The Reflections unit, similarly to our Conceptual unit of junior year, is designed to explore various mediums of art surrounding a similar theme. While the conceptual unit focused on how to express ourselves, the reflections unit focused on who we are as people. Over the unit, we wrote various pieces in English, created a piece in Design, and manipulated these works in Digital Media to help understand who we are.

While I am someone who expresses msyelf with ease, this unit was fun nonetheless with giving me projects to express my opinions and feelings. I'm satisfied with every piece displayed on this website, and didn't feel rushed in completing any of them, which was a relief. I hope you enjoy my work!

Me with my younger brother Spencer after performing in PYT's Pinocchio, November 2017.
Me with my younger brother Spencer after performing in Penninsula Youth Theatre's Pinocchio, November 2017.
The Premiere session used to create the video.
The premiere session used to make the video.

For one assignment in Digital Media, we were instructed to write a short opinion piece to explore how our perspectives shape us. We then recorded it and made a video to accompany the audio. I wrote my piece about my privilege as a white middle-class American girl living in Silicon Valley, and how guilty I feel that I have access to so much others don't.


For one assignment in English, we were instructed to write a personal essay which could be used for college applications, if needed. I wrote mine about my experiences the first few months of attending Freestyle and how I found my first friend here.

I knew from the start that the trip wasn’t going to be amazing. After weeks at Freestyle Academy, the art and technology program I joined at my school, I still hadn’t found my niche and I felt isolated from the rest of the class. Despite this, I chose to go on the class trip to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I regretted it as soon as we were set loose to roam the museum. I tried to join up with friendly acquaintances, but they all went off on their own, leaving me by myself. It didn’t help that I never really “got” modern art – as I saw the exhibits of basketballs floating in water and videos of trash bags, I was left more confused than anything else. While everyone else talked with their friends and laughed about the TV playing static, I drifted along with no real connection to the art or the people.

After seeing all the exhibits, I went to spend the rest of the field trip at the park across the street. I sat under the dappled shade of a tree with my Chromebook, feeling even lonelier than before we left. Remembering how we needed to write a poem for class about a piece of art in the museum, and inspired by a realistic statue of a policeman inside, I began to type.

In class a few days later, after sharing our poems in small groups, our teacher invited us to read them to the whole class. I decided to volunteer and stood up – not only had I written about the statue, I also wrote about my feelings about modern art and my lonely experience that day. Hoping someone would hear my plea, I read my poem “Policeman” to the class, laying myself and my feelings bare to each of them. Many of my classmates complimented my poem afterwards, talking about how real the emotions felt, but nobody reached out to me afterwards. Despite the small community, I was still a loner.

Except that one girl did come up to me after class and told me about how much she loved my poem. Elated, I sent her a link to the collection of other poems I had written, opening up the lines of communication. From then on whenever we had to pick partners, we always paired up, leaving me grateful that I didn’t have to be the odd person out for once. I finally felt like I belonged at Freestyle with Anna – and the positive feedback I received from my teacher only supported my belief that I made the correct choice in staying.

My natural instinct is to take the easy way out and remain isolated, but I also know I need socialization. So I took the risk in the hopes of reaching out to someone, anyone who could relate. Once I had found someone who truly understood me, I realized that people saw me as actually enjoyable to be around. My unique views and blunt, straightforward comments kept discussions interesting and were genuinely helpful. I continue to appreciate my value every day as I keep reaching out to others and taking risks.

It’s still hard to speak up first, walk into a new environment, or meet new people. My introverted personality defaults to staying in my comfort zone by running away. But I know I won’t be happy if I don’t keep a community where I can be myself. I recall the times I’ve taken risks and reaped the benefits, and use these to find my confidence when auditioning for the school play or spending time with a special needs student at lunch. I’m proud to be vulnerable and use this to connect with new people. And by keeping my mind open, I can reap the benefits of these interactions. And maybe someday I can be someone else’s Anna. Who knows?

The After Effects secsson used to make the video.
The After Effects session used to make the video.
Thumbnail of my original image.
Thumbnail of my reassembled image.

For an assignment in Design, we were assigned to take a photograph of an object, edit it in Photoshop, then disassemble and reassemble it in a creative way. I took a picture of a rubber duck figurine floating in aqua water, adjusted it to make the colors more vibrant, and then printed it out. I then cut it with an X-ACTO knife along the borders of the objects and reassembled it onto posterboard, with margins in between the sections to create the illusion of the piece shattering.

Later in Digital Media, I made an animated video of the original photograph breaking apart in a simiar manner to the final product, using Animate's 3D rendering capabilities. I recorded a poem based on one of my characters (previously featured in "Myosotis") to use as background audio.

Lyrical Essay

In English class, we were assigned to write a lyrical essay inspired by the book Citizen by Claudia Rankine. To do this, we interviewed someone who is different than us in some way and write a poem about their experience. I chose to write about a person I know who is Mormon.

You move to a new place, far different from where you grew up. Some things are better, some things are worse.

Everyone here is like you. Nobody here is like you.

It’s not a big deal.

You make some friends at school. You mention something offhandedly to them one day. Everyone stares at you in surprise.

“You’re one of them?” Yes. “Oh.”

It’s not a big deal.

Someone asks you a question after learning this.

“How many moms do you have?”

You explain that your church haven’t promoted polygamy in a long time. They blink at you in astonishment.

It’s not a big deal.

Your dad is at a meeting with professors and leaders. He mentions something offhandedly. They stare in surprise to see this leader is one of them. One asks a question in confusion.

“Aren’t you guys all farmers?” No.

It’s not a big deal.

“Don’t you hate gays?” No.

“I thought you all lived in Utah?” No.

“Isn’t it sort of like a cult?” No.

To you, the answers were obvious.

It’s not a big deal.

A musical about you comes out. People overlook the satire, and they see it as truth. They see you in an even worse light.

It’s not a big deal.

You flip through your history book. Everyone saw you as lesser. You were kicked out of towns until you made your own. At one point, it was legal to kill you.

It’s all in the past now.

It’s not a big deal.

…Well, that’s what you keep saying.

I then created a diptych based on my lyrical essay using a picture taken with an HDR lens by using both Photoshop and Illustrator.

The diptych I created based on my lyrical essay.