Life… It’s All About Connections

In life remember Connections… Connections… there is always a connection…”

Dear Reader:

We humans learn through connecting prior information and new knowledge with other links …provided by other learners …adding their unique perspectives. Simply put… we are all connected under the sun.

As a student… I was a pretty good mixture of a visual, auditory, and hands/on learner but my one strongest ” attribute ” was the ability to see, hear , and make connections to pretty much everything around me.

When people ask how I can come up with a different idea each day for Chapel of Hope Stories… the answer is quite simple… I hear or see a comment, opinion, joke, anecdote, picture, conversation, show, observation, etc. and I remember something similar that connects the two different scenarios under one unifying motif.

Think about it…. there is a lot of truth about the old adage… ” There’s nothing new under the sun.” Every new invention,throughout the ages, has evolved from taking an established or accepted idea or concept and adding a new perspective to it. Making something new from something old.

Latest example: When Jo stopped by last week with the surprise ” second choice” boxed lunch… I remembered to ask her about my Christmas gift-the historic artifact from the Hunley that she passed on to me since she knew how much I would appreciate the significance behind the relic and attached story ( of Dixon’s gold coin) …no one in her family was an ardent history lover like herself.)

I specifically asked Jo about the personal note from one of the archaeologists present the day the gold coin was discovered by the senior archaeologist, Maria Jacobson. She later passed the ” lucky charm” gold coin around to the other archaeologists to hold so one day ( like in the note) they could proudly say ” I held the gold coin given to Lt Dixon by his fiancée Queenie Bennett ( who both held it) and later held by Maria Jacobson before being passed to him and the other archaeologists present that day. ”

Can you imagine the surprise when Maria Jacobson held this most sought after coin in her hand? The story was real!

Immediately my mind screamed ” Pink and Say!” ” Pink and Say” is a children’s book about two boy soldiers during the Civil War… the story is based on the re-telling of author, Patricia Polacco’s ( 1994) re-counting of an oral history retold through the generations about a great grandfather’s ( Sheldon Curtis) exploits during the Civil War …as a fifteen year old soldier fighting for the Union.

Sheldon’s nickname is ” Say” … the story begins as he has been injured and left behind on a battlefield in Georgia. He is saved by a former slave, Pinkus, nicknamed ” Pink”… who is also fifteen and fighting in the 48th unit composed of black soldiers.

He manages to carry ” Say” home to his mother who is still living in slave quarters in Georgia. Throughout the ensuing weeks of recovery… Say comes to understand just why the war is being fought and is more determined than ever to win to free all the slaves.

One day, while Pink is reading aloud from the Bible to his mother and Say… Say admits he can’t read… but then smiles proudly and says that he once shook hands with Abraham Lincoln. Pink proudly shakes his friend’s hand.

Then tragedy strikes… Pink’s mother is killed for harboring the enemy and both boys are arrested by confederate soldiers and taken to Andersonville-notoriously the worst prisoner of war camp.

The boys are treated differently… Say survives to be freed a few months later… while Pink is hanged within hours of their entry. But before the two boys are torn apart Pink runs over to Say and cries out… ” Let me touch the hand that touched Mr, Lincoln, Say, just one last time!”

” I am a part of all what I met” -Tennyson ( I believe that quote also includes WHO I met)

On Tuesday nights I find myself turning the channel to PBS ( Finding Your Roots with Dr Henry Louis Gates) to watch celebrities discover their pasts and find out if they have a “great great ” someone in their past who they would love to shake hands with…

So until tomorrow… ” Allow the past to have a voice… only then will it be stilled.”

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

Connecting the clues… I have been sad since returning from Beaufort because a wind storm (that blew through Summerville while I was gone) took my ” Prayers for Ukraine ” flag and sent it swirling to never never land or so I thought… I looked everywhere for it when I returned … to no avail.

I even had walkers and strollers letting me know they missed seeing it and upon hearing my story of its disappearance… agreed to keep an eye out for it.

Then yesterday … out of the blue ( actually gray skies) I started towards my car … and there it was waving merrily at me as if it hadn’t been gone for almost two weeks. But I am on the case… connecting the dots and think I know who the mysterious retriever is… will confirm my ” hypothesis ” when I know for sure!

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 Life… It’s All About Connections

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Thanks for this entry…remember this book well…love how you tie everything together…best way to teach history…as you well know…❤


    • Becky Dingle says:

      It’s just so fun connecting daily incidences with seeming coincidences that are simply life connections waiting to be linked to something or someone else! 🤗

      Sent from my iPhone


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