Monday, March 7, 2011

Fear Bear: Everybody Has One

It's pretty obvious from my chalkboard drawing above why I chose a career in the performing — not visual — arts, but I was desperate to make a point.

"Last week," I said, "I did the scariest thing that I have ever done in my whole life."

That line alone had twenty-four sets of eyes alert and twenty-four bottoms perched forward on their chairs.

I told them the story of my trapeze outing. I acted it out by traveling stage right to stage left. Rachel participated by holding the back of my blue jeans as if she were the trapeze teacher holding me atop of the platform.

Then I added in the character I created in that chalkboard drawing.

"I think everyone has a FEAR BEAR. And I think a Fear Bear can be very helpful sometimes. Like if I'm about to cross the street and I forget to look both ways, Fear Bear is going to shout out, 'Ms. Ryane! Stop!' "

They look up at my crude sketch as if it might actually spring to life. They are astonishingly uncritical of my drawing.

"But on that night when I was climbing up the ladder to swing on a trapeze bar, Fear Bear was not the least bit helpful. Oh, he was there all right. Right beside me, climbing along with me and whispering, 'Don't do this! Go back down! This is too scary!' "

I notice some kids nodding as if they know exactly what this conversation is about.

"I said, 'Go away, Fear Bear. Get lost. Go take a nap because I have to do this. I have to find my courage and you're not helping me.' "

I told them about each time I went up and how it felt to hit the air with my legs swinging and heart pounding. I told them how my Fear Bear pursued me, until he finally gave up when he saw I was brave.

"One of the ways I got myself up that ladder," I told them, "was to imagine how much courage you're all going to have to find to use your big voices and perform our play. I thought if The Shakespeare Club can do it, so can I."

Seed planted.

If I was qeen Elisabith I would higher Williamm Shakspear. I would wear a nice dress that has gold beads around it. And some nice handmade shoes. And I would live in a Big Kasil whith servents who are veary kind and frendly. I would let them get brakes when they did goob job I would William come into my home. I will go to his funeral to honer him.

If I was qeen I would wher a big buetifull golden dress whith beads hanging down from it. I would do a rule that every Monday and Friday there would be a feast. And that you can have a gun but you have to show it and you can't shoot anyone.
Lizzie, 5th grade


  1. Sometimes your Fear Bear knows what the hell he's talking about!


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