Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pure Imagination

"There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be." - from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

As children, imagination is at the heart of what we do. We all liked to play make-believe as a kid, imagining that that red towel off the clothesline was a cape that would make us invincible to the world and a hero to its people.

We liked to imagine that the blanket fort we built in our living room was a castle, and we were the knights waiting to slay the dragon. We liked to believe that jumping out of a tree would give us wings, if only for a little while.

Imagination doesn't just apply to our childhood games of make-believe. It is important to our very being, even when we enter adulthood.

As we grow older, many of us lose our imaginations. We get caught in the bustle of everyday life. For those of us who do keep our imaginations, it becomes a constant struggle to express our imaginations in a way that will still be accepted when we are no longer children.

For my fellow twenty-somethings who are in a creative profession in a world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers, you know what I am talking about. The need to express yourself and still be able to make a solid living can be a real challenge. I most certainly did not go into teaching for the money. I entered this profession for many reasons (many of which would take up an entire blog post alone). One reason is the opportunity to use my imagination. To use my imagination to help young minds shape their own imaginations and perceptions of the world, and to use it in the creation of my daily lessons. Try teaching poetry to reluctant teenagers. It's difficult and boring if not approached correctly. I have to get creative and imaginative!

I use my imagination every day in my profession, just as I used it when I was a child. I particularly love the song "Pure Imagination" from the 1971 movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. It serves as a reminder that you can be free "if you truly wish to be."

Go use your imagination for good, whatever career you may have.

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