by MA in Psychology student Cherie Crowningshield of Port Kent, N.Y.
When I was eleven I was intrigued by the thought of travel. The idea that someone could get on a plane and before long be immersed in a new culture, and environment always fascinated me.
When I reached high school I met my best friend, Minako Matsui. She was a foreign exchange student from Japan who chose to leave the stability of her home to learn in the United States. We soon became great friends, for we were both so interested in each other’s lives.
I remember always comparing facets of my life with hers. After graduating high school, I was inspired to experience immersing myself in another culture. I chose to attend Santa Reparata International School of Art, in Florence, Italy.
Upon exploring Florence, I first noticed that the locals did not do the hustle and bustle that I had become accompanied to in New York. Instead, they appeared to really enjoy their surrounding and really take in life. It seemed the more I looked the more I realized the differences and similarities between my home and Italy. It was there that I learned that culture can play a huge influence on who we are and how we react to situations in life.
This journey to Italy began my passionate interest in culture, travel and quest to be surrounded by new and exciting environments. In my 39 years I have had the opportunity to visit so many places that most just dream about!
While traveling my goal is to always immerse myself in the culture of the village. I often find myself interested in sitting with the elders and learning the stories that are passed down. I feel that this class has given me the opportunity to further explore the many aspects that I am drawn to and what make people unique. Exploring social forces and how they can influence people was something I never really focused on until now. It will be a facet of my travels.
The paintings I did as part of Goddard’s expressive arts, were a way for me to conceptualize and express my thoughts about readings, and to explore my visual interpretation of language and the feeling component to being understood/misunderstood.
I feel that with this new knowledge I gained through expressive arts at Goddard College, I will continue to expand who I am and my ever-growing understanding of the many people who walk this planet and, in turn, will be better able to understand my future clients and their needs.