Bag o’ Stuff

A quick description of the items contained in my bag:

My laptop and charger which I never leave my dorm room without.

A sketchbook and set of lead pencils for when I decide to draw in my free time.

My lab notebook for chemistry which haunts me in my sleep.

Two spiral notebooks and a calculator for classes.

A Slipknot and Starset t-shirt. Both of these bands I live this semester and have decent stories behind each of the shows.

Finally a sticker that reads “Follow @MC.SUCC”, a meme page that a friend of a friend runs.

After cataloging the items in my bag, I would say that this is a decent representation of myself. Starset and Slipknot are bands that I like to listen to often and the meme page sticker I have in my bag is a good representation of the dark humor that make sometimes. I actually did not anything to my bag because I felt that there was nothing that I needed to add to the post. In hindsight though, I might’ve added my 3DS. Probably the most challenging part of the assignment was arranging my items to make them pleasing to the eye. I don’t photograph much unless I’m taking pictures for someone so it was just kinda new for me. I feel that representing myself in a catalogue of items from my bag is form of writing because it gives a reader a glimpse into my everyday life and what I do for fun or school.

Bag o’ Stuff

A quick description of the items contained in my bag:

My laptop and charger which I never leave my dorm room without.

A sketchbook and set of lead pencils for when I decide to draw in my free time.

My lab notebook for chemistry which haunts me in my sleep.

Two spiral notebooks and a calculator for classes.

A Slipknot and Starset t-shirt. Both of these bands I live this semester and have decent stories behind each of the shows.

Finally a sticker that reads “Follow @MC.SUCC”, a meme page that a friend of a friend runs.

After cataloging the items in my bag, I would say that this is a decent representation of myself. Starset and Slipknot are bands that I like to listen to often and the meme page sticker I have in my bag is a good representation of the dark humor that make sometimes. I actually did not anything to my bag because I felt that there was nothing that I needed to add to the post. In hindsight though, I might’ve added my 3DS. Probably the most challenging part of the assignment was arranging my items to make them pleasing to the eye. I don’t photograph much unless I’m taking pictures for someone so it was just kinda new for me. I feel that representing myself in a catalogue of items from my bag is form of writing because it gives a reader a glimpse into my everyday life and what I do for fun or school.

Three Useless Thespians

Making a triptych was a fun yet challenging project. I knew that for this one, I didn’t want to draw one out but use some old photos I have on my phone. I ended up using three photos from closing night of a play that I directed. Me and my friend Saanya directed a play and Parker was one of the actors in the show. On our own we can do our assigned tasks but get us all together and we won’t get anything done with all of our laughter. I liked creating the first two panels with only slight differences in facial expressions to the last panel that is a close up on my face. I have a “oh well, it is what it is” look. I feel that creating this kind of comic strip is easier because with three panels you have a defined beginning, middle, and end where as, with writing you can go on longer tangents without having discernible markers.

The World in Your Eyes

Choosing a set of images for this assignment was hard. It took a minute to decide what two would look good together, especially with my limited abilities with photo editing software. I ended up choosing a photo of a woman’s eye and the Earth as they are similar shapes and sizes. With the blue eyes and the oceans of the Earth together it sort of reminds of a yin yang effect, with waves in the iris going different directions and the clouds having looser patterns. It made me think of order and chaos together.

Photo credits:

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Reflection on Literacy Narrative Part 3

The entire literacy narrative project has allowed me the opportunity to compose the same text in a variety of fashions written as my rough draft, then composed as a hand drawn comic and uploaded unto my website as a digital comic, and finally revisited with a final draft of my updated literacy comic.  When writing the third part of my literacy narrative, I had to focus on the shortcomings of my initial write-up, and look at the improvements that I created in my comic, and see how I could once again write the same story with improved focus on the aspects and processes that shaped me into the writer and reader I am today. After receiving feedback on my comic from classmates and suggestions to my alphabetic text from Professor.Morgen, I proceeded to rewrite my literacy narrative with a set of fresh eyes. One edit that was helpful in bringing context to what I was referring to in my narrative was breaking down the various acronyms that I used throughout in order to open up my story to a larger audience. Since most of my audience reading the narrative will most likely not be from Texas and understand what I mean by TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills), I had to break down the acronym and expound on the impact that this test had on my future as a student. As I was revisiting my alphabetic text, I also decided to cut out and revise a section that was confusing in my original writing as it was slowing down the comprehension and flow of my narrative. Now that I got to this final product in my literacy narrative I am proud of the end result because it has allowed me to look back at a point in time when I felt vulnerable and insufficient and now I get to reminisce and see the end result of constant studying. After examining my comic, 

