There is a fantastic passage in perks of being a wallflower
that has been on my mind lately. Charlie writes about it in the letter dated May 11, 1992. He begins,
I’ve been spending a lot of time with Patrick these days.
And he goes on to tell about the time he and Patrick sat on the golf course, “on the eighteenth green” and began telling stories. Patrick begins with a story about Lily Miller and her boyfriend Parker and how they were on that very same green having a picnic. They wanted to have sex but didn’t have a condom so they used a sandwich bag. And Patrick laughs,
She was the valedictorian. And everyone knew it when she went up to give her speech!
There’s nothing like the deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons. It was that great.
The text breaks down then, with Charlie and Patrick telling other stories, some they heard themselves some they heard from others.
This is storytelling.
In the past, I kept a blog that I used in unison with teaching. I kept that blog (actually several, until I wised up and merged them into one, general course blog) because there was always too much to say that could never be said in 50 or 90-minute class blocks. And because there were things that didn’t always have a space for discussion in class but that needed to be said. My last year of teaching at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, I took a break from blogging. I did so because that last year at HWS, I was really busy with teaching, directing independent studies and the job search.
I realized before the end of fall semester, I missed it.
I missed telling my stories.
My stories had no rhyme or reason, no connecting thread. I introduced my students to Noah Cyrus (who I still think is going to be the next big teen Hollywood train wreck within another year), I prompted a discussion concerning the twisted logic that is marketing the KFC Double Down, I cried in joy over the the fantastickness that is educating Afghani girls, and I wow’d myself in excitement over the back-to-school sale.
I expect this new course blog–new school, new blog!–will follow suit with no particular direction. I cannot believe I missed all the fantastic opportunities for storytelling from just this past summer, alone: Honey Boo Boo!
The clusterfuck that is Todd Akin!
Um—hello? The BUNHEADS SEASON FINALE!
And of course, our fantabulous appearance on the Top 25 Cheesiest Mascots List!
I understand when Charlie says,
there were other stories and other names…the list went on and on.
Because, really, we all have stories to tell.