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September 28 2010


Story Ideas 9.26.10

Tradition…a word with BIG MEANING.

Tradition has warm connotative meanings – reaching into the past and remembering what has been and will always be. Think holiday traditions. Foods that are cooked for certain celebrations. Colors and sounds. Smells…all tied in with good feelings.

But tradition also has a negative connotative meaning. The rut. The way it has always been done…and by inference, WILL always be done. So…uh…why are we going this way? “Because this is the way we’ve ALWAYS gone.” But…uh…there’s a new bypass that will save us 45 minutes. “No…this is the way we’ve ALWAYS gone.”

Yeah – tradition.

Choose a topic…a story idea. Here…I’ll choose one for you (as a former teacher) – and I choose the educational calendar. Tradition dictates that the school year is (now loosely) based on the agricultural needs of the country. Kids are needed for harvest…then are released to school in September once a lot of the farm work is done. Tradition – talk about separation of church and state – everyone takes a week or two off for “winter break.” Be honest – Christmas. And it’s back to school for another stretch until – tradition again. “Spring break.” Easter. Now spring and planting time are here and we have to get those kids back out in the fields…so summer “vacation.” (But not for those ole time kids…summer hoeing and weeding and working.)

The educational calendar is full of traditions…some good/some bad.

Story idea: now you choose your topic and list the traditions/good and bad that are tied in with it. We have several calendars we have to contend with – the January-December calendar that is the chronological year…and the fiscal calendar. Why do we drive on the right side of the road and other countries/continents the left? Are the common rules of etiquette good or bad traditions? Which traditions are good for us…which make us feel good…which make no sense?

Why should we care? Sometimes traditions box us in…keep us from seeing over the edges of the box so that we never fully realize what is possible.

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