Reflections

The Reflections Project asks the question;

“Who am I?”

In order to answer this question, I created a personal essay, perspective piece, and this website in all 3 of my classes here at Freestyle. I really enjoyed this unit because I got to learn a lot about myself, I became stronger, and I realized how much appreciation I have for the people in my life, and all the amazing opportunities that God has given me.

I created all 3 of these projects over the course of a couple of months using different applications, such as Adobe After Effects and Protools. I hope you enjoy checking them out!

 

My Personal Essay-

The purpose of writing this personal essay was to answer the question; “Who am I?” and to give deeper insight into our values and overall identity through sharing our past experiences. This poetic yet informational essay should be relatable and unique, as it is meant to differentiate us from one another.

At first, writing this essay was difficult because it is very personal- I talked about a really challenging time in my life that I usually try not to think about. However, writing this essay gave me a new perspective on this time in my life.  I realized that if I had not had these things happen to me, I would be a completely different person than I am today. I am stronger, more independent, and more appreciative than I ever was before.  I feel like I did a great job answering the question; “Who am I” throughout my personal essay because I covered many of my personal values throughout it- my faith, art, family, friendship, health, and creativity.

 

I had just plugged in my earbuds and was pulling out my watercolor pencils in drawing class when I got the call from my dad: “Mom is in the hospital.” As soon as school ended, I hopped on my bike and met my dad in the hospital lobby. The cancer medications my mom was taking to save her life were actually slowly killing her. Barely making the age cutoff to visit the isolation floor, I slipped on the required mask, gown, and gloves and walked into my mom’s room.  As I gave her a hug, being careful of the IVs in her arms, she said, “Renee got admitted to the hospital today too.”

I shouldn’t have been surprised. Just the day before, I worked up the courage to confront my best friend about her eating disorder and encouraged her to get help. Yet, it was still a shock to have my best friend and my mom admitted to the same hospital on the same exact day.

For the next two weeks, this became my daily routine. I made breakfast and packed lunches for my brother and myself. I went to school (as my parents insisted) and watched the clock. I found it hard to focus in class, do my homework, and fulfill my role of Spirit Commissioner, leading cheers at the Homecoming Rally and organizing Spirit Days. As soon as school ended, I biked to the hospital and sat with my mom, holding her hand until my dad came from work. Then I walked across the hospital to Renee’s room in time for her nightly weigh-in on the scale next to her bed and watched as she ate her strictly-prepared dinner.  

I wanted to help them, but I knew I couldn’t cure them. All I could do was give them the love and care that they needed. Meanwhile, I relied on two things that I had turned to in the past: art and prayer. I stayed up late to create personalized posters for both Renee and my mom to put on their walls, while trying to balance my sophomore year workload. Every day before school I printed out a new photo to make Renee’s room less sterile; the images spanned our fifteen years of friendship, from us stealing cheerios off each other’s plates as infants, to selling lemonade on our cul-de-sac, to posing in our club soccer uniforms.

I prayed nightly for my mom and Renee and tried to go to church twice a week. At first, I questioned why God was doing this to me, but ultimately my faith was strengthened by the support I got from my church community. It was hard talking about my mom’s sickness, and Renee’s family had asked me to keep her situation private, but the church helped guide me through this difficult time.

My mom was discharged after two weeks, but I continued to visit Renee for months. Both my mom and my best friend are on the road to recovery now, but my life has not returned to how it used to be.  As anyone having loved ones facing critical illnesses would, I feel very lucky to still have my mom and my best friend with me today. However, this event changed me in other ways. During this time, I took on many responsibilities that I have always relied on my mom for like taking care of my little brother, managing his carpools, cooking dinner, and doing the laundry. In my friendship with Renee, I was used to her being the strong one and following her lead, so the switch to my taking care of her was new for both of us. From these role reversals, I gained confidence in my abilities to care for myself and others. I learned that I was stronger than I knew.

 

My Perspective Piece-

The Perspective Video Project, another short project in our Digital Media class, was meant to allow us to share our feelings and opinions on any topic that we are passionate about. In order to do this, we recorded our minute-long “rant” and used Adobe After Effects to create a slideshow using our “rant” and pictures that corresponded with our topic.

In my perspective video, I talk about my struggles with ADHD and how it affects my mind. This project helps to show more about who I am because I deal with ADHD on a daily basis and it is a very personal thing for me. 

 

 

This is a screenshot of my work in After Effects. I overlapped each of the photos so that it would create a slideshow with smooth transitions.  I then used the Ken Burns effect to zoom in on each picture to add interest. The green bar at the top of the sequence represents the audio of my rant, and the purple bars represent each photo I included in my slideshow.

 

 

 

 

My Design Project-

During the reflections unit, one of the projects in my design class was to create a collage entirely from magazine cutouts. We were asked to select multiple images inside of magazines and cut them out in order to place them on a background and form a collage.

 In order to create this unique collage, I searched through multiple magazines to find images that I liked, and I cut them all out using an X-ACTO knife. The whole idea of this project was to put together things that aren’t practical- such as sunflowers as hair, and a bird inside of a shoe. I decided to make the background dark blue and find images with bright colors in order to give my collage a nice contrast. 

I really liked that this project had us think OUTSIDE THE BOX, which I have never done in any other class. I also loved how everyone’s collages were different and it was really fun to see what images people in my class chose to put together. Overall, this project not only had me think outside the box, it also showed me that there is always a different way to look at things in life- its not always the most practical way. 

 

 

 

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