HMW Learn Through Stories?


So I had that phone call with Adam today and I learned a bunch of cool stuff!!!! He shared with me his personal story on broadway as well as some general knowledge about what musicians do and how that world operates, and he also gave me some interesting topics to look into like MIDI instruments. However the most exciting thing for me is that he is going to give me the contact info for the flutist of… Wicked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He thinks I might even be able to go into the pit for a show the next time I’m in New York, or at least met her and maybe look at the music some!!!!!!!! This isn’t final or anything, but it is exciting that it is even a possibility because it would just be the most fantastic thing ever for me. (As you know, Wicked is my favorite musical!!!!!) I took notes on post-its during the interview, and I made this google document if you would like to read more about what we discussed.

A big part of interviewing is all about how you phrase a question. This was an interesting interview because it was more like a conversation than an interview; Adam isn’t my user, I’m not trying to find out what he needs, but he is helping me learn more  about something I’m interested and passionate about. By talking to him, I was learning through a story, which really helped me understand what it is like in the theater/music business. (Clearly I didn’t learn everything in this one conversation, but I learned a lot more than I knew.)

I wish all learning felt more like a story. I was thinking again about History class. I never know how to describe my feelings towards it. I think a big portion of my negative feelings towards it is how it is always one of the most stressful classes. This is every year, not just this year because I’m taking AP World History. There is just a lot that happened in the past, and every year adds so many more stories; many of which are forgotten or ignored. History classes always have a ton of material that teachers have to get through within the year so there is often a lot of homework, and quizzes and test are usually pretty tricky and full of facts.

History class stresses me out, and I don’t like it because of that; however, I don’t dislike history. History fascinates me often. If history is just anything that happened in the past, then you have to like history if you like learning, and I love learning. Recently I spent an entire enrichment looking up Sir Author and the knights of the Round Table and making a family tree just because I felt like it. One of my favorite book series are called The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel in this series the author tells stories about history and uses real people from history as characters with the gift of immortality. He even brings together mythology and also gives his own creative thoughts on events. There is an entire section at the end of the book where he talks about how much research went into writing the book because he wanted to have some actual facts about what he was talking about. The 39 Clues is another favorite series of mine that talks about a lot of historical events from around the world.

What I like about history is the specific stories; the details about people that you can relate to on some level. Learning comes when you can make connections, and I learn history best when I hear some persons story.

In history classes at school you often learn the same topic at least twice from K-12. However, I never feel that I really know these topics that well when we learn them the second time. I wish rather than history classes cramming a ton of information into one year, that history classes had a smaller time period to cover so that we could dive DEEPer into specific peoples’ lives.

Even just today we ended up having a great class discussion today about current events, but I was dreading the class all day (and last night) because we were suppose to have 2 quizzes today which we also expected to be hard (the quizzes are moved to Monday now thought because we were missing a bunch of students for grandparents day.) Earlier this week we were reading primary sources from people with different perspectives on the Crusades. I feel like I learned a ton about the Crusades because we analyzed the stories and facts we learned by comparing the different stories of actual people. One of my favorite parts of  English reading is when we analyze stories and make conclusions and form our own opinions on humans based on them; I wish there was more of this in history class, and not just the stress on facts.

The stress isn’t due to the teachers either. Some of my favorite teachers have been my history teachers, but the information that they are required to get us through is holding them back as well as us from reaching our full learning capabilities.

History classes tend to stress me out, and I don’t like stress, but I like history besides the stress of the class. I talk a lot about stories because I learn a lot through them. Why can’t we learn in stories? HMW learn through stories?


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