Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sparks

I spoke to an inner city class about my book and about writing. They were very well behaved. Of course you'll have those who are a bit crude, to put it mildly. I was amazed at all of the great questions the students had about writing and the ideas they had. Then, unexpectedly, one of the less attentive students spoke up. Something I said got his attention. I don't remember what it was but it instigated a dialog between us. Previously he had been making rude faces and such and now he was telling me his story ideas. The ideas were actually quite good. I could see that a chord was struck and he no longer exhibited his rude behavior. This is what makes it all worthwhile. When you see that spark light up in a child's eyes. It is so much easier to talk to students who have all the advantages of a good education and family support. It is frustrating to talk to kids you have a chip on their shoulder. We all know the type. The kid who comes from a deprived background where support is something he sorely lacks. In school he causes so much trouble that he gets labeled and pushed through the system without any prospects ahead of him. He is a forgotten soul who ends up being a burden to society. The child who gets attention through uncooperative behavior and downright meanness is lost. If I am able to let this child see, if only for a moment, that he is valuable then it is all worth it.
I've had kids see me later and remember me. They will tell me the ideas they are working on. The same ideas other adult authority figures told them weren't any good. Is there really a bad idea? Of course there are ideas that are not marketable. But if you get a person to thinking isn't that important? One idea can sparks new ideas. Eventually that person may have hundreds of ideas, with one being just the right one. Brainstorming is the foundation to the advertising industry. Throwing out good and bad concepts until the right one is born. Here's to the kids, our future adults. Let us encourage them all, even the misfits.

1 comment:

Gerald said...

It isn't easy talking to kids who don't want to be there, I used to be one.