Monthly Archives: October 2014

Creativity-Where is it Going?

piano rainbow

Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

A quick search on Google tells us exactly what creativity is, and I particularly like this definition because it uses the word ‘imagination’.  With this word I begin to remember my childhood and the games my brothers and I would play outside.  We built a magical world, Bananko, and spent hours running through forests, fighting trolls, dragons and goblins, and restoring kingdoms to their original splendor.  As kids, creativity came naturally.  If we ran out of adventures, my brothers and I would draw a map to a new island with untold treasures.

Unfortunately, age caught up with us and our creativity and imagination died away.  But why? Why did Bananko suddenly disappear from our minds and our backyard?

As people get older, their imagination disappears unless they are encouraged to use it.  Too many of today’s schools are focused on creating functioning citizens who will contribute to the world in some way.  This means that schools are concerned about the basics, like math, reading, and writing.  I’m not saying that these things aren’t important, but because of such a determined method, the arts are pushed aside.  Even in writing, students are pushed away from writing stories for fun that trigger the imagination.  Students are forced to write dull papers that take away their voice.

Schools are set up very anti-creatively.  White or beige walls, hard seats, posters that are supposed to be encouraging but were probably there when my parents were in school.  All of these things make for a depressing learning environment that limits creativity.

In my classroom I want to promote creativity.  I want to have a colorful room, decorated with movie posters and student art.  I want to have a reading corner with bean bag chairs (even though I’m going into secondary education).  I want to spark the imagination my students might have been discouraged to use as they grew older.

Not only do I want to boost creativity in my students, but in my co-workers as well, so we can all work as a team to produce more imaginative groups of dream chasers.  This is what I want.  This is what I will spend my life working for, because somewhere along the road, one of those kids will reach their dream, and will move on in their life to help more kids chase their dreams.

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More of Tracing…And One Actual Drawing

photo 1

So these pieces are some that I’ve had done for a while but haven’t had the chance to share.  I’m really pleased with the way they turned out, but I know I can do more to them now that I’m looking back on them.  This sparrow is one of the sparrows that my tattoo artist used to help him draw my tattoo so I thought it would be cool to try and trace something similar to what is now on my body.

photo 2

Now, I don’t think I’ll ever get a skull tattoo, but they are very popular among the tatted community so I thought it would be a good idea to try and trace one.  I went online to find a pic and it took me a while to find one I liked.  This one took a lot of shading to make it look right, but I’m pleased with it.

I showed my tattoo artist my tracings one night when I went up to hang out and he really liked them.  He told me how I could improve, and he even gave me a little assignment to do for the shop!  I’m super stoked about this, but this assignment is a very big challenge.  He wants me to draw a tattoo for a woman who wants the hand print of her baby boy on her ankle.  It will be a really cool tattoo but it’s going to be very hard to trace.  I’m really excited that I was able to connect to a professional though, which is kind of what our class was talking about in one of our discussions.

One more picture.

photo 3

I actually free handed this one.  What?!? It’s going to be my next tattoo, but I’m going to change to design in the heart.  Other than that, I’m absolutely in love with it and absolutely in love with this project.

I Just Want to Die

My torture chamber is my body and there’s no escaping it.

No one can help me.  No one knows how.

I’ve tried everything.  Neurologists, chiropractors, massage therapy, a spinal tap, botox, what seems like hundreds of different medications, at least a hundred trips to the ER, three admissions to the hospital, yoga, meditation.  And for what? Relief for a couple of days? A week if I’m lucky?  Then back to where I started.

It’s been six years.  I can’t keep doing this.  How am I supposed to live a happy healthy life when I’m stuck in a dark room in my bed wishing the pain in my head would dissolve?  How am I supposed to graduate when my attendance drops because I can’t drive to class because up feels like down, I’m a danger to everyone else on the road if I get in a car, I’m afraid of losing my most recent meal in front of the class, and the lights and noise make the migraine even worse?

How am I supposed to keep from crying (which also makes it worse) when it reaches that point of pain that I just want to die?

What I Spent My 5 Hours on This Week

For those who know me, you must also know that I have a fuzzy little friend named Noodle.  She’s an adorable 10 month old rabbit who is either extremely brave or extremely stupid.  When I first acquired this rabbit I had intended on keeping her in the house because she was so little and cute that I couldn’t possibly put her outside.  However, summer rolled around and Noodle gradually got bigger and…smellier.  A friend made a hutch for her outside and that is where she has resided for the past few months.

And then it rained.  For like two days straight! And I felt awful.  I was such a horrible rabbit mother that I picked her up the moment I saw it was raining and put her on the floor.  I have this little pen for puppies, it’s like a playpen sort of.  Instead of connecting the two ends together, though, I put one end against a wall, and the other end against a different wall. So Noodle now resides in a safe, dry, corner of my dining room.

Of course an issue popped into my head immediately…or rather showed itself on the floor in the form of a little brown turd.  So I went to Wal-Mart, purchased two litter boxes, some cat litter, and some rabbit treats and rushed home.  I read on Google that it’s possible to potty train rabbits so I thought, “Ok Noodle, if you’re going to live inside, you’re going to have to learn how to use a litter box.”

noodle refuses

She absolutely refused.

me potty training noodle

I was not impressed.  Noodle is like one of those daughters from Toddlers and Tiaras and I’m the older sister that thinking, really, Mom, you let this happen?  But I didn’t give up.  Noodle had to be trained.  A few more hours and countless bunny treats later….

the deed is done

..the deed was done.  Thank the gods!

How do WE Learn?

frustrated learning

Does this look like learning?  To me this looks like a headache.  I know that for some people, this is what learning is.  Reading from a book or sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture is learning…..but this isn’t quite what learning looks like for me.

hands on learning

Is this learning? This looks more like my kind of learning.  Getting to feel what I’m learning about, getting to see it, getting to use my five senses to learn is how I learn.  I use the senses humans come by naturally to learn more about the things around me.  How did I learn that the stove is hot? I was five and Mom was making grilled cheese for lunch.  I wasn’t the brightest five year old but I was probably one of the most rebellious five year old’s.  Disregarding Mom’s calls of, “Brittany, don’t get too close, it’s hot!” I bent close to the melting cheesey goodness and took a big whiff.  Of course it didn’t smell as delicious as I thought it would but that’s not what my mind was on.  It was on the searing pain I suddenly felt on my chin.  So yeah, I learn very quickly and effectively using, or rather not using, my senses. But again, everyone is different.  People learn in different ways.

In Digital Literacy, we are talking about learning with the Internet and the resources it provides along with the other more traditional ways people learn.  So learning looks more like this:

social learning

It’s social.  Students are creating and connecting with people all around the world who share their interests.  It’s beautiful, it’s fantastic, it’s amazing….it’s not as popular as you might think.  Why not? Because teachers and parents are too afraid to swerve from the traditional ways of teaching.  Not only that but teachers and parents are afraid of who their children will meet online.  This is a legitimate fear, but there are plenty of safe learning environments online that students can explore, if we only let them.

As the new generation of teachers, I hope my classmates and I graduate prepared to help force this new way of learning into the school systems around  the country.  Learning about it in our Digital Literacy class will help prepare us.