Monday, 11 May 2009


I turned on Windows Live Writer to make a post on the blog about Mothers' day and this and that and put on a few photos and do the regular thing.... probably quite boring and predictable. I had too many tabs going and decided it was time to tidy them up before I started to write. In the process of adding a new blog link, I saw Stories from Zambia.... a blog I haven't looked at for a while and Thulasy has a link to a TED talk by Ken Robinson.... NO.... DON"T go away..... please.... It is a humorous, intelligent and fascinating talk.

Take a few minutes and.... you will enjoy it immensely, I guarantee it. Listen right to the end.....Then you can read on.....

When I was at school, about 30 million years ago, the word creativity had to be left at the front gate and anyone daring to sneak in with some in their pocket was promptly sent to see the head mistress. I once wore the wrong gloves to school in winter.... well I was under the misapprehension that the gloves were for warmth, so I wore woollen ones instead of cotton ones..... and it cost me 5c a day to hire the "correct" ones until I got a pair of my own!

I was a model student apart from this little error.... from the age of 5 until I turned 16 when I began to question the rules and the teachers and the whole school system and did myself out of the job of school prefect for my audacity to dare think for myself. Progressively over the next 34 years I have become more and more rebellious and creative so maybe Ken Robinson is not entirely correct in his conclusions.

When my own children went to Linden Park School, however, some teachers were actually encouraging thinking skills and using de Bono's coloured hats as teaching aids. Both my boys were lucky enough to spend the first 2 years at school with a particular teacher who, even now, Alex refers to as the person who taught him to think..... hey, I thought that was me.... oh well.

As they grew up, I was also growing up and together creative thinking evolved into an art form. Quirky, off-beat, irregular, irreverent, inside out, upside down philosophical discussions were part of every day and the thing I miss most now they are no longer living at home and their wonderful, crazy friends, for some reason, don't come and visit any more!

One simple thought I hoped to inspire in the boys is that there is always a solution. Always. Creative thinking will lead you there. You just have to search every corner and turn over every stone and be open to all possibilities in order to find it and when you do, just go for it and don't be scared of change.

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