Other Stories

The Map

There was once a kingdom which was renowned for the excellence of its mapmakers. Such was the accuracy, detail and beauty of their maps that each time you looked at one you would discover something new.
One day the Guild of Cartographers came to the king and presented their proposal for the ultimate map of the kingdom – a map that would show not only rivers and towns, political boundaries and forests, but heights above sea level, languages spoken, geological composition of the earth, animal and plant species, prevailing winds, predominant religions, rainfall levels, trades and industries, average temperatures, the migrations of birds…
The king, appreciative of their skill and knowledge, and mindful of how the map would secure the prestige of the kingdom, gave them a huge chest of gold to fund the project.
Some centuries later (for the project took longer than expected, as the inevitable changes in the kingdom had to be redrawn into the map), the descendants of the Cartographers’ Guild came to the then king, a distant descendant of the first one, with their finished map.
“Right,” said the king, “unroll it on the banqueting table and let’s have a look.”
“Sorry sire,” said the mapmakers, “in order to accommodate all the detail we’ve had to make it a very large-scale map, and it’s too big to unroll on the table.”
“Fine,” said the king, “you courtiers move the table out of the way and we’ll unroll it on the throne room floor.”
“I am afraid, sire,” said the head of the Cartographer’s Guild, “to show all of the parish boundaries, family ties, varieties of fruit grown, and mineral deposits – not to mention the one-way streets and the historic monuments – we’ve had to make it on too large a scale for the throne room to accommodate it.”
“Right,” said the king, beginning to get a little tetchy, “we’ll clear the soldiers from the parade ground outside and they can unroll it.”
“Sire, we had to make it on a very big scale to accurately capture all the detail – I’m afraid there will not be sufficient room on the parade ground.”
“Well what scale is it man?” roared the king. “One in a thousand, one in five hundred, what?”
“Errm… In order to accommodate all the detail, we had to make it… one to one scale, sire.”
… and to this day, if you visit the desert where the kingdom used to be, you can still see tattered scraps of the ultimate map blowing in the desolate breeze.

Blog Other

Presentation in Matsumoto: Storytelling in EFL

Fairy-Tale-Castle-fairy-tales-and-fables-5123629-1600-1200This weekend, we are looking forward to doing a presentation in Matsumoto at the Shinshu chapter of JALT. Full details of the venue are available at this JALT events page.
Saturday, 25 January 2014 – 3:00pm – 5:00pm

 Dr. Brian Cullen &  Sarah Mulvey

This presentation will focus on the use of storytelling in the EFL classroom. The presenters will look at at some of the many ways that stories can be useful, what stories you might like to choose, and some practical techniques for really engaging your students through storytelling. Whether you are teaching at elementary school, high school, university, or elsewhere, being able to use stories effectively in your teaching is a valuable tool for teaching and motivation, and this workshop will help you to refine your skills. Storytelling is the oldest and most natural way of teaching, and in the classroom when a teacher tells a story well, we can easily see how students’ attention becomes completely focused. In this presentation, we will discuss how the human brain is wired for storytelling and how we are indeed storytelling animals. Participants will have time to share their own stories and to practice the techniques that we will be introducing in the workshop.

You can download the handout.


Other Stories

The Axe

A man was using a rusted axe to cut a huge oak tree.
A friend was passing by and saw that the man was make no progress at all. At this rate it would take him years to chop the mighty tree down.
He said, “why don’t you sharpen your axe?” The man replied, “I can’t afford the time. Must cut this tree by tomorrow.”

