Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Why do we create?

I was thinking about this question a lot today...what is it that makes us LOVE to create? To keep coming back to it even when we've been frustrated by a project or busy with every other task on our to-do lists?

I don't really have much of an answer, but as I watched a bunch of worn-out, chatty students dive into a DNA origami project that involved coloring nucleotides (one student deemed it "color-by-chemical") I knew it was a universal trait.  I've never seen such a happy group of students--these are brilliant ninth graders, their work could pass for senior work most of the time--but, they're kids, and they love to color.  Some of them even came to study hall today just to finish (we're supposed to finish in class on Friday.  But they get to choose their afternoon activity, and they chose to come color and fold paper--it warms my heart.)

Meanwhile, I passed the time during their test knitting up the second in a pair of socks.  My love of knitting is keeping me sane during test days.  I want to keep my eyes on them so that they aren't tempted to let their eyes "wander," but I'm just not cut out to stare students down for four hours a day two days in a row. 

I also dove into yet another project requiring tedious cutting and pasting.  I love finding new classroom activities that require massive amounts of prep.  This is a DNA sequencing activity, requiring many segments of "code" all cut to different lengths.  Tedious yes, but there's really nothing else I'd rather be doing while monitoring a study hall.
Cutting the strips and gluing or taping them into one continuous sequence.
Laminated "sequence" ...enough for 6 groups.
So what is it that makes us love to create?  Is it using "dead" time for something productive?  Is it knowing you made something beautiful, enchanting, cool or amazing?  Does it free our minds from worry?  Is it the desire to make something for someone else--to be able to hand over love or care in the form of a tangible object?  Is it an exciting endeavor, a workout for your brain? 

It does all of these things for me.  What's it do for you?


  1. I believe we create our own reality, our purpose IS to create. If we are the image of God and God is the Creator, then by definition we are creators. I'm not trying to be religious, just seems to fit.

  2. Personally, my stock phrase is that I do the creative/crafty things that I do to keep myself out of trouble :)


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