Having a schedule packed with science and math heavy courses, even reading heavy English classes, can get tiring real quick. Wouldn’t it seem like a dream to receive 3 credits for a class where all you have to do is hear, tell, and analyze old folk tales from your childhood? Well, guess what? A storytelling class (CMST 132) exactly like that is offered at IC and it is one that you need to take next semester – here’s why!

1. You get to hear stories. Every. Single. Class.

Coming to a class knowing you are going to be told a story, and all you have to do is listen, is probably one of the most comforting thoughts to have during a busy day. Yes, you are going to have to tell stories too, but the professor usually starts out the class by performing a story for her students, and literally all that is expected of you is to listen closely and interpret the story in your own way. Your classmates will also be telling you stories so that’s another plus!

2. It’s a nice break in your day.

This goes along the lines of the above reason, but storytelling is an overall relaxing experience whether you are telling the story or hearing it. The workload for this class mostly consists of reading a few stories and memorizing a few throughout the course, so it really doesn’t demand too much time outside of class. It’s certainly a nice break to look forward to in your day and at night when you are doing your homework.

3. The professor is a professional storyteller.

You probably didn’t even know that being a professional storyteller was a thing, but it is! In fact, that’s how Professor Carpenter makes a living; she tells stories at conventions from Tokyo to New Hampshire and even has her own book published. So yes, dreams really do come true if you put your mind to it.

4. You can work on your public speaking skills.

Though telling a story is a little less intimidating than doing a huge presentation, it is still a chance to work on your public speaking skills. In fact, this class will probably help you get rid of any embarrassment or anxiety you associate with public speaking because every single person in the class has to make a fool of themselves when they recite their story. You have to get into character and make the story really believable, and it helps when everyone else has to do the same. Also, you get to work on your memorization skills which is always a plus!

5. It is a socializing-heavy class; aka you talk to EVERYONE in the class.

Not good at socializing or talking to people you don’t know? Well, that’s just another fear you get to overcome thanks to this course! The professor makes you pair up with a different person every class, introduce yourself, and tell them a story so that you meet everyone in the course. This way, you are able to warm up to the crowd that you will eventually be telling the story to while making a friend here or there.

Obviously, this course is pretty great. Hearing stories from a professional, published storyteller while getting credits for it seems like a no brainer. You get to explore your creative side and venture back to the storytelling days of your childhood, so don’t just assume this is a stupid class when looking through course options next semester. Take this class and gain an experience no class has ever given you before, after all, college is for exploring!


Natalia Senanayake

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