Contents of my backpack:

  • Laptop
  • Earphones
  • MAUS (1 & 2)
  • Wallet
  • 2 notebooks
  • Pencil case

In my opinion, this assignment was one of the easiest ones due to the fact, that I just took a photo of what is with me on a normal day. I just emptied my bag, found a relatively large space and arranged everything that was in my backpack. I think this photo represents how organized I am because I do not carry with me too many useless things and I am always organized and prepared for my classes. However, I think this photo does not fully represent me because I have a lot of interests that I simply cannot relate to the things I carry in my backpack (for example films, music, photography, etc.) In fact, I did not leave anything out of the photo, therefore, this is just a typical collection of the things that I have in my bag every day.


Photo: by me

Sketch 6: Reflection

Crafting a self-portrait through this photograph would be definitely considered different that the “sketch” assignments prior.  Namely, this assignment had zero drawings.  Though, I do see a purposeful use of it, and I appreciate the assignment.  As a person, this is partially representative of me.  I often times like to spend my time in the library and, of course, go to class.  However, it lacks my social personality and, most importantly, many other interests.  Surely, the “school backpack” I bring around class everyday is expected to not contain all my interests.  Many of the things I am interested, for example watching sports, cannot be contained in  backpack.  One major choice I made in this assignment was organizing the contents neatly.  It ought to be noted that for the items that were nearly uniform and I had multiple of (the books and notebooks), I fanned out to be more organized and aesthetically pleasing.  Additionally, I put my laptop in the foreground of the image because many of the things I do throughout the day-socially, academically, and leisurely- I do on my laptop.  The greatest challenge of the assignment was accepting that I do not bring around much stuff and will not be able to express who I truly am through this one image.  In addition, It was a rather difficult call on whether I wanted to take a photograph from above of from the angle I eventually used.  Representing oneself in a catalog of the stuff in one’s bag is ought not to be considered a form a writing.  Writing should include letters, sentences, and structure.   Though an image, or multiple images, can tell a story, they are not “writing”.  This picture does not fulfill the requirements of being writing.

Sketch 6: What’s in Your Bag?



Four notebooks for four of the classes I am in (Note: the White one is for freshman writing)

One Folder for a class (freshman seminar)

Maus Volum II– clearly, we were reading this book and I just have not removed it.

Palestine– Currently the book we are reading in class.  Interestingly, right before this picture I finished the reading (Chapters 1 and 2) due Tuesday.

Laptop- essential for all my classes


Pencil Case

Water Bottle (With many stickers)

Backpack (I use this as a multi-purpose backpack to avoid taking things in and out of it and leaving items in my room)


Sketch 6: What’s In The Bag?


Contents of my bag include…

1. Chemistry Model Kit – I’ve been studying for a chem test for a while, so I’m trying to get down some chemistry models using this kit. Without it, I’m doomed.

2. Umbrella – Weather’s great today, eh? It’s been somewhat rainy recently, so I keep this on me to be sure.

3. Notebooks on notebooks – Funnily enough, I still take most of my notes on my laptop. But for diagrams and flowcharts, nothing beats pencil and paper.

4. Napkins – Never know when you need one! Need to blow your nose? Need to wipe your hands? Napkins.

5. 150 Sheets of College Ruled Paper – The notebooks aren’t enough. HAS to be college ruled. Wide ruled just doesn’t look professional. These are just spare sheets of paper because I don’t like tearing sheets out from the notebooks, and if I need paper for a subject that doesn’t typically use a notebook, I don’t like to randomly tear paper out.

6. Doublemint Gum – Not typically around, but I’ve realized that my breath is rank sometimes. Or maybe it isn’t, but I feel somewhat worried that it is, so I’ve been getting back into the habit of chewing gum.

7. Dell Laptop – Only use this one because it’s 3 pounds. It runs slow, but well enough for school. Funny story: I shrunk an inch one year in high school carrying around a 10 lb laptop.

8. Dell Laptop Charger – I don’t go back to the dorm until late night (or until early morning), so I need to have this on me at all times and plug it into an outlet whenever I can.

9. Markers, Pens, Pencils – Markers for whiteboards at the library; pens for the lab notebooks in bio and chem lab; pencils for writing. Always try to keep at least one of each on me.

10. TI-84 Plus Silver Edition
10a. Yes, I know that the TI-89 is superior with things like solving for variables, I’ve used it myself.
10b. Yes, I know that the TI-84 Plus C is out, I don’t need it, even if I can’t read mine in the dark.
10c. Yes, I know it’s worn out, I’ve had it since sixth grade; I don’t need a new one.

11. Pencil Pouch – that I never open up. It’s more of a backup in case I somehow forgot all my pencils, pens, etc. for that day.

12. MAUS Pt. II – Dank book. The ending left me really sad. Maybe it was cause I read it at like 3 AM, but I think it’s mostly due to the fact that I’d built up an appreciation for Vladek and seeing him and Anja reunite, followed by the immediate showing of their grave together, really just broke me a little.

