Art is more than lines and shapes.

Art is profound. It is not only visually and aesthetically pleasing, but is also almost a physical performance. Each mode of art reveals a different path to expression.

Over the summer, I took a painting class from a local university. I mainly took it for the credits, but I never thought I would discover an entirely new world of seeing things. Although it was only five weeks long, I would spend three hours every day in quiet contemplation to work on a single painting.

I am by no means a talented painter or artist. But through the class, I learned that you don’t have to be. Painting is not about replication or even beauty for that matter. It’s about creation and boldly outpouring feelings into one cohesive work that speaks to others.

Painting is about mistakes. And it’s about turning those mistakes into part of the painting. There is no erasing or restarting, only layering. What fascinates me most about this form of art is how general and unshapely figures can develop into solid and concise shapes. 

When searching for inspiration, we were told to observe and take in our surroundings. So I did. I looked at each individual leaf on trees and admired its beauty. I admired the cracks on the sidewalk and the bees on the flowers. I was instantly relaxed, and I felt instantly more in sync with my surroundings.

What I took away from this intriguing course:

Art is more than lines and shapes.

photo 1photo 2photo 3

Still Life                                                Portrait                         Imaginary Landscape

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Symbiosis

Symbiosis

Nature is suppressed under

a mixture of man and of wild.

Together they share

coexistence in a perfect harmony

yet each dominates the other.

.

Nature is composed of man

and man is of nature.

All is separate but together

in a symbiotic circle

of liveliness.

photo

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Cleaning My Life

There’s a sense of satisfaction in cleaning the house. Throwing away junk and at the same time recalling certain memories. It’s almost as if I’m cleansing my life at the same time that I’m cleansing my room. Over the years I’ve actually come to enjoy cleaning.

There are certain realizations about lifestyle that can be made when cleaning. Maybe it’s when you realize that you’ve been living in a pigsty for the past month. Maybe it’s when you decide that you want to stay more organized so that next time cleaning will be easier.

In my mind, there are two types of cleaning–both which need to be done and are equally important. The first of course is wiping down tables, dusting and vacuuming. So basically the dirty work. Most, like me, don’t enjoy this part of cleaning.

The other is rearranging things into massive piles. This is where I find the most joy. I love going through things and remembering all the memories certain things come with. Those long forgotten movie tickets are reminiscent of those many fun movie nights. Those little gifts that your friend gave you on her trip to England make you think of her. The excitement you feel when you find lost twenty dollar bills in the back of your drawer. You never know when you may find little treasures while cleaning.

Once everything’s put in the right spot or thrown away, life feels a lot lighter. It feels uncluttered. Best of all, you feel like you’ve productively used your afternoon to do something more useful than browse the internet. Or maybe cleaning your room was your way of procrastinating with your homework. Whichever one, the important thing is that it got done.

And wow, I’m really surprised that I was inspired enough to write an entire blog post on cleaning.

-Kat(:

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iPhoneography

iphoneography

Does one really need an expensive camera to take quality pictures? Really, these days, the iPhone in your back pocket is the most convenient way to capture a moment. Rather than carry a bulky camera around, I began simply using my iPhone to capture life’s moments.

Kat(:

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The Redesigned SAT Will Arrive in My Year. Yay or Nay?

Recently all over the news, there has been word of the new changes to the SAT coming in spring 2016. Being in high school, this affects me the most. I, among others future juniors, will be the first batch of kids to be tested using the new format. I am still unsure of how I feel of these changes, yet I know what a major impact my future SAT scores will have in deciding which college I will go to after high school. And since I will be the most affected by these changes, I have done some research.

Overall, the new SAT will:

  • be offered both online and in print form.
  • be scored on a 400-1600 point scale.
  • have no penalty for wrong answers.
  • have more real-world related passage-based reading.
  • not include obscure vocabulary.
  • include an optional analysis essay.

Ever since this news was released, there has been much controversy surrounding the new changes. Personally, I feel like I’d be better off taking the old version of the SAT earlier, and depending on how well I do, taking the new one as well.

I can say that I am not so fond of some of these changes. I don’t like the idea of an optional essay, since the essay is the only really raw part of the entire test. The rest of the test is just filling in bubbles and writing in numbers. The essay is the only portion in which test givers can see how students really think. I really don’t see the point in making the essays optional either, since most colleges will most likely require it. As for the increase in passage-based reading questions, I am not so happy about either. There seems to be less variety in the new SAT. And oddly enough, I have always liked learning new SAT vocabulary words regardless of how obscure they were, so that’s a disappointment too.

