Almost every artist, photographer, musician, sculptor, writer, actor, philosopher, architect, scientist, and even athletes proclaim that the "I's" have it hand and foot over anything else, including knowledge, technology, and technique. The "I's" are keys to seizing the day. They're the ignition key that turns over the creative engine. They create a "let's see" environment of experimentation, playfulness, flexibility, spontaneity, curiosity, and unorthodoxy. It's the "I's" that draw from that great storehouse of talent, knowledge, and experience. The "I's" have it in a studio; they have it on a stage; they have it in a lab; they have it in a study. Why shouldn't they have it in the classroom as well.

Oh, I almost forgot. What are the "I's?" They are: Imagination, Involvement, Imagery, Innovation, Ideas, Invention, Intensity, Incongruity, Inspiration, Interest, Inclusion, Intrigue, Intuition, Invisible, Insatiable, Insight, Individual, Investigation, Integrity.

Now, before…anyone asks, I wish I knew how these "I's" do what they do when they do.…Whatever these "I's" are, whenever they come, from wherever they come, however they come, if you weave them into the fiber of your being, they balance work, commitment, determination and perseverance on one end of the seesaw with joy, love, wonder, humility, and gratitude on the other end. They insure that hard labor is not laborious. They surprise, encourage dreaming, draw out an awareness, forge a courage to do something unique, take dizzying leaps, unleash a daring, open the mind and heart, visualize with richness and intensity, change the way to look at things, compel an asking of "why," create a keen attentiveness, create a capacity for growth, welcome newness, keep you moving, re-choreograph, instill a spirit of adventure, enhance the ability to go beyond the norm, endow freedom, educate, offer possibilities, uncover potential, develop a thirst, sharpen listening, unbox the box, fill the place with opportunities, polish each sparkling classroom jewel, generate a joy, keep you constantly searching, place you on the edge, excite a sense of wonder, stimulate a desire to explore, stir "the juices," spark a curiosity, admire the beauty, point to the unseen, find exciting new roads on which to journey, provide the vision, summon the passion, and have you ride on thermals that soar to a higher heights of teaching and learning.

And what better place for the "I's" to have it than in a classroom.


Louis Schmier
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA 31698


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