From the projects to the Sunday sketches and the intriguing class discussions, this course embodies the meaning of creativity. As shown in the illustration above, I have represented each of the four main topics of the major assignments. Three out of the four assignments are based on graphic comics/narratives we read for this class. I attempted to illustrate the most accurate symbols to represent their titles. In the middle of my sketch, I have drawn a light bulb, because as mentioned in the first sentence, every part of this course has required creative thinking. The creative thinking aspect has made it such an enjoyable and productive learning experience. Underneath the word, ‘Creativity,’ I have written key words that I believe highlight the themes and plots of the comics read. I plan on structuring my final reflection paper similar to the way I have constructed this drawing. I will highlight each assignment from a reader and student perspective. I will then discuss the connections I have discovered between the comics and their respective assignments. I hope to prove how much I have gained as a thinker, reader, and writer from the effective and rewarding course material and instruction.
The Literacy Narrative project has been the most impactful creative writing assignment for me. When beginning Professor Morgen’s class, I knew I would grow as a writer in various components. From utilizing technologies and illustrations to analyzing and evaluating student and teacher feedback, I have realized what it takes to make every piece of writing unique and full of purpose.
When writing My Literacy Narrative, I selected a topic that was quite personal. As I sat down with Professor Morgen to discuss the first draft, he expressed great interest in my topic and offered suggestions that could improve my work. We discussed a range of ideas from including a more specific conflict to highlighting the emotional factors of the situation. He also told me that by creating the cartoon for my narrative, I will truly figure out what was missing.
I was missing conflict. I did not recognize the importance of including conflict in my essay till I completed the first draft of my Literacy Narrative Comic. Illustrating my narrative allowed me to visualize each scene. As I illustrated panel by panel, I noticed the gaps in my story. I was able to fill these gaps with a culmination of my own ideas along with the ideas of my peers and Professor Morgen.
When I mentioned to Professor Morgen that I wanted to rhyme the dialogue of my comic, he was very encouraging. He has been encouraging through all parts of this assignment. I was able to use his encouragement to motivate myself to create the most effective piece of writing. While I am still struggling to find a strong transition between two of the paragraphs in my alphabetical narrative, I am proud about where I have come with each part of this project.
Professor Morgen’s class has truly taught and shown me how “practice makes perfect,” and that I should never be afraid to be creative.
While all the graphic narratives assigned for this course require deep thinking, I believe that Climate Changed entails the most out-of-the-box thinking. Phillipe Squarzoni has transformed a major world issue into an educational graphic novel that is meant to attract the attention of a wide range of age groups. As someone who has written many papers about the issue of climate change, I am of the opinion that graphs are the best way to explain the situation of climate change to someone who doesn’t understand.
I was fascinated when I discovered that Squarzoni included graphs, along with his illustrations, in Climate Changed. In terms of grasping the content of the comic, I found the line graphs on pages 48, 49 and 51 to be very helpful. I had general knowledge of the correlation between greenhouse gases and the climate, and how they reflect the temperature differences in the atmosphere. However, by mapping out the three different graphs shown on the three different pages, I was able to further learn about how much of an impact greenhouse gases have on the increase and decrease of temperatures in our atmosphere.
Through comparing the three graphs, I realized how the variation in increasing and decreasing temperatures represent the multiple factors that influence our climate. Squarzoni makes it clear that we need to prevent as many greenhouse gases as possible from entering our atmosphere. When mapping the three graphs, I noticed that there were common points of increase and decrease. There were also certain circumstances explained in the panels before and after the illustrated graphs to help the reader understand why there are similarities and differences in the charts. For example, one can learn about the impact of the Industrial Revolution on climate change.
I am pleased with the construction of my map, and the key I created. It was a challenge to accurately illustrate the graphs from the comic, but I tried my best! While it may not look like a typical map, I hope that my peers take a closer look and are able to identify the same patterns that I discovered.
Through writing my comparison essay for Stitches and Spinning, I developed a strong understanding for both Small and Walden’s graphic novels. Both of these authors implemented unique structure, dialogue, and illustration, so the reader can experience their situations and emotions from the past. In my comparison essay, I focused on the concepts of unspeakability and invisibility that were mentioned in Hilary Chute’s, “Women, Comics, and Risks of Representation.”
While I agree with statements made by Chute, I felt that it would be interesting to base my essay on a disagreement between Chute mentioning that a, “graphic narrative presents a traumatic side of history, but all these authors refuse to show it through the lens of unspeakability or invisibility…” and how Small and Walden highlighted unspeakability and invisibility in their stories/text. Although I wanted to cover additional ideas in my essay, I decided that focusing on this one main idea would provide a clear focus to my writing, and the general reader will be able to understand my points being made.
I also saw Chute’s quote as an opportunity to include a personal reflection in my essay. I enjoy making connections between stories and my personal life; however, I was afraid, at first, of how it would fit into my piece. I was able to relate more to the idea of invisibility, rather than unspeakability. I am currently brainstorming ways that I could incorporate a situation of unspeakability that could relate to what Small and Walden experience in their respective stories.
