Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Today I went to hear my rock star friend Lisa B give the distinguished faculty lecture at SLCC.  I should cap those--Distinguished!  Faculty!  Lecture!

You guys, she did such a good job.  If you'd been there, you would have been sitting on the edges of your seats because she was so interesting and thoughtful AND she had cool, cool computer graphics going on.  Also, she looked sensational.  YES TO YELLOW SCARVES, LISA B!   OWN THEM!

Lisa B talked about narrative--what it is, what it does--and how narrative informs structures (like argument or critical analysis) that are often viewed as the antithesis of narrative.   And as she spoke I realized that the main way I process this world is through stories.  Mine.  Other people's.  I mean it's the way I understand everything.

Lately I've been wondering what the point of a column like mine is--all I do is tell these tiny tales about my ordinary life and WHY SHOULD ANYONE HAVE TO READ THOSE ANYWAY?  What Lisa's talk (in part) reminded me of today is that stories help us understand.

I needed to hear that.

Thank you, Lisa B!


CSIowa said...

It's the way I understand everything, too. It's even why I am on Facebook--to get a little bit of personal story. (If all you have to say is "I have cute kids," I find you boring and hide your posts. Give me the story, people! Even if it's just one sentence.)

It has taken me a long time to accept that narrative is not the way everyone understands everything. I still don't know what it means or how to help such a person understand something or how to understand such a person. What is that skill set? How do I get it? How do I not resent using it when I could be spending time giving or receiving a story?

Lisa B. said...


storytellers like you are my inspiration.

James said...

Way to go, Lisa B. ! (and I will add 2 more !! for extra emphasis). Reading the paper is a good way to be informed. Relating to the story (oftentimes through the story) is the way for us to be better humans. I can read the dow jones and stock markert indices (well not really, but in theory I can), but its the story about Fred and his lost pension that really drives the point home.

shelley said...

This is exactly why I'm having such a hard time teaching Doctrine and Covenants in my Gospel Doctrine class. The other scriptures are all stories, and D&C is...commandments. Covenants. Organization. So hard for me to make it juicy. No murder, sex or war like in OT, NT and BoM :).

Louise Plummer said...

I would like to have heard that talk.