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Flávia’s visit to France, researching impressionism and places to paint.

Flávia's visit to France, researching impressionism and places to paint.

Extraordinary Sophomore Pursues Diploma in Two Countries

By Leslie Cranford, Media Relations Coordinator

February 20, 2019

Flávia in the South of France, going places Van Gogh visited.

Flávia in the South of France, going places Van Gogh visited.

Flávia Brady de Carvalho Gauziski Figuerêdo, a sophomore at Instituto GayLussac School in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, is one of hundreds of Brazilian high schoolers also pursuing a diploma through TTU K-12's international dual diploma program. She will eventually graduate with credentials from both schools. But even in her own words, Flávia admits to not being any ordinary teenager.

“Looking from the outside, I am a pretty normal 15-year-old teenager,” Flávia said. “I go to school, I go out with my friends in my spare time, I like music; and, on Sundays, I spend time with my family.”

However, she says, by observing carefully and looking beyond the heaps of books in her room, one is able to discern what she calls “the eccentric and peculiar part of her life,” when you see a normal girl, but with The Nutcracker album playing loud in her earphones while she paints a mixture of impressionism and realism on canvas.

Flávia in the South of France, going places Van Gogh visited.

Flávia in the South of France, going places Van Gogh visited.

Flávia enjoys Monet´s Garden in Giverny.

Flávia enjoys Monet's Garden in Giverny.

“I like painting, it is my major hobby. Art has been an indispensable pillar of my life since I was little because it had, and has, the function of expressing all the feelings I keep from telling,” Flávia says. “Assuredly, I am not a professional painter, especially compared to the geniuses, such as Da Vinci, Van Gogh or Monet, but it is a world where I find my inner peace.”

Flávia started taking courses in TTU K-12 in 2017 with English, American History and Government. She learned about cultures different from her own and got out of her “tiny world of going to school and coming back home.”

“Studying in TTU K-12 opened my mind for experiencing new things. Apart from my regular Brazilian school, TTU K-12 gives me a sense of wholeness and diversity.”

Flávia enjoys Monet´s Garden in Giverny.

Flávia enjoys Monet's Garden in Giverny.

Bateman´s exposition in British Columbia, Canada.

Bateman's exposition in British Columbia, Canada.

“Even my mother perceived that, even through the first months of my studying in TTU K-12, my topics of conversation varied a lot at family lunches,” Flávia said. “I was much more able to talk about different areas of interest. She once said that these courses were great for me because they made me a more interesting person who could stroll through all groups of people.”

Flávia's mother, Olga, believes that education is the key to save the world, and says she's proud to offer her daughter a chance to expand her knowledge.

“Getting the American diploma will increase her chances to have a better future and enhance the quality of life of the people to whom she will be working with and for,” Olga said. “The way she has started to observe the world, people, nature and history has changed. Moreover, her behavior has developed. She is more sensitive, and at the same time, more rational, about problems of the world and their solutions. Last but not least, she is more self-confident and lively.”

Flávia’s room where she paints; inspiration from her favorite paintings; one of her paintings in watercolor.

Flávia's room where she paints; inspiration from her favorite paintings; one of her paintings in watercolor.

Bateman´s exposition in British Columbia, Canada.

Bateman's exposition in British Columbia, Canada.

Flávia said one of the classes that had the biggest impact on her was English 3A, in which she learned about the different periods of American literature correlating with the historical period of the country.

”As I started to grow up and responsibilities increased, I forgot the sensitive part of life, and how it can have its joyful times,” Flávia said. “In that critical moment in which only the rational part of life consumed me, was when the authors gave me permission to grow, not only academically, but also internally and sensitively.”

“Studying the different authors and how they risked themselves doing things no one had ever tried, such as Thoreau, I felt even more inspired to explore more about my own passion for painting, a part of me that was retracted,” she continued. “I´ve being painting since I was five years old, and I´ve always appreciated artists that give their souls by expressing themselves through different and unique styles.”

Flávia’s room where she paints; inspiration from her favorite paintings; one of her paintings in watercolor.

Flávia's room where she paints; inspiration from her favorite paintings; one of her paintings in watercolor.

One of Flávia’s contemporary dance performances.

One of Flávia's contemporary dance performances.

Flávia asked her parents if she could take a trip to discover the bases of three of her favorite art movements: impressionism, expressionism and realism.

“I went to France, Italy, the United States, and Canada, experiencing the feelings and extravagance of Van Gogh, the subtlety of Monet and observation of Bateman,” she said. “However, art is not narrowed down to just painting. It is a vast world and various paths can be followed. Not only has TTU K-12 inspired me to paint, but also every author, every text and every lesson taught me to not be afraid, neither ashamed, of what you really are and what you really feel.”

She also explained that it was when she started doing contemporary dance, in her room, alone, with the influence of 12 years of classical ballet class, that she got lost in the music and just let it be.

One of Flávia’s contemporary dance performances.

One of Flávia's contemporary dance performances.

One of Flávia’s contemporary dance performances.

One of Flávia's contemporary dance performances.

“Dance and painting are to me, the same as writing is to authors I studied: freedom dictated by your own self. The inspiration of important literature and writers, from my TTU K-12 courses, was crucial for my discovery into the world of art, both painting, and dancing. I try to find my unique style by mixing colors, feelings, shapes and movements. Even though sometimes I get lost and disappointed with myself, I remember the writers I admire: they never gave up from the thing they loved,” Flávia said.

As much as art is her life right now, Flávia says in the future, she does not desire to pursue an art career.

“My dream is to be a pediatric oncologist. In that way, I can try to give to little kids who are accustomed to the mention of death, the colors of life, in its own pure shape; give them the glimpses of hope and movement; help them create a unique path where they can discover themselves in this diverse world,” Flávia explained.

“However, I will never leave art as a hobby. It is a form of surviving and expressing what words cannot tell. It's an outlet rather than the mouth, of the heart and brain working together.”

One of Flávia’s contemporary dance performances.

One of Flávia's contemporary dance performances.