13. Lab Safety Goggles – It’s hard enough to find a pair that a) doesn’t fog up and b) fits over my glasses. These almost fill those requirements, but with one small issue. THEY FOG UP.

14. Water Bottle for WATER – Can’t put hot drinks into this water bottle. So I just use it for some nice, refreshing, cold water. Or, it would be cold if it didn’t turn lukewarm after 5 minutes.

15. Water Bottle for COFFEE, TEA, WATER – The water bottle that overachieves. I usually have it for my coffee in the mornings, water anytime of the day, or tea at night. It’s great for both storing hot and cold. Maybe a little too good sometimes. One morning, I made coffee and stored it in this bottle. Four hours later, it was still piping hot.

16. The Backpack – I’ve had this bad boy since middle school. Feels good. Maybe hasn’t stuck with me the whole time (broken/dirty from stuff), but it’s been there for a lot of it.


Pretty fun exercise. The worst part was finding a way to angle the picture from above. Thought I was gonna fall out of my chair. This image isn’t the most representative of me as a person. I am in front of my laptop a large portion of the day, whether it’s talking to friends, studying, or playing games, so if I had to really represent me, I’d have included my good laptop. But I don’t carry it around, so it’s not representative of my BAG. My bad is situational depending on the day and what I need to do, so it’s changing pretty consistently, save for a good portion of the items in the picture. I left out some random papers from the picture because that would just make the picture look messy. I wanted a nice, clean picture to show rather than a crumpled mess. There weren’t many challenges aside from picture-taking, as I simply took things out of my backpack and arranged them on the floor.

I think this assignment is still a form of writing. You make a draft of what you want in there, you take some things out and add some in, and you make a final draft, explaining why you included the things you wanted to. It’s a form of creative expression, showing your own ideas and what you value in a piece. In a strange way, this photo is an essay.

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.

What’s in my bag?


  • 5 folders
  • Water bottle
  • Laptop
  • Spare headphones
  • Pen and pencil
  • 5 subject notebook
  • Tissues
  • Wallet
  • Portable charger
  • Basic med-kit
  • Gum

I’ve always preferred to carry less but I also like being prepared for most things. I feel like my backpack reflects this appropriately. I only carry around my laptop, some folders for my classes so things don’t get too messy, a notebook and a pen and a pencil. Those are what I would consider my school essentials. I also have my non-school essentials; although I usually walk around with headphones on, I always carry a spare in case somethings happens to mine. I prefer having gum, it helps me to focus, and a portable charger just in case I don’t have a chance to charge my phone. Trying to create a self-portrait through the items in my backpack wasn’t that hard, I think what I have in there is pretty representative of my school-self. I think it lacks the non-school part of me which is a little messier. The hard step was deciding how to lay it out which didn’t take that long either, I just wanted to find a pleasing way to arrange it all. I think that technically this sort of catalog representation isn’t writing but I think that it leads very naturally into writing, its the same sort of creative process: laying out the subject and arranging it in a way that flows and tells a story.

What’s in my bag?

My denim Hershel backpack contains all of my class necessities:

  • a heavily decorated laptop that contains basically everything I have ever done in school
  • an overstuffed pencil case that barely zips (I have A LOT of highlighters)
  • headphones that sadly don’t fit into my computer 😦 I also have wireless ones but those I normally wear around my neck so they are easily accessible on my walk to class
  • my room key although sometimes I feel like my roommate and I are the only ones on this campus who lock their door
  • a pack of gum but normally it’s more like 3 packs with a ton of wrappers but I cleaned out my backpack on Thursday
  • chapstick since Atlanta weather is kind of dry for me even though it’s humid for everyone else
  • lab goggles because I tend to forget mine on lab days so I just keep them in there all the time
  • color-coordinated folder and notebook! I have them for every class but normally only keep one set in my backpack at a time because I hate it when it’s super heavy. The colors haven’t changed since high school: chemistry has always been black, biology green, and english pink. I had to add red for anthropology since I did not take that in high school.

People seem to think I am a pretty organized person with my color-coordinated sets and plethora of highlighters to set up my notes. However, I am normally slightly chaotic. Sure, my room looks clean, but inside those closed drawers contain barely folded laundry, makeup sprawled everywhere, and assignments crumpled from first semester. My backpack tends to be similar. The front pouch acts as a garbage can with gum wrappers and receipts while the main pouch is slightly cleaner but not as perfect as this picture looks. I decided to only put the clean elements out. At first glance, you see many organized objects, yet you cannot see what is within the backpack. That’s where this project gets challenging. See, yes, I believe my contents of my backpack do represent me but I was able to choose which elements to show. You can only see what I have chosen, not what I failed to provide. When telling a story, authors can do the same thing. They can give some information but not all of it, giving the reader the opportunity for their own interpretation of the text. By showing only a select group of things from the contents of my bag, I allow the person looking at the image to form their own opinions and leave them to question if there are pieces I have left out.


