Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Advanced Creative Writing (Underclassmen): Exploring Creativity

1. What is creativity? Explore credible definitions of creativity and credit, present, and analyze (briefly) each definition. Based on your estimation of its true definition, generate a list of 10 highly creative individuals, and briefly defend each selection.

2. Watch Ken Robinson's RSA Animate Lecture. How might school policy stimulate more student creativity?

3. Check out Stephen Wiltshire and his artwork. What lesson(s) can his experiences teach us about the creative mind? There may be no doubt that he is talented- do you think he's creative? What questions might his abilities and achievements generate?

4. Read this article on Creativity & Play. Recall and describe a time when play induced a creative spirit for you.

5. How might a student display creativity in a discipline that may not be traditionally regarded as creative? Describe a creative endeavor you've participated in in a "non-creative" arena.

6. Choose 2 of the following Pablo Picasso quotes to consider and explain. Indicate both his intention and your interpretation (related to writing and other creative endeavors) of the selected quotes.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Everything you can imagine is real.
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
It takes a long time to become young.
Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.


Mackenzie Dwyer said...

2.) School policy might stimulate student creativity by grouping students in accordance with their measured learning styles or personality traits, perhaps pairing them with corresponding teachers and even varying room decoration and arrangement according to the benefits for each group.
3.) As Mihalyi Csikszentmihaly has described it, creativity requires one to internalize and then to extrapolate from the domain of one’s choice -- in Wiltshire’s case, the structure and form of humankind and its constructions. I believe he demonstrates creativity commendably. His example reminds us of the capacities that reside within human beings regardless of their disabilities, disadvantages, or extent of access to mentorship or equipment. The privileged have no monopoly on the extraordinary. Thus, his achievements raise questions as to the attention that children’s caretakers might pay to developmental markers of aptitude rather than those of disability or even of growth alone.

Mackenzie Dwyer said...

4.) I once played a typical yet memorably exhilarating game of Manhunt with my family and my neighbors (the Carignans, actually, and another family that once lived next to us); it would inspire a poem for my seventh-grade English class that alluded to H.W. Longfellow’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” More detailed recollection of it unfortunately eludes me -- moreover, stereotypical play activities tend to bore me rather than stimulate my imagination. (I must be the boring one.)
5.) To display creativity in a non-traditionally creative field, one must reconfigure possibilities and extrapolate from them to serve some purpose. Though I deem most salient endeavors as somehow creative, I used to spend afternoons organizing the over four hundred books I once owned. Hours passed as I ordered them from greatest to least, recent to least recent, and vice versa according to size, length, date I had bought them (which I typically remembered if not marked down), genre, and/or alphabetically by author name or title. Currently I have them organized according first to genre (nonfiction to fiction), then to size (thinner or shorter sandwiched between the others), then according to my preference for them (least to most favorite). This strikes me as potentially creative if one considers that it draws upon an intimate relationship with the subject of so-called creativity to perpetuate reconfiguration of their represented relations to each other and to me.

Mackenzie Dwyer said...

Returned from my friend's house much later than expected, so Parts 1 and 6 will arrive at some delay :|

Mackenzie Dwyer said...

1.) The following constitute various definitions of creativity: “the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others,” clearly prioritizing societal significance (page 396 of Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken); “change[ ] [of] an existing domain, or… transform[ation] [of] an existing domain into a new one,” prioritizing evolution (page 28 of Creativity - Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi); “the ability to make new combinations of social worth,” prioritizing pragmatic innovation (John Haefele, CEO and entrepreneur); and “fluency, flexibility, originality, and sometimes elaboration,” prioritizing intrinsic form and quality (E. Paul Torrance, educator, academic, creativity investigator). The latter definition aligns most closely with my longtime concept of creativity, from which stems this list of ten highly creative individuals:

Mackenzie Dwyer said...

1, cont.) Ada Lovelace developed the first computer algorithm.
Ajay V. Bhatt, who co-invented the USB, holds ten U.S. patents for his creations including the Accelerated Graphics Port and the PCI Express.
Alper Bozkurt, electrical engineer, has created bionic moths with the aid of his research team and is devising their possible social functions.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a pioneering writer for his treatise against conditions in Soviet gulags, even went so far as to memorize his destroyed notes via mnemonics that combined recitation with various configurations of fragmented matchsticks.
Anna Swir, active in the WWII Polish resistance, pioneered in poetry for her candid, eloquent, and unapologetic depictions of femininity, sexuality, and mortality. She was a playwright as well.
Gottfried Wilhelm Liebniz, auxiliary to developing binary calculus, conceived of a verbal language analogous to mathematical notation for its objectivity and form.
Hedy Lamarr conceived of radio-hopping technology and co-invented spread-spectrum technology, originally intended for the Navy’s remote control of torpedoes.
James Wong Howe, among America’s greatest cameramen for his ten Academy Award nominations and two wins, invented deep focus photography as well as pioneered in low-key lighting and the crab dolly.
Patricia Bath, the first African-American female doctor to secure a medical patent, invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment.
Radia Perlman devised Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), helping to expand the efficacy and use of Ethernet technology.

Mackenzie Dwyer said...

6.) Pablo Picasso’s quote “It takes a long time to become young” betrays the nature of presence of mind along with tranquility as ones that these traits’ owners must cultivate, often long past their youth. His apparent intention in stating this aligns with my interpretation. So has Picasso remarked, “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone,” impressing upon this reader his ostensible intent to leave behind a dramatic condemnation of procrastination that posterity would do well to mark down in such scenarios as this. (I might amend it to the sentiment, “Only put off until tomorrow what will make you feel even more alive doing then!”)