Such a Good Model

To John Fehringer:

Last summer I attended your Creativity Workshop at Walker Creek Ranch in Northern California, USA. Of all the RC workshops I've attended, that one had the greatest impact on my life.

The most important thing I realized was that art and creating do not have to be solitary, lonely activities. I don't know where I got the idea that creativity requires isolation, but I clearly had that strong impression. Since the workshop I've continued to remind myself that I can create and have close friendships.

For my birthday this year, I held my own "creativity play day," a mini-version of your workshop, with a group of friends. I had such fun buying art supplies and seeing what people did with them. I was worried they would think it was weird (more of my distress), but everyone I invited loved the idea. A couple of people thought they weren't very creative, and one person didn't come because of that (although I tried to make it sound very safe), but everyone who came tried things out and had a good time. I plan to do more of these kinds of things with my friends!

As a classroom teacher, I modeled some of our classroom activities after your workshop. One thing I did was divide the students into groups, give each group some simple craft supplies (pipe cleaners, marbles, tongue depressors, playdough), and tell them to create "a machine or superhero that would save the world from violence" (an idea stolen/modified from your workshop). The students had a great time, and I got to see them figuring things out together, getting to know each other, and using their creative intelligence. I will always do something like this now at the beginning of new classes and will keep thinking of more ways for students to play and create together.

I've allowed myself to spend more time and money on music and art supplies since attending the workshop. It's been a gift to myself. My next step in that direction is to take some classes or private lessons in vocal technique and jazz improvisation with the goal of joining a jazz singing group. I'm also going to find some musicians with whom to improvise on my cello. This is something I've wanted to do for years!

So a hearty thank you to you for your leadership and for setting up workshops that provide such a good model of how life can be lived!

Laura Boytz
Oakland, California, USA

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00