MiddCOREplus 2013: Story Making with Mike Kiernan

From being lost in the woods in Norway to a reading of The Glass Castle, students told a variety of stories that helped students bond and understand the meaning of an effective oral narrative. Of the experience, Naila Jahan commented, “It’s important to take time to look back at your own story and remember your past.”


During MiddCOREplus, a summer program for MiddCORE (Middlebury) graduates, students practice the skills they acquired in MiddCORE and collaborate with a local organization. In addition to these partnerships, students take part in weekly workshops that aid in personal development and in that of their project.

The first workshop of MiddCOREplus, Story Making, was an exploration of values and the oral narrative.  Mike Kiernan, the workshop’s mentor, asked that students write a value statement, one sentence that communicated the beliefs, goals, and/or inspiration they use for motivation. Students used these value statements to reflect and prepare for the storytelling.

“This story can be anything you want it to be, but it should be a story that resonates with you and it should be one you know by heart,” said Mike of the storytelling.


Cate Costley, in her reflection of the afternoon, said “We trusted each other to listen and respond thoughtfully, and this allowed us to bypass smalltalk and really have a meaningful conversation.”


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