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Mara Droppers

11-25-2015
Professor Johnston
Drive CQ
1. Ester Rada
On September 10th 2015 I had the privilege of going to a Jazz
concert by Ester Rada. The show took place at the Knickerbocker
theatre and started at 7:30 and finished around 9:30. Ester Rada is an
Israeli Jazz band, and their tour ended up taking them here to Holland
Michigan.
Walking into the concert I was a little unsure of what I would
experience. I had never been to a Jazz concert let alone an Israeli Jazz
concert. I asked questions to myself like, will I be able to understand
the lyrics? Will I be able to connect to the music? Is this going to be
incredibly boring? And what type of audience will I be engaging with? I
walked in and found my seat and not shortly after the band came on
stage. They did a musical intro and I was immediately hooked to the
melodies they were playing, I loved their sound and had never heard
anything quite like it. After the intro they explained that they were from
Israel and were extremely excited to be sharing their music here in the
states.
I really enjoyed this event, and because of it I still listen to the
music. Yet, I found it to be a cultural challenge because I simply did not
want to go. My drive to hear music from a different culture was very
low, and although this was a free concert I simply did not want to

participate. I was afraid it would be in a different language and I would


not understand as well as that the audience would be people whom I
do not normally interact with. Yet, when I got there I learned that it did
not matter to me where the band was from or who the people were
that I was listening with, what mattered was the captivating melodies
surrounding me. The music crossed boundaries and allowed for cultural
standards to be ignored for a few hours. It did not matter that I was
American, and the band was Israeli all that mattered was that we were
enjoying the moment together.
This event taught me that I am more skeptical than I realized,
my lack of motivation to attend came from my skepticism of what I
would experience and this skepticism is something I must work through
in order to increase my CQ drive, and continue to immerse myself in
new situations in order to better understand the different cultures that
surround me every day.

2. Kruizenga Art Museum (European and American Gallery vs. Asian


Gallery)
I visited the Kruizenga Art Museum on September 9th 2015,
around 1:30. It was opening day and the excitement for the new
museum was high. As I entered the building I noticed that there were
two separate exhibits one a European/American Gallery and the other
and Asian Gallery. I decided to first walk through the Asian Gallery. The
art in this gallery varied in medium. There were some ceramic pieces
some paintings, and even some graphite drawings. The Asian art
represented Asian culture because it spoke of things like rapid changes
that happened in Chinese society, along with a depiction of a Buddhist
monk painted on a scroll, as well as many modern pieces of Japanese
art. Each piece was beautiful, and so unique. Walking around the
museum and taking the extra time to read the descriptions assigned to
each piece of art is where I found my Drive CQ coming in. Typically in a
museum I would just walk by and say thats nice and not take the time
to learn about the background and culture this piece of art represents.

Yet I really appreciated the history and stories each piece of art had to
tell.
The European art was very familiar. Many self-portraits, and
religious depictions. Although I have seen many pieces of European art
in the past I found it interesting to compare the European with the
Asian art. The different mediums and depictions spoke of what each
culture holds as important and worth capturing. This experience helped
increase my CQ Drive because I was challenged to not just look at the
art but to really think and learn about a culture that I am not very
familiar with, and not only learn, but also take the time to appreciate
what makes us different and unique in the world of art.
3. Maple Avenue Church
Unfortunately I do not remember the exact date but one Sunday
in October I visited Maple Avenue Church. Maple Avenue is a church
made up of a majority African American community. The pastor is Rev.
Kingdom-Grier who is an African-American woman. I decided to go to
Maple Avenue for one of my Drive CQ events because my faith is
incredibly important to me, and well I have never been to a church
where the majority of people do not look like me. When I first walked in
I was honestly a little overwhelmed, because although I was not the
only white person there I definitely stood out and believe me I am not
used to being in the minority when I walk into the room.

Rev. Kingdom- Grier is a gifted speaker, and I remember being


captivated by the message she gave, yet I do not remember much of
what she said. So, I decided to look her up on the Maple Avenue
website and I found a ted talk she recently gave. The topic was
bridges. Rev. Kingdom-Grier spoke about how bridges build the gap
between uptown and downtown, rich and poor, and many other things.
I found this to also relate that these bridges can bridge the gap
between cultural identities, backgrounds, and practices. Often times
when I think of cultural identity I only think in terms of myself, and how
my identity shapes me. I do not always think about how my identity
shapes what I think of others. In Rev. Kingdom-Griers talk she
challenges the listeners to be bridges, to create opportunity for uptown
and downtown to mix. I think this theme directly correlates with Drive
CQ. When I improve my Drive CQ I am making myself a more sturdy
bridge ready to help others and myself appropriately and lovingly cross
cultures.
4. Talked with Maria
On Wednesday November 18 I spent some time with a girl from
the church that I am an intern at. Her name is Maria and she is 15. I
met Maria about a month ago when she came to youth group. Maria is
a very confident young lady, and she is proud of her Mexican culture.
Maria and I have gotten to be pretty good friends over the course of
the past few weeks, and I have really enjoyed getting to learn about

her life. She has not had the easiest life, yet she makes sure to remind
me every time that we talk that things could always be worse. Last
week when we talked we spent two hours talking about her
Quinceanera. She explained to me that it was the best day of her life.
She showed me pictures of her beautiful dress, of all the people she
had stand with her, and of all the gifts she received. Yet, Maria wasnt
just telling me this to brag about the huge party she got to have. She
was telling me because she was proud to be a part of a culture that
celebrates a young girl becoming a woman. She was proud to talk
about all of the symbolic things that happened on this special night.
She talked about how her family members were assigned to give her
different gifts to represent her transition. She shared with me that she
received a prayer pillow and that this represented that God is her
ultimate father, and that she must kneel down and pray towards him.
While Maria was explaining her special day, I could not help but
notice our differences. Maria is Mexican, she has such a strong cultural
background. She knows where she comes from and she is very proud
of that. Then theres me, I do not have a strong cultural background. I
dont identify with my Dutch heritage and I dont feel any kind of pride
towards my place of origin. Yet because of CQ Drive and love, Maria
and I can be friends, we can connect because no matter where each of
us comes from we care about each other and want to learn from each
other. There are many times that my relationship with Maria are hard,

because I simply have not gone through the things she has and it is
hard to relate, but as long as I keep learning, listening and growing
Maria and I will be friends for a long time.