More fuel for the fire from an article in the Huffington Post this week. It speaks to how creativity taps into the cognitive, but is a very different process from the thinking type. It is basically a scientific analysis of the right-brain, tortured artist. It is a long list of 18 power points and I wish I could list them all here – because they fit me to a T and are the very tenets that YPC aspires to.
Yes, there are the obvious traits that we people watch and observe. We also crave solitude and escape at times for balance. We believe that daydreaming is not a waste of time, but a portal to transport us. But there are more affirming traits like risk taking and turning life’s obstacles into growth moments. Look at any songwriter who has turned a heartbreak into closure and art. How about resilience – creative types fail and fail often! I also love that we are able to connect the dots when things aren’t always clear to us. A great list that should be taped to our refrigerators.
Huffington Post Creativity List
A theme that surfaces often both in schools and here at YPC, is youth entitlement in the current generation. Sometimes it sounds like “when I was young we …..” and other times it resounds with definite truth. This is shared from recent article in the Wall Street Journal looking at some insights into old-fashioned teaching methods.
Many current classrooms shroud themselves in passive and protective policies that praise kids’ self esteem. All in the name of accountability for test scores. The trend is to tease knowledge out of students rather than pounding it into their heads. But the article, which has much merit and details, points to 8 very strong tenets that beg some thought. Here is their list as well as a link to the full article.
- A little pain is good for you.
- Drill, baby, drill.
- Failure is an option.
- Strict is better than nice.
- Creativity can be learned.
- Grit trumps talent.
- Praise makes you weak.
- …. While stress makes you strong.
Tough Teachers Get Results
Civil Rights 2014
I have posted video clips from the show prior. This one is from a month back, but I was saving it specifically for Black History month. It is from ABC’s What Would You Do? which creates fictional scenes to get a reality reaction. This one was from a Harlem Barbershop where a black man entered with a white actress posing as his wife to get reactions in a very guarded community. The catalyst was a female barber who became very outspoken about the mixed race relationship.
As is usually the case, both sides of the situation garner a reaction. But in this case, it was reaffirming to see how much support was given and just how vocal some of the patrons became. It is good to know progress is being made, despite all we hear otherwise. Walk proudly and continue the good work.
What Would You Do? (youtube video link)
In anticipation of our summer sessions, I have been digging up resource materials that might guide us. We are putting some special emphasis into a Grrl Power workshop during July, that will be part theater and part think tank. For one week we will look at body image, peer pressure and positive role models for them.
So imagine my surprise to stumble onto Amy Poehler’s fabulous brainchild of Smart Girls at the Party. I have loved her hilarity and spontaneity for years on SNL and Parks & Rec. But now I am a huge fan, as she brings her spirit along with partners Meredith Walker and Amy Miles to young women across the world. There are the video feeds where you can Ask Amy a question. How about Girls of the World where you can get a perspective of how others live across the globe? How about Operation Nice where you can learn how to make a difference in the World? Even a Boy’s Minute where they can get some insight into how the other set of genes operates.
There are advocacy campaigns, resources to download, every social media fix to participate in, and even a great pop-up of Women Who Changed the World to show girls that they can indeed make a difference. Fabulous all around.
In the YPC spirit of tolerance and empowerment, here is another musical portrait of Being Bold. If you are not in the pop-world-know, the song Say Something by Great Big World has been tearing up the charts after a push by the Voice’s Christina Aguilera when she made a cameo in the video with the band. It’s melancholy lyrics are a plea for help.
But this cover version by the band Fancy Nancy and Kelly King takes it a step further. Not only are their voices beautiful on the track, the imagery speaks volumes on owning our demons. Much like the NoH8 campaign, it shows victims of silence who are unable to rise above the stigma of their situations. The video shows transformation as it blossoms into color from B&W. And to top it all off, all proceeds from the track sales are benefiting NYC LGTB youth shelter, the Ali Forney Center. Please support their efforts.
Don’t Ask Me Why
In the spirit of true non-profit work, a brand new music video by Brooklyn-based band Great Caesar which was all funded through a Kickstarter campaign. But the piece of art itself, is truly inspirational as well.
The song looks at intolerance as seen through they eyes of a young person. Before they are impressionable, they see the world without borders. Like our upcoming Freedom Riders, the video begins with a mixed-race sweethearts in what appears to be the 1960′s. Of course they are met with cruelty and violence just like history played out. But then the video morphs into the present age where kids are faced with the same demons, only the issues are different now than they were then. I won’t spoil the message of the song, but will let you appreciate it on your own. A beautiful piece of art and very important message still ringing clear.
Don’t Ask Me Why – music video
This is a topic that I think many of us see in both teaching and parenting. But also, it is generational and there is a gap in terms of perception. Somehow we have gone from the land of possibility and become a society spoiled with entitlement. Ask any teacher, and I am sure they can give plenty of observations on this topic.
I found this article in another personal blog called We Are That Family, where mother Kristen, who works for Mercy House, gives missives on all things parenting. She starts examining by statements like “I want it now”, “I don’t want to work for it”, “I want it because everyone else has one.” It is filled by Celebrity Culture, the Credit Bubble, on and on.
So the dilemma is how to counter-act these statements into a learning experience for all children. Some approaches she suggest are….. I think it opens an interesting conversation if anyone cares to contribute as well.
- Money doesn’t come easily.
- People work hard to earn money; it’s part of life.
- If you want something, you need to work to earn it.
- You are not entitled to things you haven’t earned.
- Compassion for others (show them third world problems, so they have perspective on their first world ones)
- Responsibility for Actions: there are consequences and rewards for our behavior and choices
Apologies that our website & blog are still in a bit of Beta stage, and that pics and videos are still not able to be shared or embedded in posts. But I think it is important that I keep the feeds coming and you are able to stay connected to us. So for now we will remain a bit old school with a link to connect to my source material.
For the holidays, I wanted something that encompasses part of our YPC mission, applies to youth and also brings joy. This is a bit off-center, but it is a clip of child phenomenon Jackie Evancho sharing a warm message. If you are not aware of her (and how could you not be), she is a pintster with the voice of a coloratura soprano. It is hard to believe that instrument is coming out of her in an age of Annie and Disney princesses.
I have been at times tentative of her, but the more I view her, she really seems adjusted and mature for her age as well as her voice. This is from a David Foster special with full orchestra and she is singing a song called “To Believe” written especially for her by an uncle. It speaks of humility, grace and others who are much less fortunate than us. A gentle reminder in this season of giving how blessed many of us truly are and how sad for the few that aren’t. Happy Holidays!
Jackie Evacho – To Believe