I feel so inspired upon reading the article entitled “Cartoonist Lynda Barry Helps College Students Tap Innate Creativity.” The article focuses on Lynda Barry, a cartoonist who teaches a class of “‘writing and picture-making . . . with focus on the basic physical structure of the brain’” at the University of Wisconsin. In this class, she encourages drawing and doodling as a source of inspiration for writing. As a professor, Barry “aims to strip away the stiffness of adulthood and plug people into their innate creativity.” I find this sentence alone to be incredibly inspiring. It makes me think, why must we lose our creativity because of adulthood? Where is there a rule book that says, “When you get older, you must be as robotic, unimaginative, and uncreative as possible”? This article really motivates me to claim back the creative power that is my birthright. I think that people should really ponder this idea and think about how they are conditioned by society to disconnect from their imaginative spirit. I believe that this is the source of misery — to feel as though one’s sense of wonder about the world should diminish because of age. No wonder adulthood is portrayed as being stale and oftentimes miserable! It is our job to change this notion by nurturing our inner child, as Barry would encourage.
Another thing I love about this article is that it says nothing about technology being used in the classroom. All the students really needed were writing and drawing utensils and paper, and by the end of the course, “the students wrote about 50,000 words by hand . . . and did hundreds of drawings.” This is so refreshing to me! People today seem to think that if there is no technology or computers in the classroom, students will not be able to relate to the material. I do not believe this to be true. No computer can compete with pure creativity and imagination. Barry required her students to draw while other students read stories that they wrote in the class. To me, this is an ingenious technique. Not only is there someone already expressing him or herself creatively to the class by reading their original work, but everyone else in the class is being creative along with them. I feel that anyone would love to be involved in a class like this. It sounds like Barry really wants her students to have fun while doing their work rather than feel uncomfortable and forced to do work for the sake of doing work. I think people should be having fun while working, because working does not have to be boring! We have been convinced as a society that work should be stressful or boring. It makes a lot more sense to me for people to be happy and motivated to exercise their brains than to dread it.
Moreover, I noticed that someone commented on this article saying “I feel vindicated for all those years teachers yelled at or embarrassed me for doodling in class.” This comment makes me think about how there are so many different types of people in the world. Everyone is a unique individual physically, mentally, emotionally, etc., so why should people be expected to have the same learning styles as everyone else? It seems so blatantly silly to me that there is a “one size fits all” approach to learning. If more teachers were willing to take chances like Barry and try something new, I think students would me much happier in an educational environment.