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Learning in the Wild: My Week at Idyllwild Arts Summer Program

 
This summer, I spent two weeks in Idyllwild, California taking a painting and drawing course. Going in, I was more nervous than I had ever been, I had never been away from home for that long and I didn't know anyone there besides one other girl from Venice Arts. I was, however, extremely excited to meet my roommates. I had three other roommates: Vivian, who was a girl who came from Taiwan, Jamie, who is from San Diego, and Lauren, from Washington state. My roommates and I immediately connected, especially Jamie and I, with Lauren more as the dorm "mom," but we loved her all the same. The language barrier between Vivian and us took some getting used to, but I had a lot of fun getting to know her and discovering cultural differences between Taiwan and the U.S.

Living on campus was a lot more fun than expected, and as a girl going into my senior year next year, it seemed like a nice warm-up to what the college dorm life would be like. We had to wake ourselves up at about 6:30 every day, which wasn't as hard as I though with three roommates, get ourselves to breakfast on time, and make it to class on time.

Class itself was an amazing experience, having access to all these art supplies really let me do what I wanted. Both the teachers were very funny and helpful, and I came home knowing a lot of things that I hadn't before. Even though the painting and drawing class space could get really hot during the day, being distracted with projects took away from the discomfort. We started off with something I didn't find that interesting, but then the teachers let us roam a bit and let us use our own styles, which was great. Doing all the painting and drawing there has inspired me to do it more at home as well, and I look forward to making new things with the skills that I learned there.

Besides class itself, which was amazing, Idyllwild held other events everyday of the week to keep campers entertained. There was a sports night, pool party, movie night, and talent shows as well. I was pretty bummed to see that not a lot of campers attended the events, but I highly recommend them because I got to meet a lot of new people and I got closer to the counselors too.

Overall, I had such a fantastic experience and I wish I could continue going. The food in the dining hall was pretty good, but they also had a store which was like a mini Costco. They had just about everything there: food, snacks, drinks, school supplies, journals, merchandise, and a lot of other things. I had so much fun, especially with my roommates and a couple of other kids that I met that I became really close with. We even started up this tradition where we would lie down in the middle of the road in front of the girls dorms at 9 PM and watch the stars until we had to go back for check in. The view was absolutely gorgeous, especially at night, there were so many stars, much more than we can see in LA. I don't think I could ever forget my time in Idyllwild and I'm so thankful to have been given such a spectacular opportunity.
 
Posted Friday, August 12, 2016 at 3:49PM | Leave a comment
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