In my classes we've been doing a lot about creativity and imagination (since it's come to my attention that most children and young adults haven't been encouraged to do this in their academic careers here). Some of my students, no most of my students, amaze me with their vivid imaginations and their ease with the flow of words in a foreign language. For Halloween they wrote "scary" stories about everything from Dracula at a high school prom falling in love with a girl to the last Bulgarian non-mutant zombie trying to fend for his life in an old fortress. I also learned about the kind creatures in Cupcakeland that wanted to rescue young girls from the clutches of the most evil man in the universe and I had a couple young authors write intertwining stories that were complete on their own but intersected to form a complex and rich plot. I was so impressed and proud of my students enthusiasm for their work and their imagination!
Then came the upperclassmen... I asked them to create a holiday that was ridiculous, just complete nonsense. Either I failed with the topic or their imagination is far too hidden away by that age. There was one amazing spark that came out of this though. One of the girls started talking about holding a festival that all the teachers and students could come to that would have different booths and games and activities but that the students would plan it all and organize it, all the teachers and administrators had to do was show up. This might sound like a "normal" idea to those of you in the States who go to these things every year, but here it is not a tradition, nor is it even an occasional event. I've been to one such event here and it was at the "American High School" in country and it was planned by teachers and staff. To have a student even suggest having this type of event, and wanting to take responsibility to plan it, blew me away. When I asked her if she was serious about this or it was just an idea she said, "I would love to do this but we need a group of students, not just me. Would you help me see if we can get a group of students?"
Maybe I spoke too quickly about their imagination being gone, maybe it just takes up with more ambition.