What Makes You Come Alive?

Dear Reader:

This particular quote stopped me immediately as I was reading an article by Brene Brown yesterday. I marked my place in the article, closed the booklet, and started ruminating about my earliest fondest memories … a time when I felt truly alive and a contributor ( for the first time) to the world around me… no longer just a spectator.

I was eight years old… end of third grade school year… talent show time. Since I couldn’t dance or sing… I didn’t think much about it… but mother could tell I really wanted to do something in it.

She later told me that she found a soliloquy she had heard once and had made a copy of …It was about a little country girl’s funny ” take” on her crazy relatives living together on a farm.

I dressed in overalls, a red cotton kerchief, straw hat and kept one piece of straw in my mouth! *Having natural buck teeth just added to the imagery!

***I love Mary Cassett’s portrait… Girl in a Straw Hat

Even back then I could memorize easily and read ferociously … so mainly I just had to learn how to work on the timed gestures and laughter lines throughout the pantomime.

The first time the audience ( classmates) started laughing ( at a line I spoke) I was hooked. My adrenaline was racing and I intuitively realized I could do something to make others happy. I have never forgotten that moment!

Years later…as I faced my first eight grade social studies class… I asked them to prioritize their subjects from favorite to least favorite… social studies bottomed out-I had my work cut out for me!

So I told the students that the social studies books were just reference books-and that we were going to be” telling” stories… lots and lots of stories. I would start but soon they would be the storytellers… the historians. And we wanted to listen to historical music from different time periods during our lessons to set the stage for the historical events we would study.

I am happy to say by the end of the year social studies had left the bottom rung of the subject hierarchy… even for some students…reaching the highest tier. Storytelling… always the secret to success!

Think about it… what brightens your day and makes you feel alive like no other… what can you contribute to this old world who needs all of our strengths to keep it turning for all its inhabitants?

So until tomorrow… Make everyday a beautiful day by sharing your God-given talents with your fellow man… our ” time-share” humans who reside beside us during our gift of a life time capsule slice of life.

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Mandy’s new bird bungalow
My Angelina/arch-angel

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 What Makes You Come Alive?

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    And those students will never forget…


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