Promoting and nurturing creativity is always a good thing.
Ever since I was a little boy I used to listen to the songs on the radio so intensely. I was fascinated by the stories and characters within these songs, especially the early songs of artists such as Curtis Mayfield and Bob Dylan.
When I was able to read I would read anything I could get my hands on, books, magazines, Readers Digest, etc. I was amazed at how someone could dream up something in their head, put it on paper and then see it come to life within the comics or in a novel.
One of my favorite classes at Spotsylvania Jr. High was 8th grade Language Arts. We kept a journal that we would turn in weekly and the teacher would give her feedback on it. In the journal we had the creative freedom to jot down our personal thoughts, write poems or short stories, etc. And, looking back now, I think that it was this particular class that really got my mind to open up and let some of the characters I’d been dreaming up out unto the page.
Sadly, across America in recent years, a lot of school districts have eliminated arts education from our classrooms (mostly due to budget issues). This is very unfortunate because I’ve personally experienced and come to know the extraordinary value of these arts educational programs and classes in our public schools. Without a doubt, my 8th grade Language Arts class and other arts-based classes definitely played a big role in cultivating my childhood passion for storytelling and creating my own original characters.
Although science, math and other STEM-related programs are crucial for students nowadays, I hope that school districts that are dealing with low funds and budget issues will find the balance and a way to compromise to keep arts education in their curriculum because I strongly believe that helping students to express themselves in creative ways builds a strong foundation for a productive child and a positive student.
I’m so grateful for all of my teachers during my early years in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and God bless all of the moms, dads, dedicated volunteers, teachers and educators across the world who are helping kids and students every single day to open their minds and express themselves. – Randolph Randy Camp
(By the way, no, I didn’t create the comic character Harley Quinn. That credit goes to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm.)