Other than this, I have no idea what to think about the changes, since I have not yet seen the new types of questions there are going to be. The College Board will, however, release new sample SAT questions on April 16 this year. How do I feel about the whole switcheroo? I can’t say… at least not yet. Luckily, I have the opportunity to take the old version and the new one.

Kat(:

College Board- SAT redesigned

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Time Machine

A time machine. The idea itself is so futuristic, so seemingly impossible. But what would I do if I found one? The possibilities are endless. Maybe I would go back and study harder for that bio test. Maybe I would relive my childhood. Maybe I would agree on moving to Hong Kong and attending an international boarding school. Whether how life-changing or unimportant each event in my life was, each event added up to who I am today. If I reversed any one of them, my life just wouldn’t be the same.

We all have regrets in life. I always find myself thinking, what if I did this instead of that? Made this decision instead of that one? The result is mind-boggling. Although we can try to imagine what our lives would be like if we did something different at a certain point, there is no way to find out what the outcome would be like. We’d be slightly different people.

There’s always a certain moment that could have been better. Whether you made a huge mistake that changed the entire course of your life, or you’re unsatisfied because you cracked your phone screen that one day, these things could have been different. If only you made the right decision, or if only you left your phone at home on that one morning jog, it wouldn’t have been the same. But sometimes mistakes must be made. It’s the only way we’ll ever learn. For all you know, you could have made the right decision the first time, but went back to the wrong one. You could’ve left your phone at home that one time, but could’ve broken it during the next jog. The disappointments in life encourage us to change ourselves in the future. Next time, you’ll make the right decisions. Next time, you’ll get a life-proof case for your phone. Mistakes are only human. They are what make life so exciting. If everything was perfect and the way you wanted it to be, life would be boring.

Then again, I’m sure if I found a time machine, I wouldn’t only just contemplate changing a regret. I would also want to relive perfect moments. All those fun times when I was little–carefree and full of life. Especially that one day I spent at Disneyland with my best friend. Not a worry in my mind. Only concentrated on the present. Not the past nor the future. Life was good. It was easy, it was stress-free and I’d definitely want to relive it.

But I actually wouldn’t. Those happy memories that I have of my childhood are pleasant and all, but that’s what makes those memories so valuable. Living through it again would just defeat the purpose of the happy memory. What if during the second time living through that memory, things weren’t as good as the first? Then, I’d be disappointed and the originally happy memory would turn sour. I just wouldn’t want to take that chance.

The truth is, if I really found a time machine, I’d be too scared to use it. I wouldn’t want anything in my life to be different than how it is today.

Kat :)

Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine

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How My Passions Impact the World

Recently my school held the Optimist Oratorical Speech Contest. I really did want to participate, but I found that I did not have enough time to fully write, memorize, and prepare my speech before the contest date. So, I thought I would share my now finished speech here:

Oratorical

How My Passions Impact the World. There is no form of communication more effective than writing. There is no clearer, more concise way to get your ideas across to people. There is nothing more life-changing and more influential than the written thought… I have a passion for writing.

Ever since my third grade teacher required us to write weekly short stories and share them out to the class during a “Story Sharing Hour,” I fell in love with writing. I was able to escape reality and travel to a whole new universe of characters and places and events, and I was able to think creatively. Once I realized my true passion for writing, I attended various writing classes to shape and individualize my writing.

I am passionate about writing because passion can be expressed through writing. Writing is what brings my passions together. I share my passions through blogging. Blogging provides a record of my ideas, goals, and pieces and combines them into one place that can be shared throughout the world. Writing allows us to share our thoughts and feelings about certain topics and can be shared through various gateways to influence the opinions of others. And there’s nothing more impacting than changing one another’s opinions–to get people to think like you, to feel the way you do.

After all, one idea can change the world. Ideas are more permanent when they are formally written down, because the written word never goes away. Ideas may the same, but the wording is different. And that is what makes a piece of writing so unique and personal.

Our world’s most globally prized and influential possessions are in written word. For example, the Constitution changed the entire course of our country. Words on paper can never become forgotten. Words in writing just seem so official, so unchanging.

Writing has influenced my life also. Just last year my father was offered a new and better job position in Hong Kong and he wanted to uproot our family and move there. My brother was going off to college anyway. Why not? I was fiercely opposed to moving after spending my entire life here in America. At the time, I was taking a persuasive writing class. So, I wrote him a formal 5 page letter outlining all the reasons that we should stay. In the end, my dad decided to turn down the job offering. I realized how, through a simple letter, I was was able to control my future through my writing. Writing is powerful.

Writing is my passion. Writing can change the world, it has changed the world, and it will continue to change the world.

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