I got to experience my first TED Talks today; the speakers were Sir Ken and Elizabeth Gilbert. Both were equally informative, humorous and inspiring. I found myself agreeing feverently with both of them, especially Sir Ken. Growing up in the public school system (Hillsborough, NJ), I found it extremely hard to pursue my passions. I felt literally brain dead when it came to math and science but everything else- reading, history, language, art, writing (even gym)- kept my attention and my GPA up. While my school district supported all areas of study, my guidance counselor told me no college would ever accept me unless I took AP Calculus and AP Physics. While normally I always do what I am told, I did not heed her warning and I took AP Literature and AP United States History instead. Of course I still took the standard level of Calculus and Physics, but it still felt like a rebellion to me! In the end, I still got into plenty of colleges and I have never been happier that I listened to myself rather than someone else about what’s best for my education.
Sir Ken was completely right in saying that the public school system has a hard time encouraging creativity. With that many students and so many different needs, I suppose it can be difficult to tailor-fit every students’ education. However, his story about Gillian Lynne really shows how certain people need to embrace their creativity and not be punished for it. Not every mind has to be science or math orientated..and that’s okay.
The links for the two talks: