence. Because I was talking, it came out pretty strong after getting used to talking.

I had several thoughts about the construction of my argument. I did not know whether to combine the two books and put a picture of each on each slide, alternate, or split the project in half. Obviously, I went with doing one after the other as I think it strengthen my argument. I wanted the audience to see how each progression went without interruptions, and how both stories were pretty parallel. 

From this presentation, I learned how to manage the time well of what I was trying to say. I needed to condense each argument to twenty seconds. It made it obvious to me that I needed to take out any redundancy or miscellaneous information.  After looking at my classmates slides, it is clear that there really is no “right or wrong” way of constructing this. Each presentation is very unique in the way people formatted it. Overall, I liked the halfa kucha and would definitely like to do it again if given the option in the future for other classes.

Literacy narrative 2 reflection

Turning the literacy narrative into a comic was honestly a fun task for me. I enjoy drawing, although I am not good at it, and turning into a visual document was fun. Likewise, it helped when creating literacy narrative three as I was able to take away miscellaneous and redundant information. It was different then writing the actual essay as now I had to focus on the elements of art. I did my best to utilize line structure, tone, color, scale, and the different frame sizes. Doing this added a new prospective on my essay. It helped point out the times I was upset – dark color – or happier with more positive space. In terms of the learning outcomes, I successfully composed texts in multiple modes. The literacy narrative solely contained words whereas the comic had a combination of both. The Sunday Sketches where we made comics also contributed as it gave me practice into becoming more fluent in the making of comics. I also feel as if this helped me with drafting. Because it was another form of media, it gave me another perspective when reviewing my other work. Furthermore, I probably went through eight additional pieces of paper as I continuously made mistakes, reread my work and changed it, or simply did not like how the frames were oriented. The collaborative aspect of this is when we were put into breakout rooms and peer reviewed our work. This was actually very helpful as my group gave me a lot of really good insight as to how I can fix my work and change it for the Literacy Narrative Three. Overall, creating a comic helped me become a writer in a unique way. By seeing my work in a visual manner, I was able to learn more about myself and further my writing for the future essay.

Literacy Narrative 3

­­I had been dreading this day, but finally, it came: the day I started my Common App Personal Statement. I stared at my computer screen thinking, trying to put something on the blank page, but nothing came. I truly had no clue where to begin. I didn’t want to write about my involvement in sports or my love for marine biology, they were too cliché; I had to write about something unique to me. Then it hit me: write about my brother.

Prior to junior year, writing had never been my strong suit. Which was not only a bummer to me but my parents. Both my parents are incredible writers and have put tremendous pressure on me to write well. I was creative but could not put pen to paper in a transparent way. My old essays were filled with misplaced “howevers,” bad transitions, and very choppy sentences. That all changed junior year with a combination of ACT prep and a brutally hard English class. For me, junior year was a writing bootcamp.

I credit my mechanical improvement to my tutor Mikey. The Berkeley graduate spent hours working with me, forcing me to memorize the various grammar rules for the English section of the test. Slowly, throughout the first semester of junior year, I picked them up. I was able to work through the English section with relative ease. I was proud of myself for improving this much. I went from below average to near perfect on the section, it was clear my mechanics had improved. What I had not realized, though, is how it transferred over to my writing.

Ms. Everett is notorious at my high school for having the hardest class. At the end of the semester, kids smiled if they finish with a C. So obviously, I was worried that my GPA would plummet going into her class. And, after the first week, my concerns came to fruition; my first pop-quiz grade earned me a solid 8%, a terrifyingly low score (even for me), which jolted me to my senses and made me realize that I always need to be prepared. Regardless of how prepared I was, it didn’t stop me from getting a C on the quiz the following day. There was little feedback on my short answer questions, so I scheduled a meeting with her. Even though this was the first one-on-one conversation I had with her, she treated me like I was an old student of hers – she got straight to the point. She told me my mechanics are off, that I change tenses, I can’t transition among other things. I knew I had to put in work if I wanted to succeed, and that is exactly what I did.

I spent countless lunch periods and after school sessions meeting with her. After every assignment, I stayed in her room asking for feedback. As the semester continued, I felt my writing anxiety slip away and it was clear to me, that perhaps, my writing was improving. The combination of Mikey’s ACT prep and Ms. Everett’s one-on-one sessions, scary as they were, made me much more confident.

Once it hit me, to write about my brother, I Instantly began to type all ideas I could on the page. My brother has autism, but I knew writing about just that was not enough. I didn’t want it to be a pity, sob story, but I wanted to write so other people were able to understand what it was like having an autistic sibling. I wanted to combine something ordinary and unique to me with a story about my brother. I decided to write about Scuba Diving.

Diving is euphoric for me. I love knowing I may be looking at something no one else has seen: the first to explore a cave or see a lionfish claim new territory. I’ve even developed an interest in underwater photography, taking pictures of scenes that no one would otherwise see. But the most special part of diving for me is the time I share with my family – especially my brother Jack, who’s always my dive buddy. Although Jack sometimes struggles to be understood in everyday life, below the surface his fidgets and social awkwardness disappear. Instead, he joins me in exploring underwater caves, and together we thrive in our own secret world.

