Life and History (history is life)

A Toy Monkey That Escaped Nazi Germany And Reunited A Family I began this project I called “dismantling the essay” or “disrupting the essay,” and it continues. Driving home today, I had NPR on, and the introduction to this story almost made me turn on my own music, and thank heavens I didn’t. Not sure what it was about the introduction that seemed kind of weak, but it is a beautiful story–first to listen to the voices on the radio, and then read the article with the accompanying pictures. I didn’t need the photographs to bring it to life, but…

Tell your story.

You’re 8 years old. Your 3rd grade class orders chinese food & your father delivers it. You are so excited to see your pops in school. He’s your hero. But apparently other kids don’t think he’s so cool. They laugh at him and mimic his accent. You don’t want to be Chinese anymore. pic.twitter.com/6vW9DXZK6x — Kimberly Yam (@kimmythepooh) August 18, 2018 Yesterday in one sitting I read Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai: it’s a short verse novel, so saying I finished it quickly is a silly boast. The story, light in words but heavy with my response…

Storytelling for the digital age

This is a tragic story. It’s the story of how we lose one another, how men hurt women, the women who bear them children and love them. It’s of a sister’s pain and a mother’s despair. And it’s beautifully told. http://apps.bostonglobe.com/metro/graphics/2018/05/jaimee-mendez/?camp=breakingnews:newsletter https://www.bostonglobe.com/2018/05/31/the-face-waves/vmVVYvXOHRjk4ZO5UYyojO/story.html https://longform.org/posts/the-face-in-the-waves As I am deconstructing the structure of this piece: it is a living article, with voice, movement, a story told with deepfelt heart and humility. I am an amateur when it comes to understanding how structure affects our relationship with texts: but the only way to get better is to practice and reflect. I am wondering what…

The Power of Storytelling

Someday, maybe, I’ll work on my Doctorate, and I am fairly certain what my focus will be the power of storytelling. It’s been a subject I’ve researched for years. We are all narrative learners. I struggle with putting things in tidy boxes of informational versus narrative. I could make a case that all learning is information, or all learning is narrative. But it’s both. And what makes us human, to me, is our need for a story. Perhaps elephants, dolphins, and whales tell their babies stories, and I know experience is certainly passed down. Unless of course, you’re an octopus–incredibly intelligent,…

Film Friday

    What was the first movie you ever saw? What was the one that made you cry? Which one terrified you so much you nearly ran, or did run, out of the theatre, or kept the lights on all night? Films and books/texts are not in conflict with one another, they act as pillars on a strong brain and heart. Our instructional time is eroded by so many other agendas, however, that when we’re mentally drained, and the desire to just pop in a movie overwhelms us, our good admin remind us that students have plenty of time to…

Through new eyes…

  Innocently a young colleague, not much older than my eldest son, asked me if I had seen ‘Force Awakens,’ and if I liked it. Poor guy. Never believe that asking a simple question to  an English-teacher-quasi-nerd-fan-girl-turned-Jedi-master-saw-original-Star-Wars-changed-life is going to produce a simple answer. I hesitated, and he said, “Oh no.” He knew. So…hesitated, and responded: “I learned that ‘Star Wars’ is our cultural entry, our collective consciousness doorway, to providing accessible analysis of narrative.” Or something to that effect. Basically: it’s our doorway to being able to discuss literature/narrative, in an informed, impassioned and to us, when we’re discussing plot, character,…