Every once in a while something happens that is just so perfect that you can't quite believe your good fortune. I'm talking about kind of good fortune that brings a gelato stand to your parent's neighborhood the very summer that you are home studying for the bar exam. The sort of good fortune that you might call a blessing and then second guess whether such a trivial thing could be divine. I mean I'd never sincerely pray for a gelato stand to open up in my neighborhood, yet I have many times dreamt of it. And if there was ever a time when it might be most appreciated would be the summer I was plagued with the odious task of studying for the dreaded bar exam.
Such good fortune just came my way.
For the past couple years I have been huge fan of a radio show called This American Life, it's kind of hard to explain but utterly brilliant and the next time you have an hour, give it a listen. I promise it'll be educational, thought provoking and entertaining. The host of This American Life is Ira Glass and the show is his creation.
A few months ago I found out that he was going to be coming to Anchorage and I tried to devise a plan to get down to see him, but it was going to be complicated. So, I sort of gave up on the idea of seeing Ira. Until one day, I was listening to NPR when I heard that Ira was coming to Fairbanks. My jaw dropped to the floor (not literally of coarse, but I nearly fell over I was so shocked). I could NOT believe that Ira would come all the way to little old Fairbanks. It was like a dream come true (I recognize how geeky I sound and am woefully unapologetic). And my general opinion of Fairbanks improved significantly - I mean if Ira Glass is going to be coming here, maybe this town is cooler than I thought.
So, I bought my ticket well ahead of time and invited my friend Eva to come with me. It was really important to find someone who had heard of Ira, and I was glad to find out that my instincts were correct, Eva is a fellow fan of Mr. Glass and his remarkable show.
While I am familiar with Ira's weekly radio show, I wasn't quite sure what this event would be like but being a super geeky fan as I am, I didn't really care. All I knew was that Ira is brilliant and I was facinated see whatever he was doing in Fairbanks. It turned out to be part the making of the show and part Ira's theories on journalism and story telling. And there were moments where it felt a little bit like a stand up comedy routine - everyone was laughing A LOT. He shared clips from past shows and talked about the making of the show. I was really impressed by his insights about story telling. Story telling is a really significant form of communication and and fascilitates learning and understanding. Through effective story telling, it is possible to experience vicariously other times, places, interactions and emotions. The event is really hard to explain but to summarize, it was brilliant and thought provoking. And extremely good fortune.