“My mind is going to mush,” I thought.
Hours and hours of paperwork and data entry made my brain a zombie. My head was screaming for stimulation. But, all that was in front of me was paperwork. Enter the latest immunizations here. Insert the latest home visit there. It’s simply robotic.
I grab my stapler to bind some paperwork. I lose grip as the top of it comes off. It’s brown with a fake wood pattern on it, and the plastic is coming off the top.
I grab for some tape in my desk, but then get an idea. I Google “stapler design”. First, there are some cool designs that I never thought of. However, I’m looking through them because I want to see if I can pull one of them off. There isn’t any, so I decide, if I’m going to tape the top on, might as well tape a pattern on it as well.
I Google “black and white abstract design” and settle on a triangular pattern. Looks like it’s done with a Sharpie. I re-size the image to fit on the Stapler, then print it out. The printer is only black and white, so that determined the color schemes I’m able to pull off.
I cut out the design. I place tape on top of the paper, then gently apply the pattern to the stapler. I get another strip and tape down the other side.
As I gander at my work, I notice some other sides that could use some patterns and other designs. But, I should get back to work. My mind isn’t mush anymore. The stimulation worked.
Moral of the Story: The end result isn’t always the reward, but the journey.
A lot of parents may ask, why can’t my child read or why don’t they know their colors yet. They believe that these skills are the end goal of an education. However, that’s only part of the story.
The journey is also part of that education. The emotions, morals, and character traits that is developed in obtaining an education are invaluable. Long after your skills have diminished or – perhaps – you need to move on to another discipline, those intangible traits stay with you.
That’s why, in preschool, no teacher expects children to color within the lines. Children are not expected to write their names with exact precision. Kiddos are not even expected to use eating utensils without dropping food on the table and ground.
The emotions, morals, and character that is developed in obtaining an education are invaluable.
What teachers are stimulating are the emotions, morals and character along the child’s journey to obtain those skills. The focus to color within the lines. The discipline to practice writing their name daily. Or even the excitement to try a new food.
The journey to obtain academic achievement requires more than just the memorization of facts, but the molding and shaping of the person who wants to know and master these facts. This is why play, exploration, and creativity is so important. They are the school for these intangibles to cultivate.
I think this is something that we forget as adults. I do little things that may not seem adult like, such as what I did with my stapler. But, how often do we allow ourselves little expressions of creativity? It’s a nice little journey in the middle of the day.