The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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Learning, Innovation, and Animals

graphic of page


Now it's your turn to help compose the questions. Below are five questions
similar to those in Exercises 5 and 6. It's up to you to provide a choice of two
possible answers. Then exchange your paper with a new partner and answer the
questions the same way as you did in Exercises 5 and 6. For example:

QUESTION: Which is larger?

(Trade papers with your partner who then chooses an answer and explains it in
one or two lines.)
1. Which teaches self-control?

2. Which is most hungry?

3. Which is more beautiful?

4. Which is like a New England church?

5. Which costs more?


ln this exercise, you'll have to stretch your imagination a bit because you're
going to look at the world from an entirely new viewpoint of some other thing.
You must try to feel the way that thing does. FEEL the thing. ACT the thing. BE
the thing while you write a one or two line answer to each question. (Remember -
there is no right answer.)

A. You are a CHEETAH. You can run at 70 mph for short hundred yard bursts. You
are tawny with small deep brown spots. You are 5 feet long and weigh 110 pounds.

1. You are hungry. You see an antelope at a water hole about 200 yards away.
Describe your feelings of anticipation.

2. You have chased, killed, and eaten the antelope. Which gave you the most
satisfaction - the chase exercising your magnificent body, the kill letting
loose your raw instinct and emotions, or the meal satisfying your hunger? Why?

B. You are the EGG of a Ruby Hummingbird. You can't move. You are only
potential. You are surrounded by four other eggs in a tree in the Brazillian

1. What are your thoughts as you wait for something to happen?

2. You have been incubated by your mother and are ready to break out of your
shell. At the first peck a cold draft of air rushes in. How do you feel now?

C. You are an ACORN. You have just fallen 60 feet from an oak tree and have
rolled next to a giant boulder. The soil is soft and fertile and after the
winter snows you find you have settled about a half inch into the soil, just
enough for you to crack open and send out roots.

1. You are a tiny acorn. Do you have any feeling for what you'll look like when
you grow up? How do you know?

2. You have begun to sprout. How do you feel about the enormous boulder
practically on top of you?

3. No rain has fallen recently. How do your roots feel digging for nourishment
without water? One root bumps into a sewer pipe; how does it feel?

D. You are a HEADLIGHT FILAMENT. You are very fine and made out of carbon and
tungsten.  You are a part of a car which has been driven almost 80,000 miles.
You have been turned on and off over 3,000 times. You know the driver of the car
relies on you to see at night and you have never let him down.

1. It is night. The tingle of the first surge of current comes through you as it
has so many times in the past. How do you feel?

2. The owner of the car is arranging to have the car towed to an auto scrap
yard. The motor and transmission are worn out but you still work fine. How do
you feel toward your owner? Toward the other parts of the car? Toward the owner
of the scrap yard? Toward the other old headlights around you?

E. It is the first day of the deer hunting season. A buck has been shot in the
fleshy part of his buttocks but has not fallen. Hunters surround him on two
sides. You are the FEAR inside the deer. You are not the deer but the raw,
naked, panicky fear inside his brain and nerves.

1. You are the fear that is driving the deer to spring away from the hunters
despite his pain. How do you, FEAR, feel as the deer becomes weaker and weaker
from the wound and the exertion of running?

2. What are the good and bad things you feel as FEAR?


Make up one "be another thing" exercise like A through E in Exercise 11. Pick
something that will cause the person doing the exercise to really stretch his or
her imagination. Exchange your paper with a partner and do each other's
exercise. When you have finished discuss your "answers" with each other.


Of all the exercises done by you and your classmates in this chapter, which one
caused you to stretch your imagination the most? Why? Did you stretch more when
dealing with animals, plants, objects, attitudes, feelings, or values?


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