Remembering Who We Always Wanted to Be

Dear Reader:

The subject of making time for contemplation in our daily lives continuously reappears in my posts as I grow older. Overall I am a ” people person” and love social situations, especially family gatherings and friendship endeavors, along with daily or weekly neighborhood encounters.

Still… equally important is my ” alone” time each day when I take stock of the path I am on and double check to make sure I haven’t strayed too far off the given path…especially to the point I can’t find my way back.

One of the best kept secrets about aging is when you reach that mysterious, invisible time-line benchmark …when the realization (hits you full face) that you have arrived at the place of whom and where you always wanted to be.

It starts with finding your passion-what is it that makes you happy… what is it that becomes so entangled into your true essence that you can no longer separate your passion from yourself. For me… storytelling. I am a storyteller.

Nothing makes me happier than telling a personal anecdote ( funny or serious) but a life lesson that helped me grow and see my path more clearly. -a story, hopefully the reader can relate to…)

As mentioned earlier I was not a happy camper when mother told me I had to get a teaching degree if I majored in history because ” What in the world can you do with just history when it comes to making a living?”

The magic moment that changed my life was the day I realized that good teaching is storytelling because everyone loves a story when simultaneously everyone hates learning cold, unconnected historical facts.

The best thing about having a teacher format in which to story tell…I even had a ” captive” audience. Since we all have to teach within our personalities I knew I could never be one of those teachers who had a class where silence reigned and one look could send a student melting into their desk. ( some days I was quite envious of them) so I knew I had to make the stories so interesting and student participation in historical re-enactments so engaging …they learned in spite of those crazy hormones bouncing around.

I remember calling my Uncle Harlette ( very expensive long distance call back then) and asking him to re-tell those Swamp Fox ( Revolutionary hero -Francis Marion) escapades and other SC historical stories. Soon it was Uncle Harlette calling me asking how the students liked the story… and he had another one for me!

And my favorite quote written on the blackboard from day one to the last day of school? ” If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

Storytelling, to date, has never not been a part of my life… even when I ” retired” from teaching… Carol Poole, ( Berkeley County Social Studies Coordinator) and I worked for the State Department of Education teaching teachers how to engage their students in history through stories and then supplying them with packets of our own history storytelling lesson plans.

After ” little c” appeared uninvited to my body… in 2008 -I once again-returned to my original passion story telling, initiated by my encounter of St Jude’s Chapel of Hope in Trust, NC … thanks to two of my dearest friends-Honey and Mike Burrell. Two weeks after my epiphany there… the Chapel of Hope Stories blog post started August 7, 2008

I will tell you, truthfully, of all the standardized and exploratory medicines and treatments given to me over the past years … striving to keep my metastatic cancer ” at bay” I know it is the Chapel of Hope stories that awaken me each morning

,,,to discover what event, thought, conversation, movie, quote, book excerpt will be the impetus for the day’s post. What an exciting challenge!!! The best medicine in the world!!!

So until tomorrow…From the first post until now … ( next year will be the 15th anniversary) storytelling is still my passion… and I am exactly who I wanted to be-a storyteller.

Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh

Eloise’s dance recital flower bouquet from her proud Boo Boo!

The ever changing garden hydrangeas

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Remembering Who We Always Wanted to Be

  1. Becky! Thank you for being such an incredible storyteller… Your stories always make me smile and make me ponder the day’s topic! I look forward to reading them each day:) thank you for your morning “Ray of sunshine “ in the form of good story telling! Lisa

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