Creative Concept Development – Journal, 08.30.16


Assigned Readings

This was the first class so we did not have any.


Class Overview

Reviewed the syllabus. I will organize my time and schedule my activities.


Watched three Ted Talks

Tales of Creativity and Play by Tim Brown

Do Schools Kill Creativity by Ken Robinson

How to Build Your Creative Confidence by David Kelly


View the Ted Talks


Class Response

I let myself get sucked into my resentment of the education system. Everything we are exploring is evidence that I have been doing it right. It makes me absolutely furious. I am furious because the people in power don’t give a fuck about actually doing what is right for kids. I am also mad at myself because I let myself believe that maybe I wasn’t really all that good after all. Maybe I was just relying on kids affection for me. That is just nonsense. It isn’t even something I should question but if enough people tell you “no” and “your wrong” enough times, sometimes you start to believe it. It doesn’t matter how strong you are. Eventually that kind of negativity will have an impact and it did. I started to think I was doing it wrong. I was doing it right. I was helping. I was helping and “they” told me I couldn’t. It is wrong because my kids (yes they are!) deserve to create. They deserve to learn. It isn’t fair and I hate them a lot.


I need to pull my head out of the school space. My thoughts may be justified but I am here to focus on something else. This is a distraction. This distraction is made more obvious because it is making it hard to think of anything else to say about the class.




The best class discussions were private. Steve, Virginia, Ana and I had an excellent, if somewhat unrelated, discussion about Post Traumatic Stress. Ana is going through some “stuff” that I won’t risk appropriating by giving in detail. I will save that for her. I will only give my personal observation and the way it links to the class. Ana is going through something quite different from my personal experiences but I am intently familiar with the way that PTSD affects you. Despite the great disparity between the causal factors, her emotional responses were frighteningly familiar. I feel a deep empathy for her. Her response is so obviously new and overwhelming. I know she has a long journey ahead and I hope that she emerges better. We talked about the way this program is helpful (bad word choice) in her situation. Sometimes feelings are so convoluted that the only way to unravel them is to make something out of them.


Art requires a different outlook. It requires different handling of our emotions. There isn’t a lot of room for repression in creativity. We have to be willing to peel back many of the protective layers that we build up around our feelings. It takes courage because the results will not always be good. There is this myth that exposing your emotions is always cathartic. There is an idea that a frontal assault on an issue will inevitably bring you peace. That strikes me as highly illogical. Sometimes our subconscious is smarter than our conscious. Those protective layers are important to social function. When we chose to expose ourselves, it might be cathartic but it might also be destructive but it doesn’t matter which it is. We do it anyway because even if we suffer for it, the result is worth it.


Creative Possibilities

Twyla Tharp says we should practice eliminating distractions. I decided to get rid of books. Maybe I also need to eliminate all discussion of teaching -at all- for the next few weeks.


My word list is growing. I have a word list. It is just a list of words and phrases that I like. I don’t define them (unless I don’t know them well). I just like to pay attention to words that I like. I should add my word list to this blog. Maybe I can find a way to make it a widget or something so that it stays somewhere on the page all the time.


For the word list: Academic inflation, generative


Creative Response

My first creative response is an attempt to challenge myself to rethink things. I always hated ater colors so I decided to give them another try with a more open mind. I accidentally sent the first one to my Mom without a photograph, but this is a second attempt. I can’t say I love it, but the process isn’t as annoying as I remember.

Creative Response



Everyone probably already knows this website, but I find it very useful for figuring out how to do weird stuff.