Sunday, August 25, 2013

Story, Story, Story

Story number one:
Here begins the next phase of my blogging. I now have a class (Integrated Studies) that I have to keep a blog updated and post for my class. Hopefully this encourages me to post more regularly and maybe I'll even be able to continue once the class is over. Anywho, for those that are just beginning to find out about me, my name is Jillian Wyson. Since April of this year I have worked three part time jobs, gone to school full time, planned a wedding, changed my name, moved away from home, bought a piano, and traveled almost every weekend. Oh, and I got married! But that's just to name a few. I have since quit one of the jobs (so I'm only working two part time jobs now), and moved into some apartments within about 8 blocks of the college and both of my jobs. I work as a veterinary technician at both Animal Medical Hospital and Southwest Animal Emergency Clinic (it is an after hours clinic where I work the night shift). I was up until this week a lab technician out at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Plant here in St. George and I'm sad to leave, but happy to have some more time to devote to school work, my husband, and sleeping! I have narcolepsy, so I fall asleep pretty much any time I sit down for more than five minutes. I enjoy working with animals and have a cat that has a mustache named Inspector Clouseau!

Story number two:
Enough about me! Now that I've probably bored you out of your minds with useless trivia about me, I will start on the real purpose of this post: Stories. Stories are something that are hard to define because they cover a wide variety of things. They are several different genres, there are several ways to tell them, changes are made by each person a story is passed from and they are told all over the world. Every culture has stories. During an English course (Intro to Mythology taught by Prof. Pilkington) I took here at the college, he once described how Myths are stories that are told in many cultures that contain the same elements, teaching a specific principle, and yet most of the people had never talked to each other. How could they tell the same story and be on opposite sides of the world? Stories are just like that. They capture the reader/listener perhaps without even meaning to. Everyone loves to hear a good story whether it started off as truth and was embellished or even if it could never happen. Stories help readers by opening their minds and their imaginations to what could happen, what could be. If only we could unlock the magic and make all of these things possible. People may claim that they like a good story so they can escape from the real world, but as was pointed out by David Eagleman, many times the stories are much more involved, filled with horrors and nightmares we can only imagine! What kind of a sick person would want to escape to that?! Stories come through to us in books (which is the most obvious one), movies, music, and simple everyday conversation. They are all around us, easy to access and beautiful to bring into our already bursting minds. Your friend tells you about their day and the story rolls off their tongue, across their lips, through the moving air, and into our listening ears. They are sharing a story. Maybe it's not the most interesting story you have ever heard, but you still listen awaiting the end, wondering how it'll end. Stories do help us to open our minds to things we never expected and yet can hold us back from the real world if we are not careful.

Story number three:
A story is considered good when it captures us in, begging not to be set down or stopped until the story has completed it's work. When the hero has won, has conquered and when the bad guy has become vanquished or stopped. A story is good if it contains the proper balance of good and bad. It must present the proper morals to the reader/listener. A bad story might be one that we don't like because it has a sad ending, but maybe we still consider those ones to be good (such as Old Yeller, or Where the Red Fern Grows). Eagleman's review of "The Story Telling Animal" helped me to determine what a story is in my mind as well as presenting some interesting insights into what stories do for humans. I also enjoyed the preface to Jonathan Gottschall's novel. His preface has helped me to understand a little bit more about why he wrote a book on this topic as well as to figure out a bit more his writing style. He was easily able to capture my mind and I devoured the beginning of the book enjoying his type of writing.

What do you consider a good story? What are your ideas behind stories? Do you consider our inherent need to tell stories as something ingrained within our DNA make up? Or do you think that it is just something that humans started doing to break up the monotony of life?