Inspiration and Intersection: More Reflections on Week 1 of the Summer Reading Program

Week 1 of the Summer Reading Program was so filled with wonderful moments that I couldn’t fit them all into one post!

Here are a few more of my highlights:

Inspiring and Empowering Someone Else

On Saturday an adult woman slipped into the back row at my performance. At the conclusion, she introduced herself and said that she is a teacher at a school in a prison town. Many of her students have family members who are incarcerated and when she heard that I would be telling stories about conflict resolution, she wanted to get some ideas for using stories in her classroom. She described how one child taking anothers crayon could turn into an all out war – just like in the story of “The War between the Whales and the Sandpipers.” We chatted about some resources she could use, and she left excited to continue building on her use of storytelling in the classroom, particularly as a means of giving her students the tools they need for peaceful conflict resolution. Seeing her passion for her students, I know she is going to have a huge impact. I’m super excited that my performance could be part of equipping someone else to reach people I may never meet!

Building on Past Relationships

At my last performance of the week, it was amazing to see a family that I recognized from my last visit at this library over 3.5 years ago! We’d had a small crowd that winter day and so this family – from grandma all the way down to grandson — ended up playing almost every role in my story! It was quite memorable to have a whole family involved in this way. This time around, there were more children volunteers so the adults didn’t get as involved; however, the grandson took on a role once more and it was neat to see how his creativity had blossomed!

However, even more meaningful than that was when during the telling of “Old Joe and the Carpenter” I asked the audience this question: “If you could live next door to anyone, who would you want to live next door to?” This young man raised his hand and said: “My grandma.” Tears came to her eyes – and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.

 Connecting Home and Work

My week was capped off by a proud Mama moment. As my 3 year old was taking his bath, with toy fish and whales floating around, with no prompting by me, he began to tell/act out the story of “The War Between the Whales and the Sandpipers.” I was amazed by how well he knew it! He has become one of my primary listeners for practicing my tales, and every once in awhile I’ll hear him say one of the refrains from a story I’m rehearsing out of the blue, but I had no idea how much he was internalizing these stories. To see my professional and personal worlds intersect in such a meaningful way made for the perfect ending to an already great week.

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