Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tell a Story

If you were to play the game where one person starts a story and then the next person continues the story and so on, where would you begin? Where is the setting? Who is the story about? What conflicts would happen?

Tonight I played this game in the Treehouse, an English resource center, with Chinese freshmen and sophomores. They loved it. They hung onto each other's words, quiet until the next part of the story was told, bursting into laughter with each funny turn, sighing with compassion when things took a turn for the worse.

I started the first story with, there once was an American. I was hoping the story would continue into China with the American coming to visit. Instead the American turned into a fat president who was chased by a fat dog that was owned by a beautiful women ending with the police capturing the dog.

The next storyline was started by a student. A long long time ago, there was a monk in a temple. Whenever he hit the gong a tiger would appear. Then the tiger turned into a beautiful women who fell in love with him; however, it is forbidden for a monk to marry, to drink alcohol or to eat meat. Even with the pressure of his mother who was very angry at him for not marrying the woman, he did not give into temptation. It turns out this woman was a princess from heaven who rewarded him with a job in heaven where he lived happily ever after.

I would have never started a story with a monk or a temple. It is fascinating to me how different our stories are because of the different cultures we grew up in.

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