Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Baby steps

After a few attempts I finally have this figured out. Does that make me a "blogger" now? Correct terminology is just as important as the actual process in today's technolgy. It is amazing the amount of things I learn every minute being here at ETSU and out of my comfort-zoned world.
Dan Yashinsky in his preface tells about a Halloween storytelling experience where he was given "good counsel" by a 10 year old girl. ..."When you know something scary is coming you must find and hold on to your own source of reassurance and
wisdom.... " What Yashinsky says he holds on to is the " passionate belief that knowing good stories by heart and telling them to a circle of listeners makes a haven for the human spirit." It is that passionate belief in stories that has brought us all together to improve our skill. Any effort at self-improvement is scarey. You are all a great group of balcony people. I appreciate David's positive approach and that we all cheer each other on, but still are comfortable enough to offer comments that help each of us to improve. Like Alice Kane we might wonder what we as a storyteller can do to make a difference. Many years ago when I was in a school that supported my storyteller passions I saw as Yashinsky stated that storytelling is a necessary and beneficial art. Donald Davis explained his role as a storyteller by saying, " I only give you the words. It's how you hear those words that turn them into a story. That concept of hearing words and students turning them into stories and asking for more adhered me to the art of storytelling. We now have more reference material like this book, Suddenly They Heard Footsteps and the bibliography list David gave at the end of the syllubus to prove to administrators and others who make the decisions that to quote Dan Yashinsky... stories frame and flow through our everday lives, anchoring identity, preserving family heritage and building intercultural bridges. I would like to add develop listening skills and can just be "fun"! I say this as I am now in a school where I do not have the support of the staff or administration. (My administrator's reply when I sent in my request for approval of this masters degree is another story.) So I am trying to rekindle my lost spirit and start with baby steps to again be that storyteller that can make a difference in the lives on my students ...one year, one class at a time....and yearn for Yashinsky's opinion that " even the most skeptical listen with open hearts once the storyteller begins. Storytropic, we're drawn to narrative as naturally as sunflowers opening to the light." I have seen huge fields of sunflowers turning to the sunlight. Now I want to draw people to narrative.

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