straight down the line

I spy?

What’s In Your Bag? (3 Stars)

Your purse, bag, backpack, murse, whatever, is your constant companion throughout your adult life. What are the essentials in your bag that get you through the day? Take a picture of the items and detail each of them with a description.

Story Behind the Story:

Instead of using my own purse, I used my character Stella’s purse. In my mind, Stella is a very organized person with few possessions. She only carries what she absolutely needs and doesn’t hassle over digging through her purse trying to find something. I wanted her purse to symbolize her almost “double identity.” By day, psychologist. By night, sociopath. It is quite a shift in personalities, so I really wanted to show that binary opposition.

This assignment shows you how to see a person in a different light then just what is right in front of your face. It also allowed me to work with GIMP again. I think this assignment would be perfect in and english classroom. If you had access to computers and a photoshopping program, this would be extremely beneficial to have students get to know characters in a book. Their assignment could be to pick one character from the book they are currently reading in class and find the different objects that would be found in their bags in order to define what type of person they resemble. It takes the idea of reading to a whole new level; it allows students to create connections with the book while also teaching them a great skill like photoshopping.

Work Itself:

Two phones: Stella claims that the smaller flip phone is used for when her clients call, but no one has ever seen her use it. In reality, it is an unmarked phone in which she uses to carry out all of her wicked plans. The smart phone is her everyday, normal device; she uses it to blend in. If anyone were to get a hold of it, it would hold the run of the mill calls to her husband, her joint e-mail account with her husband, and other daily conventions.

Chapstick/sunglasses: This shows the simplicity of her appearance. She wears no make-up and has piercing green eyes that are sensitive to the sun. Nothing out of the ordinary with these two items; except for that fact that when Stella becomes nervous, she starts to consistently apply her Chapstick. I can’t imagine what would happen if that went missing? She has also noticed that her extreme pale skin, mixed with the piercing green eyes make people nervous and as someone committing multiple crimes, or so we think, she can’t make people fidget unless she is in control. She also sees her eyes as a unique feature that can easily be identified, so whenever she plans a scheme, you will see her sunglasses come out as a defense mechanism.

notepad/wallet combo: As a psychologist, Stella obviously has to take notes during sessions. What her clients don’t know is that she is not only taking notes about their emotions or feelings but additionally, significant details about their everyday life in order to track and manipulate their existence. Just one of her charming characteristics. She as this nice notepad/wallet combo so that no matter where she goes, she always has this notepad with her if she ever needed to reference it. You will NEVER see her without this. Even if she doesn’t have a purse with her, that wallet/notepad is glued to her hand. It never leaves her site. When the notepad runs out, she locks away in a safe with all of the other ones.

ring of keys: Which brings us to her extensive ring of keys. While her appearance can be a little intimidating, it sometimes proves the opposite effect. She has a knack for being charming when she wants something from someone. Hence how she got all of the keys now attached to her ring. Some are keys of clients homes, others are keys to doctors offices. There are even a couple that unlock storage units spread out all across the city. The big kicker is the key to her other home. That’s right. She lives with her husband in a nice suburban home, but she also has a hidden away apartment just for her. No one has ever been in it. No one knows it exists. She uses these keys when she has had enough fun with her clients and wishes to see them squirm.

multiple blank IDs: Finally, a stack of blank IDs. She can be whoever she wants, whenever she wants. She is the ultimate manipulator. If she needs to pretend to be running an investigation and access one of her clients files, she does it. If she wants to get into a safety deposit box, she does it. If she wants to act as a family visitor at the hospital, she does it. Maybe her real name isn’t even Stella?

 

whatsinyourbag

Narrate the Process:

I am not going to lie, I used a little Veronica Mars inspiration for this assignment (in case you couldn’t tell by now, I have an unhealthy obsession with that show). I just twisted the peppy, witty Veronica into a deceptive, scary Stella. The multiple IDs and the set of keys were the main drive for this assignment. Someone who can get away with manipulating minds for years doesn’t seem like someone who would leave a lot of traces of that lifestyle in his/her purse. I wanted it neat and compact with an edge of curiosity.

Once again, I used GIMP. I found all of the pictures on Google and then dragged them into the application as different layers. However, I did not become this tech savvy on my own. The lovely tutors at UMW’s Digital Knowledge Center have probably seen enough of me by now. I started with the purse. In order to do this, I hid all of the other images by clicking on the little eye that appears next to them in the sidebar. Once I had cut the background out by using the wand, selecting the white space and then cutting, I proceeded to do the same for each item. I shrunk and rotated them to make it as scale as possible. (honestly if you had asked me about this process a week ago, I would have just stared at you, I am not even sure if what I have written now makes sense, but I am getting there!)

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