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Storyteller Biography



ALISON CHING


INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION

I am a librarian at North Garland High School in Garland, TX. I graduated from North Garland in 1994 and returned there in 1998 to teach English, which I did for three years before moving to the library. I am still together with my high school sweetheart; his name is Jason, and his capacity to make me laugh is limitless. Our cat Willow devotes most of her time to devising ways of playing us against each other in order to garner the maximum possible amount of attention. We do not have children of our own, but I have a 16-year-old nephew and 4 nieces ranging in age from 2 to 6 years that I adore.

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

M.S. Candidate in Library Science
University of North Texas
Denton, Texas

B.A. in English
University of Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

STORYTELLING INTERESTS

I have loved stories all my life. My parents read to me and took me to the library from a very young age. My mother tells me that as a little girl, I would tell long rambling jokes that were incomprehensible to everyone but me and laugh and laugh at them. In fifth grade, I started writing poetry which I did on and off for several years. Following a writing workshop I took in college, I became more serious about writing, eventually finding myself involved in writing and performing for poetry slams. In the slam world, many poets try to be provocative by creating outrageous personas or using shock value. I always found the more thoughtful, narrative-driven pieces more effective in the poets I listened to and that is what I have striven for in my own work. When it comes to stories that aren’t related to my poetry, I tend to like those with fantastic elements in them. I enjoy the suspension of disbelief; sometimes it forces the listener and the teller to look at things is new ways.

MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

I am a pop culture junkie. Music, movies, TV – I love it all. I think some of the reason for this is social in nature. When I was growing up, my mother would sometimes take me to the movies on a weekly basis, and those outings remain some of my favorite memories. My boyfriend and I also share a passion for movies, and they are often the source of some of our best conversations. But I also think role story plays in the various media appeals to me. I love losing myself in tales projected on a screen in a dark theater. I often find myself speaking with rather embarrassing enthusiasm and expertise about demons and ancient curses while discussing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a show that may seem to have a ridiculous premise but is rooted in the loves and hopes of its characters in a way that is truly touching and powerful. And a great pop song is nothing if not a story.

I also enjoy the presence of story in my job as a high school librarian. In both the literature intended for teenagers and the experiences my students relate to me firsthand, feelings and happenings are so immediate that, like stories of the fantastic, they force me to stop and look at things in a new way. I think it is good for me to remain somewhat connected to a time when life is constantly surprising.

To view the storytelling concert performance videos, download FREE RealPlayer:
http://www.realone.com/realplayer.html

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IMAGES FROM THE CEILING TILE DIGITAL IMAGE PROJECT OF CHERI EASTWOOD. 
USED WITH PERMISSION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER, CHERI EASTWOOD.
 © Cheri Eastwood, 2004

PERMISSIONS GRANTED FOR USE OF ALL AUDIO RECORDINGS.
ALL COPYRIGHT PROTECTED STORIES ARE TOLD WITH PERMISSION RECEIVED IN WRITING FROM
PUBLISHERS AND AUTHORS AS STATED IN THE VIDEOS AND ALL DOCUMENTS ARE ON FILE IN THE
SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS.
© Elizabeth Figa, 2004