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Everglade's picture

I’ve lived in Hangzhou, a city that is clean, beautiful and cozy, like a paradise to live in. I’ve also lived in Shanghai, a city that is exciting, intense and ideal for ambitious youths. Now I’m in a new city. Upon my arrival, I was unarmed, and given a pair of glasses and a scribble board.

Since I’m unarmed, I submit myself to all the possibilities. When facing different people, things, and ideas, I don’t attack them with my gun—the helpless human nature of opposing things different from us, the malicious criticism that bursts out as fast as a bullet and hurts much. On the contrary, I’m open to challenges. I let the homeless guy I met challenged my perception of my role in the city. During The Quiet Volume, I like how the artist seems to read my mind and control my emotions. I’m not ashamed of letting others into my head because I don’t consider it a weakness of determination, but just my way of appreciating and understanding an artwork—to let myself be immersed and savor my feelings.

Like many classmates, I initially find the long sentences of George Simmel antihuman and Flanagan’s whole idea of “critical play” absurd. But I try not to deny a thing before I even get to know it. Chances are a really delicious cuisine or an exquisite jewelry store often hides in a run-down house in a back alley. Same in academics, I might be surprised and inspired if I think thoroughly about the idea that I don’t really like at the first place. After using Flanagan’s ideas as glasses to analyze my experience, I still don’t agree to them completely but they enable me to see things from a new perspective. A little problem now is that I’m trapped in the alley and don’t want to go home. I take in every kind of ideas too fast and that’s overwhelming. Which one do I agree to the most? What do I really think? What would I originally think if I hadn’t read any of these articles? Am I being my true self? Do I like my true self? Even when I want to go home, can I still find it? But I know, as long as I’m on the way, I will get there someday.

I like this place also because it encourages me to speak. I have a lot of weird, irrelevant thoughts in my mind. Thoughts that I always feel the urge to say out loud to see if anyone is as weird as me, but shut my mouth at last because I cherish these heartfelt thoughts too much to let anyone misunderstand them. Thoughts that I type in a text to a friend, but finally delete letter-by-letter. Here in this city, a movable wall comes right at the moment when an idea flashes my mind, and I scribble on it as I like. And Anne helped me a lot by asking me to “speak up” and “say more”. Later in class, my classmates would read and discuss my scribbles seriously, paying more attention to the content than the author “Everglade” since it’s not a real person. I enjoy being surprised by others’ works, which are creative and inspiring.

Finally I have a question. When I signed up for this course, I thought “play” was of the theatrical sense. Although I don’t have previous experience or knowledge about theater and drama, I’m really interested in the subject. Are we going to learn something about that?