I spend several hours at Beacon College in Leesburg Florida. The professor had invited me to tell trickster stories and to explain them to a class. Beacon College is a college dedicated to students with special learning needs. The students were easy to work with and participated in all of the interactive stories. Several asked questions after the program. In particular, they wanted to know where to find copies of the stories which is something that I have never been asked before.
For these students the act of tricking or deceiving was surprising and they actually cheered when one of the characters "got caught". They also wanted to know why most of the tricksters were animals when usually people are the deceivers.
These students will be attending a concert at the Florida StoryCamp the last weekend of this month. I am sure that their impression of storytelling will change after hearing and seeing Michael Patrick, Michael McCarty, Molly Catron, Yokmoto and Sandy Walker.
I teach public speaking in college and I will be curious to see if the Trickster Program has a similar effect. As of now, my students are saying, "Do we really have to tell a story like to little kids?"
Perhaps, just perhaps we as college professors and storytellers need to be telling the storytelling story better.