Imaginative Potential in Useless Academic Requirements #IWSG #amwriting #WednesdayMotivation
[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]
This past Monday while I was getting ready for work, while the pups wove in and out of my legs in the bathroom, the 6 a.m. news caught my attention. A survey of post high school students listed four top useless required learning items:
- The Pythagorean Theorem
- The Periodic Table
- Protons and Electrons
- The sum of Pi = 3.14 and then some.
Post high school students cited they not once used these formulas or learning points in school since they were required to memorize them, so why not take more classes in managing college student loans, learning how to do taxes, and how to budget money once out of high school?
Do I agree?
I’d have to say no, and maybe a little yes?
Math and Physics were not my friends. I’m a picture person. I don’t memorize lengthy jumbles of words and numbers without seeing a bigger application. However, just because I struggle to understand certain concepts, doesn’t mean these concepts shouldn’t be required learning. In fact, I believe in Plato when he said, “Geometry will draw the soul toward truth and create the spirit of philosophy.”
So where am I going with this conversation of science and math?
This month’s IWSG question asks, “Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?”
I find creative outlets in everything. From the way I cook, to the way I work on the computer as a graphic designer in Public Relations, to the way I write my notes on a page at work when my print and cursive swirl together, and my bullets become flaming falling stars (which aren’t really stars by the way). In fact, my whole note page may become one giant doodle.
Creativity never leaves us. We always find our own ways of self expression.
And what do math and physics have to do with creativity? Lately, they’ve been the source of my creative inspiration. My second draft in my YA Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi manuscript has challenged me to merge science and magic. I’ve had to revisit the topics I once dreaded, and am now doing it on my own terms. No horrid college textbooks. No over the head lectures where professors talk to the chalk board more than to my face. I don’t have that kind of time anymore, so I invest it wisely in YouTube PBS mini lessons in astronomy and physics. I’ve covered everything from magnetic fields, to electron charges, to neutron stars, magnetars, galaxy formations, and the importance of tides and how they shift with the new and full moons.
And required subjects in high school? Sure I would have loved to have taken accounting or a business class instead of Chemistry. I don’t think skipping Chemistry would have done me an ounce of good. Why? Required academics exposes our minds to unfathomable possibility. I now have a greater imagination, and it’s one mixed with science, hypotheses, and magical potential.
What about you? Would you agree with the post high school graduates? What was your least favorite subject in high school? Was any subject or formula useless to you? I’d love to hear it.