Posts filed under ‘storytelling’
We’re nearly there, at a day we celebrate every year. Presents bought and wrapped, cards sent and received, a tree in our living room. Often a Christmas party or two as well. And the creche on the window ledge.
the stone creche after our story time
I asked my granddaughters who are 4,6 to help me set it up. They were here for the first two days of the school holiday.
“What’s a creche, Grandma?”
I got out the box and invited them to help me unwrap the figures, but first we took out the stable, and I began to tell the story of a man and woman travelling a long way to a place called Bethlehem.
We unwrapped the other characters and I named the items— the angel, shepherds, Mary the mother and Joseph the father, and of course the baby Jesus. There were shepherds and sheep to unwrap too, but not wise men for they didn’t come to the stable. Also a donkey for travelling and a cow for the stable.
I moved the white stone pieces around as I told about Mary and Joseph travelling a long long way, then how there was no room in the inn, because so many people had come there, but the inn owner said they could stay in the stable out back where they’d be protected from the wind.
I told the girls about the shepherds in the field watching their sheep and how an angel came to tell them the good news of the new special baby, then more angels appeared in the sky and sang to them and about a special star in the sky. It was not an everyday occurrence to see an angel so the shepherds were afraid at first. But then they were excited to see the baby, so some of them went to find the stable while the others watched the sheep.
“What do you think a shepherd would take as a gift for the baby?”
“A toy?” said the six-year-old.
“Might they bring a baby sheep? They can get the wool cut off and make a blanket for the baby.”
They nod their heads.
“The shepherds were really excited about this special baby and they went and told other people before they went back to the fields.”
I stop there and let them ponder this much of the story. Better in smaller parts. Besides they’ll learn more later. I let them play with the figures and move them around. And the photo is the way they ended up. It’s fitting they’re all there together at the end of the story. Think I’ll leave it as it is for now.
In July, I completed a proposal for a workshop for the fall Toastmasters District 86 conference in November. It seemed a long time until the conference, but these things must be done ahead of time to give the organizers time to sort through the submissions and select the workshop presenters.
From our holiday spot in the Kawarthas, I completed the last steps of submission and enjoyed my holidays while awaiting an answer. The best thing, indeed, after submitting anything for consideration, from a poem to a book manuscript or a workshop proposal, is to forget about it and go on with other things, like holidays with our family and a visit to a Toastmasters club in that district.
Buckhorn Lake resort
Naturally Speaking Toastmasters, Peterborough, ON
It was early September before I received the phone call one evening from the Education chair, Jacklyn Payne, that my proposal had been accepted. I was excited and anticipating the conference when I would present, but I had to get down to work and build up my workshop from the ideas and outline I had presented. Between other commitments, it was time to get to work on it.
A lot of thinking and writing went into that workshop. Research too, that I would use to support my workshop, titled ASK for Direction on Mentoring.
Here I am with my workshop assistant, Doris Tuckett, on the Friday afternoon.
and my second workshop assistant, Albert.
Toastmasters calls these assistants Activators, which is really a scientific term. Our networking breakfast business associates got a ‘charge’ out of my response to this.
My music stand came in handy as we had no lectern, but the sound equipment (mic and speaker) came with me from Kitchener. Thanks, guys at Sheridan Sound, Kitchener, for being so amazingly helpful.
(conference photo from Flickr)
Some of my engaged audience members, listening and then laughing about a story I told
Thanks to both Doris and Albert for making sure the details around my presentation were covered, and to Chris Brown, President of our Energetics Toastmasters club, who helped take down my equipment and get it to the car.
After my workshop was past and my things put away, I sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the conference, the speakers and contestants for both Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests, and of course Gary Schmidt (shown above at left of speaker Vitaliy Fursov), a past Toastmasters International President. I had really hoped to hear more from him since he travelled so far to be with us.
I couldn’t miss our own district speaker, Neil Dunsmore, who backed up much of what I said about mentoring in his thought-provoking, lively and inspirational keynote speech on Saturday morning. He also spoke of his own mentor, Dawna Bate, a fellow member of his first club. He often “bounced ideas off her” on what he should or shouldn’t keep in his speeches. He gave us much to think about.
Thank you, Neil. One great highlight of the entire weekend.
Neil also managed the sound board and mics for the speakers at the main hall presentations and dinners as well as the contests.
The times I attended my book table, I had opportunity for conversation with others who came by to check out my table and tell people about the books I was selling.
My book table in the Petun Room at the conference centre
Now it’s more than a week since I gave my workshop and attended the rest of the conference, District 86 Fall Toastmasters conference in beautiful Blue Mountain near Collingwood. I’ve received some lovely compliments on my workshop, for which I am very grateful. It was a good experience over all, and giving a workshop to fellow Toastmasters, you really need to be “on your toes.”
Oh, and if you’re on Facebook, look for the Energetics Toastmasters and my page (Carolyn R. Wilker) and like us too.
The day at Lang Pioneer Village included a lot of stops. Our next one was the cider mill where people brought apples to be sorted, pressed and made into cider. The girls know about apple picking and they’ve tasted sweet apple cider, but this was interesting.
Here we are inside the mill with the guide showing us how the wheat is ground into flour. I was impressed how the young man there showed the girls the process on a level they could understand. He talked about and showed how the flour was ground, what flour was more valuable, and about all the equipment and what it did. We went up to the top floor of this large stone structure, looked at all the hoppers and tools, and looked out the window at the water below, then back down all those stairs and outdoors again.
We enjoyed the day and the girls were very interested in many aspects of this place. I’m sure we’ll be back again another year.
Thank you so much to all the guides and volunteers for telling us about the village and the people who lived in these places and worked at these jobs. Thank you for taking special interest in the way children understand might view the place and time. You made it a special day for them and us.