Creativity flourishes during the pandemic


Leia Gluckman plays ukulele with her drawings in the background (left). Photo courtesy of Leia Gluckman. Jenna Weiss’s cookies (right). Photo courtesy of Jenna Weiss.


Daria Milovanova staff writer 
Gina Toore staff writer
When COVID-19 hit, reduced social opportunities, coupled with stress and anxiety of having to adapt to the new unusual circumstances, produced a negative impact on some students’ ability and motivation to create. Even with all the stress of new normals, students find ways to stay creative at home amidst the pandemic.
When school physically shut down in March, sports teams could no longer compete, dance classes could no longer twirl in person and PE classes weren’t running their miles together. Some students had to get creative and take the initiative to stay physically active by doing at-home workouts.
Senior Eva Levin stays creative at home with her workouts and fun freestyle dances.
“I’ve just been working out a lot, it’s become a habit. I also want to be healthier, feel better and get those endorphins,” Levin said. “I put my phone on shuffle…whenever I press play, I’d dance to it. If it happens to be Meghan Thee Stallion, it’s going to be hip hop. If it happens to be Taylor Swift, it’s going to just be modern, funky contemporary, whatever. And I don’t have a dance education. I just dance,” Levin said.
For senior Ava Dadvand, quarantine created additional time and opportunity to experiment with her poetry style. With in-person stage performances being unsafe, Dadvand’s poetry shifted to a visually expressive form rather than an auditory one. 
“My poetry has…gotten more the kind of thing that you would have to read. I do really weird formatting now and just kind of throw the words where I want to,” Dadvand said. “I wrote a book of poems about quarantine, that’s that. Other than that, it’s mostly just my writing style that has changed [in quarantine] ‘cause it’s more visual.”
Art became an important part of junior Leia Gluckman’s routine as well, but because of the pandemic she could not continue her lessons at Raminfard School of Arts.
“[Art classes outside of the pandemic] had become sort of my escape in stress relief and my outlet for relief. I just started doing all that and I had been learning basic skills, and then the pandemic hit,” Gluckman said. She had to end these lessons and prioritize her family’s health, “[My grandparents are] both in a high risk category, so the second that [COVID-19] hit, I realized I couldn’t go back to our classes. I couldn’t risk doing anything that could potentially put my grandparents at risk,” she said.
Cooking became an output of creativity for freshman Jenna Weis, who is making out new recipes from the family cookbook. 
“I’ve been cooking a lot. Just experimenting with different recipes and even just going back on old recipes that my grandmother had, [or] my mother had, have passed down to me, and trying to make them new, and finding new ways to make them better…I see cooking as a way to congratulate myself,” Weis said.
Describing art as an outlet, Dadvand finds creating art in quarantine to be a beneficial form of emotional expression.
“I think art is really helpful [in quarantine], especially because it keeps you busy. But also my emotional situation has gotten way more extreme in quarantine than before, because it’s such a weird set of circumstances to live in. So I think art is helpful as an outlet,” Dadvand said. “I just have to get it out somewhere very helpful for relieving myself of stress.”