I also decided to revisit and emphasize in greater detail the emotional and psychological feelings that I experienced throughout the various points in my journey to English proficiency. As a result, I added some more descriptive imagery in order to place the reader back into that time period and experience the same emotions that I did as a child.

Link To my Literacy Narrative Part 3

https://andresvelasquez905687008.wordpress.com/literacy-narrative-part-3/

Reflection of Literacy Narrative Part 2

Transforming my literacy narrative from a set of words, into a comic which combines the elements of words and pictures to tell a story was more difficult than I had originally anticipated it to be. Throughout the creative process of my comic I had to place myself back into a time period where I was vulnerable and felt like I was inadequate. I attempted to demonstrate the vulnerability and feelings of hopelessness in my comic utilizing the power of framing to zoom in on specific facial expressions to denote a clear juxtaposition of when a person was happy versus when they were sad. I also included the addition of dates in the top right corner of each panel in order to show the passage and flow of time throughout my narrative. This inclusion of a date in most panels also helps to organize the flow of my narrative and provide a sense of direction as to where the story is taking the reader. In order to create the final product that was produced I first had to create a rough sketch/idea of the pictures I wanted to draw that would eventually embody and capture those moments of my past. During a class period we were placed in groups and through the process of peer review and editing I was able to gain effective feedback about my comic that would eventually be incorporated into the final product such as more close up shots and dates in my panels. When I was writing the comic version of my literacy narrative, I focused more on the big events that were written throughout the narrative as opposed to a picture play by play of everything that occurred within the written version. This allowed me to focus in on specific events and do a close reading of my own writing to determine what were the key points and messages I was trying to convey. If I was capable of hiring an illustrator to bring narrative to live I would make them focus on drawing the characters with a lot of emotion so as to distinguish when I was feeling happy or sad, or to simply add a breath of color and life into my drawings. My initial alphabetic literacy narrative gave a general explanation of my process into learning the English language, while in my comic version I honed in on the exact methods and reasons that I was able to succeed. My analytical thinking process for the comic version of my literacy narrative was different from my alphabetic text analysis because after doing the Tracing Pages assignment, I saw what was needed in order to construct and formulate an effective comic. Elements of framing, background/foreground, and differentiating between captions and speech bubbles were necessary in order to convey the story in pictures which I included in my comic.

Link to Comic version of Literacy Narrative: https://andresvelasquez905687008.wordpress.com/literacy-narrative-part-2/

A Function Robot

For our Final Sunday Sketch, we needed to come up with the important components of our class, and depict them as an architectural blueprint or diagram. For this assignment I chose what I believed were the skills I not only used the most, but also developed and learned. Every part of a Robot is equally important in having it work. This is what I believed to be true as well, in our class. Every concept identified above is equally important. For example, critical thinking is a skill that I have used in english classes my entire life and was used her as well. However, it was slightly different this time. This is becasue, we only read graphic novels. Becasue of that, I had to go deeper into the meaning of not only the words but also the pictures. This is where visual thinking comes into play. I have never really used visual thinking in an academic setting. However, now with hundreds of drawings to analyze, I ended up thinking more visually than I ever have or ever thought I would.

