Heard This Today...


This was too good not to share it with everyone.  I have been visiting a school in Middleboro - presenting my Building Stories Workshop to the wonderful fourth graders there.  I am fortunate enough to be able to visit each classroom twice and today was the second trip to Mrs. Penney’s class.  There, one of the students asked if he could show me something after I was finished with the workshop that day.  I told him, “Of course, Bud!”

After we finished the young man presented some work/stories he had been working on about some of his favorite sports stars.  He said that he was inspired to do so after my first visit to thier class - after showing everyone how much fun writing can be.  I can’t tell you how amazing of a feeling it was to hear someone express their fondness for writing due to what you’ve said to them during class.  This is exactly WHY I started Building Stories and why I love the children who are able to take part in it.

Normally these posts are about funny, little incidents that happen, mostly about what I hear the children in the audience say but this one is a little different.  November is a slower month for me and I am not usually busy everyday - but last week was quite busy.  I met with a representative to Raising A Reader, a fantastic movement that started back in 1999 to help children and families have greater success in school through literacy practices at home.  If you’d like to read more about the program click here.

Anyways, the representative and I met to discuss my Building Stories Workshops that I present to the surrounding South Shore town libraries and she was very impressed with just how similar our programs are.  She even told me that was would love to bring her daughter to the workshop because it sounds so fun.  She used a lot of words like “awesome”, “super” and “fantastic” to describe what we’ve been doing my 4-week workshops.  It was a highlight of the week last week as I strive to make the Preschool Building Stories Workshops as informative but also as fun and enjoyable as possible!

Also, I finished the week off with a show at the Norwell Library where the librarian told me that it was the best show she has ever seen of mine.  She told me that I was “certainly at the top of my game” which is always a flattering and special thing to hear.  Thanks to Miss Nancy for making my week end right!

I don’t usually share two of these so close - but this story really made my day.

I was finishing up a show and the teachers asked if they could get a picture with me and all the kids.  I said “Of course!” and all the children crowded around me.  One little boy, standing next to me, smiled at me and said

“You smell good Big Ryan, you should smell yourself!”

It made me laugh.

This one came from my sister in law who told me that, while at work, she was riding the elevator and a man began talking about a birthday party he attended over the weekend.  The man said that the party was crazy with all the children running around like maniacs.  He then said “…and then this storyteller guy came in and there wasn’t a sound out of those kids.  They were mesmerized!”

My sister in law asked “Was the storyteller Big Ryan’s Tall Tales?”

He acknowleged that it was and said “Do you know him?”

“He’s my brother in law.”

“How does he do that?”

“It’s a mystery to all of us.” She said back.

One of the children in my Building Stories Workshops just said “This is just like school - but fun!”  Best. Compliment. Ever!

I was at a preschool today and one of the little boys in the front of the group said “I don’t know you…”

I was about to introduce myself to him when he continued with

“… and this is crazy but here’s my number, so call me GRAVY!”

My nephew asked my sister-in-law “How old are you?”

She responded with “39″

He asked her “Is this the first time being 39?”

She told him “Yes”

“Well,” he continued “What number are you going to be next?”

She informed him that she will be 40 next and he said “40!  Woah… I counted to that once…”

While visiting the East Longmeadow Library the Librarian told me that a little boy named Ryan will be attending the show.  He told the librarians earlier:

“He is Big Ryan and I am Little Ryan - but when I turn 4 on my birthday there will be 2 Big Ryans!”

A child asked me to give him a high five.  I obliged.  He then told his friends in line with him that he got a high five from me.  His friend said “Dude!  Never wash that hand again!”.  He didn’t say it in a sarcastic way - he said it in a “Just met Magnum P.I. and he shook my hand” sort of way.  I was honored.

One of the things I ask to the trick-or-treaters when they come up to my door is “What is your favorite scary movie”  How much candy they get depends on how much I like the answer.  If the answer is Saw or any of the remakes as of late - they get 1 piece - but if they say a classic like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Silver Bullet - they get a handful!

Well, one little girl answered “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

I said “That’s not a scary movie!”

She responded back with “Have you ever been to middle school?  THAT’S scary!”

She recieved two handfuls of candy!

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