Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why we write

After reading a blog post from The Write Practice, this came to my mind: I think the amount of creative writers in the last decade comes down to the lack of support of this type of creativity and other outlets of creativity in our public schools. 

Hardly any schools focus on the arts anymore, so we get to college and we say things like, "hey, I've always loved to write, (draw, read, whatever) at home. I'm not sure if I'm good at it to make a living, but I think I am. Why not give it a try here in this massive institution?" Or, "Where are the jobs? How do we figure out what we want to do with our lives? We were just given the freedom to be ourselves without a parental pushing." 

These are comments I heard all over campus last semester. These young adults are scared, they see their parents struggling with a crappy paying job (or in our 12% unemployment town —no jobs) and they don't want to live like that, so they turn to their creative outlets. It's easier for students to seek and play with their creativity when they are told they can work part time and use Federal money to live off of. 

The students who played games on their laptops, drew in their sketchbooks, read books, other than their textbooks, sat in the coffee café on campus. This was great because it was where we talked about their lives and what they expected to be able to do after they graduated. Most of the young adults (as we had oldies like me also; never in the café though, they weren't cool like me) I talked to had high hopes for their future, but more than a handful were scared out of their minds; deciding that they would take their time going through school, even if it meant going for more than the 2 years it usually took to get an Associates degree.

They would take their Florida Bright Futures scholarship they earned in High School, which in most of their cases was the lower level monetarily wise; lets say a scholarship that paid only 30% of their semester, and go for as long as those scholarships hold out. These are the kids that don't just drop out because it means that they would have to pay back every single penny of that scholarship and they can't afford that option. 

I was proud of these kids as if they were my own kids. I tried to help them make sense of what they were learning when it came to their harder classes. Never Math though, they, helped me with that. I swear the best musicians as the best mathematicians.  One girl, let's call her Michelle, told me that I was the smartest student in our Political Science class and wanted to know if I was going into that field. Heck no!  Though my professor wanted me to. It isn't going to happen. Too much politics in the hubs job for me already.  I told her that I would love to write for the politicians but not to be one of them.  I can't lie, so I would never be a good one.