(Short Essay #2)

Sold in all designs, sizes, and styles, I always took t-shirts at face value; just another of the many alternatives of what to wear. But when we learnt about clothing and t-shirts in class, my entire perspective changed.

Of the many things I’ve learnt from class, one thing specifically that sticks out to me is the value a seemingly simple shirt could have. Whether it’s a shirt you’ve picked up in a fancy NYC mall or something you thoughtlessly bought in thrift store, the shirt wasn’t just ‘born’ there. Was it a single mom trying to make ends meet who sewed it in Bangladesh, or maybe a grandfather in China working because he doesn’t have retirement funds? Whoever it may be, I’ve begun to appreciate my clothing more. It amazes me to see something I’ve seen my whole life on such a basic level suddenly have an entire world uncovered.

When we had our workshop in class to design our own garment from recycled clothing, it was so wonderful to see everyone’s stories they brought into class with their clothing. Each piece had it’s own history, it’s own story. It was beautiful to see everyone come together and share a piece of themselves with their project partners to create something new.

My team is comprised of myself, Sehara G, Sarah L, and Avivah G. We each brought a shirt that had meaning to us and together created a skirt. Throughout the workshop, my team and I worked together to create our ‘Skirt of Memories’ that creatively expressed all of different personalities and memories that we bring along within us.

Working on a project like this (specifically with our FYI class) had special importance because this is a rare class made up of only freshman. Similar to the new, evolved garments we created from sharing our old t-shirts; as freshmans we too are working over the next few years on creating “newer”, more educated, better versions of ourselves as we learn and share with each other.

Through this multifaceted workshop, it was a unique opportunity to meet my classmates and learn more about them. I look forward to more opportunities like this in the future!

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