Alchemy I

Think of some of the best classes you ever were a part of, as a student or as an instructor. Were they all planned out, or did they kind of direct themselves? What was the feeling in those classes? Was there a serious tone, or one of excitement, with some humor and a certain kind of lightheartedness?

We want our stories to work. We worry about that. We plan. We think that the story has to be a certain way. We want the story to connect to the script. We want it to connect to a set of thematic vocabulary. We want too much.

Wanting a story to turn out in a certain way is like wanting anything in our futures, even the next hour, to turn out in certain way. How often does that work? 
When we quit wanting these things, stories spring to life! We cannot legislate creativity in stories. We must “get out of the way” and let the kids’ cute answers drive things forward.

When we get out of the way, alchemy happens in our classrooms. Turning common elements of language into gold is common in TPRS. Alchemy is common in TPRS. When it happens, it is unbelievable. The unbelievable becomes common in TPRS.
Do have a story script to fall back on. Many days are not home run days. If comprehensible input is happening, nothing else matters.

But if you want the alchemy, let the kids into the classroom and let go a bit. Listen to their cute answers, and then use what they say. You will see magic.


2 Responses to “Alchemy I”

  1. Mike Says:

    So true. Yesterday, there was a Fish who I really wanted to live @ McDonald’s, but he lived in a water filled Love Sac and instead of him ending up as a Filet of Fish Sandwich like his family (Oh no, Oh no), he wanted a friend and ended up trading his transportation (une tortue) for someone to like him. I never saw it going there, but it did and although the journey was not quite the one I expected, I had more buy in the entire way . . .

  2. Ben Slavic Says:

    The TPRS gods must have a special place reserved in their hearts for stories that end up like that one. I mean, giving up your RIDE in exchange for someone liking you?

    I don’t even want to be a “good teacher” anymore. I just want to be a “good listener” to this new generation of lit rockets.

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