Other Stories

Biggest Fanny

Now when I arrived in Michigan at Wayne County Hospital I encountered a most unusual person. A young girl, medical technician, rather pretty, well-formed except she had the biggest, HUGEST fanny I had ever seen on any girl. And when she walked down the corridor I noticed that when she passed somebody she’d swing her fanny angrily toward that person. Well that interested me. So I made it a point to keep an eye open ’cause I wanted to see what that girl is going to DO with that great big fanny of hers. And I noticed that every visiting day was her day off and at the entrance of the grounds she met the mothers and their children . . . always asked the mother if she could give the children a piece of gum, a piece of candy, a toy, and volunteered to take care of the children while . the mother visited the patient. And for a whole year that went on. That seemed to be her entire life, looking after those visitor children, and she gave every evidence of making that her one and only joy in life. So that gave me ANOTHER idea about her. Then one day she suddenly developed the hiccups. She hiccupped night and day. We had a staff of 169 physicians, they all examined her and could find nothing wrong with her and they finally told her she would have to have a psychiatrist consultation. She knew what THAT meant. I’d be the psychiatrist called in and she politely refused to have a psychiatrist called in. So, she was informed she was being hospitalized in Wayne County Hospital for free and receiving her pay, “you’re paid even though you’re not working, everything is being taken care of for you as if you were fully employed. If you’re not going to take medical advice just resign your position, call a private ambulance and go to a private hospital and get over the hiccups there!” She thought that over and said she’d permit me to see her. So at two o’clock that afternoon I walked into her room, closed the door behind me, and said, “Keep your mouth shut! Listen! I’ve got a few things to say to you and I want you to listen ’cause you need an understanding. I KNOW you’ve got the biggest fanny in creation. I KNOW you don’t like it but it IS yours. And you like children, therefore you’d like to get married, have children of your own. And you’re afraid that great big fanny of yours is a barrier . . . that’s your error. You haven’t read the Song of Solomon. You SHOULD have read your bible. The pelvis is mentioned as the cradle of children.” I said, “The man who will want to marry you will not see a great big fat fanny . . . he’ll see a wonderful cradle for children.” She listened quietly. “Men who want to father children DO want a nice cradle for the child.” And when I finished my speech I said, “You can think it over. After I leave keep on hiccupping. There is no reason for anybody except you and I to know you don’t NEED those hiccups. You have something of great VALUE so let your hiccups disappear around 10:30 tonight, 11 o’clock, that way nobody will say a psychiatrist cured you, that my interview was an utter failure.” So her hiccups disappeared around that time. She went back to work and one day at lunch time while my secretary was having lunch she came into my office and said, “Here is something I want you to see.” She showed me her engagement ring. She said, “I thought you should be the first person to see this.” Sometime later she privately brought a young man into the office to meet me—her fiance. They were married shortly and started raising a family. Now reorientation of thinking … I called her fanny a great big fat fanny, as big as I had ever seen. I told her she hated it, but she didn’t understand it. Then I presented it as a cradle for children against my background of knowing how much she liked ^children. And how a man who would want to father children WOULD want a nice cradle for children. Now I didn’t need to go into the past, I could just discuss the current state of affairs . . . reorienting her thinking, reorienting her thinking in accord with her own secret desires. I was unafraid to call her fanny a big fat fanny, so she knew I was telling the truth, so she could believe what I said. I don’t like doctors who pussyfoot around and try to say things sweetly and gently. The truth should be told simply, straight-forward fashion because that is the ONLY way the patient is actually going to absorb therapy and proceed to benefit. And once you get them reoriented, their nose pointed down the road, they’ll go.

Other Stories

Painting a Car

Sometimes we wonder how people re-act in some circumstances. We even got angry because they won’t listen to us no matter what we say.
People just stick to their beliefs, we can not blame them; unless we get into one’s shoes , it is only then we can comprehend why ” one ” acts the way they are. Self limiting belief is a complicated and difficult aspect of person’s personality.
It is so easy to say , ” Ok, I’ll change ! Promise. … ” consciously this might be possible, but unless one understand and accept the reason of changing subconsciously, Changes will always remain superficial which means the person has the tendency to go back to its former beliefs , habits and understanding.
It is like painting an old car with new paint. If you apply the new paint on top of the old paint , the ” car will become new and beautiful, but not long enough to remain that way .
Why? because it didn’t go to process of painting.
In time the superficial paint will wear-off and expose the original color of the car.
Whereas , A professional car painter, will first remove the old paint , repair old dents by applying coat etc , buffer it and apply the new paint.  After all the process is done, the car is good as new.
It is the same with a person. Unless we go deeper and extract the root cause of how and why the person acts the way way they are in present , it is impossible to alter personality or whatever they wanted to change in their life.

Other Stories

The Headache

A man on a street had a really bad headache and was clearly in pain when two women walking by stopped to see if they can help.
The first woman said “I can help you, but first we need to get to the core issues underlying the headache. It’s clear that you’re suffering from stress or a chemical imbalance, and there is no point just addressing the symptom without getting to this core issue. However, the man simple groaned and says that he is in pain and he doesn’t want to think about anything else.
The second woman stepped up to the man and opened her purse. “Here, take this aspirin”, she said. In just a few minutes, the pill started to take effect and the man looked visibly better and thanked the woman profusely. Then the second woman said, “now that you feel better, would you like to take the time to talk about anything that may be causing this headache. That will help you avoid having pain like this in the future. The man readily agreed.