“I can only answer the question, ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question, ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’”
– Alasdair MacIntyre

Every New Year Eve as a kid, my siblings and friends watched The Lion King, while the boring parents played games upstairs. We ate kielbasa and sauerkraut, and chips with salsa. Those are precious memories, and worthy traditions. What traditions do you have (or did you have) throughout the year?

Well, Jamie Conrad has started new tradition at PA Distance – it’s called, “Storytime.” Every Wednesday, at 2:00 PM, K-3 students can come together through a link on the SIS homepage for some pure enjoyment, as Ms. Conrad reads them a few stories.

But Storytime isn’t really a new tradition – Ms. Conrad is sharing something much bigger.

Perhaps you’ve heard of The Odyssey, a story dating back to 1600-1000 BC.[1] It tells of the brave, cunning warrior, Odysseus, and of the gods Athena, Calypso, and Zeus. The Odyssey was preserved throughout seven centuries (at least!) by oral story telling. Even now, we continue to read it, and it is still used as inspiration for films, music, and plays.

Then and now, human reality has a narrative shape. As Barbara Hardy said, “We dream in narrative, day-dream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate and love by narrative.”[2] Another philosopher writes, “Stories are lived before they are told.” Stories help us position ourselves within the whole of life – even fun stories like Ms. Conrad’s favorite series, Llama Llama.

Now consider the stories of Winnie the Pooh, which are sometimes read by Ms. Conrad during Storytime. Did you know Winnie the Pooh came from a real bear?

During World War I, Canadian Lt. Harry Colebourn bought a motherless cub on the way to training, and named the bear “Winniepeg.” The bear was the brigade’s beloved pet through training, and journeyed with them in England. The bear lived in the zoo during that time, and was cherished by many children in the community, so Colebourn decided to leave Winnie in London. Author A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, was a zoo regular, and renamed his teddy bear after Winnie.

The rest is history, but without the “hi.”

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Our cyber school joins in the tradition of story telling

Interested in being part of Storytime yet? Come check it out, this Wednesday at 2:00 PM! If you’re a 4th grader and beyond, and want a Storytime of your own, let us know. Ms. Conrad is way too excited to keep this from you!

You’ve got a story, and you’re also part of one. Join us in this age old tradition!

[1] It is thought that the stories were written down 800-700 BC, but their oral telling carries back to 1600 BC.

[2] MacIntyre, Alasdair C. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. 2nd ed. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1984.