Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Diane comments in NYT: We often find what we need in the stories we read.

I am in awe of how stories teach us to ask the questions we need to ask, to be the best people we can be. Read more>>

I am working with a young woman who never ceases to amaze me with her capacity to feel and act compassionately toward others. And I am also struck on how hard this woman is on herself, with standards she would never inflict on others. My hope was that through the compassion she felt for the characters she met in a story, she would find her wellspring of compassion that could also extend to herself.

Together we read a human-interest story, The Afterlife by Ted Gup, about his experience of losing a 21-year-old son to drugs and alcohol. When the young woman and I were done discussing this piece, I was moved by how she was able to see the contrast between the empathy and compassion she felt for this grieving father and the harsh way the father chose to frame a habit he began in response to his grief.

I was glad to see where this young woman’s thinking took her in response to this story. And I myself wanted to say something to Ted Gup, hence my Letter to the Editor of the NYT (7.15.14) Read more>>

Monday, July 14, 2014

A story within a story—the magic of coincidences.

I recently had the pleasure of presenting my Conversational Reading approach to a statewide group of CT Librarians. This was a dream come true audience for me since it satisfied a long held fantasy of mine—to know something about what people in my audiences actually do with the ideas I present. As part of the program, the librarians were offered a grant to implement programs in their individual libraries, using whatever portions of the Conversational Reading approach they had learned with me that best fit their needs.

I have been overwhelmed with the results and I just have to share one recent story that comes from Jane and Piper who work at the Library in West Hartford CT. Piper, a lovely lab and Jane do Story Time.

Meet Piper.
Jane choose Beatrice’s Goat to create a program based on Conversational Reading.Beatrice’s Goat is about how one small animal opened up a whole new world and made possible a young girl’s dream of attending school in her small Ugandan village after her family is given an income-producing goat. The story is based on a true story about the work of Heifer Project International.

Witness the magic that happens when adults and children with a passion for a story come together. www.piperlovesthelibrary.blogspot.com and scroll down to Wednesday, July 2, 2014 Reading Beatrice’s Goat Together
How it all started…with a little help from my friendsAndrew Eder & 
Diane W. Frankenstein

I couldn’t make up the unknown wonderful coincidences of how this particular story had a special significance to this town in CT.

“We discovered that Beatrice Biira, the real girl from Uganda, the girl in the book, came to the United States to continue her education.  She came to Connecticut -she graduated from Connecticut College. We’re one of those tiny states, so this was pretty cool.  Oh, there’s more…the Heifer Project International funds that brought the goats to Kisinga, Uganda, Beatrice’s village, came from a little village in Connecticut – Niantic.”

I want to thank Jane for this wonderful story within a story. And I want to meet Piper!