Creative I: Variations on a Theme – Tweaking Green Day for the Sake of Functions

Update: As I glanced at the forum I noticed that I evidently did this assignment incorrectly. I apologize for misreading the instructions and will be more careful in the future. 

The focus of this assignment was to take a song and change the words to reflect an understanding of my concept area (functions). My song is below. I also want to explain how creativity often stems from creativity.

I used to think that the best way to be creative was to give yourself a blank slate, time, and the tools and “create”. This is actually not an environment that is conducive to creativity. If we view a particular concept as a device with knobs that can be adjusted, then Henrikson, Mishra, and the Deep Play Research Group in their article “Twisting knobs and connecting things: Rethinking Technology and Creativity in the 21st Century” point out that “A creative person… works with those knobs to figure out possible variations on the original concept, and to incorporate anything that will produce something novel, effective and/or aesthetically pleasing (2014).” I’ve found this to be true repeatedly in my career. If I sit down with the thought “okay, create an activity for concept ____” then I really struggle to come up with something good. My most creative and useful activities come when I spend some time looking at activities that were created previously. These almost instantly spark ideas for new activities and usually what gets implemented is a variation on or combination of several other activities.

When I collaborate with my friend and colleague Steve Kelly, we often have to start with some idea and build on it. Even if the initial idea is terrible it gives us something we build on, tweak, or tear down and rebuild. The idea starts to pull at the “hooks” to other ideas that are already in our brains. In addition, our varied experiences (his 25 years of teaching, my 4 years, generation differences, etc.) give us a wealth of different background knowledge to draw from. As mentioned by the Deep Play Research Group, “People with a wider range of knowledge and experience have richer concepts to build on, and hence the potential to see more knobs or possibilities than those with narrower foundations. (2014)” Since we’ve been working together for a couple years we know that we must start with something and build from it to make the best product. Also, when creating on my own I always look for ideas to build on rather than starting from scratch. Even if the ideas are my own from previous things I’ve created, I need something as a starting point.

Below are the lyrics to my revision of Green Day’s song “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)“.

Another set of points, relation on the plane

I’m looking left and right, searching for the domain

And I know to find the range I’m looking up and down

On the y-axis, wherever the graph is found

It’s something so forgettable, but I know that I’ll get right

Studying these functions all night

 I take the vertical line test and use it everyday

If it crosses more than once, I throw that function away

Increase or decrease, concave up or concave down

And if it does all four, there’s no way I can frown

It’s something so forgettable, but I know that I’ll get right

Studying these functions all night

It’s something so forgettable, But I know that I’ll get right

Studying these functions all night


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