Tag: sk2

Student Posts

What’s in my Bag

bag + items

Hello! Like most college students, I carry my backpack with me everywhere I go. I, like most students, have an assortment of things that I carry with me in my bag. My essentials that I cannot function without are as listed: my laptop (decorated with my favorites stickers), computer charger, an assortment of notebooks for each of my classes, pencil pouch, and a planner. I also make sure to carry at least 2 pairs of earbuds and my air pods on me at all times because music is an essential for me (I know having this many backups is a little much). For some reason I am also oddly superstitious, so I carry “Wiz,” my owl necklace that I have had since my freshman year of high school with me. Another thing I carry with me, are 2 green army men because I may have the desire to hide them somewhere and they bring me good luck. I also carry two types of sunscreen and bubbles (note: good if you find a dog or are sitting in a park) that prepare me for whenever I have a moment that I want to spend outdoors. Finally, I make sure to carry things that I can give to other people like my first-aid pack with band aids (not pictured), tampons and ibuprofen (not pictured), as well as a Thank You card.

I think the things in my backpack describe me as an individual more than I was expecting. I try to be prepared as possible for all situations that I may encounter (this may be from years of Girl Scouts), which include my academics, friendships, hobbies, and personal interests. I did not face many challenges when performing this assignment. When arranging my items, I was somewhat surprised on how challenging it was to organize my items in a way that was somewhat visually appealing. I believe representing yourself through the stuff in your bag is a creative way to represent oneself. The things you carry with you from the day to day are all a choice that you make as an individual that is shown only to your self and not others. The choice to carry nothing to the choice to carry a surplus of items are both choices that you make that can help you express your self indirectly.

Student Posts

What’s in your bag?

When it comes to bags, I will passionately defend the use of totes, even when I have to carry around an impractical amount of stuff (being a tote bag lover and a chronic over-packer has its downsides). In my bag, you will usually find…

1. My AirPods (in a pink case, of course). I use these to listen to Hozier on repeat.

2. Polar Ice Extra gum. I always seem to want gum when I don’t have any, so now I keep it in my bag. Funnily enough, I hardly ever want it anymore.

3. Moisturizer. I’m on Accutane. Need I say more?

4. A snack. Pictured are freeze-dried strawberries, but my other favorites are pretzels. At one point it was a full-sized pizza bagel from my school’s dining hall.

5. My claw clip. My hair is too thick for most claw clips, so I’ve been obsessed with this XL one ever since I found it.

6. My water bottle. This thing goes with me absolutely everywhere, no matter how heavy it makes my bag. Do I ever drink enough water out of it? That’s debatable. But I love its presence.

7. An extra mask. I’ve lost too many masks during this pandemic to not carry extras. At least I’m self-aware.

8. A nose ring receipt. Honestly, I threw this in my bag when I got my nose ring switched out a week ago and forgot about it. I need to clean this thing out more often.

9. My dorm key and chapstick. I keep these on a carabiner so I can clip them onto my jeans (if the key is physically attached to me, I can’t lose it). As far as the chapstick goes — thank you, Accutane.

10. My umbrella. My hair does not handle the rain well, so I am always prepared.

11. My wallet. This one is self-explanatory, although half of the gift cards in there are used.

12. A portable charger. I forget to charge this up before leaving my dorm most of the time, but I like to think it has saved the day once or twice.

To some extent, representing myself in a catalog of the stuff in my bag is a form of writing. Writing, at its core, exists to share ideas and stories, and this photo does exactly that — if someone were to look at the photo without context, I think they could get a decent surface-level idea of who I am (I can accept the fact that the contents scream “basic college girl”). Even if the items in my bag were to leave someone unsure, the design on the bag itself fits my personality. However, I believe the story of this photo is enhanced by traditional story-telling, whether in physical writing or verbal communication. If you want to truly get to know someone, you need to swap ideas and stories with them rather than just looking at what they lug around with them all day, whether it’s discussing the story behind each item or a completely different topic.

To make this assignment, I chose the things I carry around with me most often. These items — in addition to a few others, such as my laptop — float around between my favorite tote bag and my school backpack, so I had to decide which ones were the most important to showcase. I then laid everything out on my dorm floor, making sure the objects were arranged in a way that brought attention to the design of my bag. Honestly, this was the most difficult decision I made during this assignment because while I don’t find the carpet to be an appealing background, it was the only viable option in my tiny room. Lastly, I annotated the photo on my iPad to add a personal touch.

Student Posts

Found in my bag and backpack…

❦ Current Inventory ❦

❧ +Flavor text

  • Phone (x1)
    • A means of connecting to the rest of the world.
  • Backup battery (x1)
    • Phone won’t last the day without it.
  • Phone charger (x1)
    • Without this, the backup battery becomes useless!
  • Hand sanitizer (x2)
    • One is much cuter than the other… Is this a sign of favoritism?
  • Sanitizing wipes (x2)
    • It’s dirty out there!
  • Wallet (x1)
    • Everything costs money…
  • Chinese red envelope「红包」(x1)
    • For good luck! Has some money inside.
  • Calculator (x2)
    • Never carry less than two. Always have a backup!
  • Pencil case (x1)
    • So cute! Keeps writing materials in one place.
  • Pencils (x???)
    • Despite how many there are, only one gets used at a time. Favoritism at its finest.
  • Electronic notepad (x1)
    • Good as reusable scrap paper. Save some trees!
  • Keepsake keychains (x3)
    • Venti: beloved character from a beloved game. Faithful companion.
    • Golden bear: a younger sibling’s gift. Its crude smile has an air of childhood innocence.
    • Clover: symbol of luck. A souvenir from afar.

Explanation and thoughts…

Due to COVID, my belongings are a bit scattered. Not everything I’d usually have is included here (such as textbooks, notebooks, workbooks…) and even the things I do have with me are all around the house and hard to find. Since I’m not that great with photo composition, I just tried my best to get just a few items propped up for a nice picture. I don’t carry much with me anyway, so I think this was an appropriate representation of just how empty my bags typically are! Though, if I knew how to fit more things into one snapshot while still making it look nice, maybe I’d embellish my daily experiences by adding a quick yarn project or two along with my crochet hooks. I don’t usually get to carry my hobbies with me, but it’d be nice if I could!

As for whether the representative picture above counts as a form of writing… Personally, I believe it may not be writing specifically, but it’s definitely a form of art. Photography is a form of art, and art is a form of self expression, just like the way self expression can also be an art! Writing, though still connected and also an art, feels like its own category in all this. However, I’d definitely say the inventory I wrote up, though not a paragraph description of each item, is a valid form of writing. It imitates flavor text you might see in a video game, and the writing in video games, being a form of storytelling as well, most certainly counts as a (very fun) form of writing.

Student Posts

Sketch 2: What’s in your bag?

I wish I could say that the contents in my bag are unique, however, I think if any college student dumped out their backpack and took a picture of it, their picture would look almost identical to mine. In order to save myself from back pain, I decided that I would only carry the necessities in my backpack. These items include, my notebooks and folders for the day, my computer and charger, pens and pencils, my AirPods, a hair clip, mini brush, a pack of gum and a bag of Tylenol. 


Sketch 2: What’s in your bag?

Due: 2/20

Tag: sk2

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 so 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?