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by Dragyn
Rated: 18+ · Book · Arts · #2172182
Art and Multimedia through the eyes of a Dragon
#943908 added October 21, 2018 at 8:00pm
Restrictions: None
Identity Collage
Create an “identity” Collage - The subject can be your own experience with cultural crossings (discussed during week #1 with examples by Frida Kahlo) or other aspects of your life experience that are important to your identity. Any media of your choice (paper, digital, or mixed media)
Add a photo of the collage to your blog, along with a half page discussion of your collage and its meaning to you

My mixed-mediums identity collage

Items from left to right:
Origami fish
Chinese knot/Macrame butterfly from senior year summer
Two strings of heart "bookmarks" that I use as "ribbons" for my various pins and Writing.Com Merit Badges
Picture of me and sis from November, 2014
Macrame/Chinese knot firefly
Blackboard on which I've yet to decide my next message
"Dragon" star from the Jumpstart banquet May 2018
Lauren Alaina fan
Another origami fish
Buddhist calendar from Grandfather
Chinese knot sun/snowflake
Chinese knot Butterfly bookmark
Photograph of The Next Step that Kittiara sent me for my 21st birthday
Postcard from Sis from freshman year, from New York
Yet another origami fish
Hi-5 fan card from the Baby&Toddler Show in March/April 2016

I'm aware the resolution/quality of the image here isn't great- there is a better version here  .

As for the items themselves, I'm not sure how to best explain them- perhaps by category? For space and time's sake, I won't narrate them all, but I'll pick a few and talk about them.
Chinese knots:
I remember the butterfly took me forever to make. I was introduced to Chinese knotting in Chinese school and fell in love with it. My first experience volunteering with them was the summer after junior year- they have a summer camp, where every couple weeks, they have a new teacher. This particular teacher had a friend who was experienced in knotting, and they came in to teach us how to make bracelets. It was a struggle at first, I do remember that much- this kid who was probably half my age then, was making almost twice the progress that I was. A few days later, the teacher brought a recyclable bag- those ones you'd get at the grocery stores- and it was full of string. All colors imaginable. And she handed it off to me, essentially, giving me free reign to do what I wanted with it, in the hopes that I'd learn some new patterns and teach the campers how do make some new things. I knotted the whole afternoon after I got back home, and after I returned the bag of string, Mom and I discovered that the Jo-Ann's actually carries that type of string- so I bought a bunch. As for that specific butterfly, that's not my first- I'd made one previously that turned out okay-ish, but it definitely didn't match the picture in the tutorial too well. What I ended up doing the next summer, though, was make one twice the size of the original. I spent about a month, tying those knots- and I remember bringing it with me everywhere, so I could work on it while I waited. Kinda like those old ladies who knit!
I made the bottom string of hearts during my freshman year here. I also started getting more involved online, here on Writing.Com. My second year, Sis sent me a huge "care package" of miscellaneous stuff from New York, including various buttons/pins she'd picked up at NYU, so I hung them on the hearts as well. Some of the other buttons are ones I've picked up at Comic-Con with shadowfanglerz, but most of them are the physical merit badges from Writing.Com! Eventually, I ran out of room on the first string, so I made a second string. I'm definitely in need of a third string, and it's been something on my to-do list, but the opportunity hasn't quite presented itself yet.

My sister actually sent me the photo of us in her care package that I mentioned above. She took the selfie on the UTC bridge- Mom had come down for some sort of parent event and Sis thought it'd be a great time to hang out. I remember it was November because everyone was getting into the NaNoWriMo craze, including me. I was doing a writing sprint, and Sis complained that I was spending more time on the computer than with her, so we went out to explore afterwards. I don't remember what we did, but I remember that it happened!

That Jumpstart star... Jumpstart was a huge part of my life last year. Actually, it probably took over my life. My roommates knew, my friends knew, and some of my professors knew too. It kept me crazy busy, but for the most part, I really enjoyed everything I did for the organization. I made the decision to not continue this year, however, because I got the job at Chinese School. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to teach in my own classroom, with my own kids and my own curriculum/syllabus. And after this past weekend,   I think I can safely say that it was the right choice.

Finally, the calendar. As much as I gripe about my family and our religion and its constraints, being Buddhist is a large part of who I am. It's not something I flaunt openly- I wouldn't say I'm ashamed or embarrassed by it, but it's definitely an aspect of me, I feel, that is a need-to-know thing, instead of an "everyone knows" thing. At the same time though, it's a large part of me- it's in my name, my culture, and its beliefs have also embedded themselves into mine, especially since it is my Grandfather who is the religious leader of our organization. It wasn't easy growing up, especially when everyone was in Australia and me, sis, and Mom were here in America. I still remember a friend asking me what else our Buddhist "Bible" said we could/couldn't do, after she found out we didn't really listen to music- and that was in middle school. I didn't actually understand the reasons why, back then, just that I was different from the others in that aspect, which probably also plays a part in how I feel about it now.

© Copyright 2018 Dragyn (UN: flamebreather at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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