Thursday, August 26, 2010

Creative People!

I. The Most Creative Person I've (Personally Known)

I majored in foreign languages and education during my undergraduate years at Virginia Tech. One of my practicum assignments was in a 4th grade classroom at Murray Elementary in Charlottesville, VA. I had the honor of working with the most creative person I've known. Alex Davis was enthusiastic about teaching; she showed her love of learning through interesting projects with the kids.

Unlike many teachers, she involved her students in some decision-making. At the end of each quarter, she met with every student to discuss their grades. Beforehand, she asked them to write down a)what kind of grade they thought they deserved for the quarter and b)why. I expected them to give themselves all A's, but interestingly enough, they were brutally honest in their assessments, and were pretty accurate.

She encouraged problem solving, independent thinking and journal writing. All this within a careful structure: Every morning, she opened each class with a problem or question, and went over each day's schedule, Alex was also a superb timekeeper and usually left herself enough time to summarize what we did that day.

I thought she was a wonderful and gracious woman who was willing to open her classroom to a novice teacher. I wasn't surprised to find out she'd been nominated for Teacher of the Year that year.

II. The Most Creative Person I'd LIKE to Know
Julia Cameron in my ideal creative person. She the author of The Artist's Way, Vein of Gold, and The Right to Write, among other books. Sheadvocates a creative life by going out and doing it. Writers write, artists paint, draw, or sculpt, musicians compose and play, actors act. Enough said.

She's realistic in her expectations. Perfection isn't required. Ms. Cameron has a child-like quality that's essential for play. Her family encouraged her and her five siblings to lead lives true to their natures. Although she's dealt with bad events in her life(including a messy divorce from a well-known film producer,  and an alcohol problem), she triumphed over them. Ms. Cameron wants to help people realize their talents and dreams too.

III. am I creative?
I can write without worrying about whether people like it or not. I keep several journals and blogs (both on and off-line). I paint, draw, and collage, and try new techniques. I seek out new places to visit and people to meet. I like bold colors like scarlet red and royal purple and unique pieces of jewelry.

I have two autistic children and every day is a creative challenge to draw them out of their isolated world. What can I do when there are temper tantrums, or a bare-bottomed child trying to escape her diaper?  Creative mom to the rescue!

All writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010

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