VVH Campfires

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VVH Campfires

I have loved “story” since I was a small child ensconced in the children’s room at the Portsmouth Library.  I loved to read – about faraway places and different cultures, of fables and legends, of saints and sinners, of plants and planets.  There was a whole world out there to know.

My professional career has been as a counselor, where I have had the privilege of hearing others’ stories and encouraged them to give voice to and share their hopes and fears, their successes and failures, their paths.

The “paths” of these two worlds came together eleven weeks ago.  COVID19 had locked us in our homes and we all struggled to give voice to and share this new reality.  Renee Hobbs, through the Media Education Lab, launched Virtually Viral Hangouts, and yet another world was born.  A group of educators began coming together, sharing – life in isolation, life on a screen, the beauty of life, the uncertainty of life, life away from a classroom, life without shoes, life within four walls. We laughed.  We cried.  We screamed. We danced.  And then as all educators do, we all began teaching and learning.  Each day brought nuggets…little stories that had to be told.  Storytelling Friday was born.

For me, storytelling was a way to get us out of our heads and into our hearts.  It was a way to capture the simplicity and commonality of what we were all living: a world of slippers and bare feet, of filled gas tanks and empty cupboards, of fear and concern for our students, of grief with no outlet, of silent neighborhoods and barred doors.  We walked in each other’s shoes and shared our homes and our cultures. We shared family recipes through an online recipe book and realized that we all have a little saint and sinner in us.  We have formed bonds that will continue to grow.  As we move back to our respective worlds, I think what we have learned will ripple out to our communities.  These communities will be richer for the time we have had together. For the stories we have shared and how we have learned to ask others to tell their stories.

And, when that world gets too cold and crazy, remember to come back to the VVH campfire and tell us some stories.  We will be waiting!

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Description automatically generated   Kathleen

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