This journal prompt was about how people in China go about enhancing their lives artistically. How do they cultivate their creative spirit? They were asked to reflect and compare to home. Below is Kat’s response:
What would you do without any creativity in your life? No way of expressing yourself? I find that many students here don’t have an outlet in which they can express themselves. When we first came to Xi’an we got a tour of the international campus, which offers a variety of art, dance and music classes. The inside looks more like an art museum than a school with the beautiful work hung up on the walls. The artwork the students did took me by surprise. It ranged from drawing to embroidery. The work amazed me; most of the work looks like it could have been done by a professional. Students who attend this school have the opportunity to incorporate art and creativity in their lives unlike the students at the Gao Xin Number 1 High School where I attend.
During gym class the girls gather around and gossip, during this time I hear about their lives outside of school. My friend, Jenny, dances and has been for 3 years. She manages to fit in practice after Saturday classes. During the morning exercises she goes to the playground and dances with other students. Our school recently held a basketball competition and each team had a cheerleading team. The cheerleading team was a way for the girls who liked to dance to be able to show their creativity while choreographing the routine. Another boy in my class, Michael plays two instruments outside of school. He also likes to bake and bakes every Sunday. I asked him why every Sunday, he replied, “that’s the only day of the weekend”. In other conversations with him I asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said he wanted to be a fashion designer because he likes art and to design things. To incorporate his love of fashion in his life he wears an outfit underneath his uniform, which he believes to be trendy. Another one of his dreams is to settle down somewhere near a lake and play his music, which he really enjoys. Students here are not given much opportunity to express interest in other things besides academics but they find ways to incorporate their creative sides whether it’s big or small.
I’ve gotten to talk a lot with my 13 year-old sister, she asks me about my life in America and is surprised by all the extra curricular activities I do. She told me she enjoys music and art but doesn’t have much time with the amount of work and extra classes she has. When she was younger she played an instrument, which she had to give up in order to have more time to study. She still includes her musical side through singing. She sings in her school chorus group. Late at night after finishing her homework I can often hear her singing from behind the door of the laundry room. I admire her persistence to keep her creative side. Although given almost no time my sister finds time to cultivate her creative side.