William is an Assistant Professor at Mount Saint Vincent University in the Department of Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management. He is fascinated by research around how individuals construct and create their social realities, intrigued with the powers of creativity and innovation, and an avid proponent of outstanding service experiences. When not teaching, writing, or researching, he tries to spend time with his family and occasionally paint. He is currently completing his PhD in Management at Saint Mary’s University.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Playtime: Get your creative groove on
Meanings and ideas become consistent. Things are easier to understand. We lose the ability or willingness to hold multiple meanings in our heads at the same point in time. Our interpretations become more static and our experimentation occurs less frequently.
We slowly slide away from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ideal design when he said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Remember when a butter knife was the best screwdriver in the kitchen? Many of us even had that perfect knife/tool at the back of our utensils drawer, the one with the tip that had snapped off. (We’d never put it on the table but it became an even better screwdriver!) Yet at some point, a subtle shift happens inside that compels us to search the entire house for the ‘right’ screwdriver because, for heaven’s sake, the butter knife is a ‘knife’.
Now I like to think of myself as a little creative, but still I find myself falling into this static thinking occasionally. Luckily, I have a couple of rug rats here who do not suffer from any such debilitating issues of imagination.
In our house, Robin Hood is currently the story of choice. The books are read and the classic Disney animated film, with Robin Hood as a fox, is on high rotation. We even took the boys twice to see Robin Hood performed live by a local Halifax theatre troop.
Naturally, this leads to Robin Hood play from the boys. Imaginary arrows and battles erupt in their playroom. Costumes are donned and characters established. At the drop of a hat, they even break into song about their adventures!
This morning, the playroom was quieter than normal. Then I started to here clicks, followed by a small item bouncing across the floor. Click – tink tink... click – tink tink... Hmmm, time to investigate.
My two young ‘merry men’ had figured out that the car launcher from their Matchbox car racing track could be removed. They had also discovered that the tiny Yield signs from their city centre fit quite well inside the launcher. And they were both in full Robin Hood adventure costumes. Testing out their newly created projectile launcher.
Yes - they built a crossbow.
It was awkward and only pushed the projectile a foot or so. But it worked. And they were super pumped! Merry men indeed.
It’s on my desk right now. Letting them launch things at each other didn’t seem wise. They are off in their playroom building a new imaginary world out of pillows, a bouncy ball, a few fire engines and a monster truck.
I’m left amazed at their creativity. And also curious about why I didn’t think of it first. I guess I need to spend more time in the playroom.
How about you?