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“deny me and be doomed”: Reinventing Creation Myths

I fear that maybe in thinking about counter-narratives and the role of storytelling, I’ve been thinking too small. Maybe we need to start with a macro-vision of life in the classroom.

What would it look like for students to develop their own creation myths? In disrupting the “single story” of their neighborhoods and various cycles and pipelines that scholars say move our students around on a vast conveyer belt, perhaps it’s about having students reinvent the entire foundation from the ground up.

Travis, my SLC’s 9th grade English teacher shared with me the success he had in getting his class back on track through an introduction of mythology. Peter, our 10th grade teacher, will be starting Ishmael with his students later this year (a book also about creation myths). As my 12th graders delve into The Awakening, I borrowed a suggestion that Mark made for a different class, and showed my students this TED talk about the problems of the “Single Story;” it seemed most appropriate as a way of connecting Achebe, Conrad, and Chopin within the past month. I think also of Daye’s interest in Cargo Cults and the way they may act as a metaphor for deception in South Central.

I think the students would be properly situated in a foundation of already studied (as well as lived & experienced) creation myths. How about now reinventing them?

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