I have habitually used Visual Arts as an outlet, so I was naturally engrossed in taking Drawing at Duke for one of my elective courses and potentially minoring in Studio Art. I knew that transferring from a small, single-sexed school in Philadelphia to Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, where seventy percent of the students are male and the academics are basically all math and science, was going to be a major adjustment. This made me even more engrossed by taking Drawing, because I was able to preserve my outlet when being in a whole new environment.
Once I arrived in Duke, people were a little confused as to why I was taking this course because generally it is considered to be incompatible to engineering, but I believe that they instead coincide. As a student interested in science, visual arts, and mathematics, I have always been intrigued by engineering's unique emphasis on blending innovation and creativity with real world pragmatism. Drawing has enabled me to think conceptually, thus allowing me to best capitalize upon my ability to alternate from engineer's natural was of thinking analytically. Moreover, taking this class would improve my dexterity, which is an important skill to have as an engineer. Since I am considering majoring in Biomedical Engineering and potentially pursue a career in medicine, the ability to have excellent hands on dexterity is critical.
Although I knew that being in Pratt was academically demanding, I did not understand the full extent. This semester I have been in three courses with a lab along with being consistently sick, which ultimately deterred me from immersing myself into my drawing assignments, especially in the beginning when I was adjusting the new workload. Instead of an outlet, drawing for a certain deadline just exacerbated my stress. But once I learned how to handle the obscene amount of work from my other classes, I was excited that I was finally able to dedicate more time to my drawing assignments. When there were times that I was able to focus on my drawings, I particularly enjoyed drawing freely in my sketchbook. In my sketchbook I finally drew facial features for the first time ever along with random objects. Although I will probably not be able to minor in Visual Arts, I do hope to take another class in the future when my other classes are not as demanding.