Thursday, August 19, 2010

The New Revolution

I didn’t know the puppy was going to get me up so early this morning, or I likely wouldn’t have stayed up as late as I did finishing Ken Robinson’s book The Element. Ok, not true. I was determined to finish the book in one sitting as I want to get started on the second Robinson book I bought, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. Just as an aside, I've taken my shoe addiction under control. I haven’t bought a new pair in weeks. However, I have replaced that addiction with another—books. They’re everywhere. Piled up under my couch as I write. Sitting next to my bed. Coffee table. Everywhere. Somebody buy me a Kindle, for Pete’s sake!

But back to a linear direction of some sort—I purchased the Robinson books after watching his 2006 talk on TED (check it out—he’s a funny guy on top of being pretty smart). I thought they (the books, that is) might give me some material for my freshman comp classes, which are so cleverly titled “The Creative Mind.” That’s where my own creativity ended. But as I read The Element I found passage after passage I want to bring into class. It’s a balancing act, focusing on the purpose of the course, which is to give students writing skills for college and career, and my purpose, which is to convince students that they can dare to dream, they can feed their spirits, they can pursue their true passions and strengths, and that writing is an integral part of the process, not the end result. I admit it—creativity sets me on fire. I like to challenge students to think about how anything can be done differently, maybe even how life can be lived differently. I love to watch students take an idea and go where I never expected. I enjoy the collaborative aspects of teaching, both with my students and my colleagues. Every semester, every single semester, we create something new. To borrow Robinson’s (and Savannah’s) term, I have found my tribe.

I have the best job in the world.

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