What’s in my Bag?

In Your BagKuru Toga Mechanical Pencils: My favorite pencils. I carry a lot of them because I lose a lot of them.

Eraser: I have to carry an eraser because I make a lot of mistakes. I wish there was an eraser that I could use to fix my hair mistake…

Trojan Condoms: In case I am ever caught in a situation where I have to make a risky English homework, I’ve got these bad boys.

Tide Pods: one of my favorite snacks. Really high protein content and very tasty, so I love them. Snack of Choice

War and Peace: I always carry the book I am reading over the week with me, and this week it is War and Peace.

Infinite Jest: I always keep this book in my backpack in case I need some lower level English reading to do to cleanse my mind essentially. You must be wondering why a college student carries a 4th grade level book around in his backpack. Pick it up and you will see.

Bee Movie: I don’t have to give a reason why this is in my backpack. You have to give a reason why you’re not carrying it.

Nokia Phone: I haven’t charged it since I got it in 2004 and it still has full battery. I carry it because I know that this is one phone SkyNet won’t be able to hack.

15inch Macbook: Gotta get that work done sometimes.

Bear Spray: You laugh. But you never know what could happen. When a bear is mauling you, I will just smirk and wave this can around as I watch you fighting for your life…

The Other 51 Notebook: When I can’t write anymore, I remember that Hamilton wrote the other 51.

Maus Volume 2: In case I must pretend to refer to a page brought up during discussion in English class.

Saga Volume 1: Just another one of the million books I’ve bought because Lin Manuel Miranda read it. If you wanna look like Arnold, you do steroids. If you wanna rap like Lin Manuel Miranda, you read like Lin Manuel Miranda?

Umbrella: Don’t wanna get wet from the tears of my haters.

I don’t really carry things in my backpack and if I do its usually because I actually need them, not because I regularly carry them around. There is not one single item in my backpack that is always there. I sometimes don’t carry my computer around because I just don’t need it. My backpack looks different every day of the week and sometimes it changes from class to class, so this was actually a very philosophical assignment for me because it made me reanalyze my backpack. I genuinely feel like this is more of a writing assignment than writing an essay about myself because it forces to me explain myself at a deeper level through the use of objects that represent me rather than through exposition. Although I may not have actually represented what is in my backpack, I still think that this image represents who I am and what I like because even though some objects are obviously just memes, some of them actually have value for me, like my Kindle, or my pencils, or MacBook, and to be honest those are really the only three things I actually have in my backpack. So if I hadn’t put ridiculous objects in my backpack this assignment would have been extremely simple and boring.

A Matter of Perspective

tryptich complete


Perhaps the most difficult aspect for me was finding a simple story that I was able to tell in just three frames. I had never really had to reduce a story to such a small span of time and was thus a challenge to think of it that way. However, how I did it was think of a punchline at the end that would create some emotion and then build a story around that.

I’m currently in the process of becoming more familiar with digital art so I pushed myself to draw every element in the Triptych. This was also a very big challenge for me but as I got more invested in making this project, it became significantly easier, to the point where drawing the man at the end was easier than deciding how to make sand.

This was somewhat similar to the human document project from last week because I had to find a story with very big limitations on my possibilities and thus I had a starting metric to go by.


Maus Chapter 2

Chapter 2 of Maus explores the idea of how the writer demands a lot from the audience in understanding the meaning of the chapter. It’s our job to connect the sequence of images given to us by Spiegelman and to understand how each and every frame moves the story forward or has something important to say. One of the most important things about making comics is the decision of what moments to include in each frame, and how every action should be covered. Should it be moment to moment, or should it aspect to aspect. This will ultimately change the way the reader understands the text and also how the reader interprets the page so they aren’t just arbitrary decisions.

This can be seen in Chapter 2 by the fact that Spiegelman demands his audience connect to the intensity of the situation, such as when Anja is being chased by a Nazi guard. If we don’t feel the tension and participate in the moment, Spiegelman has failed in telling his story.

