Monday, June 21, 2010

Reflection Entry 1 (yes, my home does encourage creativity :)

In the reading, Sir Robinson focused more on creativity in schools than in actual family homes. Come to think of it, I don't recall him mentioning in the article anything about "homes" other than in more general terms such as "lives." Given this, i found that it would be interesting to concentrate more on creativity in my home. *smile*

This is my dad, mom and brother. Just a short explanation before I continue with my point... I caught my 45 year old dad like this. He had fallen asleep in the middle of trying to fix a toolbox for his remote control planes. The next picture is of my mom slicing her cake and being a kid on her 43rd birthday. The last is picture is of my brother. He's eating on the job (he's a chef... or chef-in-the-making). My family, I'd like to say, is very interesting. My friends who know them think so too. They laugh at my mom/dad/brother (not in a bad way of course) and say that he/she was so cute to do this or that because it was silly. My family is not afraid to do what is not "normal." And I just have to say that I absolutely love this about us, about my family. They are wacky and silly a lot of times and they are open to a lot of things. Hold this thought.

One very important point that the article mentioned was that everybody has creativity in them. Nobody can say that he or she is not creative. We all are. It is just a matter of cultivating this (creative) ability. Our creativeness is indeed very dependent on our environment. Where and how we grew up are big factors to consider when we talk about developing any creative talent. This point opened my mind up to thinking of my family and/or my home as contributors to my now more creative mind.

My mom and my dad never limited me, education wise, to solely follow what they wanted. They supported whatever decision I made, whether for high school or for college. They believed that I would do my best if I followed whatever my heart wanted me to follow. I say parents are strict but at the same time very open. They know that I know my limits. They were my very first teachers, and it was because of their way of teaching that I became who I am today. I consider myself as a very creative person. It doesn’t always show through obvious ways such as my ability to make art etc., but that’s not the point here. The article gave new meanings to creativity. And a very important meaning that I picked up was that creativity is an openness to think about alternative possibilities – possibilities that may lie outside of what is “normal” or that may not “conform,” but are thought of and acted out anyway. I do think I’m creative. I have that openness. Sometimes it gets trapped because I don’t have the confidence to show it off, but I’m working on that. This creativity, this openness, I believe, was developed in me because of my family. As I said earlier, my family is not afraid to do what is not "normal." This is not in a scary, crazy way of course, I’m just saying that they (and me included) are open to doing a lot of things if it means accomplishing something for the good or simply being happy or catching a few laughs. An example of this is what my dad did to make a police office (Burnham Park Headquarters) in Baguio. Other engineers would plan to make the same old design – a small space with concrete walls; your very basic office structure. But, to save more money, my dad proposed something else. He used container truck parts and created a different looking office space that was just as sturdy, kept cool during hot days, and was indeed spacious enough for meetings, etc. To top it off, he instructed them to paint it brightly and with a few painted flowers on the base to keep up with Baguio’s Centennial Theme. It was very simple looking, but it was out-of-the-box enough to be included in the local newspaper. Baguio policemen loved it, and so did other people passing by actually. They thanked him for how many days. This is just one example of how my family can think out of the ordinary.

Similar to what I said earlier, I am who I am today because of my family. If I had a different family, if I grew up without their values and everything else they taught me, then I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t have that creativity that I believe I have. The point I am talking about here also, like what the article mentions, extends to education. Let me just quote a few sentences from the article,

“The fact is that a huge amount can be done to cultivate creative abilities. It’s to do with providing the right conditions for growth. Providing these conditions is one of the main challenges for education and for arts policy. Our current systems of education do not provide these conditions and they were never intended to.”

Indeed, if a school only prioritizes academic ability then how are students able to think outside the box? How are we able to develop new ideas if we are taught by our schools to follow this or that because it is the only right way? Going back, it is the same with family. If my parents were too strict and only wanted me to follow whatever they wanted without me being able to reach my own dreams then the creativity in me would be defeated. As I’d grow, I’d be more and more defeated. The world needs new ideas, and how are new ideas supposed to be developed if everybody just follows the same thing because it’s right? We learned in class that this course (Com 207.3) is about “thinking about what we can’t think off – what is beyond thinking.” I believe that more educational institutions should develop that idea as well.

I read an article that describes institutions that make creativity a priority. The article was from a university in Norway, but I wondered if we had that here in the Philippines. If we grow children to be more creative, then we would soon have creative teachers. These teachers would then get into schools and influence other children to be more creative. Everybody has a part in fostering creativity. Whether you are a teacher or a parent, a student or/and a daughter, everybody has a part in developing creativity in someone else. Let’s all do ours.

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