Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Me or You?

It was an interesting process yesterday to do the activities that helped make the connection between our personal stories and other’s personal stories as discussed in the Schank book. Schank says, “ we start life without stories, and we go through life acquiring them.”(30). He also ( in Chapter 1) went into great detail explaining the effects remembering or being reminded of an incident or story helps us interpret new events. You don’t know something if you can’t find it in your memory when you need it. In conversation, a speaker might say something that sparks that memory. We experienced that in class and can relate that to a possible connection we want our listeners to make when they hear our stories.
In class we talked briefly about me-goals and you-goals. According to Schank tellers have 5 intentions with respect to themselves (40):
• achieve catharsis,
• to get attention,
• to win approval,
• to seek advice,
• or to describe themselves.
Anyone who tells us stories about ourselves, is helping us acquire personal myths or you-stories. I am in the sorting process to see where the story I am going to tell fits in to this picture.
When we tell stories for other people we have other goals. Schank lists them as(48):
• To illustrate a point
• To make the listener feel someway or another
• To tell a story that transports the listener
• To transfer some piece of information in our head into the head of the listener
• To summarize significant events.

I often find when I am analyzing my story I might have a deep purpose to telling it, sometimes not able to remove myself yet from the story or experience. Then I know it isn’t ready to tell. Schank tells us that stories are often intended to make somebody feel something and often they make the teller feel something as well.

I enjoyed these two comments in Chapter 2;
1. “ the most you can get expect from an intelligent being is a really good story. To get human beings to be intelligent means getting them to have stories to tell and having them hear and perhaps use the stories of others.”(54)
2. “Good storytellers cause positive responses in their listeners. Thus, good storytellers seem very intelligent.”(54)

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