One of the first things anyone notices in a piece of writing is the tone and audience. That was the same for this class, as tone and audience was important and always changing. For reflections and personal narratives the tone was more casual. While the Tracing Pages assignment had a more scholarly tone. Revision is also a huge part of any good piece of writing or drawing. Being able to revise whatever whenever, really gave me the time needed to make sure my work was the best it could be. I also was able to utilize peer review during this process, another tremendous help. Despite not having the best drawing ability, I was able to convey my point and message using mostly stick-figures. However, there were times when being a better artist would have seriously helped. As mentioned before, this class not only furthered my skills but introduced new ones. Visual thinking was one of them, and digital identity was the other. I have never had a web presence, where my work was displayed for anyone to see. However that all changed by the end of this semester.

Enjoy if You Try

Annotation 2019-12-14 011425

For any first-year writing course, critical thinking and reading is always the major element, the noodles in this Japanese ramen. It is the broth, the soul of ramen, that differentiates variations of ramen the most, just like the extensive use of visual thinking that makes this section of first-year writing special. Sliced meat is the most crucial topping. The protein and the broth reinforce each other’s taste, similar to what visual thinking and the writing process do. Other toppings, including the half egg, scallions, Nori, and Kamaboko, represent the skills and learning goals of the class in addition to those mentioned. They are great complements for students to succeed in this course.

Here is the delicious ramen. To have it, however, one will need the willingness to try, the chopsticks, to get the most from these interesting course content and assignments. I eventually found myself enjoying this course mainly because David had been preparing me both technically and mentally for unfamiliar tasks, giving me the tools to enjoy my ramen.

 

Assignment Link: https://eng181f19.davidmorgen.org/assignments/sketches/sketch-12-assemblies/

Graphic Nostalgia Reflection

For this specific project the process of filtering out how my view on my literacy narrative has evolved remains more complicated than one might initially suspect. I went through two initial drafts of part one for this literacy narrative. The second draft presented a more condensed and shifted topic matter than the first, however, it still dealt with abstract feelings of nostalgia and a wistfulness for my childhood. This intangible aspect was the hardest part to interpret into a visual comic, and after grappling with the concept for several hours I shifted away from the idea of nostalgia in favor of my passion for drawing and painting. At the time of crafting the comic I did not think much of this shift that came from my visual thinking. I thought my passion for drawing was merely a representation of my feeling of nostalgia for those lost worlds I created in the past. However, when I then took the step to recondense the graphic novel into a third version of the literary work, I discovered a deeper aspect to the more visual shift.

In order to redraft my visual work into text I was forced to look at how the piece as a whole had shifted from its literal origins. The ending was the most obvious place, as in the original I had ended on a philosophical discussion of the idolization of my childhood whereas in the comic I had condensed the end into a portrait of different ages of me reading or drawing and discussed how reading reconnected me to that artistic side of me. In translating this back to a literal narrative my message changed even more. When I began thinking about how exactly reading connected me to visuals I remembered how when I was little I would use tracing paper and trace old graphic books such as Calvin and Hobbes, Bone, etc. Then I remembered how in my Junior year of high school –as I rediscovered those old childhood books– I also began to paint and draw again to relieve stress. On a more meta level I also recognized how the entire process of creating this graphic novel about reading was another example of how reading has pushed me back into visual art. These connections all came into place which completely shifted my narrative away from some wistful nostalgia of the past to an exploration of how novels –specifically the graphic ones– allowed me to reconnect to my younger self through art. The last part of the literacy narrative does introduce a quick break down of my childhood books into visual ones versus literal ones and how they operate differently when it comes to nostalgia –which to be honest I think comes off very rushed and is not explained very well– but overall the point still differs greatly from my original piece.

I am really happy with how it turned out, and although I do think the ending could use another draft I’m unfortunately not sure if I will get to it with all of my other finals to work on. This entire process has really emphasized to me how writing is a process. Each redraft adds and takes away concepts from the initial piece. I have never experienced such an intensive topic shift in my work before, and I think that is due to the shifting medium I worked in. As I reflect upon earlier, the entire process of rediscovering art from reading happened to me as I was crafting the comic, which in turn influenced the narrative shift in my “final” redraft. If that’s not a better example of rhetorical composition then I don’t know what is.

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