What’s in my Bag

  • a roll of tape with no dispenser that I “accidentally” took home from work
  • a pen, two pencils, a mechanical pencil and a blue highlighter
  • tiny notebook that’s too small to actually use and too cute to leave at home
  • laptop (feat. stickers of david bowie and a pig with balloons)
  • a piece of paper with instructions for mailing a package (and a lipstick stain because I needed something to clean up my makeup with)
  • sunglasses
  • Snickers wrapper
  • a wallet with a Chicago transit card and a Blick’s preferred customer card in it
  • a card for Emory Counseling Services
  • Part of a tea bag with an inspirational quote on it (not kept for the quote as much as it was kept because I love tea)

What’s in Your Bag


  • FullSizeRenderColor coordinated notebooks- as a college student it is key to be organized so I never mix up my chem and english notes
  • Pencil case- where my mechanical pencils, ballpoint pens, and colorful highlighters are stored
  • A pile of miscellaneous pens and pencils- though I like to stay organized sometimes when I am running out of class I just throw my pencils into my backpack
  • Water bottle- I can never go through a long day of classes and walking around campus without this
  • Chem model kit and lab safety goggles- though I only have chem two times a week, I seem to just leave these items in my backpack so I am always prepared.  In addition, I never know when I am going to have to randomly put together a carbon hydrogen model throughout my week.
  • Maus- as we have our “Tracing Maus” assignment due next week, I have been carrying these books around with me so I can trace and annotate pages during my free time in between classes.
  • Lab composition notebooks- Since my lab professor is very particular with the organization of our lab notebooks, I am rewriting my first few labs in a new composition notebook so it is all organized properly.  Since this is easy but tedious work I like to do it in between classes when I have a free moment.
  • Agenda- I am the type of person who has to write down every assignment for all my classes.  I love to cross work out as I complete it to feel accomplished.
  • Laptop- from photos to documents to the whole wide internet, my computer contains everything.  I need this everyday to complete assignments, take notes, and even a little time for netflix here and there.
  • A pile of rappers- A the bottom of my backpack was a pile of rappers so I guess this assignment was a good way for me to clean my bag.
  • Charging wires and Portable charger- There are days that I am out of my dorm from before classes in the morning to late at night after spending hours in the library.  I cannot do anything without all my devices charged and recharged throughout the day.
  • Granola bar- I always grab one on my way out the door in the morning for breakfast, but sometimes I also have an extra for long and busy days.
  • Wallet- always a necessity around campus.
  • Room key- I have to carry this around everywhere so I am not locked out of my room when my roommate is gone.
  • Gum- I love carrying a pack of gum with me and know my friends do as well.
  • Chapstick- during the cold winter months this came in handy very often.
  • Boarding passes- I took this same backpack on my family trip to Peru over winter break and somehow still have these.  This was a very good memory as I was emptying out my backpack.
  • Change- I found coins and dollar bills at the bottom of my backpack as a pleasant surprise while doing this assignment.


Since for the next few years much of my life is revolved around my education and time as a student, my backpack definitely represents this.  My notebooks, agenda, and chemistry model kit are the items that I lug around everyday here on campus but I hope these items do not completely define me.  Though I am organized and a hard worker, that is not everything- there is also a personality behind the studying.  I love adventure and spending time with friends and family so I was very pleased to find my boarding passes in my backpack to remind me of to other parts of my life- rewards for the hardwork and dedication to my academics.  

Sketch 6: What’s in your bag?

Due: March 4

Tag: sk6

Find a relatively large empty space. Take your backpack, messenger bag, or whatever sort of bag you carry around with you regularly, empty all the contents out, and arrange them carefully that they represent a visual snapshot of the stuff you tote around with you on a normal day. Then take a clear photo showing your bag and the stuff and upload it to your site.

Note that like the avatar or the literacy narrative, this too is a type of autobiographical composition. If you have something in your bag that is private, embarrassing, or for some other reason you don’t want it in the picture then make the editorial decision not to include it. Or vice versa, if you would like to assume a certain kind of persona then you might consider including items in your catalog that might be less than fully true.

Add some text to your post listing the items represented in your photo, preferably adding in a bit of explanatory and/or funny commentary along the way. This can be a paragraph of text or a list or whatever format seems most appropriate for you. When these sorts of posts are done by publications, like say The Verge or Timbuk2, they are often not so subtle efforts at product placement but for our purposes there is no reason for you to engage in such advertising games.

Along with the photo and your description of the items, include a paragraph reflecting on what it was like to craft a self-portrait through this photograph. How actually representative is this image of you as a person? What sorts of choices did you make in order to create the image? What was challenging about this assignment? Is representing yourself in a catalog of the stuff in your bag a type of writing? Why or why not?

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