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Virtuoso, the SATs, and The Dark Knight - Part I

Comments(1)Filed under: Custom IC Design, Virtuoso, Virtuoso IC 6.1.3

You are probably wondering what Virtuoso has to do with the SATs and The Dark Knight.

Well, first of all, it has only been in the past few years (so this, obviously isn’t something I’ve had to do!), but today's high school students now have to answer essay questions on the SAT test, in addition to the traditional verbal and math sections. This is to test their writing skills in preparation for college. Writing skills aside, since most of us were budding engineers at that time, if you had taken the January 2009 SAT test, as my daughter did, you had this as one of your essay prompts:

Prompt 1
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below: 

Planning lets people impose order on the chaotic processes of making or doing something new. Too much planning, however, can lead people to follow the same predetermined course of action, to do things the same way that they were done before. Creative thinking is about breaking free from the way that things have always been. That is why it is vital for people to know the difference between good planning and too much planning.

Adapted from Twyla Tharp's, “The Creative Habit”.

Does planning interfere with creativity? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Please give this a thought and post your ideas on if, and how, planning may impact your creative thinking, and next week I will post Part 2 to tell you exactly what Virtuoso has to do with this SAT essay and the Batman movie The Dark Knight.


Michael Kelly


*SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this blog.
*Dark Knight is a trademark of Warner Bros Pictures.


By Kari on April 9, 2009
I think planning can interfere with creativity if you are too locked-in to a particular plan. Plans should not just include what to do, but also what NOT to do (based on past experience), but even more important, they should be flexible. Plans should be allowed to change when unforseen issues arise, and that's where the creativity comes in. On many projects, we have hit a snag late in the game, and it has taken some creative thinking to solve the issue. Sometimes it's difficult to remember that it's ok to deviate from the plan if it means solving a problem in the best way. But without a basic plan in place, you can end up spinning your wheels and getting completely off schedule.

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