By Kayla Klein
As we move into our spring trips, I am reminded of the impact that our Winter exploration had on me. Winter exploration was an opportunity for both students and coaches at One Stone to immerse themselves in the passions they have. The month of January was made of a three-week-long “cannon ball” and a one-week-long “deep dive.” Coaches pitched both of these opportunities the students and then those who signed up for the courses wrote a short rationale as to why they were interested and what they hoped to gain. The variety of options catered to everyone in the One Stone community. The month was truly special to each and every person at the school because it gave us all the chance to grow and discover who we are as individuals. This was my first winter exploration here at OS and it was one for the books.
In the start of this year I found myself in a cannon ball revolving around creative practice. What caught my interest with this was that I was questioning my ability to put a definition by the word “creativity.” I began asking myself what makes someone creative? What is creativity? When are you most creative? What moves you to be creative? How does creativity alter when you assign it to someone else? What does it mean when you deny yourself creative assignation? I think these are questions people often ask themselves. In the world we live in today we are constantly searching for creative people, but we face challenges while approaching how we identify these individuals.
The main objective of the three weeks was to really experiment and learn more about different mediums that creativity comes into play with. In addition to personal experimentation we also had the chance to speak with an accomplished pastry chef, Michelle Kwak. Michelle came to One Stone and showed us some of her work and told us about the journey and where she draws inspiration from. At the end, the class got to experience the art of designing a dessert by creating a beautiful cupcake with limited ingredients and tools. Another assignment we had that was completely outside of the box was having a surrealist dinner party. This project left a lot of room for interpretation so mine turned into a stone age meal. From this cannonball I saw real growth in my ability to create without the end in mind and to be free of judgment. It was such a great experience to see my ability to be creative without other people’s expectations.
For the Deep-Dive week of January, I participated in the “Centering” pottery intensive. The reason I signed up for this was because I saw people throwing on the wheel in a movie and remembered how easy it looked… definitely a false assumption. I went into the week with confidence and soon realized my patience would be tested. I didn’t know ANYTHING. We learned a lot about the basics of functional and nonfunctional pottery, how to hand build, practicing in the studio, and for me the most important was to slow down. I really loved being able to see how pottery can connect people when we visited the Fort Boise community center. It was impactful to be surrounded by so many talented people and to really feel welcome in a place that was foreign to most of us. My favorite part of the experience was just learning something new because it felt refreshing to fail at first, then begin to develop my skills through practice.
Overall, Winter Exploration was a great experience to engage in some new things and potentially develop some passions to pursue. Not a lot of places offer time to simply enjoy yourself and what you are doing, especially in a school setting. I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.
With the spring trips just weeks away, I fondly reminisce on how things like Winter exploration and school-wide adventures bring the One Stone community together through pursuing our passions.