We can all look back and remember a teacher or two who made a difference in our lives. I’ve used that exercise when working with groups of teachers in a professional development setting. However, this is not about looking back, but rather the present and looking ahead.
I have two teachers currently in Mexico. One is a photographer, Barry Weiss,
https://barry-weiss.pixels.com/ and the other is Rhoda Draws, yes that is her name.She had it changed legally in 2009. https://www.rhodadraws.com/sketching-fast-and-loose-classes/ They are both helping me to fulfill one of my favorite quotes from Max Planck: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you’re looking at change.”
I have never thought of myself as artistic or very creative although I helped to create three children, three schools from scratch, and many opportunities for other people. What these two teachers are doing are helping me to shift my mind set so that I can do some things that I thought previously were probably out of my reach. I told both of them about the backwards bicycle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFzDaBzBlL0 because I believe it is so appropriate about how hard it is to rewire our brains and do something very different, and I might add, challenging.
I am a committed lifelong learner who is still interested in learning, growing and changing. So, I am receiving instructions, directions, guidance and support to enable me to develop new skills, primarily for my own enjoyment at this point. We will have to wait and see where it goes. What new skills are you learning and who are your teachers?
I loved the quote from the 4 year-old who, when told that her mother was teaching adults to draw, said, “What’s wrong? Did they forget how?” Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one once we have grown up.” You get the drift. We take so much of the creativity that is natural to kids and we squeeze it out of them by making them conform to what we think they need that is more important. Remember the paper clip experiment described by Ken Robinson in his famous video? It’s about divergent thinking:
I was discussing my perception of angles on a building with my sketching teacher and she repeated one of her favorite phrases, “It all depends on how you look at it.” As you might guess, my angles were wrong, hers were right. My other teacher’s assignment for this week is to take shots of elongated buildings with different angles, colors and shadows. Eager to see how that goes.
What I am learning from these experiences is that we all have the ability to go beyond what we might have thought previously was not part of our skill set. Or maybe we thought that something was not within our field of interest sufficient to pursue it any further. Or we thought we didn’t have the time? What I said to myself was, why not give it a shot and see where it takes me? Even if it takes longer, old dog that I am. I am the curious sort, eager to explore and discover new things, even at this stage of life. Our old dog, age 14, is much the say way. Suffice to say, I remain grateful for the opportunities and the resources to press on regardless.