Several weeks ago I wrote a post ‘One Person’s Trash…’ about the resourcefulness of the resourceless here in Burma. I made the silly claim that developed countries like the US couldn’t hold a candle to the Burmese when it comes to ingenuity in the face of want. How wrong was I?
Yesterday I came across Sam Seidel’s Hip Hop Genius where he presents a brilliant ‘essay’ about how America’s urban environments offer a kind of adversity different than I find here in Burma, but the results are the same: “a creative resourcefulness in the face of limited resources.” Sam calls this ‘Hip Hop Genius’, and because of it the poor, urban environments of America are fertile ground for bold innovation in music, dance, art, film, photography…you name it. That Hip Hop culture has become a ‘global phenomenon’ is testament to the power of its genius.
As a teacher, what’s particularly striking about Sam’s polished, heartfelt essay is the challenge he throws down for educators to customize learning for our students like they are doing at the High School for Recording Arts in Minnesota. Equally captivating is the way in which Sam presents his essay. Michael McCathy’s DRAWNALONG is such a fresh approach that I can’t help but wonder what new power my students would find in writing essays given the chance to present them in this way, or in some other inventive manner. Most certainly it would encourage them to collaborate. I like this. For sure they would need to draw on their creative instincts. This is always good. And finally, they would communicate their ideas in ways that…who knows?…others will feel compelled to build on in bold, innovative ways. Now that’s fresh!
Check out Sam Seidel’s ‘Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education’