How to Live with Introverts

From deviantart.com:


How to Live with Introverts by *SVeidt on deviantART

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Motivational Mondays: Inspiring Commencement Speeches

I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day weekend!  Motivational Mondays is a little late simply because I was on vacation :).  Since it’s graduation season, here are some inspiring commencement speeches.

Jane Lynch speaks to Smith College graduates

Author Neil Gaiman speaks to the University of the Arts

Bonus: Andy Samberg humors Harvard University and pokes fun of its president and Yale University for Harvard’s Class Day

Congratulations and Good Luck to the Class of 2012!

Previous Motivational Monday posts:

77 Thoughts on Motivation

How I Became the First Person in my Family to Go to College

Bird with a French Fry

15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy

Instagram Fridays: Delicious BBQ

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer!  To celebrate here are some delicious pics!

by Instagram user kbir

by Instagram user lxnew

by Instagram user amywarriorsingh

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Related post: Cold Treats

Motivational Mondays: 77 Thoughts on Motivation by Dudye

I stumbled upon this yesterday…

Get into Action: 77 Thoughts on Motivation

Some quotes include:

“I paint very large pictures. I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however – I think it applies to other painters I know – is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it.” – Mark Rothko

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein

“Hell! There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish somep’n” – Thomas Edison

Check out the rest of the quotes in the link above!

Also, check out previous Motivational Monday posts:

First person in family to go to college

Bird and a French Fry

15 Things You Should Give up to Be Happy

Instagram Fridays: Cold and Sweet Treats

The weather today in New York is beautiful!  To celebrate this, here are some pictures of cold and sweet treats for Instagram Fridays!

I enjoy some gelato while walking the High Line with my mom at Mother’s Day.  Photography by me!  User: abbyesc


Enjoying cherry flavored Italian Ice at Bryant Park.  User: abbyesc

Cupcake, ice cream and candy?  Yum!  Image by ilarol

Cold drink by badbadacid

This looks amazing!  By user xsamxlivetocheer24

Enjoy the warm weather!

Previous Instagram Fridays posts:

Obama Supports Gay Marriage

Rainbow Girl

Park Avenue Tulips

Wednesday’s post!

Building Creative Confidence: Thoughts on David Kelley’s TED Talk

I have worked with children for over five years as a teacher in both schools and camps. Besides teaching my specialty in art and other subjects such as math, reading, writing, science, and history, there’s one thing I always noticed about kids that I never really discussed with my peers.  It’s how creative anxiety increases as the kids (and ourselves) get older.

When I was student teaching, I taught art once a week to kindergarten classes.  Even though I always took a nap after I came home, I enjoyed the kids’ enthusiasm and joy for art.  They used art materials to express their ideas in a way no other adult can. I enjoyed hearing them talk about their artwork.  From what I can remember, none of the kids I worked with had any real anxiety about art.  Of course, they would call out my name every 5 seconds and shout “Is this right?!?!” but for the most part, they truly enjoyed art and didn’t care if anyone thought that their ideas were crazy.

Example of kindergarten student’s work

When I started working with older kids (around 9 and up), I noticed more anxiety.  Phrases such as “I can’t draw” or “I can’t do this” were becoming common. I even made a sign that says “I can’t do this” crossed out in my ceramics windmill at camp.  It was frustrating because no matter how much I encourage, they feel that they are not “artists” and that they are not “creative.”  Those weren’t empty words.  I truly meant it when I told the reluctant kids that they are capable of making great works of art.  Luckily, there were a few kids that I worked with that never thought they can create amazing works of art.  Just like what David Kelley said in his Ted Talk, it was all about small steps.  I worked with those kids one-on-one and encouraged and praised every step of the way.  As students accomplish these small steps, they build up confidence ultimately leading to more creative risk taking.

A student’s work of art that was created with perseverance.

Something happens when we are growing up that makes us feel that we aren’t good enough or creative enough.  When did we start thinking that the world is divided into “creative” people and “non-creative” people?  Honestly, I don’t know how to relate to a person who feels that they’re “non-creative.”  Could it be because I always enjoyed art or maybe had an active imagination or some natural talent?  As an art teacher, it’s really easy to say “You can draw!” to a frustrated kid who’s probably thinking “Easy for you to say!  You already know how to draw!”  It’s my job to create an atmosphere where it’s okay to make mistakes and to encourage that frustrated kid every step of the way.  I have to constantly remember to put myself in that frustrated kid’s shoes.  Usually, I say something like, “Learning how to draw is the same as practicing the violin or throwing a football.”  There is such thing as natural talent.  Everyone has one but it’s nothing without a little practice and perseverance.  To me, that’s more important than talent.

Questions:

How can one reignite their creative spark?

When do people start feeling “creative anxiety”?

How do you build your creative confidence?

Here’s David Kelley’s TED Talk