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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's Private School Blog

This I Believe: "Color Clarity"


Modeled after public radio's "This I Believe" series, Sewickley Academy seniors share what they believe in as the final project of their Senior Seminar course.

"Color Clarity" by Rosie

Although Rosie has lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, her entire life, she loves to travel to different states and countries to expand her worldview. Rosie enjoys creating every kind of art, especially poetry, ceramics, and moss artwork. She loves to spend time in nature, whether just exploring a new environment or actively ameliorating an industrialized area by cultivating plants and connecting with the community. Rosie was co-editor-in-chief of Ephemera, the Academy's award-winning arts magazine. Winner of the annual graduation award, the Cavalier Cup, for her excellence in scholarship, sportsmanship, and citizenship, she will attend Kalamazoo College to major in international and area studies with a concentration in eastern Asia.



Below is the podcast's transcription:

I believe in stained-glass.

The panes from a stained glass window tint everything that they shine upon. I believe that the color in the artwork can explain a feeling or idea more succinctly than an entire script sometimes.

For example, my worldview was challenged a couple of years ago when I traveled to the country of Oman for a six-week cultural exchange. My previous perception of the Middle East as a dark, intimidating place clashed with my visual observations of the country. Women wore black dresses called abayas daily, sure, but they also wore brightly colored headscarves. Bright blue houses and cyan water complemented the burnt umber sand. The covered marketplace called a souq had some shadows, but it also had many colors shining down from the gorgeous stained-glass domed ceiling.

It was under this ceiling that I saw the heart of the city of Musqat. Bustling street vendors wafted frankincense towards the skipping children and smiling parents. Calico cats sidled through sandle-clad feet to perch on lusciously thick Arabian carpets as the call to prayer echoed through the alleys of the souq. I was no longer wary of these people surrounding me, because they reminded me of my own family and friends.

Because my opinion of the Middle East was changed so drastically in just a few minutes, I now believe that all perspectives should be taught objectively, even if the teacher does not agree with them, because understanding how people think is vital to maintaining relations between individuals.

I believe that education and experience are equally important in refuting stereotypes: education because it offers factual details, and experience because it offers sensory details.

Facts can offer insight into the nature of life in a foreign country, but they also sometimes support stereotypes. Colors and sounds reveal that humanity is constant in every country.

I believe that adapting to an environment is important when attempting to understand diverse perspectives.

But I also believe that maintaining morals and personal philosophies is important for developing a perspective.

Made from rocks broken down into sand by tides of water and time, heated to a liquid, cooled to a solid, and then fractured to create desired geometric shapes, a stained-glass window comprises many parts, each with a different background and composition.

Yet however much the glass is changed, it always retains its essence, originally formed from minuscule particles of sand joined together.

I believe that the experiences I have and memories I create form the pieces of a stained-glass window and that every time I interact with someone, I offer them a glimpse of the world through my window.

I believe that all art contains ideas from the environment around the artist because people are shaped by those around them. But the mediums and colors chosen can offer diverse insights about the artist’s perspective.

After I bisque-fire my hand-built ceramics pieces, for instance, I often opt to use a monochrome brown or red stain instead of a colorful glaze to showcase any texture I have included in the piece. But ceramics pieces in general are meant to be observed, not to offer a new method of observation.

Windows, on the other hand, can be colorful and still translucent, allowing light to enter and create lovely colors while still displaying the world beyond the window. The window is not just an art-piece, but also a lens.

Although physical life is fleeting, memories and accomplishments live on. I don’t know what comes after life, but I do know that I want to leave behind a beautiful stained glass window that people can use as a lens to see the world in a new perspective. 

Find out who you are! Take our quiz now.

Topics: This I Believe

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