Interview with FIU Professor Martha Barantovitch on creativity
Michelle Marchante/Asst. Opinion Director
One of the great things about attending a university is that even if you’re unsure of what you want to do with your life, you can take a variety of different courses to figure it out. By the same token, it’s not uncommon to find people opting to major in something that will financially secure them instead of majoring in something they enjoy.
Everyone is different and everyone’s reason for studying a major is theirs and theirs alone; but majoring in something that is deemed “safer” than a creative career, for example, should never be the reason one enters a major.
True, not everyone can paint like Leonardo Da Vinci, dance like Derek Hough, write like James Patterson or sing like Mariah Carey but while you can always improve your talent, it can’t be taught. This doesn’t just extend to creativity, it extends to virtually everything. This is why society’s way of telling us from an early age what careers we should have in order to be successful is so problematic.
Currently, if you look at the curriculum in any type of educational institution whether it be elementary, middle, high school, or even at the university level, you’ll notice that there has been a strong push towards an education focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) because it’s thought that these skills will help a student achieve success.
Success comes differently for everyone, so why are people focusing on these subjects more than others like the arts, for example? While these subjects are important, schools push them as if they’re the only subjects that matter and are completely disregarding the importance of helping students cultivate their creative skills.
This complete disregard for creativity is ironic because, regardless of their medium, it’s the legacy of the creatives, through the artists’ works, that our culture is preserved.
In fact, according to an article in “Freshconsulting,” studies have shown that “highly creative people are highly intelligent but highly intelligent people are not always creative,” this therefore suggests that “creativity is simply a higher form of intelligence.” Yet people tend to think otherwise.
Everyone in some way believes the societal stigma that in order to be successful you have to be a doctor, scientist, lawyer, engineer, etc. but the lack of initiative to try something else, like a creative outlet, doesn’t help in breaking through this ideal especially with programs like S.T.E.M. around.
The digital era we live in may make it seem like we have more possibilities to express ourselves creatively than before but by not giving yourself the chance or the time to be creative, you’re restricting yourself and therefore killing your creativity.
University professor, Martha Barantovitch, believes that creative works are absolutely essential for sustaining our culture.
“It gives us a sense of who we are. It helps us identify where we are in a particular place and time and it helps us see our growth and it also helps us know our past and it helps us kind of look towards where we’re going in the future,” Barantovitch said. “Without creative works, especially in education-or creative works in society- we don’t have an opportunity to kind of stop and identify who we are and where we are and what we want to do and where we want to go.”
If we want the future of our world to be able to look back at its history, like we do presently, then we must strive to have creativity. Future generations must have access to everything, from our scientific discoveries, to our culture, to our laws and to our arts, after all there must be a reason why Albert Einstein said that, “imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Image taken from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/16972184652/sizes/h/