Brief Reflection -Zach

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The snow has melted and the ski hill is now deserted.  I reflect on Nescio’s essay. His experiences as a young adult are very similar to my own when I spend full days skiing with my friends.  Our futures are unknown. We have big plans. This uncertainly is both stressful and exciting.

Nescio and his friends spend their days talking on a fence around Oosterpark, sitting in curbs, and staring at the stars.  Our fence and curb is the chairlift – that’s where we talk.  Instead of stars above us, we look at skiers below us.

At Zuiderzee, Nescio and his friends watch the sun come up.  This is eerily similar because, we often ski early in the morning, before the crowds arrived, and watch the sun rise over the mountains.

The sound and sights of nature are important to Nescio: cows, frogs, horses, and grass.  This is important to us also. The snow is our grass. The wind in the trees, the laugher of children skiing are our sounds.

At the end of the day, we spend time at the base of the mountain. This is Nescio’s Amsterdam. The people eating and drinking in Amsterdam, and at the village base, have perfect hair, ski outfits, no creases in their clothes.  They seem to have it all figured out but I wonder if they do.

When we are on the mountain, my friends and I feel that we are at the top of the world.  Just like Nescio and the Young Titans when they are in Amsterdam.

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3 thoughts on “Brief Reflection -Zach

  1. I like how it looks like a bird’s eye view at first but then you realize it is a ski slope so the perspective warps into plain straight on view. I also like the rather loose association of the text with the image–mostly your text is about what happens inside your head, or in conversation between you and your friends, with the site as the backdrop or space of interaction.

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  2. I think you bring up a really important idea on how the scenery and setting of where you spend time with your friends can alter your perceptions and relationships. You drew really cool comparison between yours and Neisco’s experience and I could tell you resonated with his story telling; both you and Neisco seem to share an outlook on how a place you enjoy makes you feel almost invincible.

    Haven’t done much skiing, but from you description it makes me want to get up there. It’s interesting how you were able to find so many comparisons between the two different settings, and I even found the examples you described could be applied to the location I choose, pretty cool how that works.

    Also — great drawing. I can tell you really hit the shading well.

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    1. Dear Drew,

      Thank you very much for your response and kind words. I really like your point that the enjoyment of your experience is critical to your perception of the environment. My enjoyment of skiing and the outdoors in the winter certainly evokes happy memories whenever I look at the mountain.

      Winner’s essay, “Dutch Space is Different” made me reflect on how I define exterior space. Specifically on how flexible exterior space is. It is up to me to determine its boundaries and how I use it.

      Winner told us that AJAX and the Dutch National team redefined the field and revolutionize the game. This was done by expanding the field on offense and contracting it on defense. Winner also explained that land is a precious commodity in Holland. Space is measured, cherished, and planned precisely. This is required because 50% is reclaimed land that is below sea level.

      Neisco and the “Young Titans” defined Oosterpark (the stars), Zuiderzee (the Sun), the Dikes (grass and cows, and Kee’s attic (wallpaper) to suit their personal needs.

      I now realize that my friends and I do the same thing when we ski in Vermont. The chairlift, side trails, and base area are our personal domain. WE have the ability to use it and expose it- to meet our personal interests. We go where we want and do what we want in this flexible space.
      An example of this is, is after a fresh snowfall. My friends and I often carve a new path by skiing in an untouched area. In this way, we have defined a new space. Interestingly, the next run, there will most usually be several tracks from other skiers that followed our tracks.

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