I'm really glad to see you getting right into this like a champ!
I found it quite funny that you said how could shoes be boring?! To me they ARE boring
Onto the assignment.
First there are a couple things you could do to immediately improve these images.
I noticed you have shot using auto white balance. Try to set your white balance manually to match the light you're shooting in. Note the orangey/yellow color to your shot here. That's because your camera doesn't know what kind of light you're shooting in so it has to guess. Usually when you're shooting under incandescent light and your camera thinks it's daylight you get this incorrect color.
Whatever the case, always try to remember to set your white balance manually when shooting.
Also your ISO is quite high for an image like this. If you're shooting something totally static and you have hours of time on your hands you should really use a tripod and shoot at a lower ISO. Essentially shooting at a lower ISO reduces the sensitivity of your sensor. The benefit of that is less noise in your images. I have attached a screenshot of one of your images @100% size so you can see the noise.
See how noisy/grainy that is? That's because this was shot at ISO 1250... Now given that you're shooting with such an incredible camera you can pretty much get away with murder but in terms of high ISO shooting but it's always good to remember that if you have time and you're shooting a static shot use a tripod on lower ISOs. The image will be much cleaner.
Beyond that this image is nice because you're gotten very close to your subject and shot with shallow depth of field.
One note on that would be if you're going to shoot with very shallow depth of field try to ensure that the are that is in focus is really powerful.
For example when I shot this photo I was trying to feature the curl of the leaf and hence it's the part that is in focus:
Also notice how shallow depth of field images look totally different at different sizes. The technical reasons for this are pretty boring: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_confusion
The key is to ensure what you want to feature is featured...
Thanks for sending this in you've done very well on your first assignment!