But, why?

Recently I came across a video where someone was talking about how when they were in elementary, an artist came to their school to teach an art session. They drew people. The class was given a reference paper / drawing which they were told to base it off on. The artist told them to do two things:

  1. Separate the drawing into different sections
  2. Turn the reference drawing upside down

The person telling the story said how the drawings came out nice and the art session went well in the end. But, why did the artist tell them to turn the reference drawings upside down? The artist responded along the lines of how:

“Your brain tricks you into thinking you already know/ understand because you’re familiar with it, when in reality you really don’t understand that well in depth.”

If you were trying to draw a character/ a person no matter your skill level, seeing the whole picture is normally overwhelming, even for someone who might already be experienced in drawing. However, just breaking up the overall picture is just the first step. Turning the reference picture upside down would allow one to solely focus on the detail of each part without confusing and doubting yourself of “what it is supposed to look like” because it is already something that you’re familiar with.

I’ve definitely had many occurrences where this has happened to me, for the most part happening in school like when I’m studying for a test. I’ll convince myself that I know something because I understand it/ it makes sense and that it’s “common sense.” When it comes to the actual test, the part that I thought was “common sense,” is not exactly reinforced, typically being the question that I’m the least confident in.

Similarly, I believe this concept of 1. breaking things into smaller parts, and 2. not looking at things the “right side up” can be applied to everyday life and any situation of hardship.

Non-directive Play

Non-directive play is defined as a counseling method used to help children communicate their inner experiences through the use of toys and play. However, non-directive play isn’t something that is limited to therapy sessions to help kids. It is found in Noguchi’s work who has designed numerous playgrounds meant for non directive play. Parents/ adults have described their experience with non-directive playgrounds like Noguchi’s as having :no idea of how to start using the playground or what to do.”

“Play Mountain:” Noguchi’s early playground models displaying non-directive play

Younger children will tend to have a easier time adapting to environments where imagination is needed to be used because they have more freewill and have been exposed to less restrictions of what it “right and wrong.” Noguchi playground designs like “Play Mountain” show that sometimes you just have to focus on what is in front of you and work with it, rather than seeing the whole picture for what it is, causing the mind to be lost and overwhelmed.

My personal hardships with school: For me, school is pretty much where most of my stress originates from. Once you’re behind on assignments, the workload always continues to pile up. Normally I spend my weekends trying to catch up on homework/ study for tests that I couldn’t pace myself to do on the weekdays after school because I’ll always be drained of energy. Once I do catch up with my work, a new week starts again, but I usually dread going to school because I know more work is going to be assigned. Moreover, the one thing I hate the most is how I’ll put in my full effort into learning and understanding a topic, just to literally fail a test. My logic has always been “If you’re gonna study for a test, the least you should get is at least a pass.” The endless cycle just continues to repeat. I’ve found breaking up what I have to do into simpler parts (step 1), and changing my viewpoint of it/ going with the flow (step 2) to be helpful in guiding me when I have a lot of schoolwork to do, but to find a lasting motivation to keep doing what you’re doing is another obstacle.

Is There a Silver Lining?

Not all bad situations have to be completely bad. It depends on how you look at it.

As much as I dread school, the only thing that gets me up in the morning is being able to get back to my bed again stress free if I start the day now, and do whatever the new day has in store for me. It’s not the best motivator, but it is what gets me through the day. Some other things that I look forward to throughout my day is my 30 minute lunch break where I can talk to my friends.

In the graphic novel “They Call Us Enemy” it focuses on the point of view of an American-Japanese boy named George, and his family who are put into concentration camps during WWII after the Japanese attack on the US in Pearl Harbor. When one thinks about war, emotions/ words that you would associate with war are along the lines of chaos, confusion, grief, and anger. Thus, happy emotions are rarely associated with war, unless you’re on the side that won, but that too comes with great loss.

The comic page below would be an example of how good things can be found even in the most gravest situations. George recalls a core memory as one that “glows radiantly with warmth.” These are the types of memories that motivate me to get up everyday. Although fond/ memorable memories is not something you’re likely to experience every single day, I believe they’re what is worth living for.

But, why? (cont.)

  • But, why is war?
  • But, why does war exist?
  • But, why do people contribute to war?

Have you ever had questions like why is something the way it is? Even though there’s a factual explanation or known answer to the question already, it doesn’t sit right with you, because it’s not really a question to be directly answered. It’s just a trivial question that’s just there. Like I understand why something is a certain way and what it is factually, but the question but, why still remains…

This happened to me in history when I was learning about WWI and how it led to WWII. I’ve learned that a chain of events involving components like nationalism, economic rivalry, political rivalry, imperialism, and militarism are some of the main things that drove conflict and tension leading up to the War. Even though I already know why exactly the war occurred, the question still lingers, but, why?  

In WWI, a white feather was a symbol the implied men who were healthy and young, but did not volunteer for service were cowards.

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