Oberlin Blogs

Storytelling ExCo

November 9, 2008

Ma'ayan Plaut ’10

On this chilly dreary Sunday of Parent and Family Weekend, my storytelling ExCo was having a make up class, because Liz and Adam knew no one would show up to an ExCo on election night. Liz's parents ordered pizza, and as we ate, we told stories to not only our classmates, but to a welcome audience of family members.

The Storytelling ExCo is just what it sounds like... two sections of very small, intimate classes of four students and two instructors that share stories together once a week. We are given a topic, and usually a sample story to get our creative juices flowing, and have a week to choose and practice a story before we perform it.

Usually, Sundays are spent with a time breakdown similar to the following: catching up on sleep, catching up on chores, catching up on homework, and if time deemed it, catching up with friends. Note that this does not include making up a class, even if it is a class I adore.

But today, today was a good day for storytelling. I had cancelled most of my plans for the weekend to write my script for cinema, and was currently completely outlined but not written. And I needed inspiration. A room full of creative souls seemed like a good place to be for two hours of my precious Sunday time.

Today's topic was retelling... choose a story told by a member of the class and make it your own. Joe, who tells stories in total deadpan, had told a story about a recycled sandwich that circulated through his friends as a form of revenge for almost a year, with a small aside description of something he had described as a "cubewich." I was intrigued by this cubewich concept, and let my imagination run wild for a few days before solidifying a story for today's class.

What is a cubewich? I decided that a cubewich was a sandwich that was a cube, but not a cube of bread with things inside. Layer upon layer of bread until it is the same height as the width of the bread. And then placed this sandwich in a story not of revenge, but of love. Because in some cultures, a cubewich is a symbol of love and affection.

Or so the story goes.

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