Whiplash, a movie nominated for best picture this year, is about a drummer in an elite music school’s relationship with a strict highly demanding teacher who runs the schools premier jazz orchestra. The teacher is played by J. K. Simmons who won a Golden Globe for the role and has been nominated for an Academy Award. No question that Simmons does a very good job in the role.
The teacher he plays is a sadist who tortures his best students by belittling them. He mocks their families, uses homophobic slurs, makes fun of their physical appearances, mercilessly pits musicians against each other and even slaps them. All this is done, the character claims, in the interest of achieving excellence. And of course, in true Hollywood fashion, he drives his prize student to almost quit but them come back and find true greatness fulfilling his own dream as well as that of his student.
by Diana Rivera
Creativity studies students balance their academic interests with a strong mission toward social and organizational change. They are conscious of the lack of quality experiences related to creativity in many social spheres, specifically in education. Many Saybrook students work in or are familiar with the lack of arts education for primary, elementary, and high school level students throughout the country, and can carry eloquent conversations to assert the reasons why it is important. There have been some notable nation-wide and state-level attempts to turn around the situation as a result of data suggesting higher grades and increased self-esteem for students who are part of arts integration programs.
1.) "LA schools arts budget: Most funds will go to 'arts integration' teachers" by Mary Plummer": click here: "The Los Angeles Unified School District plans to increase spending on arts instruction by nearly $16 million over the next three years – but the majority of the new money will go to hire 101 “arts integration” teachers, trainers that will show classroom teachers how to integrate arts into academic less
Tell us a little about your background.
I am originally from Scotland, and moved to NZ 14 years ago to take advantage of the clean, green and very safe environment – and also to be in a country where I didn’t have a 2-3 hour commute to work. My first degree was in technology, and I worked in IT and business consulting for the majority of my “first career” and in the last 15 years have moved increasingly into work that for me has a greater sense of meaning, purpose and contribution – work that makes a difference. I have spent the last 5 years working in the environmental/ecosystem/species protection area, and absolutely love it.
What made you decide to apply to the Creativity Studies program at Saybrook University?
I wanted to extend my learning, and chose creativity studies for a few reasons: The Saybrook programm it was part of an overarching psychology curriculum and that was important for me; the learning would require me to work in an area that was outside my ‘normal’ area of study and therefore push/extend my own learning boundaries; I was keen to learn from Prof Pritzker, and finally the programm allows me to follow areas of interest and is done via distance/on-line learning which is essential – as frequent trips from NZ is a bit of an obstacle.
1.) "Before the Hole in the Wall: A Q&A with 2013 TED Prize Winner Sugata Mitra": Click here to watch: "At TED2013, Mitra invited the world to embrace child-driven learning bysetting up Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) and helping him design a learning lab in India, where children can “embark on intellectual adventures.”
1.) "Not Your Imagination: Kids Today Really Are Less Creative, Study Says" by Rachael Rettner: Click here to read: "It sounds like the complaint of a jaded adult: Kids these days are narrow-minded and just not as creative as they used to be. But researchers say they are finding exactly that.
1.) From STEM to STEAM: Click here to learn more: "In this climate of economic uncertainty, America is once again turning to innovation as the way to ensure a prosperous future. Yet innovation remains tightly coupled with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – the STEM subjects. Art + Design are poised to transform our economy in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the last century. We need to add Art + Design to the equation — to transform STEM into STEAM."