Doing things differently since the Carter Administration
I am requesting to change my major from Music Composition to Creative Arts. At the time of this writing, I don’t even know if my request will be approved.
It’s kind of interesting how my appeal letter is a sort of a declaration to how creativity really matters in all aspects of life, not just for artists. To make fire, the process of discovering the right two branches did not happen instantaneously. It involved discovery, rediscovery, reformulation, and probably a whole heap of collaboration. In my appeal letter, I outline why creativity matters to me:
Thank you for taking the time to review my Change of Major request. I am so excited to be in my first semester at San Jose State University! I am writing you today to ask that my major be changed from Music Composition (BMus) to the Creative Arts Program (BA). I successfully completed the Music Major program at another college and I declared Music Composition on my SJSU application, but never pursued the music program. If I were to remain in the composition program, I would have to begin as a level 1 composition student. Instead, I redirected my focus to a more interdisciplinary degree in the Creative Arts. My current classes are degree-specific to the Creative Arts Program…
…I have learned a great amount in my short amount of time here at San Jose State: creativity is essential to not only artists, but to those in technology, business, science, and beyond; I have read works from writers such as Susan Sontag, who claim that true creativity is not produced from a singular source; it is borne from multiple perspectives and ideologies. This idea of interdisciplinary creativity is further illustrated in my Creative Process class in the book “Creators on Creating,” where theoretical physicist Richard Feynman discusses how he won the Nobel Prize for “piddling around” with a wobbling plate. It was an unconventional idea that translated to applications in quantum electrodynamics, and demonstrates how the creative process is employed within the scientific realm.
I have gained many insights as to how my brain works through the various assignments. In my writing class, I have enjoyed learning about artists such as Marina Abramovic, who, on the surface may appear chaotic, but has a highly trained sense how to express an overarching theme or paradigm from her mind’s eye. Abramovic’s keen artistic focus is why so many young minds wish to seek knowledge from her.
I have also enjoyed making my own creativity un-blocker, where I incorporate qualities that are necessary for creativity into a symbolic, magical object. The entire structure of the assignment showed me that artistic projects *can* get finished, as long as there is a vision AND a method in place.
Humor is a large part of my very being. The professor jokingly asked that we incorporate Iceland somehow into our projects (professor adores Iceland, I guess!). Well, I decided to take that request seriously.
I began with organizing qualities that were essential to creativity and then I translated those qualities into magical objects:
Here is the obviously real story of how I obtained this magical object:
I was casually walking along the Icelandic shoreline earlier this semester, when Björk came running up to me dressed in a very familiar way. She looked a little excited and frantic; without much explanation, she pleaded with me to take this ancient archer’s set. I stood there, befuddled.
She looked behind her, as if someone (or something) might be listening, and Björk whispered to me in a strange voice, “This is what you’ve been waiting for, Jessica. It will bring you strength in ways you’ve never known. You will be reminded of the beauty of the breathtakingly blue Icelandic shorelines, and it will consume you.”
It was almost as if some ancient force had overtaken Björk.
She motioned with her hand and exclaimed, “Gaze into the shimmering gems to gain new perspective, knowing they were forged from the mythical and ancient glacial ices of my homeland.”
I was dizzy at this point, but I wasn’t sure why. This place was suddenly intoxicating.
Björk looked at the bow, “Ah, yes. These are earthly scented oils from here— my homeland. When my ancestors made this bow, they felt it was important to awaken many senses, as total awareness is what makes the best kind of archer. Breathe deeply, and also feel the various textures in the bow. The ancient bells will awaken another part of you, as time guides you to the things you are most determined to accomplish.”
Björk continued, “Remember who you aaaaare, Jessica.” Her voice became more echoed with each word, “Ah! Brünnhilde beckons! Stay true to yourself— let this ring serve to remind you of your own history. Embrace laughter; the ancient ones left a flower to remind you of the joyous times.”
“My ancestors wish that whomever uses this always make connections, where the importance of perspective, for example, cannot be had without the presence of discovery.”
She motioned to the various twine bindings, “Let these connections remind you that creativity is dynamic, and thus, so is your experience each time you command this bow. The courage and curiosity of the Jólakötturinn will guide you.”
With those final words, Björk disintegrated in front of my very eyes, like volcanic ash in the wind.
At my feet lay a single, pure white swan feather.
~ fin ~
My letter of appeal continues:
David Edwards, founder of Harvard’s Artscience Lab (http://thelaboratory.harvard.edu/concept/artscience/), further elaborates on the necessity of creativity in this global world of ours: “idea development in culture, industry, education and society can be conceived as a kind of experimentation, where the catalyst for change, movement – for innovation – is a fusion of those creative processes we conventionally think of as art and as science.”
As a Creative Arts major, I will be able to learn new skills and strengthen creative strategies I already employ. This semester, I have learned that creativity is certainly not chaos; there is an actual structure and methodology to building upon truly innovative ideas. I will be better equipped to identify opportunities where I can build or foster more effective interdisciplinary collaborations. I will also be armed with confidence and countless new resources and connections in order to generate methods for productive risk-taking and risk-sharing— invaluable in any industry. I feel that the Creative Arts major is a good fit for me, as it lends itself well to someone seeking an interdisciplinary academic experience. I would be proud to be a Creative Arts major, where unique collaborations are welcomed and community involvement is encouraged.