LYNDA BARRY is an artist, cartoonist, and teacher, known for her comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek and graphic memoir One! Hundred! Demons! (2002) as well as for graphic works on the relationship between creativity and drawing like What It Is (2008) and Picture This (2010). Now a professor of interdisciplinary creativity at the University of Wisconsin’s Image Lab, Barry is the author most recently of Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor (2014). The essay here was originally published in the New York Times in 1992, when public schools were experiencing severe cutbacks.