Monday, February 2, 2015

Advanced Creative Writing: COW Work

Before you develop your own “This I Believe” statement, peruse and listen to existing testimonials here. Use the “explore” tab to search for 5 intriguing statements. For each statement, note the following:

1. author/speaker

2. crux or “thesis” of statement

3. 3 observations regarding style, delivery, structure, or other storytelling elements

4. your attitude in relation to the speaker’s

Once you have completed this step, begin constructing and refining your own statement.

Visit “The Moth” site. Select and listen to 3 stories. For each story, note the following:

1. speaker and title

2. theme of the story

3. 3 observations regarding style, delivery, structure, or other storytelling elements

4. your attitude in relation to the speaker’s story

5. a score (based on our rubric)

Then, click here to learn some storytelling tips. Once you have completed this step, begin constructing and refining your own story.


Nicholas Kilgore said...

"You're so Screwed"
Speaker: Ryan Knighton
Theme: A blind man goes on an adventure.
Observations: Lots of humor was used to deliver the story. There was quite a bit of exaggeration, yet not too much to ruin it. The whole story was quite uplifting and happy.
Score: 13

Nicholas Kilgore

Thomas LeClaire said...

The Accidental Executive- Carlos Kotkin
-The theme is that sometimes you can do more than what is expected of you by others or yourself.
-The speaker speaks loudly and clearly making him easy to understand. He tells the story at a good pace not too fast or too slow. He sticks to the point, not dragging the story on with no unnecessary details.
-I thought that this was a very interesting situation for the speaker as he got an executive job when he was a collage dropout.

Thomas LeClaire said...

Speechwriter's Lament
- Karen Duffin

-The theme is sometimes in life you make big mistakes and you have to face the consequences.
-The speaker tells the story at a good pace and speaks clearly.
- The story did not have the happiest ending but the speaker learned her lesson in the end.

Thomas LeClaire said...

The Finish Line- Chris Rasheed

-The theme of the story is that hard work, determination, and positivity can lead to improvement.
-The speaker of the story told the story at a quick pace but it was still easy to understand. He spoke loudly and clearly.
- I thought it was interesting how an inexperienced coach helped a team that was doing poorly in the sport and in academics become a very successful team and also better students.

Gabby Sears said...

"Just One Drink"
Speaker: Charles Fatone
Theme: Don't let one mistake ruin your determination to try in the future
Observations: Told the story very naturally, spoke very wisely, incorporated humor
Attitude: I thought the story was very enjoyable to listen to and I was not bored
Score: 13/15

Gabby Sears said...

"The Accidental Executive"
Speaker: Carlos Kotkin
Theme: Being yourself can get you farther in life than you might expect.
Speaker: Speaks clearly, sounds young and relatable, tells the story naturally
Attitude: I thought this story was humorous, and inspiring because it shows that you can be successful with whatever you have.
Score: 14/15

Gabby Sears said...

Speaker: Lydia Velez
Theme: Conquer your fears.
Observations: Tells a lot of details, sets the scene, not a natural story teller.
Attitude: I got slightly bored with this story, but the ending was nice.
Score: 12/15

Jennifer Berard said...

Amy Brill~"Future Perfect"

-Theme: a Brooklyn mom has to deviate from her birth plan
-Observations: a little bit of humor, good pace of the story, and interesting message she is trying to convey
-I thought the story was very insightful and interest and just talking about how she changed after becoming a mom and learning that not having a plan is not always a bad thing.
-Score: 12/15

Bliss Broyard~"A Tale of Two Dinners"

-Theme: A daughter discovers her father's painstakingly kept secret
-Observations: Interesting, inner identity crisis/struggle, and very descriptive
-I thought it was a very interesting story about a girl trying to find a place where she fits in after her father's secret kind of leaves her feeling out of place and lost
-Score: 13/15

April Salazar~"The Reveal"

-Theme: a young woman describes her unconventional upbringing with a very free-spirited mother
-Observations: very unexpected and different, funny, interesting storyline as well as conclusion
-I wasn't really expecting the story to take the turn that it did but the message it was trying to send and convey was very touching and thoughtful, even if the events of the story were anything but ordinary/normal
-Score: 14/15

Chris Casello said...

"you're so screwed"
By Ryan Knighton
The theme is a blind man who has a misadventure in a rattlesnake festival
I felt as though this story was very funny i laughed many times throughout it, Also he presented it in such a way that it made me almost feel like i was there, He also had a couple good hooks to pull me in farther and keep listening
I Give it a score of 14 i thought it was great.