This chapter is incredibly important for the development of Art’s character because we have to empathize with him over the death of his father and the pressures of publishing the first book of Maus. Spiegelman forces the audience to participate in feeling Art’s confusion by making Art a little child that goes to the psychologist. In page 44, Spiegelman creates a complete sense of confusion by mixing up the perspective in each frame. We see Art on one side, then the other, then it shifts again, and so on. This disorientation is intent ended to show just how disoriented Art is as well. This is what Spiegelman refers to as the “secret language of comics”. This is of course, not explicit in any way, but in reading it actively you do understand what he was trying to do. Some of the things that Spiegelman was able to achieve would have been impossible in any other form of entertainment, which is what I believe to be the “secret language of comics”.

Red Highlights

Human Document Text

red highlights

fresh bright blood

let him hurt me

Daddy yelled at me at dinner

Mama had said to be careful. 

face unreadable eyes blank

no part of me was beautiful 

I didn't have anything to be so proud of


Horny the Elephant


A professor of mine once told me to take risks that worked and for me taking risks involves pushing the boundaries of what is considered socially acceptable. I know that condoms are objects that people get embarrassed talking about them, so I thought why not make art out of it? Condoms always reminded me of elephant trunks so I might as well. I also think that the condom gave some three dimensionality to the drawing so that added something special to it besides the simple shock factor of it being a condom.

Maus Panel Writing



Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 10.10.35 AMPage 64 Panel 3

The panel is rectangle that follows a round panel.

Vladek is trying to convince a polish train man to help him get home from the war.

What makes the panel important to me is the fact that Vladek’s character turns into a pig in this page exclusively. He pretends that he isn’t jewish but rather just polish and thus tries to win the train man’s favor. It also looks like he is wearing a pig mask which is symbolic of the mask he put on to hide the fact that he is jewish. The help from the train man is what allows Vladek to return to Anja and his parents so this panel is very important in terms of the overall plot because of difficult his journey would have been otherwise.

Visual Note Taking

Taking a set of notes and translating them into a different medium made me realize that by breaking down complex concepts into simple representations of them, you can learn a lot about the material. It was especially useful for my Psych classes chapter on Classical Conditioning as there are many elements that are closely connected although they may not appear to be so. After I drew Ivan Pavlov and I placed him into my notes, I realized that the entire unit was connected to him in some way, and his impact on Psychology was far bigger than I had thought. It also made me sort of emotional to draw a crying child, as the scientists that experimented with classical conditioning using a baby scarred him for life and caused him to ultimately die.

By also being forced to lay down all my notes into just one clear space I was able to group all of the concepts about classical conditioning and have them side by side to see only the most important parts of the matter.

Note Task

Narrative Reflection



Stopping to reminisce over how I got somewhere is not something I typically do. There have been three main events in my life that have shaped how I became an avid reader and unhinged writer. It was surprising to me to realize that perhaps only a few events in my life truly matter in making you who you are, but it is how you act in between those events that let you see results. Free writing was the best way for me to simply sit down and analyze what things caused me to be who I am by simply letting my mind wander almost 8 years into the past, remembering things that may not seem that relevant to me. The most astounding revelation that came from writing this narrative is that even though I am the one who reads and writes, I would not be doing either so well or consistently if I hadn’t had the help of a few other people that would push me and motivate me to be better.

Looking back it is hard to think that a birthday present I received in the 4th grade, a married couple, and the metaphorical blood shed by a BIC pen would lead me to create the reader and writer that I have become…



Image Source: http://bulletjournal.com/reflection/

My Avatar


For my avatar, I wanted an image that would represent me, but wouldn’t simply be a picture of myself. I had experimented with cartoon versions of people in the past and I realized that it would be interesting to try a more minimalist approach to it. I decided to essentially recreate myself in Photoshop using the least amount of shapes that still would allow someone to recognize that it is me. Although I debated it, I felt that I had to be wearing glasses in my avatar because I feel it is something memorable that I always wear.

The main difficulty I faced in creating the badge was that I was a little rusty when it came to using a graphics tablet so I had to relearn how to draw using it. It simply was a matter of practice and patience.


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