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The Golden Repair – Art of Imperfection

Leniz Benjamin

“Write an essay responding to the prompt: [insert prompt]”; put that into any AI platform and it will write a practically perfect essay about whatever topic your teacher assigned to you. I’m sure many people would agree that the most frustrating sentence a teacher can say is “The grade isn’t what matters,” because it is. 

The stress of maintaining a perfect GPA is something that every student, especially in high school, has felt. The fear that if you write a bad paragraph responding to a prompt for homework and get a bad grade you won’t get into college, is an irrational, but very common feeling. So if your entire LIFE depends on writing that perfect paragraph, why wouldn’t you make it as perfect as possible and have AI do it? 

In many cultures, there are practices formed around the value of imperfections and mistakes. Kintsugi is a Japanese term that describes the beautiful art of fixing cracks, specifically of ceramics, with gold fillings. 

The word Kintsugi literally means golden (kin) repair (tsugi), which emphasizes the beauty and creative space that can come from ‘broken’ things, rather than ‘perfect’ things. The practice of creating these fascinating pieces from art, all slightly different from one another, is a beautiful example of how charm is found in differences, and how imperfections can lead to the creation of captivating art. 

Many high school students are acquainted with the pressure to be perfect; whether it’s for AP classes or tests, Regents, SATs/ACTs, college essays, etc.. This system of assessing students on how perfect they can be is simply dehumanizing. 

The distinctive character of students is slowly lost as they are trained to write and perform according to formats implemented by standardized testing and grading. Originality, unusual ideas, critical thinking, and genuine reflection, are all more valuable than a uniform concept of perfection. If the school system focused more on individuality and original mindsets such as the art of Kintsugi does, and praised genuine imperfection over false perfection, students would feel more comfortable making mistakes, and  would rely less on AI and other dishonest ways to get their work done.

Placing value on imperfection, especially in school, is essential so that society doesn’t lose sight of the true values of education by replacing them with pressure to always be perfect. Creating well educated people that can think independently and are able to express themselves and their ideas is the foremost important thing the School System can do to prepare the next generation of graduating students to maintain authenticity as they enter the real world. 

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About the Contributors
Emma Reynolds
Emma Reynolds, Opinion Editor
My name is Emma Reynolds. I love reading and writing, and I love hanging out with my family and Friends. I am so happy to be part of the staff of The Gallery!
Leniz Benjamin
Leniz Benjamin, Photography/Art Staff Member
Hey I'm Leniz! I'm super excited to work as part of the Photography Staff for The Gallery. I love taking photos in my free time and posting them on social media. I hope to be able to share photos that intrigue people and inspire them to read more of The Gallery's articles.
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    adviserNov 21, 2023 at 6:48 am

    Beautifully written! Loved this perspective on AI usage in school.