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Posts Tagged Art of Mentoring

Loren Niemi – Honoring Elders and Apprentices.

Press Play to hear Loren Niemi who was interviewed by Eric Wolf on Honoring Elders and Apprentices on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.

Press Play to hear Loren Niemi who was interviewed by Eric Wolf on Honoring Elders and Apprentices on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf.

Storyteller - Loren Niemi speaking in Bad jazz Tickled Pink<br /> 25th Anniversary performance, Kevin Kling on the horn and<br /> Michael Sommers on drums.

Loren Niemi writes…
I’ve been a storyteller for 30 plus years and yet in so many ways I feel like a beginner learning how to do now, what I learned how to do then. It is “LOL” a very “Zen and now” approach to storytelling: beginner’s mind.

At this point in time, I understand clearly and fondly what a gift I received when I came to storytelling. The gift of generous mentors – specifically, Ken Feit and Rueven Gold – who took a “Zen and now” approach offering friendship, access, who posed and (sometimes) answered questions, encouraged and gave permission for me to find and develop my own voice rather than adopt theirs. They welcomed me wherever they were telling and often made space for me to tell a story at those gatherings.

They were prolific in suggesting, cajoling, handing me books and lists of books to read that would ground me in the storytelling traditions. It is one of the laments I have about a significant portion of those coming into storytelling now, that they do not Read the rest of this entry »

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Storytelling and the Development of Ethical Behavior with Elizabeth Ellis

Press Play to hear Elizabeth Ellis who was interviewed by Eric Wolf on the relationship between Storytelling and the Development of Ethical Behavior on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 8pm.

Press play to hear Elizabeth Ellis who was interviewed by Eric Wolf on the relationship between Storytelling and the Development of Ethical Behavior on the Art of Storytelling with Brother Wolf on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 8pm.

Elizabeth Ellis storyteller kissing a frog while storytelling for children.

Elizabeth Ellis Writes…
If I had a nickel for every time someone
(attorney, state trooper, loan officer, IRS agent) has made fun of me because I told ‘em I am a storyteller, I could take us all out to dinner. At a nice place. With tablecloths. Because often the public perception of storytelling is that it is fluff and foolishness.
Well, we storytellers know better, and we have survived an entire movement of Back to the Basics and Almighty State Testing. What the left brain-ers don’t realize is there is another entire level of education far more basic to being human than the 3 R’s will ever be.
The most basic things about being human come from the right side of the brain, not the left. Chief among them is the ability to make ethical decisions. I am not talking about Read the rest of this entry »

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Mark Morey – The Art of Mentoring

Press Play to hear this interview that was recorded as a conference call on March 4th at 8PM ET when I spoke with Mark Morey talks about the Art of Mentoring.

Press Play to hear this interview that was recorded as a conference call on March 4th at 8PM ET when I spoke with Mark Morey on the Art of Mentoring.

For more information on Mark Morey Checkout his website and the Institute for Natural Learning that he runs. Also be sure to attend the Art of Mentoring class in Vermont that he helps put on every year.

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Joyce Slater – Telling to Teenagers with Newborns.

Joyce Slater worked with teenagers with newborns using storytelling.

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Interview #042
Joyce Slater
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Telling to teenagers with newborns.

Joyce Slater writes…
Storypartners for Teenage Parents is an intergenerational storytelling/mentoring residency for high schools. It is designed to promote communication between teenage parents and parents of another generation. Like it or not parents have similar experiences no matter when they became a parent. This program gives all participants a chance to tell his/her own story to someone who is there to listen to them.

Before the residency begins, possible mentoring partners are interviewed and screened. After the mentors are chosen, they participate in a workshop designed to help them tell their own personal stories. The students participate in a similar workshop before the two groups meet.

The residency lasts two to three weeks with monthly follow-up gatherings for the mentors and the students. The facilitator meets with the parents and the mentors separately and together to develop the process of telling their own stories of child rearing. The facilitator also uses stories to illustrate topics of discussion, like love, hope, disappointment and fear. Sometimes music is Read the rest of this entry »

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Michael J. Caduto – Stories About Giving and Receiving

Michael J. Caduto speaks about how storytelling is a personal and relative process.

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of Interview #037
Michael Caduto
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Stories about giving and receiving.

Michael J. Caduto writes…

I always start my storytelling performances by focusing on the circles and cycles that we share. Storytelling is a circle: a story needs someone to speak the words and a listener to imagine the story into being. This vital exchange breathes life into stories as they become animated in our mind’s eye. So the gift of storytelling is a mutual experience – an exchange of wisdom and a mindful act of creation.

