I’m super excited for today’s post! This has been in the works for about a month or so, and I really wanted to share it with you guys. The short story is that I managed to get permission to crochet something for my English 104 final project. But you know me, I can never keep it to a short story…so if you want the long one, keep reading! 🙂
I don’t really mention “everyday” life here, because it’s not conducive to a happy crochet blog! But a little background: I’m an English major in my first year of college, and one of my classes this term was ENG 104: Intro to Literature. It was a really fascinating class because my teacher taught it with a theme: “Illness Narratives.” This meant we read a bunch of pieces about illnesses, and analyzed not only things like literary devices and authorial intent, but also the perception and portrayal of illnesses in the media. This is something I’ve thought about quite a lot, having mental health problems myself, and it was wonderful to explore it in this class.
One of the assigned “textbooks” was actually a book I had previously read and loved: Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. My sister and I love Telgemeier’s graphic novels, and she owns them all and kindly lets me borrow them. Ghosts just came out this year, so I was astonished to see it in the syllabus. Here’s the summary:
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake – and her own.
It’s a really fantastic book and I can’t recommend it enough. For our final project, we had three options: a creative writing project, an art project, or a seven-page literary analysis (!). I opted for the art project, despite the fact I can barely draw a stick figure (much to my chagrin, as I would love to be able to doodle in class without mortifying myself). I can’t draw, but I can crochet… 😀
My project was about the connection between visible and invisible illnesses, and I used Cat and Maya from Ghosts to illustrate this – Maya has cystic fibrosis, which is a very visible illness because of her breathing tube, while her sister Cat suffers from anxiety, which is a mental illness.
For the art project, we had to do a 2-4 page analytical essay describing how our project related to the course content, and incorporating several texts from the term. After a conference with my teacher, mine turned into 5 pages. 😛 And I decided to upload it here in case any of you were interested in reading it – not that you have to, because it’s kinda long and definitely not about crochet, but perhaps you’re curious. 🙂
The other book I reference in this essay is Lucy Grealy’s Autobiography of a Face, which is a fascinating read and one I would recommend as well.
Here’s the link if you’re interested in reading: Visible and Invisible Illnesses
I was really excited to incorporate crochet into my English class – it’s been such a fun term! And my dolls weren’t even close to the best project (not that it’s a competition) – I was really lucky to have such fantastic classmates. I think my next post will include the details on how I made Cat and Maya, because this post is pretty long already. 🙂
Have you guys read any of Raina Telgemeier’s books? I’m not usually a graphic novel person, but I really enjoy her work! And if you do happen to read my essay, I’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts – I’m still waiting to get a grade on this one, so fingers crossed, haha. 🙂 Hope you’re all having a wonderful week!