In all three schools there has been lots of discussion in recent weeks about subject and option choices as the girls from Year 6 up think about what they would like to study in 2017. Sometimes the choices are obvious and sometimes they are not, especially when girls are thinking about career options and tertiary studies which are still years away. Just last week we received an email from an Old Girl which made really interesting reading. While she is talking about the value of the visual arts for her medical studies, I think her observations can be applied in a range of areas.
Our former student wrote:
For a student aiming to do Medicine in university, choosing to do painting and painting scholarship for my last year in high school probably would have seemed to be a bit of an odd choice, especially considering the limited number of subjects that I could take. However, I believe that having taken visual arts in high school was an integral part for making me the person I am today and continues to contribute to my current Medicine degree as it did in high school.
Starting off with something more study-related, i believe that the process of drawing and painting in itself has helped with my pictorial and visual memory (as well as helping to to remember how to properly draw a heart or the pelvis in the anatomy part of my exam!). I think that the act of transferring an image you see onto another medium helps you to understand and remember things a lot better, whether it be how light reflects off a piece of clothing or the anatomical relations of the kidney.
More importantly, I feel that it was the way of thinking and exploring ideas and concepts within the visual arts programme in high school that has had a profound impact on me. From an outsider’s perspective, I guess that some might think that doing art in high school might mean drawing, painting, taking pictures, designing logos and being creative. However, I found myself challenging thoughts and concepts I had about society, discussing these ideas with teachers and classmates, and problem solving when it came to ideas which didn’t work out quite so well. When doing art, I feel that you learn to look at ideas from a wide range of perspectives and you learn different approaches to express the same idea, resulting in completely different outcomes. I feel that the ways of thinking and approaching situations from a wide range of angles has helped me a lot not only within Medicine thus far, but also within life. Sometimes I find that when students aim for medicine in high school, they are often so caught up in the science aspect of the degree that they sometimes forget how much communication and problem solving are involved within the degree and career. Of course the academics are extremely important (I took three sciences in school after all), but I feel that doing visual arts adds the extra bit of abstract thinking that may be needed throughout the degree and career.
Mrs Lynda Reid