She’s back in the 319! It’s a bittersweet feeling… This summer has been phenomenal, to say the least. I met people from across the nation and globe and learned a little something from everyone. Some friendships fell apart, while others I am sure will last a lifetime. It’s so odd going from my two months at Stanford back to Iowa, and it seems as if it was a dream. I loved every moment of it, from the hardcore study sessions to the spontaneous 2am ear piercings that occurred in the lounge. I enjoyed having silly conversations with people at one moment and suddenly transitioning to a serious topic about religion or politics. It was amazing being surrounded by a group of people who are just as passionate as I am about something and love a good intellectual challenge. Being in an environment where everyone is curious and innovative was exciting and refreshing. So here’s a little thank you to everyone who I met this summer. Thanks for walking miles just to get me a mango, for providing me with Maggi (yes, I’m really thanking someone for instant noodles, it’s hard to get here!), for late night talks, late night movies, late night food, late night everything! For finals study sessions, for pep talks, for over worrying when I was sick. Thanks for being better friends than some people I’ve been friends with for a long time. I learned that time means absolutely nothing when it comes to friendship; you can be better friends with someone you met two weeks ago than you are with people you’ve been friends with for three years. I also learned that some of the friendships I have really aren’t worth the trouble. Most of all, thank you for making me excited for my future. I can’t wait for college where I’ll meet more amazing people like all of y’all. So here’s to an amazing summer ❤
The dorm life was so fun- there is a huge sense of community, and unlike high school, people aren’t constantly judging one another. In high school, you have to develop this sense of immunity and apathy towards others judgments. Everyone is scrutinizing your actions and after a while it gets exhausting and it’s, quite honestly, a bit pathetic. At Stanford, the environment was very different. People just did their own thing, and no one cared about what everyone else was doing. I’m not saying that people didn’t care about one another, there was a very strong sense of community. However, there was a lack of the petty judgment one experiences in high school. This sounds very cheesy, but everyone was comfortable just being themselves and didn’t have to carry the guard they always carry against other’s judgments. It was nice to get away from that high school environment.
Taking classes at Stanford was one of the most amazing experiences ever. In my lectures, professors would be talking about groundbreaking research that was conducted and they would preface everything with “this researcher is in the basement/down the street/across the building . . . They’re probably going to receive a noble prize in the future.” You have no idea how cool it is to live somewhere where current and potential future noble prize winners are conducting research, where groundbreaking discoveries are being made, where the most innovated people in the country are working.
I learned so much in my classes, but most importantly, my love for learning was rejuvenized. I remembered the times when I loved going to school not to see my friends but to learn, and I remembered that I have the power to take what I learn and use it to educate others and make a difference. Perhaps it’s because of all the AP classes we pack our schedules with that causes us to sometimes lose our love for learning. Throughout the school year we just check off topics we need to cover to succeed on the AP test and no one really delves into the topics they find interesting. Sometimes in class, you learn something and there’s this spark where suddenly the teacher has your attention and you want to know more. But hold up! You can’t learn more, you’re busy. You have to go to your extracurriculars, do your homework, and get enough sleep to function the next day. And forget about learning more about that topic in class, that’ll push everything behind schedule, cutting down on future review time before the AP test in May. But imagine a class where your teachers happily answer questions and push back tests, if need be. Imagine a class where your teacher just wants you to be curious, to learn, to grow as a person. That’s what I got to experience this summer, and it was great.
There wasn’t a single day where I dreaded going to class, where I dreaded the weekday. In fact, they days all blended together and the weekends came faster than ever. Maybe that was just because each weekend that passed meant one less week with the amazing people I was with on a gorgeous campus. And the campus, my gosh. There are never ending sculptures to draw, cafes to eat at, fountains to hop in, trails to run. There’s so much I didn’t get to see or do at Stanford and Palo Alto.
This piece is of a lamppost behind the chemistry building on campus. For some reason I’ve always loved lampposts, so when we went to the garden to draw I was immediately drawn (haha) to it. This piece involved quite a few steps and utilized an ink/tempera resist technique. It also requires a leap of faith, so it’s not for the weak hearted!
Step 1: Make a sketch! This should be quick and light. I used my favorite pencil- the 6B to quickly sketch this. Make sure you’re drawing on watercolor paper or something similar that can deal with a lot of water.
Step 2: Using tempera paint, paint the page in the areas where you DON’T want black. Any part of the page that does not have paint on it will turn black. Let the paint dry.
Step 3, aka the leap of faith: Cover the ENTIRE piece in black India ink! I forgot to take a picture at this step of the process, probably because I was so terrified…make sure you paint in fairly even strokes, and the layer of ink doesn’t need to be thick. Let the ink dry.
Step 4, the big reveal: Put your page under running water, and use a brush to LIGHTLY rub off the ink where you don’t want any black. The ink will stay in the places where you didn’t paint anything. Once you’re done getting off all the ink, you can go in with watercolor to add back some of the lost color, or leave it as is. If you choose to go in with watercolor, it’s easier if the paper is already wet. After that, you’re done!
I’m really glad I chose a lamppost for this piece because the India ink gave it a super cool look. The ink made the post look a lot more like metal and the background looked a bit “spookier.” My art teacher thought it looked like a foggy night in London and my friend Eleanor said it reminded her of Dumbledore and his deluminator.
I’ll keep posting more or my favorite pieces from this summer, so stay tuned! Again, thanks to everyone who made this summer amazing ❤ Even though we were at school and learning the entire break, it was nothing but fun. Until next time 🙂