Top Ten Portfolio Marriah Alcantara

Straw tower group activity

The straw tower activity was an interesting look into both teamwork and also prototyping without planning first. As one of the teammates without a 'disability,' it was very eye-opening when none of us really noticed that our teammates were impaired. It really was a lesson in being open and trying to empathize with future coworkers and peers. On another note, working on the spot tested our brainstorming skills and ability to communicate ideas to each other. This activity was one of my favorites because it provided some healthy competition between groups while also demonstrating how important communication skills are in group projects.

Recognizing patterns from nature

While it would be easy to mark this activity as one of my least favorite because it required working whilst on break, this one was genuinely fun. When I took the first picture of the mailboxes in Beaty Commons, I was unaware of the specifics of the assignment, but the shapes in the picture were aesthetically pleasing. As spring break drew to an end, I scrambled to find something that resembled the odd incline-then-plateau of the mailboxes. Then, I decided I wanted to use flat ground and a horizon of trees, even though I couldn't get the exact angle. However, the picture I ended up using was one I had already taken because I thought the view was aesthetically pleasing. Funnily, this project showed how patterns repeat in a few ways.

"Where I'm From" Poem quick-write

This quick writing activity was a test in expressing thoughts concisely, but with the added factor of poetry that line moved both forward and back at the same time. I loved this activity because I really enjoy writing, I just haven't had much time for it in recent years. I also remember that when I was in eighth grade, I wrote a poem based on a similar prompt, but luckily now my thoughts are much clearer and put together, even when rushed like this poem was. Also, though I normally don't consider myself a creative person, this topic hits home for me and encourages new thoughts.

Creative Timeline

This project was one of the most interesting to me because of how different everyone perceived the instructions. My timeline, while close to the literal definition of a timeline, looked more like a wavelength. Meanwhile, some of my classmates took a much more liberal approach to the idea of a timeline. Also, these projects were harder to explain because of the very personal ideas involved in making a timeline of creativity. The ambiguity of projects usually bothers me as someone who likes structure, but the nature of this one made it easy to do without contemplating it too much.

Empathy Journal

The empathy journal was interesting because I went into it not expecting to take anything away, but ended up coming away with a greater understanding and respect for people, whether they are like me or not. I only included three entries here, but I tried to look at the world from several perspectives in order to increase my empathy. After completing this daily for a week, I haven't continued to keep a journal, but I have tried to remind myself to be aware of the issues and habits that other people encounter and deal with daily.

Observe a normal object

As was the purpose, this activity forced you to look at a seeming everyday object and find something new about it. While what you took away from this one depended on the effort you put into it, some of the results were interesting. Admittedly, I don't think I put that much energy into my observation of the mailboxes in Beaty Commons, but I still noticed more about them than I ever would have had I not participated in this activity.

Second 10 Days of 30 Day Creative Project

While the 30 Day Challenge was admittedly not my favorite, I enjoy photography, so the second ten days were nice because I got to use my pictures. Because I do photography as a hobby and have never done it for art, it was really interesting to take something I don't necessarily do with a meaning in mind and add depth. It was a form of creativity that I had never considered before, but it was really enjoyable to take an image that I had taken and add meaning through a single word and color coordination.

Team 3D Prototyping Project

The Team 3D Prototyping Project was a chaotic introduction not only to the Creativity in Context Course, but to the Innovation Academy and college. This project was definitely the most educational considering the experience it provided with the creative process, working in a group, patience, and dealing with setbacks. Honestly, I was not excited going into this project, but by the end it was also our first experience with success in the creative field in college. Though getting thrown into a massive project at the start of the semester was a little intimidating, the experience was definitely worthwhile.

Creative Person Resumé

J.K. Rowling has always been a source of inspiration for me, and I have read a biography about her a few years ago, so not all of this information was new to me. However, compiling Rowling's struggles with her successes was very encouraging as it basically said to me that no matter how bad it seems, you can always come back. When you're in a class about creativity and you don't consider yourself a very creative person, it is easy to degrade the work you do and feel like you won't go anywhere in a creative field. However, Rowling will always remain an inspiration for me because of the struggles she overcame.

Creative Theory Slide

These slides were fun because we got to represent logical theory with fun images and symbolism. This project helped develop imaging skills, and partially abstracting an idea, though we still had to be able to explain it. The most entertaining part of this project was probably each group sharing and explaining how the images they chose explained their assigned theory, like the gap to show a missing part.

Of course, there were many, many more activities we did over the course of this semester, but these are the ones that stuck out to me. This semester, we touched on many creative thinking skills from abstracting and imaging to forming patterns and body thinking. We practiced these skills with everything from the beloved first speaker series to the bean bag tossing activity, and many more throughout the course. The biggest takeaways I have gotten from the activities described above and those not listed are that no idea is too out there and that putting in the work is definitely worth it in the long run.

Created By
Marriah Alcantara


Created with images by fschnell - "Straw" • Pexels - "abstract circles close-up view" • quapan - "look downstairs into stairwell whirl" • Tama66 - "globe world earth" • jairojehuel - "time tiempo count" • david drexler - "Empathy" • 3dman_eu - "post post mail box mail" • splotramienny - "prostetic proteza 3d" • Ravi_Shah - "Hogwarts"

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