Looking Back on a Story
I forgot to update about the whole "Rocking Chair" story. I read it on Wednesday night as the closing to my lesson. It was effective in one sense because stories almost always are. I don’t know if I will ever get used to the fact that the same students who had been playing around and only half paying attention just a moment earlier will sit still and listen to a story. I think the story fit the lesson exactly (I would hope so since I wrote it that way) but there were a few problems.
- First it was a little long to use at the end of a lesson like I did. If I had it to do again I would use it closer to the front and make it the backbone of the lesson.
- It didn’t really have a payoff at the end. Of course that is what makes it a better story, but I think the students were looking for the twist where they are hit over the head with the point. It isn’t there and I like that, but…well…o forget it I guess that isn’t a bad thing.
- It may be a little old for students. I think many of them could see their fathers and grandfathers in the story, but they haven’t lived enough to be nostalgic yet. Teenagers have memories that they can look back on with fondness, but I have found as I get older a deep ache to connect to an old family memory or an old time in life–if only for a moment. That comes with many more years of regrets than a teenager has had time to accumulate.
I don’t really sit and dwell on the past as much as that last bit made me sound. But there are places and smells that awaken in me a deep longing to drift back and sit if only for a moment. (For instance I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and saw the Bridge to Terabithia and almost had to sit down as the memory of Mom reading me the story crashed ove over me. I remember laying on my parents bed in their blue room as she read about those two kids (I can’t remember their names) swinging across to Terabithia. I can remember many of those books: Are you There God it’s me Margaret; I Am the Cheese, and Sounder.
Let me take a moment and apologize to Sumer Analytical Sunrise for springing that memory on her out of nowhere.
Alright back to my meeting report: I thought the story went well. The rest of the lesson was ok, but I never quite hit my groove. I hope I’m not the only one who has ever stood in front of a group of students and just couldn’t find the beat. I had all of the moves, I knew all of the things that I needed to say, but I was just a little off rhythm. I always felt like I was clapping a bit behind the beat.
I had a 2 hour conversation about Winter Retreat today. I am not ready for that beast at all, but that is tomorrow’s trouble I’m not borrowing it for today.