I stopped writing here. But, it’s for a good reason, I promise.
You can find new posts here: http://daredtowrite.wordpress.com/
The trailer for Season 9 of Roadtrip Nation looks great.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Helloooo Ladies and Fancy Pants,
How are you? How are the kids? It’s me, Mak, writer of this here blog, back from an unannounced and no-need-to-be-explained break. I hope your summer was great and that you’re looking forward to what the fall has to offer. Mine was pretty good and actually warrants a few blog posts…which will be delivered soon.
Since today is the first day back to school for many, I thought I’d get back in the swing of things over here. So, this is Hello and Nice to See you Again and Maybe, You Should Bring the Kids Over Sometime for a Playdate.
Okay, we’re good?
(I’m hoping you didn’t notice that this post didn’t have any pictures. But you know, between friends, heartfelt conversations don’t always need visual aids, right?)
I have to come clean. I threw out “Grapes of Wrath”. No, not literally. I had to take it out the reading list. Along with it, I was reading Job this summer. Coupled with some family stuff, and “Grapes of Wrath” was just not happening this summer. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get past reading about red dust.
But, it did allow me to think more deeply about what I want to get out of this reading project. It made me go back to my favorite type of story: Coming-of-age stories. The Twenties are such a place of change and transition. I’m not sure if that’s reason that I find myself gravitating to those type of stories on the wide screen, but there’s something about walking with characters from Confusion, Stress, Conflict to a (relative) state of stability and growth that seems meaningful. So, I’m working on my reading list to reflect just that.
More to come.
Man, I miss this. Reminds me so much of Rives.
Happy Late Mother’s Day! I think it should really be a week. A day is just not enough to celebrate the most important women in our lives…the ones with whom with share mitochondria (something from Biology stayed in :)).
One summer in college, I worked at a summer camp. It was a sleepaway camp for kids as young as kindergarten-age and as old as high-school-age. The camp sessions were one- or two-week long and students could come back several times during the summer. As we hung out together, day and night, the need often arose to tell stories. There were stories that we, as counselors, told to keep our campers entertained and stories that they told to each other and to us to make the time past faster.
It was there that I realized the difference between stories they told and heard and stories that were told to me growing up.
I was born and raised in West Africa, a part of the world where storytelling is as part of Tradition as music or physical artifacts. Growing up in the suburbs, we had the video games and Saturday morning cartoons. It wasn’t until we lived with my grand-parents in the village that I got to experience storytelling. I remember one of my uncles (or whomever was in charge of entertaining the children that night) putting some yucca into the cinders left behind from that night’s supper. It was part of the ritual. By the time the story was finished, the yucca would have finished roasting. It was then broken open and distributed to us, as a snack before bed.
We were a captive audience, paying attention to everything from the storyline to the changes to the tone and inclination of the voice. We had to. There was nothing to do at night. There was no electricity.
We sat close to each other, hoping that the story, this time, would not be a scary one. Because if it were, it would mean that going to bed that night was going to be a problem. It would mean that waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom was going to be a big problem. There was no indoor plumbing.
It was at my summer camp job, some 15 years later that I noticed the difference between the stories of my childhood and the stories of my campers’ childhood.
In the stories that I grew up with, there was almost always a forest involved. And witches. Or Evil Stepmothers. Or Evil Widows who doubled as witches masquerading as old people. Sometimes, there were twins. Other times, there were siblings. One almost always did the right thing as a contrast to the “disobedient one” who did not. Sometimes, there were animals. The lion or the elephant was often wise while the spider was not.
In the stories of my childhood, Evil often won…or at least went undefeated. However, there is always a survivor of the ordeal orchestrated by evil. To tell the story of the one who didn’t make it, the one who was the “cautionary tale”. There was always a lesson given at the end and it almost always involved honoring one’s parents or elders.
In the stories my campers have grown up with, Good wins. All the time. There is a hero. Whether she was a red hiding hood or not. Evil changes his or her way at the end or admits defeat. Though implied, a moral lesson is not explicitly stated. Being a hero often meant being smarter or stronger than Evil.
If I were to be asked a few years ago, which story was better, I would have said the second one. The second style champions Human Agency and reinforces Positivity…that Good always wins. Now, however, I’ve come to understand each story within its context and realize that each story’s ending has a lot to do with how the culture from which it came, views its children. It also speaks volumes to the lessons each culture would like its children to know.
The first story forces its listeners to accept the possibility and the existence of Evil. It invites the still-growing generation to accept the fact that things won’t always go their way. The second story encourages its listeners to choose Good over Evil and to recognize and fight injustice wherever it may be found.
I see the value of both stories.
We absolutely loved the video that ladies of Emotistyle created to celebrate Women’s History Month. Not only did they use songs that we used (and continue) to sing in our hairbrushes to, they included cameos of some of our favorite ladies on the internet. Bonus!
We’re kinda sad we didn’t start this blog in March, so that we could pick some books that fit with the theme. You know, bust out some Jane Eyre…or some “Eat Pray Love”?
But seriously, what book would have you have picked to honor Women’s History Month? The only qualification is that it has to be a work of fiction about a strong woman character or written by a woman. Send your all suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
This theme did give us an idea for the book(s) for this month, though. Stay tuned.
We wouldn’t be shameless book nerds if this parody weren’t our anthem (whaa…is that a double negative?) But seriously, we’ve read so hard…we could have made a small investment with all our library fines.
One thing we said in college is that when we graduated, we would actually take the time to read all those books we’ve always wanted to read…for fun. We’re shameless book nerds.