"An impossible choice"
By Sasha chanoff
The theme is a man who works as a humanitarian and is saving people in the Congo during the massacres,and has to make a huge choice
This is overall a sadly uplifting story which gives a almost depressing tone to a uplifting outcome that's more relief than anything, It is well told he adds in different speakers and almost speaks to himself as if he were the other person which is interesting, Also its seems to have been a tough or hard subject to talk about for him
I give this speech a 13

Jewish Santa
Ophira Eisenberg
The theme is a Jewish girl that wants to celebrate Christmas
she tries really hard to be funny its almost a force sometime, Was pretty funny at times and did make me laugh, A little disjointed in how she told it she really tried to move it along it seemed.
I give this a 10 because it was pretty good but not great

Christopher Casello

Nicholas Kilgore said...

Bokara Legendre
Theme: A lady unhappy about her marriage is invited to a party for the King of Nepal, and ends up crashing his coronation.
Style: This was quite enjoyable to listen to, bug was a little to detailed at times and it kind of got awkward. Also something's were just confusing an/or left out. All in all though it was a pretty good story.
Rating: 12

Nicholas Kilgore said...

^^^^^ The title of the above was Crashing the Coronation

Nicholas Kilgore said...

My Grandmother's Nerve
Catherine Smyka
Theme: A woman's grandmother doesn't seem to like gay people, but it just so happens that her granddaughter is gay and wants to come out to her.
Style: lots of jokes and humor was used, which was appreciated. She seemed to be getting emotional at times, and she also got deep at the end. Very well told and a great story to listen to.
Rating: 14

Anonymous said...

Katie Forrest
One Shouldered Boy by Rebecca A

2. The theme is to always persevere in the face of hardship.

3. The speaker talks loud and clearly but in a very casual tone, as if she is talking to a friend. She lightens up a very serious topic with humorous stories. Although she sometimes goes off topic, she always manages to come back to her original story pretty seamlessly.

4. This story was heartwarming and proved that people can stay positive even through the hardest of times. I really enjoyed this story because of its humor and uplifting tone.

5. 14/15

Anonymous said...

Katie Forrest
Prom by Hasan Minhaj

2. The theme of the story is racism.

3. The speaker grabs your attention by speaking quietly then loudly, slowly then fast. He incorporates some of his father's first language and translates it for the audience to provide a more authentic feel. His story had a good flow and was straight to the point.

4. The speaker was very genuine and I felt his pain as he was speaking. It was a very sad story but it had a hopeful ending, and I liked that.

5. 15/15

Kasara said...

"800 Heroes"
Speaker: Paul Knoll
Theme: A guidance Councillor wants to keep his students safe.
Observations: He starts off the story very cliche or boringly, but it quickly gets "to the point", and becomes interesting. Suspense is used to make the story more entertaining.

Kasara said...

"You're so screwed"
speaker: Ryan Knighton
Observations: Ryan says he goes blind and in order to make it less "Boring" he tries to enhance his other senses and goes on an "adventure". He uses humor and his own comments to his story to make it more entrapping.

Kasara said...

"A Tale of Two Dinners"
Speaker: Bliss Broyard
Theme: A girl her father's secret.
Observations:She tries to use humor but her humor is almost "Dry", things she means to be funny others don't laugh at. She seems nervous. Story picks up at the end.

Kasara said...


Anonymous said...

Chris Alves

• A Tale of Two Dinners by Bliss Broyard
• Theme: The theme of the story entails the daughter stumbling upon her father’s super hidden secret
• Observations: I really enjoyed the story and thought it had good description.
• I felt great sympathy for the girl in her identity struggle
• I think the story was really touching and very climatic and enjoyable to listen to.
• Score: 12.5/15

• You’re so Screwed By Ryan Knighton
• Theme: The theme behind this story was a man going on some sort of crazy adventure at a rattlesnake festival.
• Observations: I really enjoyed the comedic aspect of the story.
• The voice of the storyteller was very compelling for me.
• I also thought the story was interesting to listen to.
• Score: 15/15 would listen to again

• Prom by Hasan Minhaj
• The theme behind the story was the inherent racism that is in our society.
• Observations: I really liked the way that the speaker spoke. Got me involved and focused on the story.
• I also thought the story was very potent and got me a little emotional
• You could tell that the speaker was getting emotional and I genuinely felt for him
• Score 15/15