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    Writing as Visual Learning

    David Kuo
    May 3, '21 8:50 PM EST

    Full disclosure, I have always disliked writing, the rigidness of the formats from researching a topic to constructing an argument. I would get so frustrated because it feels like writing requires me to follow certain rules, someone else’s rules. Following has never been my strong suit, I tend to go the opposite direction. However, I started to get a different feel for writing from this class I’m taking this semester. The class focuses on “freewriting” where I can simply reflect my thoughts, and not have to worry about having perfect introductions or strong conclusions. It is no longer about writing to meet the requirement of word counts or the number of sources. I now think of writing as a tool that helps me think better and see clearer in a way. From time to time, I would wake up in the morning and just write down some of my thoughts from the architectural problems I am facing or just the mood I am in. The more I write the more I realize how powerful written words can be. I no longer have to memorize all the ideas in my head whether good or bad, I simply write them down so they can have visual impacts to further my thinking.

    I have always been a visual learner, that’s part of the reason why I study architecture. It comes natural to me to make visual connections between geometries or ideas but if ideas are simply floating in space, it is hard for me to grasp the relationship or the priority between them. Writing becomes the mapping of ideas, and through which I can see my thoughts and discover things I could never see before. Once I write the ideas down I can shift them around or dig deeper because I am no longer afraid of losing them. In a way, this shift of perspective on writing is a practice of freedom that allows me to go from passively writing to actively engaging with my curiosities. Perhaps instead of seeing writing as a requirement in English classes, it could be a fun and helpful tool like sketching or photoshopping and countless other means of exploration. 

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