A Story Teller
"In each case I am telling a storyóI
think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the
trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the
audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to
know what happens next." - Stephen Ambrose
Grandpa Davey and I had a
discussion about why some kids arenít knowledgeable in certain
subjects. One opinion he heard was that it was due to their lack of
curiosity. Perhaps so, but I find my own children to be quite
inquisitive and believe this to be an innate quality of children.
Babies start learning immediately after birth and make incredible
progress through play and observation. It isnít until they are
required to master academic subjects from a boring teacher that they
Professor Ambrose was the antithesis of boring. Listening to a
His-Story lecture on the expeditions of
Meriwether Lewis and William
Clark was riveting. Thomas Jeffersonís challenge of finding a
Northwest Passage became real. Lewis and Clark became personalities,
not just names and dates to learn for a test. History came alive as
he described the explorerís trials and tribulations crossing the
uncharted west. As a listener, I was captivated by his ability to
put me in their shoes. I dreaded the bitter cold winters and going
to bed sick or hungry. I imagined the primitive travel to unknown
lands, discovering wild grizzlies, and peoples of a different
culture. A land so expansive and awe inspiring as to make men weep.
Listening to Stephen Ambrose gave me a greater understanding of the
Corps of Discovery. It was an emotional journey crossing the Great
Plains and the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. It wasnít easy,
but it was a magnificent accomplishment.
To this day, there arenít many passes across The Rockies. My family
and I must travel a good distance over Marias Pass to experience
where the Great Plains edge up to the
front. We wait
for summer weather and unlike the explorers, we travel with blithe
along maintained highways in a comfortable vehicle. I never seem to
tire of the breathtaking scenery, and I often think of Meriwether
Lewis and William Clark and their undaunted courage.
In my homeschool lessons, may I be as inspiring as my favorite
history teacher, Stephen Ambrose.