Sparkle Schoolhouse
FIFTY Study Page – "Idaho: A Brave Day Indeed"

2017-02-23
FIFTY Study Page – "Idaho: A Brave Day Indeed"

“A Brave Day Indeed” is historical fiction about a railroad town called “Sandy Point” (later became Sandpoint) and a conversation between Wild Horse Tavern owner Delia Horton and future President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt. They share parts of their biography and the conversation then homes in on how to handle bullies when they stand in your way. The “Brave Day” that Theodore refers to is from his youth when he followed his father’s advice to “make himself” and face personal challenges that come to fore on his first day of summer camp.


Idaho History History of the Railroads – in particular the Northern Pacific Line and all the “railroad towns” that were built. History of the Wild West: the hunting, trapping, mining and logging that brought pioneers to the northwest. History of Women’s Suffrage on a state level and then nationally The biography of Theodore Roosevelt – from his difficulties as a boy to his successes as a man.

Idaho Geography - A map of the Northwest Territory and edges of each of the states that include important rivers. - A map of the Northern Pacific Railroad that connected the midwest to the Puget Sound. - A look at northern and southern Idaho and how the mountains and rivers played into the development.

“A Brave Day Indeed” Study Topics - Political parties and the birth of the Progressive Party - Biographies of people who overcame serious health issues in their youth - Biographies of women in the suffrage movement

From a Child Development Perspective

Though this is historical fiction and the characters have been developed to accommodate a story, their attributes and development may be useful as reference points and inspirations.

“A Brave Day Indeed” is a story of human fortitude, resilience and personal strength. Our characters show us what is possible when we decide what is possible. In spite of challenging odds and others standing in the way, we can “make ourselves” thereby reaching our potential, yes for our own good, but primarily in service to others.

From this story, the Child (and Adult!) Might Learn:

  • Life circumstances can be hard, but still, we can take the example that Delia set to show that regardless of the obstacles we face, we can put measures in place to make a positive change.

  • Life works in wonderful and mysterious and serendipitous ways! We see one such example of this in the random encounter of (the fictitious) Theodore Roosevelt and Mrs. Scott Dunaway. There is an invisible thread that leads us to meet and connect with just the very people whom we need to!

  • The unity of small voices can band together to make big change!

When Delia and Theodore talk, they realize that they are not alone in their grief. There is great opportunity in sharing your story and reaching out to others who share the same one as you. This helps us to feel less alone and more connected.

One way to disempower the bully is not taking on the negativity that is sent toward you. Bullies are those who like to tease, and yet, they are remarkably easy to disarm. Another way to put this:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

(This quote is most often credited to Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and wife of Franklin, not Theodore, Roosevelt.)

In facing challenges, there is a balance to be struck between accepting the circumstances, but also doing what you can to manage it. There is great power of transforming yourself with determination and commitment. We can accomplish great things when we set a goal and stick to it. Practice kindness and gentleness toward yourself, but do strive. In other words…

Make Yourself! The resiliency and strength of the human being is marvelous. There is a voice within in each of us telling us that against all odds, we can take it upon ourselves to do what needs to be done!

About the Authors

David Sewell McCann

Story Spinner

David Sewell McCann fell in love with spinning stories in first grade – the day a storyteller came to his class and captured his mind and imagination. He has been engaged in storytelling all of his adult life through painting, film-making, teaching and performing. Out of his experience as a Waldorf elementary class teacher and parent, he has developed a four step method of intuitive storytelling, which he now shares through workshops and through this website.

Meredith Markow

Sparkle Schoolhouse Head of School

Meredith has been working with adults and children of all ages for the past 25 years as a Waldorf Teacher and Educational Consultant. She received a B.A. with a focus on child development and child psychology from the University of Michigan, in 1984, an M.A. Ed from Washington University in 1987, and her Waldorf Teaching Certificate from the Lehrerausbildung (Teacher Training) in Nurnberg, Germany in 1989. She was certified as a Living Inquiries Facilitator in 2014, and she completed her formal teaching certification with The Enneagram Institute in 2014. Her work in the classroom and with individuals and groups is designed to help people of all ages to drop self-limiting beliefs to live a more joyful and compassionate life.

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