Writing towards the given prompt required creating a thorough preliminary outline, but I believe the outline provided great support in starting and ending my essay. The technique of using an outline has proved to be helpful in both the major assignments of this course, and the Sunday Sketch explanations. I have learned how to be creative with my essay planning, and how to start and finish analysis’ of powerful works of literature.
This is my attempt at recreating a scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. With Christmas around the corner, I felt it was appropriate to refer to my favorite past time over Christmas break for this assignment. My family and I sit around the fire and rewatch all of the Harry Potter movies. Sorcerers Stone is the first movie, and the one I love the most. I vividly remember there being a scene during Christmas time at Hogwarts (the school of wizardry), and therefore, I did my research to discover the original picture shown above. It was my goal to master recreating this scene, but it was a lot more difficult than I thought. While I already knew recreating the background would be very difficult, I did not think that trying to imitate Harry would be such a challenge. I wore a dark blue sweater and tan-colored pants to try and match what Harry is wearing. Although I was successful in finding similar clothing, the lighting of the picture makes it hard to tell. Additionally, due to obstacles such as the dining table in the formal dining area, I was unable to space myself proportionally to the tree as they do in the movie. As stressful as it was to perfect the most accurate image, I enjoyed “playing,” the role of Harry. Hopefully, I will be better prepared the next time I complete an assignment like this.
Original Image Credit:
My friends always give me a hard time about how often I “fix my appearance.” I constantly deny their claims regarding how often I fix my hair, change my shirt, wear my glasses, and change my shoes. I felt this Sunday Sketch was the perfect opportunity to see if their accusations are true, or if they do not know what they are talking about. Unfortunately, my emoji data chart above has proven that they are right. While I laugh at my results, they take great pride that I have finally accepted their claim 🙂
In regards to how I collected my data, I spent the past week maintaining a data chart in the Notes App on my iPhone. Because I always have my phone on me, I felt it was the easiest to collect my data on the phone. I wanted to be creative with how I logged my data, so I decided to utilize emojis. While I felt I could have done more with the presentation of my chart, I wanted to post the exact data chart that I used over the course of last week. It should be simple to understand, but for those who do not, I have logged the emoji for each category when I completed that action. Results show that I do fix my hair the most, and I am not surprised. Fixing my hair has become more of a habit than me trying to look good for a selfie, however, my girlfriend thinks otherwise.
I did not find any troubles with logging my data because I made it simple. I knew that my data would be most accurate if I created a platform where I could log the data in an instant. Interestingly, I am continuing to log my data and dividing it among weeks. I want to see if I can be better w my habits as weeks progress. Fixing my hair may be hard to change, but I do know less shirt and shoe changes will save me more trips to my dorm.
But, what can I say? I sweat easily, so sometimes I have to change. However, now, with the cold weather, I feel like the results will be very different because I am never taking off my jacket 🙂
I really enjoyed this sketch assignment activity. It allowed me to become more interactive with my thinking and writing. As much as I enjoy writing and drawing, I love using technology to display my creativity. I did mention earlier that I wanted to make my data more presentable, but I feel like the original copy is sometimes the best copy to show.
Once I completed the final version of my literacy comic, I looked back at my rough draft to see the before and after. I was truly pleased with my final product, especially my incorporation of the suggestions I received from my peers and Professor Morgen. Meeting with Professor Morgen, and the peer review papers definitely helped me think of ideas towards making my images more relevant to the story, and my dialogue easier to understand. Because my literacy narrative was a very personal piece of writing, I didn’t know how to best portray my feelings and actions in each section of the comic. This dilemma encouraged me to look at the illustrations in Maus during the emotional, traumatic, and/or significant scenes. I noticed the facial expressions on the mice and attempted to translate similar facial expressions to the characters in my comic. However, the structure of the characters’ faces in my comic vary, because my drawing abilities prevent me from producing consistent accurate illustrations. Although I still believe I was successful in matching the dialogue in each section to the picture.
In regards to creating a type of conflict in my story, I was happy with how and where I incorporated it into my piece. I always knew what the conflict in the story would be, but I could never think of how best to form the dialogue. I didn’t know if I should provide all the details, or rather summarize an overall idea of what was happening. I went with the second option of summarizing because it allowed me to include other parts to my comic that were based off writing in my alphabetic narrative. I hope that viewers are still able to understand my story despite me not going completely into details.
As for a more detailed analysis of the structure of my comic, I hope one can notice the rhyming dialogue in my comic. After much deliberation over an entire week, I decided to rhyme the verbal dialogue in my literacy comic. This was definitely an idea that was out of my comfort zone, but Professor Morgen encourages creative thinking and different styles. I wanted to give this authentic style a chance, and I hope it paid off. Personally, I felt that the rhyming dialogue strategy was a positive, and I have so far received encouraging reviews in regards to the idea.
I am hopeful and excited to receive more feedback from my peers and Professor about my final comic, and create an even more creative and powerful version of my comic and alphabetic narrative.