Inspiring stories

16 Shockingly Profound Disney Movie Quotes (from Buzzfeed)

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AliceWonderlandThis is so good I have to share. Something I came across while FB browsing. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Alice in Wonderland: I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. (Ahuh…I agree with you Alice!)

2. The Little Mermaid: The human world…It’s a mess. (LOL how true Sebastian)

3. Peter Pan: A jealous female can be tricked into anything. (True. True? Hmm….LOL)

4. The Lion King: Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it. (But of course!)

5. Pocahontas: The water’s always changing, always flowing. But people, I guess, can’t live like that. (Not everyone can deal with change…or like change)

6. Mulan: You’re at peace because you know it’s okay to be afraid. (Ohhhmm….)

7. Pinocchio: A conscience is that still, small voice that people don’t listen to.

8. Alice in Wonderland (I LOVE THIS ONE): If you don’t think, then you shouldn’t talk.

9. Aladdin: Today’s special moments are tomorrow’s memories.

10. Snow White: You’re never too old to be young. (OH YEEEAH! :D)

11. Winnie the Pooh: I’m glad. At least I think I’m glad. (Yep! Positive thinking, Pooh ;))

For the full list of movie quotes, click here.


All is not lost

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20120613-221853.jpg This story is so inspiring, I gotta share it. My take away message? Life is filled with lots of possibilities as long as you believe in yourself, and persevere. And it’s important for us teachers and parents to instill that in our children, our future.

Also, our brain is indeed one powerful tool. It’s one of God’s greatest gift to us, therefore use it wisely.

Here’s Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s inspiring story.

“It’s the kind of memory that stays with you. When she was in first grade, Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s Ontario primary school teacher told her mother – in her presence – that she had some kind of “mental block”, and would never be able to learn. Now that she has helped more than 4,000 learning-disabled children overcome precisely that kind of diagnosis, of course, she can laugh at it. But she didn’t at the time.

Arrowsmith-Young, now 61, talks fluently and passionately and with great erudition. She has a masters degree in school psychology. She has just published a groundbreaking, widely praised and enthralling book called The Woman Who Changed Her Brain. But back at school – indeed, up until she was in her mid-20s – she was desperate. Tormented and often depressed. She didn’t know what was wrong.

On the one hand, she was brilliant. She had near-total auditory and visual memory. “I could listen to the six o’clock news, and reproduce it word-for-word at 11pm. I could open a book, read the first sentence, the second, the third, visualise them. I could memorise whole exercise books.” On the other hand, she was a dolt. “I didn’t understand anything,” she says. “Meaning just never crystallised. Everything was fragmented, disconnected.”

She disguised her numerous learning disabilities by working 20 hours a day: “I used to hide in the bathroom when the security guards came around the college library at night, then come back out and carry on.”

The breakthrough came when she was 26. A fellow student gave her a book by a Russian neuro-psychologist, Aleksandr Luria: The Man with a Shattered World. The book contained Luria’s research and reflections on the writings of a highly intelligent Russian soldier, Lyova Zazetsky, who had been shot in the brain at the battle of Smolensk in 1943, and recorded in great detail his subsequent disabilities.

The rest, as they say, is history. She founded her first school in Toronto in 1980; she now has 35 in Canada and the US, most run under strict licence. She and her staff have devised cognitive exercises that have proved spectacularly effective in helping 19 distinct cognitive functions essential to reading, writing, maths, general comprehension, logical reasoning, visual memory or auditory processing.

Here’s the full story.

The Gruffalo-Inspired Artwork & Stories

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The storytelling sessions in SStwo Mall, Petaling Jaya

My very first storytelling session outside of a bookshop. The set up was definitely different, hence I was faced with different challenges. There weren’t many willing participants to come on stage to listen to a story, so we ended up having to beg some children to come onto the stage haha

I was very drawn to a young boy who was reading a book at the book sales nearby. So I approached him (the boy in the Angry Birds t-shirt). The conversation went like this:

Before storytelling session:
Me: Would you like to join us for a storytelling session?
J: No thanks (His exact words. Not impolitely, but with a cute smile on his face :))
Me: Why not?
J: ‘cuz I think it’s gonna be boring.
Me: Don’t worry, it’d be fun!
Boy still looked doubtful.
Me: Ok, why don’t we make a deal. If in anytime you find it boring, you can leave the session. Deal?
J: Ok! Deal!