There is also the circle of our gathering; of giving and receiving; in which everyone is arranged in a shape which symbolizes reciprocity and reminds us that we are all in balance. Whatever we share goes around between us all.

The circle is also a symbol our relationship of giving and receiving with the natural world.
Everything in nature works in cycles. The basic principles of ecology and sustainable natural processes are based on exchanges of minerals, carbohydrates, genes, gases and other life-sustaining elements. Without this essential mutuality, ecosystems, and the life therein, could not survive. These are the cycles that we must live within in order to Read the rest of this entry »

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The snow had fallen all along the street where we lived. A white blanket had covered the earth while we slept. My four year old brother ran up ahead of me towards the front step of our neighbor’s house, his yellow scarf flying behind him as he ran.
“Wait up,” I yelled, “wait for me.” That’s Max, I thought, always running everywhere. My father says that Max was born running and that it’s been my job ever since to keep up with him. My dad also says that’s what older brothers are for, to watch out for little brothers and sisters.
I looked up. Max was standing perfectly still. I stopped.
“Sam,” he said, “look.” His arm pointed towards a little birch tree.
A squirrel sat as if frozen in the snow looking back at my brother. Then in a burst of snow and noise the squirrel jumped up the tree alerting the whole neighborhood. My brother is good at seeing things even if he doesn’t talk much. His first word was “look” once he pointed out an owl sitting in a tree in our yard. I have never seen anything like that. My mother says that, everyone has a gift. So when Max says “look”, I looked.
Max ran on through the snow towards our neighbor’s front porch. I caught up with him by doing double time just as he pushed the door bell.
Max smiled and said, “Harley!”
“Don’t you boys have to be in school?” Mr. Bill Harley stood at the door of his house. Every day we come here on our way to school and he still acts surprised. His white hair, beard and mustache stood out against his black skin. Ex-Vietnam vet, ex-marine sergeant and ex-scuba diver instructor are all very impressive to anybody, but the most imposing thing about Mr. Bill Harley is that his eyes are completely white too. You see, Mr. Harley is blind but I never asked Mr. Harley how he was blinded. He isn’t the sort of man you ask those questions. He either told you or he didn’t.
Max smiled, “Harley.” He walked in. Mr. Harley was his best friend after all. Max gave Mr. Harley a leg hug. Mr. Harley patted him on his head.
“Nice to see you, too, Max. Both of you come in. I’ve been listening to the chickadees all morning. Chika-dee-dee-dee Chika-dee-dee-dee” Mr. Harley smiled and beckoned us in. “Take off your coats and come on in.” Mr. Harley didn’t use a cane in the house. The best part of Mr. Harley’s house was the smell. He has a home business cooking donuts and pastries to sell to hotels. My brother and I liked visiting Mr. Harley’s house.
Max cried, “Red bird, red bird” and ran into Mr. Harley’s living room.
A huge glass window spread the length of the house. Outside sat three different types of bird feeders. Common birds of every shape and size were busy at the bird feeders while squirrels collected seeds that had fallen to the ground.
“What do you see, Sam?” Mr. Harley took a seat.
“Sam, do you see the cardinal I’ve been hearing all morning?” Mr. Harley made a gentle “Bur-dee, Bur-dee” with his mouth.
I said, “I don’t see it, do you Max?”
Max was sitting very still and looking hard.
The three of us sat for half an hour as the old grandfather clock slowly ticked in the corner of the room. I described to Mr. Harley the way the birds swirled around the feeders. The colors and patterns of the different birds. He always knew their names and for each he could sing the song that the bird made.
Max jumped up, “Red birds, Red birds!”
The cardinals had returned. Five of the bright red male cardinals had arrived at the feeders.
Mr. Harley stood up and walked into the kitchen. “It’s time for you two to be getting to school. But before you go, you might want to take a little sample with you for the road.” He was holding to large jelly donuts.
“My mom is talking about getting a bird feeder of our own,” I told Mr. Harley as Max and I were putting on our coats and boots.
“I hope you still come to look with me at my feeder.” Said Mr. Harley looking suddenly sad.
“Of course,” I said. “But maybe the cardinal will come to our feeder as well.”
Mr. Harley smiled. I like to see him smile. “Just make sure you keep the bird feeder well stocked and never let it run out. It’s cruel to the birds if the feeder runs out in cold weather. Once you make a promise to a wild bird you must never break it.”
“Good-bye, Mr. Harley. See you next week.” I yelled over his shoulders. My brother was already running out the door.

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