Since I’m doing classes from home this semester I put away my backpack but this is usually what I have at my desk on a daily basis or when I feel like doing work in the living room, I carry it over with me.
- 5-Subject journal: I used this last semester—not much—so I’m continuing to use it this semester to take notes for some of my classes such as psych, anthropology, and some annotations while I read the comics for this class.
- Bullet journal (bujo): I started creating my own bujo sophomore year of high school when I found out about them through my friend, and have continued since. Last semester, however, I only made a spread for the first week of school then I felt so unmotivated that I switched to a store-bought planner my sister had gifted me for my birthday earlier in the year, so this journal still had more than enough pages for me to actually use it consistently this semester. Not only does it help me be aware of deadlines and stay on track—in addition to an excel masterlist calendar which isn’t as detailed either way—every week, but it’s also very rewarding for me crossing off completed tasks.
- Pencil case: My handy-dandy pencil case which I’ve had since sophomore year of high school—I wanted to feel like my school life was in order sophomore year. In the picture you can only see the “front half” but you can flip over the middle flap to see the “back half”. It holds my pencil, mildliners, gel pens, micron pens, my 2 tombow fudenosuke pens—which are actually dried out, I need to replace them :(—some additional highlighters, markers I use for my bujo’s accent colors, my white-out tape, and some sticky notes.
- Vaseline: I suffer from chapped lips all the time and I’d always buy chapsticks—also always lose them—until I read somewhere that chapstick isn’t really as effective as they’re supposed to be. I don’t know if it was chapstick that would just encourage it to be an endless loop of me constantly licking my lips and making them more chapped or if it was just a bad habit of mine sort of thing, but I made the switch to vaseline and it works so much better for me. I bought this mini version from Walmart; there was an even minier and cuter version but this seemed like it would last longer and still be easy to carry. Although it is way bigger than thin little chapsticks, I recently did manage to lose it for a couple of days. Oops.
- Airpods: If I’m not in class and not doing homework that requires me to listen to a video or any type of audio, I most likely have my airpods in listening to music.
- Laptop: With all my classes being virtual, this is essentially my top priority tool.
- Laptop charger: Can’t be letting my laptop die on me while I’m in class—it’s only happened once—or while I’m doing homework.
- 4-in-1 USB-C Hub: I use this adapter for multiple reasons; when I want to extend my laptop charger just a bit more, when I download music and want to transfer it to my phone, when I don’t have any other source of electricity to charge my phone—such as when the power went out a couple weeks ago—and also if I need to connect a flash drive or something.
- Phone charger: Although I am trying to get better at minimizing my unnecessary screentime, I still use my phone a lot, especially if I’m doing Japanese homework, and I need to consult Papago to check if my translations could make sense and also to scan my assigned workbook pages, so my phone needs to be charged.
- Genki textbook: My Japanese textbook which I use pretty much on a daily—during the two synchronous days that we do in-class practice and while I do asynchronous work—to look back on and check vocabulary or practice/study.
- Genki workbook: We get homework assigned and it’s due every Tuesday and Thursday; we often get at least 3 workbook pages assigned for each deadline. It’s probably due to me simply being slow and constantly looking back and forth through my notes, wanting to answer everything as “correctly” as I think it is based on my notes, but it will take me forever to complete 3 pages—ESPECIALLY if they’re kanji practice pages.
- JPN notes journal: I had this spare journal last year and was originally planning to use it as my bujo—once I finished up my current one—but last semester my Japanese professor would do short asynchronous lecture videos to explain the textbook grammar structures more concisely, so I decided to use it for notes instead. I didn’t finish it up last semester, so I continued to use it this semester, however I actually just used up the last page last week but it’s all good since I ordered some new ones ahead of time. I also use this a whole lot too along with the textbook—during in-class practice, while I do my homework, even for the quick review before my first test last week.
I would say it felt rather easy crafting a self-portrait through this photograph. Maybe not completely easy in terms of the composition—I could not have too many things or else it would be tough to capture everything the way I wanted to AND I had to figure out how to arrange the components to make my overall composition look balanced. Of course, not everything about me is included “in my bag”, but I believe what I display is pretty telling of the type of organized and responsible person I am—or at least try to be. Representing myself in a catalog of the stuff in my bag could be considered a type of writing, but maybe not so directly. The photograph could be considered like a sort of visual story-telling—the items symbolize what type of person I am or what I do—but it doesn’t become a form of writing until I physically type out descriptions.