open-mindedness: overcoming fear of meeting new people

word of month character

As we talk about the idea of open-mindedness we do not need to lose our convictions or preferences, but being open to new approaches or new way of doing things will help us to grow.  One way of doing this is to meet new people and be willing to listen to them and their story.  

One of my instructors talks to us on a regular basis about “who do you hang out with?”  If we are choosing to only be with people that think the same way as we do then our ability to grow and expand our thinking and creativity will be limited.  But this is hard at times to do because of the fear we have inside us.

I have that fear.  When going into a room of people I do not know, all kinds of questions run through my mind.  Will I meet anyone I know?  Will the people I meet like me?  Will I say something stupid?  But here is what I have learned.  Be open to meeting new people with the idea in your mind of – What can I do to help you?  Yes, what can I do for you?  Not what can I get from this person.  
 
Once you have this point of reference the conversations flow easier and it really puts us at ease.  Just as important, you will listen more closely to the person speaking so you can hear their point of view.  When that happens is when being openminded will really pay off, with increased knowledge and awareness of other ways of thinking.

Creativity & children

word of month character

This morning when I woke up and went to the kitchen I found this note for me from my youngest son, Sean. (20)
Dad,
I believe creativity is not a character trait some are born with while other’s not, but a fundamental quality of the human condition; and as such, deserves to be developed alongside all other qualities distinguishing humans as human. You taught me how to think for myself, the most important lesson on creativity I could’ve asked for, which is why I bought this book for you: because every little action towards a more creative life is a part of the grander evolution towards a more fulfilling one. So happy birthday, and let’s keep digging at this archaeological site called life.
Love,
Sean
The book was ‘How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci’. I cannot wait to read this, as Sean is a very creative person, and I am interested in this subject from the standpoint that I believe we have a responsibility to allow our kids to be creative and more important to think for themselves. This thought of a ‘self directed’ child is very interesting to me and I hope to develop some conversation here about helping our child to to do this for themselves. Any thoughts or comments?
By the way today is my birthday, Mr. Joe (54)

Jackson & Ella Art Show 2008

word of month character

If you missed the art show this year I must tell you it was very special. It was great fun seeing the students submit their works and fret over if someone bought it or which pieces of art they had to have for their own collection. As everyone knows there would not have been an event this year without the work that several of our student body parents did. We need to thank Sally Caruso, Cathy Bowser, Ana Hogan and Tracy Gibson for the set up and provision of the refreshments. Please enjoy the photos from the show.

The creativity of our students always amazes me and I can tell you it was a great lift to my spirits seeing all this art!!  And one more thing, our school with many small contributions raised $1015.00 for the Severna Park Assistance Network!  Super job!

Kids and Creativity

word of month character

I have included the word Art in our tag line, first because what we are teaching is an art, but only one art among so many.  I happen to believe that art is one of the most important things that we have as a society.  It does so much for us as humans and especially our children, that when I see it being short changed in the education system, I know that the harmful effects are more than we can imagine.  Here is a short talk that really nailed it on this subject.  
Finally there will be more about our first art show at the studio, that I know I said was off, but I am putting it back in again.  The story on that will be told soon.
 
I have put this under Peace Education.  I believe that before peace can happen in the world or in our lives, we must know how and be allowed to be creative in our approach to solving conflicts.