This morning I read an article describing creativity in America. Not surprisingly creativity in children seems to be diminishing. Equally unsurprising is the cause of the loss has been identified as children watching excessive amounts of television.
Here is where I go on my “things were better in the old days” rant, so you can skip this paragraph if you wish. I remember–watch out when an old(er) person says, I remember–sitting on my front porch with my best friend Marlene and playing with our paper dolls. We had those paper ladies do the most incredible things, dressed to the hilt in outfits that one could only dream of finding at Marshall Field, now Macys. Sometimes we would conduct an impromtu session of “ let’s pretend that…..you be…and I’ll be…” This make-believe would go on for hours, often only interrupted when our mothers called us in for lunch or dinner.
The article didn’t touch on that little interlude into the past, but it did go on to explain things like the left brain sending information over to the right brain to dessiminate and code, then both sides working together to find new ideas. In laymen’s terms we would call this process “thinking outside the box.”
Such a gift comes in strange and unexpected packages. When I was teaching freshman English in our local community college, I made up most of my own assignments, gave each student an instruction sheet and a due date. My favorite part was listening to students share their creations with the class. I learned a lot while I was teaching.
Unforgettable was one young man, disheveled and distracted, he appeared to be least likely to do well academically. However, in class his answers to questions designed to elicit discussions never failed to create various arguments among the other students. I would stand by, loving every minute.
The assignment one week was to make a story describing a scene objectively–that is, facts only and no descriptive terms to pullreaders into the scene or evoke emotion. The other part of the assignment was to take the same scene/story and embellish it to create emotion in the reader–laughter, tears, indignation–whatever. Sutudents could arrange the first and second parts as they saw fit but best results originated from doing the subjective part first.
And that’s what I heard in the story of the young lady with the great personality, superb beauty, and great stamina. She was much in demand with customers and her manager chose her whenever her special talents were required. This, indeed was a lady with a long list of male customers.
The objective part of the assignment was the coroner’s report listing cause of death: Overwork.
The student got an A on that assignment. I have often wondered what that young man has done with his life. I do hope he has been creating great things.