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  • ENGRD 101- The Secret Language Of Comics

  • Reflection Letter

    This website serves as an archive for work completed in ENGRD 101 during spring semester 2022. 

    Throughout the ENGRD 101 class “The Secret Language of Comics” instructed by Professor Morgen, I was taught several helpful learning as well as life skills. Regardless of the lesson, it is evident that freshman writing serves as a meaningful tool for all students as they advance in their Emory writing careers. As a class, not only were we able to compose several works through different mediums and tools, we were also able to further grow our analytical skills. As it is pictured above in my assembly of several different flowers, even though this class was not a conventional writing class, I feel the numerous modes and genres that we were able to explore and use to expand on our learning skills, as well as creativity, were incredibly important. Overall, I believe that through the completion of all of our class assignments, presentations, discussions, and essays as well as a strong development of my desire to read and write in a more advanced way are valuable evidence that I learned a great deal in freshman writing. 

    One of the learning outcomes for this class is “use technology rhetorically and appropriately, and engage responsibly in online spaces.” The best example of how this was achieved successfully is my website as a whole. Not only were we expected to explore the different ways to construct a website from scratch, but my classmates and I were also expected to utilize online platforms to create different work and presentations. More specifically, for our “Sunday Sketches” which are weekly assignments that help us transfer traditional thought processes used in typical written responses into drawn or computer-generated pieces that fit a prompt. The flower drawing above was for our final Sunday Sketch assignment that focused on the ways we could represent the breakdown of our class into an assembly of different objects. I found that each flower could represent different aspects of what we completed in ENGRD 101. In my reflection I wrote that one flower may “symbolize the discussion skills that were built upon through class talks on the books that we read.” Another flower could represent the Halfa Kucha presentations and the way that “we all had to adapt our former ideas on how to give a good presentation.” Another flower could symbolize “our growth in creativity and more artistic thinking through Sunday Sketches and other activities.” Lastly, the fourth flower could symbolize the “writing and reading skills that we were able to build further through the essays and books we read.” By putting all of the flowers together in the middle of my drawing I was able to demonstrate how all of these skills came together to not only accomplish the learning outcomes but to symbolize the personal growth that I had in this class as a whole. I think that I will use all of these methods and skills in the future such as the Halfa Kucha presentation method which incorporated time restrictions into the timing of slides and our Halfa Kucha prompt asked us to create a comparison between two books that we read this semester. Although it was something new and challenging, I think that I benefited greatly from being forced to be concise when trying to communicate my main ideas to the audience. 

    I believe one of the most important learning outcomes for this class is “practice writing as a process, recursively implementing strategies of research, drafting, revision, editing, and reflection.” I believe that this was the most commonly used learning outcome because all of the tasks for this class required a drafting, editing, and reflection process. Even in class discussions, I would try to contribute comments that not only reflected on what the work itself touched on specifically but how it made me feel and what it made me think about. The literacy narrative is a perfect example of how I achieved this specific learning outcome. Not only were we expected to complete the preliminary written portion of the literacy narrative, but we were also tasked with translating our work into a comic. This comic had several stages of planning and research that were reflected in our final drawings. What I found most challenging was knowing what to include in my comic from my literacy narrative essay. As I wrote in my reflection for the literacy narrative comic, “by creating my comic based on a text narrative, it allowed me to explore how I can draw from a written work for inspiration and guidance on what to illustrate.” Also, I wrote about how a person’s artistic abilities do “not necessarily infringe on a person’s final product” or overall message. By writing a reflection after each assignment I was able to better consider what I accomplished and the steps I had to take to achieve the final work as a whole. 

    As a writer, when looking back at the work that was completed this semester, I am reminded of not only how far my analytical skills have come but also by the many tools that I have learned through being part of this class. One of the most important things I will take away from this course is the importance of understanding the message of the story in general but also what the author wanted the reader to take away from it. This connects to all of the pieces that I have worked on this semester, long and short. Regardless of the assignment, I tried to demonstrate my inner thoughts and analysis for each prompt and work. One example of this is the Tracing Pages essay that we had to write. In this assignment, we compared two different stories and analyzed the different patterns between the two. In this assignment, we were asked to use an “ABT” thesis statement (“__ and __ but __ therefore __”). This was something that I had never been asked to do before but I found that it was a great way to lay out your essay for the reader. The two books were Stitches by David Small and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and I focused on the relationship that each main character had with their parents and how their households differed. Although I found the ABT thesis format to be a little awkward at first, I think that it helped my essay overall and I was able to produce something that successfully answered the prompt. In the reflection for this essay, I also talked about my reaction to having to put the thesis statement at the end of the essay, “I was surprised…This was never something that I had done before but I thought it was interesting how the whole essay works up to that point of clarity and final explanation of what you had been writing about.” This class pushed me out of my comfort zone and showed me new and effective ways to write and interpret works. I think that by successfully following the instructions, actively trying to understand what was expected of me, and trying to make the analysis my own, I was able to achieve the learning outcomes to the fullest extent. 

    Overall, I believe I was able to achieve all of the learning outcomes for this course and I think that I learned a lot about how to engage with books and articles but also about how I learn best as a student. Not only did the topic of this course provide me with new interests that I had never entertained before, I think that I found new ways to compose my essays and presentations in the future. Regardless of what I was previously taught about being a good reader and a good writer, I have found that it is less about being good at something and more about being interested and excited about what you are learning.

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