Earlier this year, I wrote a memoir. My go to for years had been Lacrosse or Theatre, so when I presented my idea to write about my concussion to my teacher, she said something along the lines of “you really should try writing something different.” And so, after a day of thinking, it came to me. I would write about the Mass JCL state convention. I knew exactly how I was going to write this. I started with: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Except, this hole was not a hole, but rather a renovated cape in Massachusetts, in which lived dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs, as well as humans...” And so on, and so forth. Obviously, my memoir was inspired by another great memoir--one of great battles, adventures, lost treasures, and, most importantly, hobbits--but my purpose remained the same. I wanted to tell a story.
I took this adventure, this string of events, this gaggle of fun and games, and I shaped it into a story. A real, living, breathing story. The thing was, it was all true too. I realized that, through this story, through my story, what the whole point of storytelling was. We write and tell stories to bring the reader into a world beyond their own. The facts are the foundation. The story is built on them using a vast array of emotions.
Now, reader, you might be asking yourself, “why is the Editor from MA telling me this?” My point is that stories matter far beyond you can imagine. For instance, this memoir has influenced people in my school to join JCL and to come to states. Through it, I have taken mystery out of JCL and enlightened students in what our classics-oriented club is all about. Stories help us grow on fundamental levels, help us expand in ways we could never have imagined.
Too often, we hide own stories, or diminish them to just quick comments or side notes when these stories of adventures and life lessons could spark whole conversations, novels, and films. Too often, we find ourselves at a crossroads where we can either speak too little, and thereby forgo our opportunity to tell our story, or we can take that leap of faith and share something phenomenal. Too often, we condemn books as just boring or just make-believe and we lose the rich story that we could have experienced. Too often, we disregard history as unimportant when history may just be the most important subject out of any humanity, as history teaches us about our past. Without knowledge of our past, how can we ever come to understand the present? (continued on page eleven)
I think most JCLers understand that, though. Our club is unique, one that celebrates history, one that celebrates stories. Stories are at the core of everything this club represents, and stories are the literal makeup of our state publications. So reader, do not be afraid to tell yours. Write a memoir, film a movie, draw a comic--even the smallest person can tell the loudest of stories.
2017-2018 Mass JCL Publications Editor
a case for storytelling
by jacob hane, massjcl editor