The Stories Every Student Needs To Know (by Roger Jenkins in MISF 2011)

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The Moso Bamboo

List of stories from Roger Jenkin’s workshop in MISF 2011
Here are the stories I managed to list down during the workshop. I’ve also included the links so that you can obtain the complete story.

Honesty & self-respect: Jewels under the Saddle: to make an abstract concept concrete (on honesty and self-respect) Tried googling the full version of this story but couldn’t find any, so I’m going to write what I can recall. It’s about a man who bought a horse and found jewels under the saddle. Deciding against his friend’s advice, he returned the jewels to the rightful owner. To show his appreciation, the owner asked the man to take one of the jewels for himself, to which the man said, “No, I returned these jewels without expecting anything in return. Moreover, I have came here with 2 jewels in my hand – honesty and self-respect.” (It was of course told in a more interesting way)

Inspiration and motivation: The Man who moved the Mountain

“How” stories: How the years were named in a Chinese calendar: This is a story you could pass on to your future generation, or to make learning more fun when learning the Chinese horoscope. Here’s one for the Roman calendar.

Unity: Chopsticks: If I recall correctly, it was about a dying father who wanted to his children to learn the importance of staying united, so he asked them to break one chopstick, then a few, then a whole bunch. I’m sure most of you already know this story 😉

Kindness, faith and perseverance: The Sword of the Wood: About a poor man who finds opportunities in every challenge he faced.

To confront stereotypes: The Good Samaritan.

To give hope and encouragement: Personal or true stories are good to comfort and inspire someone, for example, the story of William Kamkwamba and his windmill (The Boy who Harnessed the Wind) or Vaishali Kiran Grover, who discovered a biodegradable enzyme treatment using papaya and pineapple, a better alternative to the usual anti-fouling paint that was commonly to get rid of barnacles that attach themselves to the hulls of ships.

Team work and to add general knowledge: Why geese fly in a ‘V’ formation, and the Moso Bamboo tree story. The moso is a bamboo plant that grows in China and the Far East.  After the moso is planted, no visible growth occurs for up to five years – even in ideal conditions. Then as if by magic, it suddenly begins growing at the rate of nearly 2 ½ feet a day, reaching a full height of 92 feet in six weeks. It’s not magic. The moso’s rapid growth is due to the miles of roots it develops during those first five years; it has to build a strong root system; i.e. If you want to succeed, you got to first lay a strong foundation for yourself/be well-prepared.

To explain natural phenomena to explain natural phenomena: Pourquoi tales. For example: How the leopard got its spots; Why mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears.

Hope some of these are useful to you, or will be useful to you one day 😉

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