Doing Something Original

Once in a while I wake up wanting to do something original. 

You see, my life is almost entirely derivative. I go to my office and do my usual work. I teach and I comment on student work. I write about the results of research I have done. 

 I go home and follow my usual evening routine. I play various sports that are played by many other individuals. Australia is a sporty nation.

 So this week I decided to build two little planes made of aluminum foil. Nothing original in that, you say? True, there are zillions of Google pages on how to build such planes. Not being creative in the aeronautical-design realm of life, I let Google choose the design for me — I followed the instructions on the first page Google recommended. 

 I built the planes and decorated them with red and black markers. Then I labelled them both 737 Max. By my own estimation, they are beauties.

 I intended to put the planes on display in my office and to invite visitors to fly them with me. My building has stairs inside and out, so the possibilities are great.

 The only problem is that I have almost no visitors. I don’t know why, but the “Please do not disturb” sign on my closed door may play a role.  

 So I took my planes on tour to the staff tea room. Like a child with a new toy, I flew the planes down a nearby flight of stairs. Another employee joined the fun. 

 I was enacting a version of a memorable scene from a video I used to show students. The video is about an aging executive who is being forced out of his job to make room for young blood. 

 Feeling distressed, the staid old fellow goes a bit loopy one morning at home and walks outside in his pajamas. He rambles to a nearby park and flies a kite he had just built. Kite flying was something he used to love doing, but he had not done it since he was a child. 

 I did not have on pajamas, but I did play out the age-regression role with my aluminium planes. I was the only person who knew that I was engaged in performance art. 

 What was my goal? To do something original. Telling this story of my life is also original. 

 What might you do that would be original?



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