On puzzling

Personal Narrative, Productivity
So we puzzle. The kids are gifted puzzles for birthdays and what have you, and the four of us sit around at various intervals and piece them together. Our latest enterprise? Tour de la Tour, a 1000-piece Crowd Pleasers that features countless bikers who are dressed alike and are engaged in sometimes similar, oftentimes strange activities. This puzzle is sort of challenging, yet also sort of easy because many of the pieces have tell-tale images: A small red bell on a bike that's otherwise the same as all the other bikes. A black shark fin in a stretch of sandy pathways. A dark sheep in the middle of all the ivory ones, and so on. I'll have to admit, this puzzle has drawn me in more than the others we've done so far. Perhaps more…
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TED Talk Tuesday

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April, Writer's Craft
Although I haven't seen it in over two years, this TED Talk has been on my mind the past few days. That means it's time to take another look. Elizabeth Gilbert is a writer, most famously known for Eat, Pray, Love. She quips early in the talk that it's quite possible her greatest success is behind her. Even so, she was born to write, and she wants to keep writing. Creative minds beset with the pressure to create and achieve outward measures of success are at times overwhelmed or downright tortured. Sometimes to the point of being unable to continue with their work. In the darkest cases, they are unable to continue living at all. Said Elizabeth, "I would prefer to keep doing this work that I love. And so,…
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Freedom of expression.

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
Random things are feeding my spirit today. Namely, Lloimonicia's #bossy floor routine (2014) and Carter G. Woodson's The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933). In completely different, yet parallel ways, they are radical performances. They are unapologetic. They are in your face. They demand you pay attention. Whether you agree or disagree with Dr. Woodson's stance or Ms. Hall's choreography, you can't help but notice. They are energized and focused on conveying a message. That freedom, across time and space, inspires me today. The audaciousness makes me smile. Just as I was finishing this post, I noticed this from ForHarriet. It features the tap dancers Syncopated Ladies, led by Chloe Arnold. I followed them to YouTube and discovered joy. Maybe you will, too. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWa-MDA2rYM] Wishing you audacity, creativity and inspiration.
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What are you creating?

Productivity, Text Talk
I've come across a lot of things worth sharing as of late. Long ago I used this space, not only for musing, but also for sharing news articles or other things of interest. Sometimes a video catches my eye. Other times, it could be a picture. Today, it's a word. Something to ponder: There is no one lonelier or more unhappy than a person who does not know the pure joy of creating a life for himself or herself. To be human is not merely to stand erect and manifest intelligence or knowledge. To be human in the full sense of the word is to lead a creative life. ~Daisaku Ikeda
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Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley

Education
If you enjoyed, Sir Ken Robinson's epic 2006 TED talk on creativity, you'll find this one equally satisfying. For those who require an introduction, a brief excerpt as Sir Robinson discusses the alleged ADHD epidemic facing American school children: If you sit kids down, hour after hour, doing low-grade clerical work, don't be surprised if they start to fidget, you know? Children are not, for the most part, suffering from a psychological condition. They're suffering from childhood. And I know this because I spent my early life as a child. I went through the whole thing. Kids prosper best with a broad curriculum that celebrates their various talents, not just a small range of them. And by the way, the arts aren't just important because they improve math scores. They're…
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Schools Kill Creativity.

Education
So says Sir Ken Robinson, creativity expert. In this 2006 TED Talk, featured below, he challenges us to reconsider the status and positioning of creativity. He says schooling tends to be about educating students from the neck up and "off to one side." Of course he means we value and teach to the left hemisphere as though traditional forms of intelligence are the only or best kinds. I agree with him. Schools and society miss the mark by overemphasizing the brain to the detriment of the rest. We think if we have the "best and brightest" we can compete in the global job market. (Or even in the local ones). I believe education should not be about jobs, but contribution. How can you be fully human and contribute to the…
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