I’m a rule follower, excellent at following directions and getting things done on time, but I’ve always admired people that take a different path – who have minds so creative, ingenious and unafraid that they feel comfortable completely departing from the norm to create something new. I think the best projects take a combination of rule followers and dreamers to be successful.
In Going Places, Rafael is just like me. He is so excited when his class receives go-cart kits. All the students are to build the kit and then have a race. Rafael goes home and builds the kit, following the directions to the letter. His go-cart looks exactly like the picture. He decides to check on his friend and next door neighbor, Maya to see how she is progressing. He sees her sitting in her yard staring at a bird on a tree and then at a bird flying. When she builds her go cart, it doesn’t look at all like the picture on the kit. It looks more like an awkward flying machine. When Rafael asks Maya why she didn’t building a go-cart, she says that no one said she had to build a go-cart. Rafael sees where Maya is going with her project and asks if they can team up. Nothing in the rules says that they can’t team up.
The result? A plane! As they roll up to the start line, other kids laugh. It’s clear that everyone else in the class has followed the directions exactly, just as Rafael had. When the race starts, the go-carts take off. The plane doesn’t move; but, then it does move…past all those go-carts. Rafael and Maya fly to the finish line well ahead of their competitors. As they roll to a stop, Maya sees a frog jumping off a rock in the lake. She turns to Rafael and smiles. He smiles back. Guess what they build next? 🙂
This is a wonderful book that makes you cheer for all your dreamers and the rule followers can spot a great idea and help bring it to reality.