Telling awesome stories about things that matter in a way that really helps people understand an issue. So basically, my whole job.
I worked as a page for Senator Carl Levin when I was in high school. I had to wear terrible blue suits but I got to ride on the little subway that goes from Capitol Hill to the congressional offices. I got to meet Bono and Dick Cheney. It was a crazy experience.
The School is a beautifully written short story by David Barthelme, and it’s one of the pieces that made me want to tell stories too. It’s about all these terrible events that befall a school over the course of a year: dead class pets, projects gone awry, bad accidents. Eventually the kids demand that their teacher give them something to feel good about. The teacher is stumped and overwhelmed, as he’s had a terrible year too. What could he possibly say help them? But the last lines of the story are “Then there was a knock on the door, I opened the door, and the new gerbil walked in. The children cheered wildly.” It’s a wonderful reminder that things change quickly and without warning. Sometimes they’re terrible and sometimes they’re joyful. Plus, when you’re down, who wouldn’t like to be greeted by a gerbil come to help you?