I’m a story snob. I love a well-crafted story.
My family knows that I love to watch movies and critique their plots and character development. I’m asking, “Did the character change?” or “Was the plot predictable?”My students know that I love great stories, even the ancient ones (e.g. The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, The Iliad). I have cried while teaching Great Expectations, when Miss Havisham confesses her failings to Pip just before she dies. Atticus Finch’s court room plea to the jury in defense of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird moves me every time I read it.
Stories elicit emotion.
Have you ever watched a crowd that is listening to a lecture or a sermon? Let the speaker drone on about this point or that lesson, and eyes drift, minds wander. But let the speaker illustrate his point with a story, and eyes refocus, minds snap to attention.
Maybe my love for stories grew out of my childhood–with no siblings and with acres of southern-Indiana farmland to wander. But I rather think that childhood engenders a love for stories in us all. The teacher in me also knows now, years later, that stories engage more of the brain in learning and increase the ability to remember information.
“Thought flows in terms of stories – stories about events, stories about people, and stories about intentions and achievements. The best teachers are the best story tellers. We learn in the form of stories.” ~ Frank Smith