Category Archives: VisualAssignments

Final DS106 Project: Coach Boone’s Back

COACH HERMAN BOONE (Remember the Titans, 2000)

August 1971
Coach Herman Boone stood on the edge on the field, pensively staring up at the chipped, yellow field goal post. The sun made his eyes burn, so he turned and strode confidently back to the bench.

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As a newly integrated, high school football team, the TC Williams Titans had little hope for a bright season. They could barely run a play without an argument ensuing, much less navigate a successful play. “We can do it,” he would say, but intolerance was prevailing. Coach was discouraged, but had thought of an idea to inspire his players.

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At first, the t-shirts seemed like an unpopular decision. But, something had to be done. He had hoped they would inspire his players, and therefore, inspire the other students as well. With a passionate and genuine appeal, Coach Boone managed to inspire the young men with an unforgettable post-work out speech.

Truly inspired by his courage and determination to unite the members of his team, an anonymous person created a website to honor Coach Boone. Was it a student? Was it a parent? Was it the principal? Was it the mayor?

Did it even matter?

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And united, they were.

Visual Assignment #2: You’re Doing It Wrong


Plain and Simple: You’re Doing It Wrong

This photograph just so happens to be the perfect image for this visual assignment. As a senior, planning to graduate at the end of this second summer session (if all goes well with ds106!), I have done PLENTY of things wrong. For starters, I am beginning the lengthy process of moving my belongings out of my townhouse on William Street. After being a tenant for several years, I have accumulated quite a bit of stuff. While most of it is junk that I do not mind parting with, I REALLY wanted to keep the couch that I felt symbolized college for me personally. It didn’t quite make sense, but I didn’t care. That couch, it was a sanctuary of comfort and had been with me since my sophomore year of college.

As you can probably tell, this first attempt did not go well… Neither did the second, third, fourth, or fifth attempt. It became apparent after several hours in the humid, Virginia heat that we were not going to accomplish getting the couch out of that small doorframe. Reluctantly, I allowed my guy friend, Chris*, to give up, ONLY TO DISCOVER that the couch was legitimately stuck, suspended in the doorway. What does one do now? Well, nothing, but wait for someone with actual upper body strength to stumble across our idiotic situation.

Luckily, my next door neighbor received a package, delivered by a hefty, tall, broad shouldered, big armed UPS delivery man. And in exchange for a glass of iced tea, that wonderfully strong man managed to shove the couch safely back into my townhouse. Not to say we didn’t damage a great deal of dry wall, because we certainly did, but for some reason the whole event felt like an utter success, even though we had failed. I couldn’t find a better parallel to describe my college experience. What I mean by this is: I failed a lot in college. I failed at relationships, certain math classes, etc. BUT, now as I reflect back on my experience as a whole, I view it as a beautiful success– for my failures changed my perspective and ultimately shaped who I am today. Denzel, the couch, will be missed, but never forgotten!

Visual Assignment #1: Shakespearean LOLcat


The Kittens That Best Exemplify Shakespeare (And Why?)

A very well-known and popular Shakespearean quote, paired with two adorable kittens playing in a ambiguously green, outdoor setting. The story behind this image begins with the chilly Fall evening when I found three young kittens walking timidly around the dumpster behind the restaurant I used to work at. My best guess for their age was between 3 and 6 weeks old. Their eyes were still a bright blue hue, symbolizing their adorable youth. The kittens’ mother was nowhere to be found. I remember checking on them periodically throughout my 8 hour shift, always skittish when I tried to approach them. Once the bar doors had be closed for the night, I returned out back to see if the mother cat had returned for her babies. She had not. I assumed the worst, and could not leave these three bundles of innocence to die insignificantly behind a pile of trash bags.

I used a large fleece that I had stowed away in my trunk as a blanket and gathered the three kittens to bring home, into the safety and warmth. It look me about 15 minutes to catch all three of them. They kept scurrying around the dumpster, looking for their mama. At best, she had simply abandoned her babies. At worst, she was dead and would never return.

The kittens cried and cried the entire 4 minute drive to my house. I tried to comfort them, but my efforts were rendered useless for the car ride. Once we were in the house, the kittens enjoyed exploring the downstairs for several hours while my roommate and I set up a sleeping area for them, researched kitten food, and picked their names, based on our first impressions. As a result, three new, little roommates were added to our home; McGee, Lucy, and Boris. (Pictured below)





The next day, I took all three bundles of fur and tiny meows to the nearest veterinarian. There, I was given shocking news. All three kittens were very sick. The vet speculated that they had been on their own for multiple days. McGee, Lucy, and Boris all had fleas and parasites, most likely from eating the rotting food in the dumpster where I had found them. The vet said it was a minor miracle that they survived and were not victims of the natural elements.

The next part of this story breaks my heart. As a 20 year old college student, I was not even close to being able to afford the care all three of these kittens required. I was given a few options: 1) the vet’s office could take them off my hands and transport them to the SPCA or local animal shelter (where they would likely die); 2) I could pay the hundreds of dollars in veterinary fees out of pocket (I couldn’t afford it); or 3) I could quickly find loving homes for them with owners who could afford such a financial burden. I chose to find homes for them myself.

In the meantime, I bought a week’s worth of the medication, posted Craig’s List ads, and e-mailed everyone I knew. After my efforts seemed fruitless, I went to check my e-mail on the sixth morning I had the kittens. I had five new e-mails, but only three of interest to me. FINALLY, I had heard back from three responsible families that were all interested in taking one kitten. It broke my heart to split them up, but none of the families wanted to take on the responsibility of three baby kittens. I tried to empathize, but I admit, I cried. I cannot even begin to describe the weight that was lifted off my shoulders. I cried out of happiness as well, the kittens were going to survive.

To make this long story short, my visual assignment’s quote reflects the attitude I like to believe the kittens had. They fought to survive by the dumpster, they fought to survive against many odds. I feel lucky and very happy to say that all three kittens are now healthy, full grown, and happy with their loving families. McGee went to my brother’s best friend’s mother, Lucy went to my roommate’s best friend’s mother, and Boris went home with my roommate’s older sister. This worked out well for all of us, especially since in the weeks I spent with the kittens, we had become very attached to one another. I cannot be sure, but I think that they all thought I was their mother for a period of time. Either way, I am just incredibly content knowing they are all alive, safe, and happy. I look forward to receiving Christmas cards and e-mails from the families who adopted them. We stay in touch, and in an even more beautiful event: the kittens remember me.

My Process:

I found the image on Google and used photoshop to add the text. The quote I chose was from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It was simple, but I want to become more advanced with the program and learn how to utilize more of their very useful features.