Upon coming to Duke, I felt sad that I never had the time to draw, and until this semester, I could not take Drawing as a course that fit into my schedule. I was excited to finally be able to take this Drawing course, especially because I thought it would be good practice in working with my hands before dental school, which requires a great degree of manual dexterity. Quickly, I realized that this class was much more challenging and time-consuming than I had anticipated. However, I enjoyed having the drawing assignment as a weekly requirement, because it enabled me to take time to sit in my room and get in the zone. Although I would get frustrated thinking about all of the other things I had to do for my other classes, all in all, I am thankful that I could sit and just draw.
Last semester, I took a class on mindfulness and meditation, and we learned that meditative experiences can be gained through a multitude of different ways—including drawing. I remembered the feelings of being in the zone that I would get when drawing in high school, and I was excited to fully appreciate the feeling again, especially after learning about its meditative effects. Sometimes I would feel annoyed by the number of hours I would invest in sitting on my dorm room floor and drawing, but by the end of the day, I would realize that my mind was no longer busy with rushing thoughts.
I was also thankful for this course in allowing me to exercise a creativity that was personal to me and that I had not really explored before. I have always been extremely connected to my Persian background, but in college, I feel that I have grown to appreciate this aspect of my identity even more. I greatly enjoyed incorporating my Persian culture into my assignments and felt quite surprised and proud of the ideas that I would come up with. Especially in my final assignments, I sought to incorporate this aspect of cultural identity whenever I could, and I felt quite satisfied in having all of my ideas develop on Bristol board. I felt that I learned so much about myself in the process of developing my ideas and seeing them come to life on paper.