I still don’t think much of January 1 as a starting point for a new calendar. But that doesn’t matter since, whenever the dividing line occurs, it provides a good excuse to pause, reflect on the recent past, and plan for the near future.
Although I don’t do the reflection thing very well, I’m pretty good at looking forward. Especially during the physical isolation of this pandemic, as we all dream of returning to some version of a “normal” existence.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, as the realization sunk in that this was going to be a major disruption to normal life in this country, I’ve been reading articles, essays, and posts about how life will change when we come out the other side. Since many of the people I follow are educators, much of that speculation has been related to schooling in K12 and after graduation.
While doing research for something totally unrelated, I came across this wonderful quote by Eric Hoffer.
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
In this time of drastic change, are we helping our students to become learners?
Or are we training them to be learned, for a world that’s gone and never coming back?
One more short ideaÂ from the Neil Gaiman graduation addressÂ quoted in the previous post.
So be wise because the world needs more wisdom. And if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would.
I think I will make that my new life philosophy. :-)
I’ve always loved the movies and shorts produced by the people at Pixar, but there’s also a lot to admire in the philosophy and work ethic of the people who make them happen.
In Building the Next Pixar, Fast Company magazine profiles some of the few people who have left the company and how they are applying the values learned at Pixar in new ventures.
The whole thing is worth your time, but here are a couple of quotes that have stuck in my head for some reason.
A computer will make something perfectly square, perfectly spherical, and that’s just ugly and boring. All of your time is spent kind of messing it up, which is the opposite of most people’s jobs…the real world is a big old mess and most people’s time is spent tidying it up. – Suzanne Slatcher, animator now working in food marketing
Maybe we shouldn’t work so hard to tidy up the world, and spend more time embracing and understanding the chaos instead.
They [Pixar management] threw you into a lot of different things to try and eliminate fear from the creative process. This meant improv classes, drawing classes, learning from people who were the best in their field–all in the interest of attaining confidence in your own artistic ideas. Fear is the biggest killer of creativity. In order to cultivate a strong creative environment, you need to make people comfortable in expressing their ideas. – Gabriel Schumberger, layout artist and technical director, now director of digital creative for Disney Publishing Worldwide.
Do we work to eliminate fear from the creative process in schools? Or even address the process at all? We certainly talk a lot about kids and creativity.