I have a friend who is a masters student, currently teaching English while she pursues her higher education and at times she will show me some of the papers that she is given by her students. More often than not, I am shocked, if not entirely blown away, by the lack of creative thinking so many of her students seem to lack. Learning to write and write well is difficult but it seems as if they don’t even read, when you have books such as the the oath of the vayuputras, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park and so on you learn to develop your writing skills. By reading, you’re introduced to the idea of patterns and structure within writing and how to best apply those things into your own writing. If I had not read as much as I had when I was younger, I do not think I would possess any degree of significant writing ability.
I always have a hard time describing what it is like to write; as I do not have a higher education, much of my writing ability and ‘talent’ stems from a raw ability to recognize those well founded patterns in literature as well as an intuitive capability for creative thinking and imagination. Yet, despite my lack of the educational tools that allow us to hone, develop or manifest our talents, I can look on these papers and shake my head. What has happened with our education system when something as simple as writing a paper looks to be a work that is completely lacking in understanding? Have we become part of a system that aims not for improvement of creative thinking and imagination but instead for job training? It certainly feels as if we have lost what is important in education and instead have gained what is tantamount to learning how to do a job.