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Kreatitivet, Kuumba, and Creative Crandall in 2014

Kreatitivet, Kuumba, and Creative Crandall in 2014

Written by Bryan Ripley Crandall
January 01, 2014

The following is my first post for 2014 (as it appears on my personal blog):

IIt’s hard to believe that this will be my 7th year of maintaining a daily space to write – a New Year’s resolution I have rehashed over and over again.

Every day, for 365 days, I write. I write. And I write.

It’s also difficult for me to imagine that I’m almost 42, I graduated high school 24+ years ago, it’s approaching a decade since I left Kentucky, and my niece is a senior in  at CNS. Unbelievable.

Since I began teaching myself digital projects in 2007, I’ve had the fortune to explore happinesskarmaquirkinesscacophoniesConnecticut, and community. Last year, too, I realized the importance of Ubuntu and the importance of Connected Learning through the National Writing Project. This year, though, I’m rekindling my creative spirit — the one that was alive in me as a child and omnipresent in room 301 of the J. Graham Brown School (Kuumba, if you will).

Since departing my classroom in Louisville, national policies in education have set out to destroy the creative spirit of American schools and, in an age of Common Core State Standards, the regime of testing, demoralization, and inflexibility needs a countermovement.  The top-down policing, ineffective leadership, and destructive politics need all of us who chose educational careers to professionally stand up to the blowhards and fools who, currently, have too much power over the lives of young people.

While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die – whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness – Gilda Radner

I believe it is impossible for bureaucrats and monsters to undo the creative essence we hold as a species: that is, the spirit and zest of children, the passion of adults who work with them, and the inspiration of artists who lead by example. Yet, they continue to try.

I will spend the next 365 pontificating what creativity means to my world, the people I love, the students I work with, and the teachers that need desperate rejuvenation. The goal is to counter the dreary, maddening, and absolutely criminal doings of governmental leaders and corporate partners who are undoing public schools.

We shall see.

Here’s to KREATIVITET – the Danish word for ‘creativity’. Here’s also to the phrase Dode Fiske strommen ab (dead fish float with the stream) that I learned while traveling in Denmark. I read them on the back of a 15 year-old punk’s leather jacket in Copenhagen and have reflected on the phrase ever since. I’ve chosen to resurrect these terms, thematically, in 2014.

The fish (er….frog) is very much alive – Ribbit Ribbit – and the blogging tradition of connected learning continues.

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