Kylee Andrade: My Miami Final Reflection as Text 2023 Spring

Miami in Miami Final Reflection as Text

“Trouvaille” by Kylee Andrade of FIU at Miami on April 25th 2023.

Photograph taken and edited by Professor John Bailly/CC by 4.0

If I could describe Miami in one word, it would be “trouvaille”. This is a French word meaning a “lucky find” or a “found treasure”. Truly, Miami was my trouvaille… my lucky treasure. If I hadn’t moved to Miami to attend Florida International University, I don’t think I would have ever experienced the hidden beauty that South Florida has to offer. Amidst all the media coverage of Miami’s nightlife, clubs, fancy restaurants, and malls, the most important aspect of Miami was never shown… its invaluable historical sites and cultural landmarks. However, thanks to the course “Miami in Miami” taught by Professor Bailly, my whole life was transformed into learning all about the hidden “treasures” that Miami had including its islands, beaches, historical sites, burial mounds, national parks, iconic places of worship, art museums, nature preserves, and extraordinary landmarks that make Miami a melting pot filled with culture and history.

Photographs taken and edited by Kylee Andrade/ CC by 4.0.

Truly, one of my favorite memories throughout this entire semester in the course was having the opportunity to visit Everglades and go slough slugging through the freshwater and Spanish moss. Specifically, the reason for why I loved this memory with our class was due to a specific moment that changed my life forever. Amidst all the distractions, the noise, and the stress, our professor told our class to take a moment of silence… to breathe and meditate on our present moment. Little did I know that the restless noise in my head would finally pause… even if it was for a minute… the distraction, the worry, the anxiety paused. This moment was so beautiful because it allowed me to truly savor the moment I was experiencing with my mind and body in a conscious state. During that moment of silence, all my focus was on every detail the trees had, every broken branch, every shade of color the tree barks had…  I thought about how blue and clear the sky looked, how bright and golden the sun looked, and how it hit my face with warmth and heat… I even thought about how cool the water felt at the tip of my toes and the way it cooled my lower body from the sun. As I mentioned, this experience transformed my life as it not only silenced my mental noise and how effective deep breathing can be to silence my daily stress and anxiety, but it also changed my mindset of the planet as I finally witnessed all the beauty and marveling features of the Earth. Because of that moment of silence, I learned that living a fast-paced life doesn’t mean that we have to ignore the little moments that we can simply savor with a present and conscious mind. If we just dedicated one minute a day to absolute silence and deep breathing, we would finally savor life itself by acknowledging its beauty and its breathtaking views. Therefore, this was my favorite class as I learned the beauty of being present which I was determined to be for the rest of the trips our class took throughout the semester.

Photographs taken and edited by Kylee Andrade/ CC by 4.0.

Nevertheless, this reflection would not be complete without acknowledging my favorite art museum that our class visited in West Palm Beach which was the Norton Art Museum. The reason for why this was my favorite art museum was due to the artistic freedom and creativity that I witnessed and felt when observing the majestical paintings throughout the entire museum. Personally, this was the first time I actually understood artists and their creative endeavors as they strayed away from conforming to rules and structures set by institutions and rather chose to freely portray their imagination, creativity, and artistic spirit through their art. Specifically, the art that completely moved me and transformed my concept of art serving as a channel of freedom and escape for artists was the three portraits portraying the Virgin Mary. More in-depth, these pieces are so compelling because the artists took an original element of religion (the Virgin Mary) and visualized such in a different context that broke away from a 2D understanding of the Virgin Mary. Specifically, artists illustrated a new form where the Virgin Mary was depicted with movement, emotion, color, and 3D-like human features as opposed to previous portrayals of her in a lifeless spirit with little color and movement. Moreover, such new portrayal further enabled the audience witnessing the paintings to kindle a far more profound connection with religion and its teachings during that era. Overall, the pieces demonstrated the life… the movement… the creativity… the imagination… and the freedom that art evokes for the audience witnessing an artist’s original thought and visualization of the world around him/her.

Photographs taken and edited by Kylee Andrade/ CC by 4.0.

Overall, Miami in Miami was a transformative experience as it wasn’t a traditional class where a student wasn’t just memorizing dates and facts but rather experiencing the lecture through sight, touch, smell, and sound. Truly, the course was an unforgettable experience that can leave just about any student speechless with Miami’s iconic sites, historical landmarks, remarkable places of worship, beautiful boulevards, culturally rich restaurants, endearing nature preserves, stunning beaches, and striking art museums. Miami is priceless… Miami is dance… celebration… tradition… art…music…food… and culture all melting together to create a space of creativity and cultural freedom. Because of this course, I will forever consider Miami as my “trouvaille”. Thank you, Professor Bailly, for such a wonderful experience!

Author: kyleeandrade

Kylee Andrade is a Senior pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a certification in National Security Studies at Florida International University. She belongs to the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) aspiring to commission as a Second Lieutenant Officer in the Military Intelligence Branch of the Army. Kylee’s passions include camping, traveling, playing sports, watching criminal documentaries, and volunteering. Ever since she was five years old, her dream had been to work for the intelligence community as an FBI Special Agent as growing up in South America had truly opened her eyes to the fatalities of violence and crime corrupting her neighborhood streets in her hometown Ecuador. Therefore, she is compelled to work for the federal government agencies after serving 8 years in the Army to ensure the overall protection of not only her community but her country as a whole by combating global issues such as human trafficking, transnational crime, terrorism, and public corruption. Lastly, she hopes to create an impact in the lives of those she meets with her extroverted and fun-loving personality to inspire kindness and compassion in the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: