While this is less of an architectural diagram, it certainly is a diagram. With this, I wanted to visualize the components of this class and categorize them. I had originally had the class flow into two main groups: work we read and work we created ourselves. Of course, all of the books we read would come from the first group, and everything else would go into the second group. However, this set up made the graph too wide, and it looked better without that addition. I think that the right hand side gives a good summary of all the things we did in this class. Flowing upstream in the diagram reveals how I have thought about the class components and their organization. Through this assignment in particular, but also through the course in general, I have found more and more that I really enjoy making data visualizations.
Link to Sketch 11: Assemblies Assignment
Website I Used to Create Diagram (SankeyMATIC)
For my sketch assembly, I chose to represent the work I’ve completed this semester as a cup of coffee. Part of this is just because coffee is an easy drink to break up into parts, but I could also say that coffee is something that I hated and would never drink before the semester began, but I started to drink it much more frequently as the semester went on, and I actually don’t mind it now. This is similar to my relationship with English classes. I had never really enjoyed an English class before this year, but now that I have tried lots of different forms of writing, I have found some types that I actually quite like.
Within the coffee cup (which represents this English course as a whole), I have the instant coffee that you put in right at the bottom. The coffee granules are supposed to represent the readings that we completed over the semester. Not only does this include the main books that we read, but also our textbook readings from the beginning of the course. All of our readings formed the course foundations, as we based a lot of our other work off these. Next I put in honey, which is supposed to represent the sketches that we did in class, and every Sunday. The sketches were some of my favourite parts of this semester, and honey adds a nice sweet element to the cup of coffee. After this comes the hot water, or Tracing Maus. This was quite a big assignment and so makes up a large amount of the cup. It also brought together a lot of the other elements (it included drawing, reading, and written analysis), and so was a fundamental part of the course. I then added cold water which represents Mapping Spinning. Sometimes you need to add cold water so that you can drink the coffee straight away without it burning your mouth. In a similar way, Mapping Spinning was some light relief for me near the end of the semester as I could do a more mathsy based, rater than written based assignment, and enjoy it more. On top of the water, we have milk (and my Literacy Narrative). I would say that the Literacy Narrative was the second biggest project this semester, and it was also a really important part of the course for me, as I was able to discover a new, visual approach to writing, which I had never tried before. Just like milk is crucial to a cup of coffee, the literacy narrative was so important in my writing this semester. The last section in the cup is cream, which represents the final reflection. Cream is a nice last edition and really brings the whole cup together, just as the reflection will do. I have also included a stirrer in the cup, which represents my English website. Posting everything online was a huge part of this course, and is integrated into every project that we did. The last element of this diagram is the sugar cube outside the cup. This is supposed to represent the Palestine/Pyongyang Comparison essay. I don’t usually put sugar in my coffee, because I already have the honey to sweeten it, but some people really like sugar (just like some people really like writing essays – but not me). It is still a part of the English course, but it was my least favourite, so it is outside of the main cup.
I enjoyed this sketch assignment, and I think that approaching the final letter will be easier for me now that I have already completed this sketch and thought about all of my work this semester. I also really liked the combination of a mathematical and artistic sketch – these are two areas that I really enjoy working in.
For this sketch, I immediately starting of things in which many parts comprised one whole item. For some reason, I thought of the way that Thanksgiving dinner is made up of many different dishes. The dishes actually began to relate with assignments we did in class, which I find to be somewhat pleasing. Even though it seems silly, I feel like it makes sense and the idea of our semester of ENG 101 being a Thanksgiving dinner actually seems kind of cute.
For this sketch assignment, I decided to simply show which steps we took to complete the class. For sketch assignments, I decided to show 11 bubbles that display 11 separate assignments, which are not related to each other but at the same time they are all in one harmony. For Literacy Narrative assignment I just showed a book as a reference to the whole topic. Comparing Palestine and Pyongyang is also simply illustrated by two books. Mapping Spinning is shown by the recreation of a map with dots that are connecting. And the Reflection letter is also just a simple drawing of a letter.
Every step seemed easy and challenging at the same time. They seemed challenging when we first heard about them but as we were working and discussing, it became clear and possible to do.
I felt the most appropriate thing to represent this class was the bike, the item we had to attempt to poorly draw in class.
For a little explanation:
The seat is the original literacy narrative that we did. The reason for this is because the seat is what we always relax on and where we feel most comfortable sitting. We don’t like sitting on the handles, the bars, the wheels, or any other part of the bike except for the seat. The literacy narrative, a full blown alphanumeric essay, is what we used to comfort ourselves in this strange new world of analysis through comics and art.
The pedals represent our first major project, Tracing Maus. This project is what helped us start to move on our bike, and get us pedaled in a new direction. This project was cool and interesting enough to attract anyone towards the idea, and attempting to analyze anything to the intricate level that we did will always our eyes to new ideas.
