Filed under Creativity and Learning

I Need Play

I Need Play

I had a birthday last week. I had balloons, courtesy of a five-year-old companion, ice cream sundaes, and many greetings from friends. I even had presents. These included a small plastic glow-in-the-dark cat and two puppets, one a giant clam, complete with pearl, and the other a little girl who looks as if she could … Continue reading

Building Creative Schools

Building Creative Schools

I recently retired after 35 years at Eastern Michigan University (OK, I’m teaching again this semester, but that’s another story). Even this state of not-quite-retired has caused me to think back on my years at EMU, in roles from beginning assistant professor to interim dean, in times of near-explosive growth and periods of retrenchment. The … Continue reading

Seeing the Germs and More

Seeing the Germs and More

If you haven’t yet seen Mark Rober’s wildly viral How to See Germs Spread video, you should. In fact, stop reading and go watch it right now. The clear demonstration of how germs spread from surface to surface is disconcerting, to say the least, but also clear and easy for young people to understand. Wonder … Continue reading

Learn a Language for Creativity

Learn a Language for Creativity

Yes, (in case you wondered after my “learn from failure” post) I’m still taking French. For fun. This semester I’m taking a conversation class in which we do a variety of activities to attempt to communicate in “spontaneous French.” Easier said than done! But during class we ended up discussing the challenges of the process … Continue reading

Can Emotions Be Creative?

Can Emotions Be Creative?

Emotions and creativity seem always entwined. Our creativity can be affected by our moods, our confidence, and our ability to deal with frustration. New creative products can feel personal and touch a tender part of our hearts, whether they be a new painting or a new business strategy. I can’t think of an instance in … Continue reading

Of Weeds, Metaphors, and Digging Deep

Of Weeds, Metaphors, and Digging Deep

This is a time of reflection in the United States—at least I hope it is. Sometimes it feels as if the universe is trying to catch our attention. First, a pandemic upended our daily routines. Then, in my home state, a flood destroyed homes and livelihoods in central Michigan. Now, technology is bringing many of … Continue reading

Wonder and Skepticism Part I: Where’s the Wonder?

Wonder and Skepticism Part I: Where’s the Wonder?

In 1995, Carl Sagan published an essay titled “Wonder and Skepticism,” in which he described the push/pull of wonder and skepticism as the bedrocks of science. Science involves a seemingly self‐contradictory mix of attitudes: On the one hand it requires an almost complete openness to all ideas, no matter how bizarre and weird they sound, … Continue reading

Hurray for Creative Teens

Hurray for Creative Teens

I still chuckle at the memory of a mother of teens who said in only-partly joking despair, “I taught my kids to be independent, and now they ARE!” But she was onto something. It is easy to stereotype teenager years. Many of us have vivid memories the angst-filled days and peer drama that can be … Continue reading