"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trek (2 of 7): Meeting Professor of a Like-Mind

When I introduce myself as a professional storyteller, usually I must explain what I mean by "storytelling".

Then you meet rare individuals who know exactly what you are talking about like David C. Dollahite, Brigham Young University professor.

This is two of seven posts relating to my info-gathering trek to BYU on October 21, 2008.

When I scheduled an appointment with Professor Dollahite at 10:00am on October 21, 2008, I already knew that the courses he taught aligned with my "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" narrative production. As my outlook for the program reflects "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" document, he teaches a whole semester course entitled "Strengthening Marriage and Family: Proclamation Principles and Scholarship" based on that very document.

There may have been over 45 BYU Family Life faculty, though his vita stood out.

These are other topics he researches/teaches:
  • Religion and family life in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim families
  • Latter-day Saint (Mormon) family life
  • Fathering and faith in fathers of children with special needs
On top of these pursuits, he received Award of Merit for creating the hymn "As Families in the Latter Days" from the LDS Music and Cultural Arts Committee 2006.

As I knocked on Professor Dollahite's door and he welcomed me inside his office, I had to smile as I could tell in that instant that regardless of how he could assist in my narrative production, here was an all-around good person. He is the kind of guy who inspires ideas simply by being in his presence.

Imagine my surprise when he mentioned he attended the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and that he even performed at it a couple times!

He was also more generous than expected. He gave me a 377-page copy of "Helping and Healing Our Families" (see above picture) that he edited along with Craig H. Hart, Lloyd D. Newell, and Elaine Walton. Then he made copies of various articles he wrote such as "Forging Family Bonds Through Storytelling" and "Turning the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children: Nurturing the Next Generation" to articles written by other experts like "Tales from Family Therapy, Life-Changing Clinical Experiences" by Frank N. Thomas and Thorana S. Nelson. Finally, he gave copies of both songs he created of "As Families in the Latter Days" and "May Thy Face of Shining Splendor".

The copies, placed in a large manila envelope, was at least an inch thick.

I asked if he or his department could sponsor "Family Famine: Hunger for Love." He said he wish he could and that two years ago that something like this would be promoted in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, there had been some changes in the department that would make it difficult to do such a thing now. I could tell he wished to help me. He did say he planned to attend the performance and could encourage his students to look into it.

I promised to send Professor Dollahite each of my two storytelling DVDs.

I will undoubtedly stay in touch with him.

I know there are many professors out there who would love to connect with storytellers that relates to their focus somehow. It is only a matter of searching.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

No comments: