19 October 2007

A Cup of Creativity

To get your weekend going...

Yesterday I went back to the English classes I guest taught last week to hear the stories they wrote. The eighth and ninth graders used the hero's journey to structure their stories, most of them taking the bones we created last week and fleshing them out, a few going down a different path. Let me tell you, those kids stepped up. We had psychadellic horror (Mich, Chris--you guys would've been so proud), a more Catcher in the Rye feel (with a scruffy beagle), a Disney bent story, a mafia tone. We had it all. One girl had perfect dialogue and character development. Another did an amazing job with her POV. One guy--the horror guy--well, we'll have to watch for him. His descriptions, tension, and flow almost made me jealous.

And the sixth graders with their Halloween stories--scary, gory, and with humor. All creative.

Here's my point--when do we unlearn creativity?

I taught junior highers at a church for a bit. Loved it. At one point, I taught a series on the life of Jacob. From the beginning, I told them that at the last session, they would teach me. They could use whatever method they wanted to embody the story. It's church. Not required. I didn't expect much.

I was wrong.

These kids, ever single one of them, not only worked hard to prepare something, but they all displayed creativity in different ways--song, drama, powerpoint, drawing. And they got the point of the whole series. They understood.

As adults, we stop being creative. We've told ourselves one too many times that we're not creative, that fingerpaints isn't good enough, that creativity is for a few people who are left-brained (or is it right-brained? I can never keep that straight!). Or we're too busy. Who has time for creativity? By the end of the day, about all we can do is flop on the couch with a remote.

So I have a challenge. (Chal-lunge! What movie is that from? Where some sumo-type guy walks around saying, "Chal-lunge!") Actually, it's two part.

Part one: go to SoulPerSuit to register to win a coffee cuff. I shouldn't tell you this because if you register, then I have less of a chance to win one, but Erin (of They Hang Like Paper Lanterns notoriety) is one of the coolest people I know. If she could bottle some of her creativity, it would sell like iPods, and you need to know about this particular product she's handmade.

Part two: color in a coloring book or use fingerpaints or sculpt with Play-Doh or doodle with fun gel pens (the sparkly ones are the best). Personally, I have recently discovered an obsession with yarn: fuzzy yarn, sparkly yarn, ribbony yarn, yarn that looks like Mardi Gras, yarn that feels like kitten fur, yarn that has reminds me of dreadlocks. So I'm spending the weekend knitting. I'll color some too. Report back on Monday.

You know what I think? (Well, you must have some curiosity on the subject seeing as how you're reading this blog.) Since all of us have a piece of the image of God embedded in us, we all have the capacity for creation and creativity--not that we can create from nothing, conjuring up dust into humans, but we can all create. The question is, will we?


Robin said...

I HAVE one of Erin's FUN coffee cuffs, so I won't enter, but I love your challenge to be creative, Heather. As a matter of fact, I'm cooking up something to encourage the same ;).

Hmmm, but your challenge...where's my glue and markers? And glitter??? Barney box, where are you??? :)

(kidding aside, I couldn't agree more with your last paragraph...we bear God's image, and, oh, my--talk about imagination???!)

Erin said...

Fifty bajillion cheers for creativity!!

Fifty THOUSAND bajillion cheers for our creative Creator!

Mirtika said...

I believe everyone has the impulse to create, and the ability. It might show up in cooking, in writing, in crafts, in music, in play, but it will come out. It would be pretty sad otherwise.

BTW, I guess I'll have to re-dub you Elfin Princess Blue-Bearer, since you went and changed colors and layouts while I was MIA. :)

I like the readability of this. A lot. Miss the white dress. :D


Pamela said...

glitter, huh?

Karmyn R said...

I think back to when I was in Junior High - and I wrote poetry all the time. Don't even dare now. Something stifles us. Don't know what.... maybe its the adult burdens we find (work, bills, etc) that keep us down.

But now - I enrolled my daughter in a parent/child art class. I think I am loving it more than she. I get to be creative and play. It is so much fun!!!

Heather said...

Robin and Pam--yeah, glitter! Now you're thinking my way. Glitter makes everything better.
Mir--I couldn't agree more. People are creative in so many different ways. The sad thing to me is when people think their way isn't creative, so stifle it, or get to busy to do what they love.
Karmyn--That class sounds perfect! Sometimes I think one of the best reasons to have kids is the "excuse" to color and paint and read with them and play dress-up and blow things up in the backyard (that last one's for my hubby!).