By Lisa Thompson
Two BYU students held a storytelling contest in the Wilkinson Student Center Tuesday, Nov. 11, in an effort to have students share personal experiences, fascinating facts and urban legends.
Adam Canen, a junior from Evanston, Wyo., majoring in broadcast journalism, and Cammon Randle, a sophomore majoring in pre-media arts from Provo, will submit a videotape of the compiled stories for the final project in their Manufacturing 201 class.
The class, which counts toward the civilization general education requirement, is entitled History of Creativity. Students taking the class are required to submit a final creative project that pairs knowledge they have gained from the class with an element of creativity.
Canen and Randle chose to hold a storytelling contest after reading Geoffrey Chaucer”s “Canterbury”s Tales.” In this 14th century novel, 30 pilgrims from all levels of society tell stories to pass the time as they travel to Canterbury, England.
“Chaucer gave characterizations of each person,” Canen said. “We wanted to get an insight into the journey that we”re all taking. We have our own kind of pilgrimage as we get through life and school, so we”re trying to tell who the people at BYU are. We”re trying to get a characterization of our own culture.”
Canen and Randle received gift certificate contributions from local restaurants and offered them as prizes for the best stories.
“Some of [what we”re judging on] is how the story is told,” Canen said. “We”re trying to get stories that show humanity and show who we are as a people.”
Randle said even the simplest true story can give meaning to life.
“A story can be very simple and very straight forward,” Randle said. “That”s the thing that”s intriguing about true stories. Truth is something that solidifies the meaning behind. It”s something that gives it life.”
Students told a variety of stories, Canen said.
“We”ve heard about people hurting themselves and meeting famous people.” he said. “One guy even told us about a dream he had.”
Canen said he enjoyed giving students the opportunity to share their stories with others.
“Everybody wants to tell their story,” Canen said. “Everybody wants people to know who they are. They want to entertain other people and make other people comfortable around them and sow their talents. This is their chance. We”re looking for things that are representative of life in general and things that show who we are as people.”
Randle said he hoped the project would help him to better understand other students.
“I hope to gain an insight into people,” Randle said. “What people say or tell, whether it”s true or not, says a lot about them.”