Wednesday, September 20, 2006

SNA: Solutions For Other Parts of Your Network

Children's Stories: In the Context Social Networks

Network Analysisis is not just for business. It can be tremendously useful across functions and contexts. Networks outside the office comprise a network that I haven't addressed in a while.

For Busy Parents

You busy parents who haven't had time to find an extra story for kids' bedtime, here's one for you. The illustration was done by Ron Hilley, who also happens to be a chorus member at New York City Opera.

Please feel free to pass it on (as long as there is no money involved). Please also do the same with King Barkthur and It's a Drag to Be a Dragon.

As always, the only rule is that this is read aloud.


This story is particulary dedicated to Tobias, Daniel, Erin, and Oliver (who seem like they might like polar bears), Sarabeth (in her new responsibility as a big sister) and her new sibling (who could always use a good story with all that waiting to be born).

And Now To Our Story . . .

Gus and the Polar Bear Orchestra

It's a little known fact that the most beautiful music in the world is made by polar bears.

You may be too young to remember the famous winter concerts on the North Pole. Everyone was invited.

As soon as it snowed, animals and human beings from every clime would gather on ice caps and glaciers to listen.

But when the ice melted in the spring, the bears found themselves surrounded by garbage from the people's picnics.

The orchestra would find themselves spending the whole spring and half the summer cleaning up.

Soon there was no time to practice for the winter concert. Alexander, the conductor, decided enough was enough.

"We’ll send a letter to a scientist I know saying that polar bears have decided to sleep all winter," said Alexander. People will believe anything.

And so they did. And the people stopped coming. And so did the garbage.

Everyone was very happy. As you probably know, music is as necessary for bears as getting up in the morning.

As you also have probably been told, all bears would play every instrument if they could, but the rule was that each must choose one when he or she turns three.

This was very important for Gus. He was two. And his birthday was coming up fast.

In all of Polar Bear history, all cubs have understood music as instantly as fish know how to swim. But as the son of the great conductor, Gus was something of a mystery. No matter how much he practiced, Gus couldn't play a note.

A week before his birthday, Gus decided to try one more time.

One day when Gus’s mom was cleaning her trumpet, Gus snuck out of the house to the place where the musicians practiced.

It was very dark and very quiet.

Gus's mother had shown him how to blow the trumpet. He liked to get dizzy, and fall down. It was fun, but he couldn't make it play.

Gus loved the cello and getting tangled up in the strings.

And the clarinet because it tickled his nose.

And the piano because you can play with no hands.

The tuba is very big and fun to climb into.

And the triangle makes a very nice hat.

But Gus still couldn't seem to make any music. The quiet was too quiet, and the dark too dark. So Gus began to sing.

And Gus sang louder and louder until everyone in the village came to the rehearsal room.

"Gus," said his grandmother, BearBear Ma, as she untangled her cello strings. "You have a beautiful voice."

And he did. And from that season on, Alexander made sure there was a song for Gus to sing every night.

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