FatherSon Ventures

Building a Relationship through Adventure

Homework Mariachi Style

Written By: Scot Butwell - Sep• 04•17

I had just finished reading about Robert Rodriguez’s “mariachi style” of low-budget movie making by using only the props, actors, costumes locations and music available to him.

Also, I listened to an interview where he talked about “doing one thing well” to be creative. Though they spoke to my creative soul, both were prep for my English class reading his book on making his first movie for $7,000.

Rodriguez’s film El Mariachi turned into a three-picture deal with Columbia Studio. And his book about the making of the film, the one my English class will soon be reading, is titled, Rebel Without a Crew.

I was inspired by Rodriguez’s statement to try to “do everything creatively,” so when it came time for him to film a scene, it would not seem not all that different than other tasks.

If he had been creative in cooking breakfast or cleaning the living room, then editing a film scene would be just a continuation of his creative output.

I know it sounds weird, but I started to wonder if Rodriguez’s philosophy of creativity might apply to helping D to complete the last four pages of his monthly homework; and I figured it was worth a shot to test out his theory.

I knew I could do it L’s way. D sitting at the kitchen table while I fought the urge to assist him in staying focused. This usually results in L getting upset at me for not letting D do it by himself.

Ultimately, I chose to try Rodriguez’s “do-everything creative” approach. D had crashed my Sunday afternoon lesson planning, and L did not reply when I called her in the living room.

She fell asleep on the sofa, and since she wouldn’t be able supervis D’s homework—or be aware of my homework experiment—and if Willie Wonka can call a wasp a wangdoodle, I thought I can make homework fun.

D and I kneeled on the floor with his homework on the bed blanke. That was violation number one of L’s homework protocol. Number two was I bantered the way through a page of math by talking in an animated tone.

Like I was excited about the math problem—which I really wasn’t.

I made funny noises, assumed various personas of movie characters, and turned into a “savage” Nick Wilde from Zootopia after being shot in the next by a dart filled with serum.

This obviously provided a much needed break between math problems. We also wrested between math and grammar problems, and at one point, D climbed on my back and I turned into a bucking, snorting rodeo bull.

We hissed at each other like two cats in a fight, bearing our teeth and our claws, to reboot our brains before the fourth—or was it the fifth?—page of his monthly homework assignment.

We stretched out on the bed for the last page, and if L would have walked in, she would have criticized me, and my “do everything creative” approach jettisoned like balloon on a windy day.

My arm looped over D’s shoulder as we alternated reading Mauona, and when Chief Tui said,  “no one goes beyond the reef,” D went off the script and called me (Cheif Tui) an idiot.

I looked at him and furrowed my brow, not sure if I should get upset at him since I was acting out Chief Tui’s voice, and D said, “I’m sorry.” And so I unfurrowed my brow, letting it pass.

We finished his homework in an hour, and even with all the silly gibber and playing, we beat the time D normally takes to finish homework when sitting iat the kitchen table in tbecause proper way.

So I am not being critical of L’s method, but I am giving two thumbs up to Rodriguez’s do everyone creative and  use whatever resources are available to create art. That’s what we did with D’s homework, and it worked.

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