The handlebars are the sketches that are done throughout the whole semester. Though small, these sketches held guide us in the right direction and keep us on track between the major projects. The sketches challenged us to think differently and keep on the path of diving further into the world of comics.
The backwheel is Comparing Palestine and Pyongyang because the back side are those projects that dealt with more alphanumeric ideas. This “side” idea will come into play later.
The front wheel is Mapping Spinning because the front side are those projects that dealt more with the artistic ideas. This “side” idea, again, will come into play later.
The bars in the middle are the draft and final draft of the literacy comic. This is the connecting point between the back side (the alphanumeric) and the front side (the art). It shows that to create a fully functioning bike, you need both ends.
For this project I chose to illustrate pastries and cupcakes as a way to visualize our four major projects from this semester. I used pen and watercolor to do this, and showed each pastry as a deconstructed version of itself so that I could label each aspect of it in order to show something about the assignment.
For the Literacy Narrative I chose to show a deconstructed cupcake. The intention was for the cake to symbolize the traditional essay that wrote, and to show that it served as the “base” for the comic (which, in my diagram, was symbolized by frosting). The free writing assignment that we began with, was shown as sprinkles in my drawing. The structural element of learning to create a site page and post this narrative was shown as the cupcake wrapper, because it is the thing that held the project together and allowed us to present our work in a way that was accessible.
Tracing Maus was a cupcake with filling, because it was the first project that made us identify and explain patterns in reading. The filling in the cupcake is representative of the meaning within the repeated images or modes of expression that we chose to analyze.
Comparing Palestine and Pyongyang was a sandwich cupcake to show the construction of the parallel argument that we utilized in comparing these two texts.
Finally, Mapping Spinning was a cinnamon roll. I wanted to show that the meat of this assignment was the counting and analysis, and that the final product (the charts and visualization) was the secondary part of the process. I did this by indicating that the roll itself was the counting and analysis and by showing the data visualization as the “icing on top”.
Everyone remembers story plots from elementary school. Most often shaped like mountains, these charts show the normal progression of a fiction story. The first part is the exposition where characters and plot are introduced. In the rising action, the plot thickens and this is normally one of the longer pieces to the story. It culminates with the climax, where the action, most often a conflict is addressed at its peak. Finally, the falling action wraps up the story while the short resolution does exactly what it says, it resolves, and in children’s books, this could be the “happily ever after.” I decided to make a story plot of my growth in English 101. I started off with skills that I was more familiar with, going to where I was not, but finally gaining more confidence to read and write about things I may not be as comfortable with. This course is almost ending but I cannot wait to continue to grow with my skills after this semester.
Background mountain photo from Flickr
Looking closely at the Cocktail Construction Visualization allowed me to realize how to go about this overwhelming sketch assignment. At first glance, the different patterns and shapes scattered throughout the page were extremely confusing. but, I then noticed the key that tied together what each drink consisted of. Making a key and laying out all eleven Sunday Sketches, four graphic novels, and six larger assignments allowed me to visualize common factors for each part of this Visual Literature Freshman English Class.
Making the key of common themes of this course and deciphering which projects included each category was sort of challenging. While some are simple such as “creative approach” and “storytelling”, I felt as though they had to be included to show the theme of this class as a whole. In addition, I used the three course outcomes to frame some other parts. Knowing which projects formed my skill on revision and reframing projects, taught me how to use a new rhetoric technique of visual representational storytelling, and included textual analysis to strengthen my writing skills will be extremely useful for my Reflection Cover Letter.
Framing this “Assemblies” assignment uncovered a lot of the synthesis of this class as a whole. A big example of this took place with the “Data Analysis” section of my key. Our last two assignments- Data Visualization in Your Everyday Life and Mapping Spinning- were the two obvious data analysis projects we completed during this semester. However, looking back at the coursework allowed me to realize that this theme has been consistent. I have interpreted Tracing Maus and Comparing Palestine and Pyongyang to also include this type of skill in more of a textual way instead of visual. For example, though we close read individual pages of Maus for the assignment, the overall project of making three connections that encompass the novel as a whole track data throughout the entire layered story. In addition, comparing and contrasting Palestine verse Pyongyang forced me to uncover similar themes consistent throughout the novel and track their relevances in retrospect to each novel.
The sunday sketches as a whole show the diversity of visual representations. Many include personal representations of myself in non-traditional ways. Who would have thought a cartoon avatar, photo of what I carry in my backpack from day to day, or “True Story” would mirror a personal narrative. As a whole, this course has gone beyond boundaries of a traditional english class.
For some unknown reason, the National Archives includes a document entitled Cocktail Construction Chart, which was created by the US Forest Service in 1974, showing recipes for a group of cocktails represented in the style of an architectural diagram.
For this week’s sketch, think about the work you’ve completed in this class and your own learning and thinking processes — then break all that down into component parts, represented in some sort of an architectural diagram like this one. I’m less interested in the quality of the drawing itself and more in your analytical ability to break down something complicated into a series of steps and to represent that as if in such a diagram.