Thursday, March 27, 2008

That was good... that was bad... that was good...

Someone called to book me for a birthday party.

That was good!

Unfortunately, I already had a previous commitment.

That was bad!

But then, the program coordinator for the Seattle Children's Museum contacted me to lead an Arts in the Afternoon program on July 3rd at 1 pm.

That was good!

Then... well, it's all good. The point is that when I tell one of many variations on the "That Was Good/That Was Bad" story, I talk about how often a day isn't all good or all bad, but a mixture of the two-- and sometimes deciding whether or not the day was a good one depends on how you look at the overall picture. I don't wish to downplay the real troubles that people have to deal with on a daily basis, but when you're a child, sometimes the immediate event often crowds out memories of the past or expectations of the future.

I plan to use a specifically-tailored version of "That Was Good/That Was Bad" for my Arts in the Afternoon presentation. Here are my props to hold up to prompt the audience responses:



I made the "Good" and "Bad" signs with construction paper and used high-contrast text for those children who might be color-blind or have other sight issues. Here is the outline of my last "Good/Bad" storytime-- the park version. Feel free to expand upon it or make your own version, and if you do on-the-spot improvisation, be sure to have a good idea of how it's going to end.

That Was Good/That Was Bad: Park edition

I got to go to the park today.
THAT WAS GOOD.


When I got to the park, all the swings were filled with other children.
THAT WAS BAD.

A little girl said, “Here, take my swing—I’m all done.”
THAT WAS GOOD.

I forgot to hold onto the handles, and I fell out.
THAT WAS BAD.

My grownup hugged me until I felt better.
THAT WAS GOOD.

But then another child took my swing.
THAT WAS BAD.

I saw some of my friends playing in the sandbox, and they said, “Come play with us!”
THAT WAS GOOD.

When I got to the sandbox, there were no shovels for me to use.
THAT WAS BAD.

I played with a dump-truck instead.
THAT WAS GOOD.

Then, my grownup said, “It’s time to leave the sandbox.”
THAT WAS BAD.

But it was snack-time!
THAT WAS GOOD.

However, my grownup forgot the snacks.
THAT WAS BAD.

Whoops—she didn’t forget them, they were in a different bag, and she had sandwiches, celery sticks and crackers to eat.
THAT WAS GOOD.

However, she forgot the water-bottles, and we were so thirsty.
THAT WAS BAD.

Fortunately, there was a water-fountain nearby.
THAT WAS GOOD.

Unfortunately, there was no water in it.
THAT WAS BAD.

We were so thirsty!
THAT WAS BAD.

However, a friend of ours said, “We’ve got an extra thermos of water. Have some.”
THAT WAS GOOD.

But then it was time to go home.
THAT WAS BAD.

When we got home, I walked through the door and people shouted, “Surprise! It’s your birthday party!”
THAT WAS GOOD.

And that is the end of that story.
THAT WAS GOOD.

Why, thank you!

6 comments:

El JoPe Magnifico said...

Well, there is the Apple Computers rating scale, which consists of only Good, Better, Best. This is unrelated to the now-deprecated trio of "Mac faces", those being Happy, Sad and Dead.

Whereas the LaTeX formatting suite has a scale of Badness that ranges from 0 to 10k, but AFAIK makes no acknowledgment of Goodness.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

El Jope: I'm glad at least that there are choices. It's so maddening to get a message along the lines of "This operation is not going to work and is now going to shut down, losing everything you worked on, mwa ha ha" and the only choice one has is to click on the "Okay" button. It's not okay.

Lone Star Ma said...

What a cute story!

MotherReader said...

Do you remember that book Fortunately by Remy Charlip? It's that same back and forth with bad and good, but more surreal. That books was stuck in the back of my brain for years until I stumbled across it again in the library. It was like finding an old friend. An old weird friend.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

I do remember Fortunately. I need to find it again. Thanks for the reminder!

Noodle said...

My son told a "that was good/that was bad" story just yesterday, and I thought of you the whole time! :)