Sophomores finish class-wide MOTH competition

Sophomore Zhuri Bryant won this year's MOTH competition with her funny story concerning racism.

Photo by Annmarie Morrison

Sophomore Zhuri Bryant won this year’s MOTH competition with her funny story concerning racism.

For the past four years at Lake Forest Academy, the sophomore class has undergone numerous cycles of MOTHs, or a version of storytelling similar to slam poetry. Students will pick a particular story from their life pertaining to a certain theme and share them with their classmates, and one winner from each class is determined and then go on to face each other and tell a story for the entire 10th grade to determine one winner.  The final round of the competition was held on Tuesday, February 24th.

The central concept of MOTH storytelling is how the story being told has shaped or influenced the person telling it, according to the non-for-profit organization.

“The MOTH is…dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it,” stated the MOTH website.

It was English department chair Ann Frkovich who brought this storytelling competition to LFA, starting in 2011.  When asked why she wanted to incorporate the MOTH into the sophomore curriculum, she stated that it helps develop personal narrative and public speaking skills, which are skills already being taught in that grade.  Besides the educational value, Frkovich mentioned that students generally enjoy participating in the MOTHs.

The winner for this year’s MOTH competition was Zhuri Bryant, ’17, who told the story of attending her friend’s birthday party where she faced racist comments and stereotyped from others attending, even the parents.

“Their comments, judgements, and actions really shocked me at the time. So, when I decided to do a MOTH about it, I wanted to make it funny because [when it happened] I was laughing at the ridiculousness of the whole situation,” said Bryant.