Students create animated environments to introduce themselves.
Hope Tudor, a freshman at Braden River High School, remembered when she was in third grade and went kayaking for the first time with her Girl Scout troop.
She learned quickly and enjoyed watching marine life along the way.
One of the girls in the troop kayaked over an alligator, and Tudor saw a manatee swim under her kayak. The fun she had on her trip stayed with her and made her want to continue kayaking.
When Tudor was given an assignment last week as school began to create a cubby and avatar using the Bitmoji app to share her interests and information about herself, she knew it had to include a kayak.
Maureen Hudson, a teacher at Braden River High School, wanted her class to introduce themselves in a more fun and unique way, especially with her class being at home for e-learning.
“It was an easier way than writing an email about myself,” said Victoria Medina, a sophomore. “It was so much easier to express myself through pictures and things I like rather than just writing about me. I got to design everything my way. I didn’t have any boundaries.”
Tudor’s cubby includes items that represents the hobbies she enjoys, animals she loves and places she wants to go.
To show her love of music, Tudor chose to have her singing into a microphone and has a guitar and the “Hamilton” soundtrack sitting in her cubby.
Tudor’s interest in the hit musical “Hamilton” started when a movie of the musical performance was put on the Disney+ streaming service July 3.
“I’d known one of the songs since like fifth grade, but I finally listened to the whole album and loved it,” Tudor said. “Now I have the whole thing memorized and stuck in my head. I’ve watched it multiple times.”
During the quarantine, Tudor picked up a hobby of baking. She baked a dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling and chocolate buttercream with fresh raspberries and white chocolate on top from scratch for her mom’s birthday.
A postcard of locations in Ireland rests on the top shelf of her cubby because she hopes to someday travel to the country.
When thinking of what to put in her cubby, Medina wanted to include items that represent her now but also what she hopes for in the future.
Her favorite part of her cubby is the Venezuelan flag.
“My country of origin plays a big part of who I am,” Medina said. “I learned a lot of values when I lived there. It represents everything good about my personality.”
When Medina moved to the Lakewood Ranch area four years ago from Venezuela, she read about New York University in a book and remembers being inspired by the story. Now she has an NYU sign in her cubby because it’s the school she aspires to attend to study law.
Medina started watching anime a year and a half ago and has been watching anime every day since.
“Sometimes I learn important things from anime, and it gets into who I am and my personality, and I kind of just start looking at things in the way I see it through anime,” Medina said.
Blankenship, a freshman, featured a bowl of ramen noodles in his cubby not just because it’s his favorite food but because it’s a nickname his friends call him.
“My friends call me Ramen because it kind of sounds like my name, I have curly hair, and I like ramen,” Blankenship said.
Blankenship spends hours playing Rocket League, a computer game, with his friends, so he decided to make it stand out in his cubby.
He also put a keyboard and mouse in his cubby because of his love for playing video games.
“It’s something I can just hang out and do with my friends,” Blankenship said.
The Bitmoji app offers several options for different hairstyles, facial features, clothes and more for an avatar. Blankenship found having to choose what would work to make his avatar look just like him overwhelming but enjoyable. He had trouble figuring out what color to make his eyes and what shape he should choose for his face.
“It was interesting that you could create another you and kind of see yourself through a different world,” Blankenship said.