The Art of Storytelling

Shantel is taking this class in college because it fulfills a humanities requirement. She HATES the class but I LOVE it. I help her with her homework, because as usual, in the beginning of the school year, most of the handouts in her classes have not been brailled yet.

The description of the class says “Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, and images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters, and narrative point of view.

As the class progresses, each student will have many opportunities to present stories in front of the class. One of the things I think is excellent about this class is when a student presents a story, they are in charge of asking for just the feedback they need. For example, when you are first beginning to present stories, you might ask for just positive feedback…i.e. tell me only what I did right…Then, as you become more confident, you might start asking for more constructive feedback, i.e. tell me what I might do better. All this helps prepare the students for their final exam which is presenting their story in front of an audience at a school event. How cool is that? I would love that, but, Shantel…, not so much…

Storytelling became an actual profession in the United States in 1970. In 2010 the average storyteller’s hourly wage was $18.60. Who knew??? OMG, I think I missed my calling… 🙂

Yesterday, Shantel (and I) had to read a story titled Wisdom, and answer questions about what the story meant. The story was about a young king who desired wisdom. The king called together his physician, philosopher, mathematician, storyteller, and fool. He gave them the challenge of writing the history of all mankind. He instructed them to leave out nothing of significance.

Many years later, when the king was in his midlife years, his staff presented him with volumes and volumes of beautiful leather-bound books that filled his library with the complete history of mankind. However, the king told his staff he was much too busy to read all those books and instructed them to condense them down.

Another twenty years passed before the king’s staff presented him with a few large books that they said were the condensed version of the history of mankind. But by then the king’s eyesight was failing him so he asked the storyteller to tell him the story of the history of mankind.

The storyteller said “They were born, they lived, they knew sorrow, they knew joy, they died, we learn.” I don’t know about you, but I found that to be so profound. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all cut through all the drama in our lives and just keep life that simple…? I guess that’s what Shantel and I will learn as we continue to study “The Art of Storytelling.” 🙂

Stay Tuned!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 23:35:40

    What a GREAT subject! And yes, you are the best at story telling! xoxo


  2. Megs
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 18:01:26

    Ditto! Xoxo


  3. katsbynp
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 01:56:25

    You are an excellent storyteller and I never realized a storyteller’s compensation level. It is never too late to start


    • beyondcinderella
      Sep 12, 2013 @ 02:08:09

      Thank you Kathy. I’m not looking to go back to work now…but I am enjoying studying “the art of storytelling” as I help Shantel through this class. It’s like I get to attend college classes again but for free this time, as I help her with her homework… what’s not to love about that?


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