Teach Like a Pirate: A is for Ask and Analyze

Upon reading this chapter (for the 1st time, I might add) I was reminded of an evening last week. It had rained heavily earlier in the afternoon, so there were puddles everywhere. I went walking around my apartment complex with my fiance, Bethany, as we often do now after dinner. On parts of the property, there are Southern magnolia trees scattered about. When the petals fall, they land on the ground and look like large white scoops. I had picked one up before and turned it into a hat upon my head. On this evening, I picked up one and twirled it in my fingers as we walked. Not too far from the tree, I had deviated from our path and headed toward a long puddle. Bethany asked me what I was doing. I replied, “It’s a boat!” She found it odd, but watched me put it in the puddle and float it about.

Every time we made another lap around, I added another petal to my collection until I had 4 “boats” of varying sizes. The wind was picking up, so I would talk about how my boats were being tossed about, or were horrible at floating. One kept flipping over. My little armada was gone the next day, but my creativity was not. Again I found the petals and this time I talked of how it would make a water cup in the wild or a food bowl.

The focus of this chapter is on asking and analyzing. Creativity is a large part of it, and how looking outside of the box for potential in any items or objects. I’ve always had an active imagination, and let my creativity stem from that. It doesn’t come easy or always flow easily, but it’s there. Throughout my life I’ve been told at different times that I’m so creative, that [other person] couldn’t do that.

I used to take the old greeting card creator computer program that my family had and make my own cards using the clip art provided instead of using the pre-designed ones. That eventually turned into me designing photo books on Shutterfly that told stories. My most recent one tells the story of Bethany and I, while featuring our engagement photos. I have been finding ways to be creative since way back when, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.

But… creativity takes work. Dave is absolutely correct about this. It’s not easy to come up with and it’s not easy to implement. It often takes me a long time to come up with ideas or plan them out, which is usually done as a cross between handwritten plans and computer-based ones. If it were easy, I suppose that I would have way more ideas than I do. However, I prefer to let them simmer and work themselves out over time. If something doesn’t seem right or a decent spark, I let it simmer and see what happens.

The six words story was indeed powerful. I hope I get to hear it in person to see just what an impact it has on others. I need to remember this the next time someone tells me something similar. I’m going to take to heart that creativity is not a natural-born talent. It’s something that anyone can harness, if they open their mind and work hard to follow the process through to the end. It’s not enough to just have the idea; one must work at it, nurture it, and let it grow.

One thing I am going to take from this chapter is the idea for note taking. I don’t currently have a system for writing down my ideas all the time, and I should. So I’m going to download a simple note taking app and have it available to me whenever I need it most. I know there have been times I have needed one, but didn’t have it so didn’t write down whatever I was thinking. If I were really desperate, I would email it to myself, but that was a rare scenario.

Already I feel inspired and ready to move forward. I’m getting more and more pumped for Copenhaver and looking forward to 3 days of learning!

Check out my other reflections on Teach Like a Pirate

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