the boys and the girls and the story

Oh man.  I have THE craziest class of 7-9 year old drama students.  They have a ton of energy and it’s definitely a challenge. I have never seen a group of kids that have a harder time sitting in one place for more than 30 seconds at a time. But I think they’re learning a few things.  (Here’s hoping, since the acting showcase is less than 2 weeks away).

During yesterday’s class, it was all I could do to save my laughter until the class was over.  I was reminded again of how boys and girls are SO different.  We play this game called “Story in a Circle.”  I’m sure you’ve played some variation in your lifetime.  As we go around the circle, each student adds a sentence to the story.  The goal is to create a complete short story by building on what the person before you has said.  Well… the concept of teamwork hasn’t quite taken hold with this class yet.  It’s a clear case of boys vs. girls.  They spend the whole time sabotaging each other’s stories.

The first round I made the mistake of having the 3 boys in the class sitting next to each other.  The story went like this:

Boy 1: Once upon a time, a giant dinosaur attacked the people of the world.
Boy 2: An army of soldiers went to fight the giant dinosaur.
Boy 3: But the dinosaur ate them all, and then destroyed everyone and ate the entire earth!!!

Well, that didn’t work.  The story is clearly over.  I attempt to explain how we need to leave some characters alive so that we can continue the story.  I rearrange the boys in the circle so they’re not all sitting next to each other.  Our next round went something like this:

Boy 1:  There was a dragon that attacked a castle.
Girl 1: And there was a PRINCESS!
Boy 2: The dragon ate the princess.
Girl 2:  A Knight came to fight the dragon.
Boy 3:  It CUT OFF THE DRAGON’S HEAD!!!
Girl 3:  And the Princess came back to life!
Boys: (in unison) Nooooooo!
Girl 4:  And they got married!!!
Boys:  NOOOOO!
Girls:  YESSSS!

Someday, perhaps they will learn that adventure and romance genres go well together.  For now, every story the boys tell includes ninjas, monsters, dragons, and soldiers.

Every story the girls tell revolves around someone beautiful, wearing something beautiful, and going to a ball.  

Is it trained into them by the culture?  Well… maybe a little. But I think it’s mostly the way we’re born.  I’m not trying to change it.  Hopefully the boy learns to see that there are real monsters of evil and sin in the world.  Hopefully, he’ll decide to fight on the side of righteousness. Hopefully the girl learns that beauty goes deeper than the dress and the ball.  Hopefully, she learns that her perfect Prince really HAS rescued her from a dragon and resurrection is her promised inheritance.

Someday, I hope they’ll learn to see and love both sides of the story.  Boys and girls, we need each other.  And we need a great big, epic story.

And we have one.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus…” (Eph. 2:1-6)

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