After storytelling session.
J: Mom, can I come for the storytelling session again next week?
Mom: Did you enjoy it?
J: Yeah! I thought it’d be boring at first. But I enjoyed it! So can we come again?
Mom: Sure. As long as you remind me again next week.

Really hope he’d come again next week 😀

After the storytelling session, we had some activities, one of them was colouring. I told them they could recreate The Gruffalo if they want to. The two below were some of the creative ones. Thanks to their mommy, I can post them here 🙂

Jia Le's very own Gruffalo
This picture on the left is Jia Le’s recreation of the Gruffalo. He decided to make The Gruffalo as colourful as the rainbow 🙂 And those little speech bubbles there, were inspired by his brother (as you can see from the other artwork below). Jia Le’s Gruffalo is 20 years old. He loves tarts and poisonous mushrooms. His Gruffalo is constantly bothered by the fleas on his head (also inpsired by his older brother). Warning to those who haven’t met Jia Le’s Grufflo: He’s an angry and poisonous one! 
Jia Liang, his brother, drew his Gruffalo (the one below) because he doesn’t really like colouring. And he’s one very talented artist. When I first saw what he drew, I was drawn to the little bubbles he drew on top of the gruffalo’s head. When I read it, I realised they were indeed speech bubbles. He created a ‘mini story’ using his own drawing 🙂  
Jia Liang's very own Gruffalo

One of the fleas on the head: Living in the gruffalo’s fur isn’t that bad.
The other flea: I agree!

Horns: He always uses us when he charges at something. Aren’t you tired of that?
The other horn: Of course! What do you think I am?

Gruffalo’s brain: Get that berry! I’m famished!
The Gruffalo: As you can see, I’m just a figure to scare away predators!

The Gruffalo’s tongue: It’s a poisonous tongue, which is why it has those white spots.

The fingers: Isn’t it strange that this big-headed gruffalo have us – small hands and fingers?

The legs: Never! I’m sleeping. No, wait! I’m hibernating!

Tail: I always get sit on!

Aren’t they all creative? :)) Looking forward to posting more. They keep me inspired! 🙂

Children have such amazing minds and spirit. They keep me going, no matter how tired I am. They make my days meaningful 🙂

Group picture taken after the storytelling session

Vámonos with stories in English and Spanish (by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang)

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This is a collection of folk tales told in English with repeated Spanish phrases so you can enjoy the culture, the Latin American and Australian locations, the characters and the language – fun for all ages.

(Vámonos means ‘let’s go’ in English) I was a little apprehensive about buying this CD. Listening to stories without any visual stimulants could be quite a challenge for me, because I’m more of a visual person. But because I like Lillian’s style, I trust that this CD will be worth the try. And I was right. The stories were good but Lillian made them even better and more entertaining.  The music also set the mood of the stories and made them more intense too. Listening to them made me laugh and shudder; smile and wonder; definitely took my mind off the busy roads on my way to work 🙂 This is the list of stories and songs:

  • Mouse Family – Raton Familia
  • CD Introduction
  • Perfect present – Regalo Perfecto
  • Leave this place – Sal de Alli
  • Senior Billy Goat – Senior Cabro
  • The Butterfly – La Mariposa
  • Wings of Blue – Alas de Azul

It’s hard to pick my favourite story from this list. But if I had to, it has got to be ‘Mouse Family’. Lillian’s voice is so versatile. I loved how much character she gave to the mice and the cat by merely using her voice. ‘Perfect Present’ was warm, endearing and a beautiful story to tell younger children. ‘Wings of Blue’, which is a song, has a very catchy tune. Singing along with it would definitely take away your Monday blues! 

A great company to be with when going on long family trips and to keep your children entertained! 😉 Ask them to guess the ending of the story, play a game like ‘What happened when…’/’What if’ after listening to one story, learn new Spanish words together, or try singing along to ‘Wings of Blue’ together 😀

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 😉