Tag Archives: Ellie Ann Soderstrom

Lessons From A Disney Princess: A #LessonLearned by Ellie Ann Soderstrom

Ellie Ann Soderstrom is positively magical. Besides being madly in love with her husband and three children, she writes fairy tales, tall tales, and is interested in transmedia storytelling. Her content is consistently fabulous. I recommend subscribing to her blog, Ellie Ann Navigates the Week. Follow her on Twitter at @elliesoderstrom and LIKE her Facebook page: Ellie Soderstrom.

Thanks for being here today, EA. {You know I adore your Tall Tale Tuesdays.}

Click on the teacher lady’s bottom to read other posts in this series.

I’m thrilled to be here to talk about MY FAVORITE PRINCESS EVER: POCAHONTAS. Because I’ve learned everything there is to know about life about her. (Slight exaggeration. She didn’t teach me not to wash new red sweaters with new white sweaters). I’ve watched her movie countless times, rapt with awe at her grace and oneness with nature. She’s my favorite Disney princess by far, Jasmine ain’t got nothin’ on her. No one can do a swan dive like she can except Captain Jack Sparrow, and even that is up for debate.

But I’m not here to talk about swan dives  — although they were helpful for my pirating career. I’m here to talk about the most important song of Pocahontas’ career: Colors of the Wind.

First of all, the unspoken lesson to be learned from this song is if you see the colors of the wind, or especially if they’re thick enough to paint with, you should probably run.

This is, I assume, why Pocahontas runs so much in the music video.

photo by Lydia White

Second of all, she says:

“You think I’m an ignorant savage. And you’ve been so many places, I guess it might be so.”

Let me tell ya, these words have saved me a laundry load of vanity and sorrow. I’m an ignoramus. Every time I think I know something about the solar system, Galileo goes and tells me the earth revolves around the sun! That’s my allegorical way of saying that I can spout all the important words that I want to with conviction, but if they aren’t said in humility then it’ll all be in vain the day someone comes along and tears down my pretty little soapbox I’ve been standing on.

So now, thanks to Pocahontas’ viewpoint, I accept that others might think I’m ignorant. I’ll cling to the few beliefs I hold fast to about God and Man and the Universe, but the rest . . . I’ll try to speak humbly with a big dose of humor because just when you teach that dinosaurs are extinct JURASSIC PARK II happens and you have a Tyrannosaurus Rex in New York.

Pocahontas speaks of walking two moons. “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins,” as the old Irish saying goes. (At least, I think it’s Irish). As John Smith raises his gun to shoot a grizzly, Pocahontas stops him and sings:

“You think the only people who are people, are the people who look and think like you. But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger; you’ll learn things you never knew you never knewwwww!”

And then they get to cuddle a bear cub.

So the lesson is: don’t shoot grizzlies! Be kind to grizzlies, even if they are hairy and smelly and smell weird, even if they want to eat all your honey, and even if they growl when you approach. As long as you are kind and cuddle with their children they will love you! That is my metaphorical example of being kind to people even if they’re ugly or weird or look scary. (Seriously though, you can’t take that advice literally! Do you know what would happen if you tried to cuddle a cub? Mama Bear Death Claw Attack!)

Charging Bears

But walking, feeling, living someone else’s life is a noble way to live.

Sometimes when I’m peeved at a woman who cuts in line, or a friend says something rude, or a family member cancels unexpectedly, or a car takes forever to turn left, I’ll try to think about what they might be going through. Sometimes it helps me calm down. Sometimes it just helps me come up with stories. But it always ensures I don’t take out a rifle like John Smith did.

That’s the way I want to live. By trying to walk, feel, and live in other people’s shoes. (Not literally, I am no shoe thief). Also, to walk with humility and grace . . . not willing to fight and hurt people for what I “think” is right. It’s not a lesson I’ve learned. It’s a lesson I’m learning. And maybe by the time I’m eighty I’ll have the lesson learned. And then perhaps my swan dive will be as perfect as Pocahontas’.

Have you learned any life lessons from a favorite Disney princess?

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson & @elliesoderstrom

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Mid-November Mash Up

It was my 44th birthday yesterday. If you were paying attention, you learned about Scorpios.

I have to say, I don’t feel a day over 20. Seriously. If I lived in the land of  anti-reflective surfaces, I am pretty sure that I could believe that I was the same spring chicken I was decades ago. (Stupid mirrors.)

In honor of all Scorpios everywhere, I’m playing head-banging heavy metal from the Scorpions. Guaranteed to wake you up before you go-go. And check out these bloggers because, like the Scorpions, they’ll rock you like a hurricane.

(But not like a real life hurricane because that is no kind of fun. Just a metaphorical hurricane.)

From the English Department

Susie Lindau’s Anger, Fear or Joy?  might make writers think about how we treat our loved ones when we are on a writing spree.

Jami Gold asks How Do You Celebrate? when you have finished writing the first draft of a book. Right now, I can only dare to dream that moment, but the idea of this post carries over into other areas. How do you celebrate when you have reached a goal. Do you allow yourself to experience joy? Or do you jump right into the next project?

From the Math Department

From Wild About Math I have Happy 11/11/11 Day! Seriously, I have no idea what this man is talking about. When I listen to him talk, I feel so English Teacher-ishy. And I totally meant to have my class look at the clock at 11:11 on 11/11. Except I forgot. Oh well, there’s always next year on 12/12 at 12:12.

From the Science Department

David Dobbs debunks The Slut Gene.

From the History Department

Kathy Owen shares the history of Thanksgivings Past from the New York Times.

Ellie Ann Soderstrom has a sobering report on The Top 10 Baddies of The World.

From the Physical Education Department

Why Parents Must Speak of Unspeakable Things by Chase McFadden speaks of the atrocities which occurred to children at the hands of their coach. It will break your heart.

From the Political Science Department

Piper Bayard’s Political and Corporate Phrase Book is a must read when it comes to some of the things politicians are actually quoted as actually saying out loud.

Jenny Hansen interviews Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb about their 2012 Worldwide Blog Tour Kickoff and their run for President and Vice President in a campaign where everyone — even Canadians and pets — can vote!

From the Religious Studies Department

Galit Breen is trying something new in Our Jewish Family Is Celebrating Christmas This Year.

From the Art Department

Artist Mary Mollica’s Not To Be Trashed features a memory of a favorite art teacher.

From the Theater Department

Gigi from Kludgy Mom writes about How to Help Your Child Overcome Stage Fright — which is really about how to parent when your child doesn’t naturally do the things that come so easily to you.

In Come Again?, Clay Morgan has Paul Johnson (aka: The Good Greatsby) at his place to discuss how to screw with nosy passers-by. If this isn’t theater, I don’t know what is.

From Home Economics

Georgette Sullins’ There are Vegans in the Family is about how to do Thanksgiving while meeting everyone’s dietary needs.

Annie from Six-Ring Circus tracks her family’s Post-Halloween Candy Consumption.

Jessica Buttram has a guest blogger at her place. Alise Wright’s It Ain’t Pretty is about putting together a rag doll with her daughter — at the last minute.

From the Parenting Department

Leanne Shirtliffe has her daughter on a Scavenger Hunt in the Dictionary!

From the Awesome-Sauce Department

WARNING: Absolutely, positively NOT for children’s ears.

CLICK HERE for The Hilarious Video: Siri Argument

What rocked you this week?