Finally, I had finished. It was time for another pair of eyes to read my work. Before showing my College Counselor, Ms. Everett, or Mikey, I wanted my mom to read it. I knew the risk of showing her first. I could already hear the “I don’t like this, let’s do another topic” before I handed her my laptop. I was prepared for failure. But that didn’t happen. In fact, she didn’t say a word. She looked up with a tear in her eye, hugged me, and said “I love you.” 

That was the main moment that brought confidence to my writing. Mikey and Ms. Everett were pivotal to my growth as a writer, but it was my mom’s approval and love that put me over the edge.

Reflection letter

This semester in “The Secret Language of Comics” has been unlike any other semester. For starters, we worked with graphic novels, a form of text I am not accustomed to, and really took apart the meaning of each individual aspect. The main aspect where this can be seen is through the Sunday Sketch Assignments. For the first Sunday sketch we created an avatar of ourselves. I chose to make a digital one, where I utilized google drawings. I had never worked with that tool before but wanted to learn. When I made the sketch, I was in quarantine for having COVID, so I had an abundance of time on my hands where I worked to create the perfect avatar: a burger. Later, visual note taking incorporated seeing my notes in a visual form. I chose to turn a probability tree into a real tree. Believe it or not, it did help me gauge a better understanding of how the actual probability tree is linked. When studying for the final, I actually made another identical tree and added on other notes. Next, Professor Morgen had us make our first comic. I had never been assigned to really make a comic for class. When I was little, I am sure I made some very, very rough comics, but never anything that was supposed to be actually turned in. For mine, I made a satirical comic about a COVID denier who goes out, gets COVID, and takes his belief to his deathbed as he repeated “COVID is not real.” Later in the semester, another assignment was to recreate a movie scene. I saw this assignment and later was going on a boat ride with my friends. Obviously, It was super fitting to recreate the iconic Titanic picture. These new, unique assignments Professor Morgen assigned were super productive in the composition of new texts. I vividly remember a class where we went into breakout rooms and shared our literacy narrative 2: the longer comic.  At the time, we were reading Spinning. My group finished sharing early and we began discussing the meaning and reasoning for why Walden included some very dark frames. Hannah and I got in to a back and forth, I was arguing it was to display a level of sadness. Because Walden showed an absence of color, I believed that it was to show that she had no one with her. Conversely, though, Hannah argued that it was to show optimism as the next page had light. That way, as you turn the page, her life gets better.

Throughout the semester, my writing definitely has improved. I credit that to a lot of reasons, but the main reason was the redrafting of the Literacy Narrative. In the beginning of the semester, Professor Morgen had us write an essay with the prompt: write an essay in which you analyze the key experiences that shaped the way you read and write. After writing what I thought was a pretty solid essay, I had a meeting with him. He tore my essay apart, highlighting my skills and weaknesses, addressing areas that needed improvement. After redrafting the essay for Literacy Narrative Three, I used his notes and addressed the problems he said I had. After reading the final essay next to the first one, it is like night and day. He wanted me to go more into detail on the interesting aspects and improve the flow of the initial anecdote. Side by side, the essays are like night and day. Moving forward, I will keep his advice and use it when writing my future assignments.

I want to give an in depth description of my Data visualization from everyday life. For this assignment, we had to “choose one concept in your life that you want to analyze, something that is not already easily and obviously measured, or doesn’t vary within the span of a day or a week. So, I chose to track five different, random categories from my everyday life. I tracked how happy I was with my previous night’s sleep, the happiness I felt towards my lunch, how satisfied I was with my lift, how satisfied I was with my social life in that day, and, lastly, how I feel mentally during the day. I graded myself on a scale each day and, at the end, put the work on a graph. The graph showed some trends that I would not have realized otherwise. For example, when I sleep and eat well, my lift is better; When I don’t have the best social interactions, my mental health grade goes down. I wanted to track aspects of my life and see how much they actually correlated. As a result, the most clear trend is between sleep and my lift. I tend to workout in the morning, so, if I am not well rested, the lift will see the repercussions. It being on a graph really helped me gauge an understanding of how much they correlated. Likewise, the link. One outlier is on day 7(April 2). April 2 was a Friday which explains several things. First, it shows the lack of lunch. I have no class on Friday so I was able to sleep in in. I missed lunch that day, but my mental health was still great. This is definitely related to the great sleep I had – seen on the.

            This class has left me with a complex and new perceptive on how I view different media. Now, when watching a movie, looking at art, or reading a comic, I have keen insight on how to analyze different forms of media. For example, on May Fourth, I watched Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I didn’t realize how much of a role color plays. Specifically, when Luke is on the verge of changing to the dark side, he changes from his usual outfit to an all black suit. With the insight I now have, I realized the reason for that; however, before, it simply did not occur to me.  

Overall, this course has been a great time. I loved reading the different graphic novels, specifically Kindred. The course gave me a new perspective on how I view texts, and I can confidently say I understand the Secret Language of Comics