Have you listened to NPR’s This I Believe series? Isn’t it wonderful to listen to the voices and (on the website of NPR) read through these very personal essays that focus in on a strand of belief from a range of people — some famous, and some not.
I was thinking about this the other as I was driving to school and caught Bela Fleck reading his essay entitled “Doing Things My Own Way.” Fleck is an amazing musician who has staked out some independent turf as a banjo player with a wide range of styles, dancing precariously sometimes between jazz, pop, country and world music. In the essay, Fleck talks about the impact of his grandfather on his own thinking styles and about how focused he has been on reaching into the musical voice inside of him even as he moved away from all sorts of traditional expectations of a banjo player.
“I believe in living with and giving into my obsessive side when it serves the music. I believe in doing things my own way.” — Bela Fleck
Inspired by Fleck, I have been working on my own This I Believe essay, which focuses on the belief that even the most reluctant of writers have something important to say and the path to finding that voice is critical.
And so, here it is: I Believe … in Writers
And this all makes me wonder how to bring this format of belief into the classroom and create student-centered audio essays.
PS — A text version of the essay can be found here.