Friday, May 7, 2010

These are the Stories of our Lives

The Media Impact two-week workshop has come to a close, and I’m surprised to say that I’ll miss schlepping my heavy bag to and fro every weekday to the Bay Gardens Inn. It’s not really the schlepping that I’ll miss though, but the Caribbean friends and connections Sarah and I have made in these two brief weeks amid learning, discussion and dialogue. It’s been a whirlwind of a fortnight here in St. Lucia, but we’ve learned so much about the project and each other.

Yesterday we were fortunate to have guest workshop facilitator Dr. Arvind Singhal all the way from University of Texas El Paso. It was particularly a special treat for Sarah and me because Dr. Singhal was our Social Change professor during the spring semester at the Clinton School, and he also assisted us in connecting us with Media Impact. A million thanks would not be due credit.

Dr. Singhal shared his insight and wisdom in the field of Education Entertainment and Positive Deviancy. For me it was like Singhal’s Greatest Hits as he shared all the best stories we students heard in Social Change. Hearing them a second time over, however, was just as powerful (if not more powerful) than the first listening experience. It was very compelling to hear the theories and stories intermingled with each other in a very real, practical setting. No longer were we envisioning Positive Deviancy as a tool, but we were talking about how to apply it in our My Island – My Community project. Participants of the workshop, which included government officials, educators, radio DJ’s, musicians, and more, loved the stories (this is, after all, a culture centered on storytelling). And the stories of Gandhi were not just stories to live by as public servants that I previously heard in class, we were all reminded at the workshop why we come together in the first place -- to work on social issues.

In our lives if we are lucky to come across great storytellers we are truly blessed. For it’s not just the great stories that entertain us as we learn about the lives and events from other characters and times – we learn a lot about ourselves as well. Great story tellers offer us the freedom to think about concepts and norms and allow us to rewrite our own norms. Dr. Singhal is one of those great storytellers.

In the spirit of sharing stories, here is one of those stories.


David said...

Agreed - the dude is a great storyteller. Thanks for posting this vid!

libélula azul said...

I love how you're using video media in your blog :-) Looks and sounds like this was a really neat workshop.

Captain Judy said...

Thanks for stopping by friends! Great storyteller indeed, David. And LA, I'll be trying to include more video in the coming weeks. ;)

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