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Rachel (Seoyoun) Son

sson42@emory.edu

This site is archive of the work that I have completed as part of ENG101 at Emory University during spring semester 2021.

Sunday Sketch 11: Assemblies https://rachels0n.wordpress.com/2021/05/03/sunday-sketch-11-assemblies/

Reflection Letter

Through taking English 181: The Secret Language of Comics, I have learned the skills and abilities that I had not even considered before. This class made me connect to lots of unfamiliar objectives. The email that I received even before the class started was that I need to create my own website. I was completely lost, since I was used to just using Canvas and had no interest or knowledge in creating a website. However, as I used the site more often to upload my works and essays during the semester, I realized that I was forming my digital identity and felt a sense of accomplishment. Through various Sunday Sketches that I have done in this class, I learned how to utilize the concepts of digital intellectual property. The first Sunday Sketch: Avatar was to make an image that represents me and my site. Through this Sketch assignment, I could learn about CC-licensed images. Before this class, I had no knowledge about copyright, and this first clearly taught me how to utilize digital images appropriately. Every single Sunday Sketch led me to practice various skills that I can utilize for the rest of my life. For example, I could learn photoshop through Sketch 3: Combophoto, and digital drawing through Sketch 5: Triptych. After completing all the Sunday Sketches, I am now able to practice and explain good digital citizenship and utilize various digital techniques. 

The writing assignment that I liked the most is the Tracing Pages assignment. However, ironically, it was also the most difficult assignment which I spent the most time among all the assignments of this class. The first step of this assignment was to choose a page from Stitches by David Small and Spinning by Tillie Walden. This helped me to develop my skills to identify the literacy strategies, since I had to choose one page that is compelling to me with a particular moment that stands out that I need to spend more time thinking about. Tracing and annotating the pages helped me to brainstorm the ideas for my analysis. By tracing the pages, I could see every detail of the comic and how each choice of frame and image is meaningful. Annotating the traced pages led me to find visual techniques and patterns that the authors utilized. As Hillary Chute’s “Comic for Grownups?” assisted me to understand how comics are designed, the ideas that I mostly focused on in my analysis are panel layout and symphonic effect. I could see and write how each panel on the pages dictates the pace that the audience would take while reading the comic by showing moments and movements quickly and slowly – “These panels make the audience move their eyes slowly, since they are stuck one instant” (Analyzing Their Tears). By completing the Tracing Pages assignment, I could improve my skill of critical thinking, since I learned how to analyze and evaluate the ideas of the authors in order to produce my own argument. 

The first writing assignment of this class was Literacy Narrative Part 1. This assignment was writing solely about my experiences that shaped my reading or writing skills. The first literacy narrative that I uploaded on my website does not contain any part about my feelings and thoughts, but only the straightforward description of my experiences. All the concluding sentences and parts of the main paragraphs of Literacy Narrative Part 1 do not portray how I felt about the experiences. When I look back on the essay, I can see that I wrote only about the struggles and growth with language, but nothing about my emotion and deep thoughts. However, other writing assignments that I have completed in this class guided me to end up with a better literacy narrative at the end of the class. 

In this class, I uploaded lots of reflection posts. At first, it was not easy to objectively evaluate my own essay and write about it. I honestly did not know why reflecting on the writing processes that I have done is important. However, as the class continued, I could see why reflective posts are effective and helpful. The reflective writing taught me how to critique my own works and this led me to get improved my writing skill. I could find the errors in my essays while writing reflective posts. By rereading my essays, I was able to find some parts that need structural and contextual revision, and I could give myself a feedback. Also, I could receive some feedback from Professor Morgen and my peers in the class. I was not familiar with this system, since I had never shown my essay to classmates before and I have only received brief written feedback from my high school teachers. Therefore, receiving active feedback was a bit awkward for me. However, this system helped me a lot to be a better writer. It provided me positive criticism which led me to revise and improve my work. Also, it gave me an opportunity to look at my works in a different light. Through reflective writing and feedback, I learned that I need a well-structured outline and multiple drafts to get to a successful text, and this allowed me to write better Literacy Narrative Part 3.

This course is now coming to the end and when I look back on all the works that I have done, the most unfamiliar, but interesting mode that I used to compose a text is a comic. For Literacy Narrative Part 2, I had to create a short comic based on my alphabetic literacy narrative. At first, I was panicked with the fact that I have to draw something to tell my story, since I had nearly no experience in drawing before this assignment. After I drew a rough draft of my comic, I could receive some feedback from my peers, saying that I need to draw more about my feelings and thoughts and this was just like the feedback for my first literacy narrative. Also, reading the comics of others allowed me to realize that my comic contains some parts that just make the comic unnecessarily long and boring. With the feedback, I got rid of those unnecessary parts and I focused more on the main events and added more panels that describe my emotion. What I learned through this process is that good drawing does not mean a good comic. I felt that choosing good panels and images is more important than good drawing to clearly evoke the appearance of characters and objects, to guide readers within the panels with the flow, to show readers what they need to see, and to clearly communicate the ideas. Through Literacy Narrative Part 2, I learned how to better compose an alphabetical text into a comic with proper frames, images, words, and flow. 

The skills and learnings that I have earned through this class helped me with the portfolio of my art class. For my art portfolio, I needed to write the description, crafting process, and critique of each artwork that I have done throughout the semester. As I wrote several reflective essays in this class, I could describe my process of crafting thoroughly in detail. Just like the way I wrote reflective essays in the class, I described how I made choices about the sketch and structure, and how was it different to use different tools and skills. I also described my hidden meaning and explanation of my surrealism works that I wanted to show the audience with analytical evaluation. I could objectively critique my work and pointed out the parts that I did good and parts that I need to improve. I was able to write it relatively easily, since I was used to this thinking process thanks to ENG 181 class. 

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