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.

In addition, I listened to an interview where he talked about “doing one thing well” to be creative. Both were prep for my English class reading his book on making a movie for $7,000.

Rodriguez’s El Mariachi turned into a three-picture deal with Columbia Studio. His book about making the film, financed by being a subject in drug tests, is 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 all that different than other tasks.

If he had been creative in cooking breakfast or cleaning the living room.

I wondered if Rodriguez’s philosophy of creativity could apply to helping D to complete the last four pages of his monthly homework. 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 to stay focused. This usually results in L getting upset at me for not letting D do it by himself.

Ultimately, I chose Rodriguez’s “do-everything creative” approach because D had crashed my Sunday afternoon lesson planning, and I got no reply when I called L in the living room.

Apparently, she fell asleep on the sofa. Thus, she wouldn’t be aware of my homework experiment, so D and I kneeled on the floor with his homework on the bed blanket.

In this comfortable position, I exhorted and bantered our way through a page of subtraction problems, patiently explaining the rationale for regrouping tens.

I made funny ammnoises, assumed 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.

We wrested during breaks, and at one point, D leapt on my back and I turned into a rodeo bull. This was all part of my effort to turn homework from a dreaded task into a creative endeavor

We hissed at each other like two cats in a fight, bearing our teeth and our claws, to reboot our brains before the final page of what initially I had thought seemed like a daunting task.

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, when D said, “I’m sorry.” And so I un furrowed my brow, letting it pass.

We finished his homework an hour, and even with all the silly banter and playing, and bested the time D would have finished if he sat at the kitchen table and he did it the proper way.

So I am a believer in Rodriguez’s “do everyone creative” and use whatever resources are available to create a work of art–and that’s exactly what we did in our homework experiment.

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