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Integrative Seminar – Reflection

In life, there are events that change a person, sometimes permanently and sometimes temporarily. An event that has occurred to me multiple times within my life, has been moving. I grew up in a small suburb called, Colorado Springs, in Colorado. After 6th grade my family made the move to California, and although leaving my childhood friends seems big, it did not affect me too greatly. My time in California only lasted a little bit over a year, and this was one of the first moves that affected me greatly. I made plenty of friends, and I actually considered myself to be happier than I had been in my hometown. And once again, only after a year it was time to move again. We made the move back to Colorado, but this time a different city, Aurora. I started a new beginning in Aurora, miserable. The students acted different, I didn’t have friends, and things seemed lonely. The 1st year in Aurora, being a new student in 8th grade, left me to wonder if I’d get out of this loneliness. This loneliness left me wondering when I would be content, happy, or excited again. Even though this move was hard on me, I knew it made me who I am today. I knew it was what my parents had to do. I learned that things happen for a reason, and it would only make me a stronger person in the end. I learned to appreciate myself, and my time by myself during this year, which was probably one of the most positive outcomes of this situation. But finally, a new beginning was about to start, high school. I knew high school would be filled with hundreds of more people, and I entered high school with positive thoughts. I began to make a few more friends, and I had not only my brother in high school, but all of his friends too. It felt comfortable, and although there were still times I argued my parents about why we had to move out of California, I needed to understand that what they did was for our family, and our best interest. Things seemed to be going so well, and more friends began to come along. Although, bullying seemed to be a lot more prominent in schools in Colorado compared to California, it continued to make me a stronger person. As high school was passing, I had to start thinking where I would be going to school. And I knew I wanted to go to New York or California. And I began to gear towards going to school in New York. I never once thought of staying in Colorado. I always became so excited about the idea of moving to New York and leaving Colorado. Even though thinking about 8th grade still hurts to this day, it would always be a part of me, and maybe it was that reason why I wanted to leave Colorado. Finally, the years that made my time in Colorado, feel so underappreciated, Junior and Senior year. I began to appreciate my family’s move to Colorado. I made some of the closest friends in my life. I began to feel like I could trust again. I felt comfortable with myself and who I was. And it was senior year, I graduated a semester early. However, it was senior year that made me who I was and hopefully soon am again. I felt happy again, I felt content, and I felt comfortable. I met some of the most significant people, who’ve made the largest impacts on my life. In January, my mom told me her and I would be moving to Philadelphia as soon as June. I was scared, I was mad, and I didn’t know what to think of it but I made the last few months of my time in Colorado worthwhile, and I began to wish I appreciated living in Colorado more. June came along and I had to say the most difficult goodbyes of my life. After living in Philadelphia by myself, this loneliness made me change. It started to make me so mad all the time, think so negatively, and just be sad all the time. Now, living in New York, knowing that I would be visiting Philadelphia instead of Colorado to my friends during most breaks, hurts me. And it has shown me that moving so much, especially the most recent one has temporarily changed me, to not be happy in this beautiful, huge, city. All these city lights continue to make me feel small, and lonely. I want to be back in Colorado. I want to be near the friends and cousin that made me feel so comfortable and happy with myself once before. The act of moving has changed me.

Reflection (December 7, 2014)
The 1st assignment in this class was to write a memoir that open-ended. The option to choose any time frame for this memoir gave me the option to not only give a brief story line of my life, but also allowed me to reflect about my feelings upon moving to New York City. The feeling to write about my feelings allowed me to understand myself and how I progressed to become the way I became living and starting my life in New York. My focus was the topic of moving and how it has impacted me. I remember that I related this memoir to an assignment in my studio class, which allowed me to create an assignment of “connection.” I learned how to relate this memoir to another task, which I have no been able to experience before with two classes.

Seminar + Studio
I found that the opportunity to have two classes that related to each other, under my chosen “topic” of memory allowed me to challenge myself to creating assignments that would be able to reflect upon each other. Every essay/paper that I wrote in this Seminar class, made me challenge myself to think how I could create a piece of “art” and captain that could go well with the written essays. This challenge gave me the ability to learn and understand the concept of relation towards topics that fall under “memory.”

I discovered the most challenging factor of this seminar class, were the assignments that were less “art” related, and more related to the tasks of writing more “academic” papers, such as the (commemoration and research paper.) However, I gave an effort to write these papers with a sense of “art,” as well as the concept of being an “academic” paper.

Self Portrait
In my fading memory there is a dim light of hope streaming through the cloudy and grey memories. The confusion and loneliness that once filled within these brown eyes are fading, yet returning back every now and then. The happiness and shine that would fill the room with this simple, yet large smile of mine are now returning. Yet, the journey is just beginning, a new series is being made, and new chapters being inserted. The moving from one location to another, has hurt my trust, has hurt my sense of stability, and has withered away my strength. However, every move has created a new me, a different me, and now a stronger me. The smile that was once on this face, is returning, and the strength to be independent is now rebuilding to something even stronger than once before. In my fading memory, through the fields of elysium that I have tried to cross and discover, can be discovered through my own acceptance of myself. I always tell myself, “don’t be scared, don’t be shy, be excited.” And with this, I breath, take everything in, and ponder about what is to be. I am me.

Self Portait _ 1Self Portait - 2
Self Portait _ 3Self Portrait _ 4

My Thoughts on Self Portrait (Bridge 1)
I truly found this assignment to be my favorite throughout this course because it allowed me to write in a style that I personally find as my favorite and forte. I allowed myself to express my feelings and reflect my writing upon myself and who I am. The ability to write something and relate that writing to an art piece gave me the opportunity to once again not only challenge myself to the understanding to make the seminar and studio class become “one.” What I hope to learn from this, as well as use in my future would be to develop my writing in this style, which would be to express my feelings of how I once felt, currently am feeling, and hope to feel. I want people to want to know more, to question why I felt this way, and to be interested in my future writings of myself and my feelings.

Ernest Cole Gallery
The Ernest Cole Gallery was an interesting experience because I questioned how the colors of black and white could be used, as well as it’s effect. Also, it became an extremely good question of what is art, and what is not art. Are photographs all art? What truly counts as “art?” These questions then became more understandable through a few of Susan Sontag’s writings and arguments of what “photography” and “photography art” is today. The Ernest Cole Gallery, felt almost “relatable” to my studio class’s visit to “The Museum” and the questioning of the use of space. The use of space (intimate space vs vast space) felt relatable to the Ernest Cole Gallery questioning of the use of black and white, and what counts as “art” in the photography spectrum. I hope from these experiences, I will be able to relate museum and gallery visitations to my writing ability, which would be questioning the build and aspects of the places.

I believe that the most useful things from this seminar course would be to understand that there are extremely distinct differences in writing assignments, and every essay has a “requested” writing style. And what I learned is that not all writing can be personal, but there are writings, such as research papers that require my ability to put aside my feelings, and understand that researching means researching and “teaching” the reader about the topic that I researched, without personal thoughts. The scaffoldings gave me the opportunity to read articles from very interesting writers, and the assignment of “scaffolding” allowed me to question and write my thoughts about what I was reading. Of course required readings are mostly always stressful, however it challenged myself to allow myself to engage in the reading with the assignment of writing notes and questions, and currently being at the end of the semester, it gave me the opportunity to have read many awesome writers, which will help me as a writer in the future.
The tasks within this seminar, which related to the studio class gave me the opportunity to create papers and art work that went together, giving me the opportunity to understand relation between writing and art work.

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