Life is so arbitrary and exact, so painful and joyous, so loving and fleeting. As I LookAroundMe this is what I see and share through my words...

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Most writers are Sooooo disappointing as speakers but you are dynamite wrapped in silk.
Illene Ashkenaz

As a consultant, my firm has put us through tons of communication and presentation trainings, but I have to say that none of the sessions have been as impactful as your session yesterday for the YWCA.Your delivery of the material was excellent and very practical - I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you and I took away a lot of practical tips to help improve my
communication. Ebun Falusi

I think your beautiful smile and voice captivate the room and make your listeners immediately feel comfortable -- that makes your wonderful stories even more interesting. I know I was "hanging on your every word" when I was listening and I could visualize each story.
Sandi Topper, Special Events Director, Cancer Wellness Center

What an enjoyable evening.... you have such a passion that is refreshing just to be in your presence.
Francie Pinkwater

You are a magical storyteller.
Merle Cahan, Board Member, Cancer Wellness Center

I didn't stop grinning the entire evening. I just loved it!!!!!!!
Linda Harris

Thank you again for sharing your wonderful energy and wisdom with our Flashpoint students. You were a big hit! Thank you for your inspiring and informative presentations. Once again, you have provided our students with the "essentials" in an engaging and powerful way.

Francine Sanders
Director, Core Studies
Flashpoint - The Academy of Media Arts and Sciences

I continue to hear great things about your presentation.
Paula Froehle
Dean, Flashpoint Academy

Your writings are absolutely riveting and inspirational!
Carol Belman

In my nearly year at the Library -- I can easily say that the "Storyteller's Voice" was one of my favorite programs and what I think Library programming should be about --expressing our core mission to educate, enrich, inspire and entertain.
Your power as a writer and ability to express your writing in the spoken word is truly a gift...and that you share your gifts with friends, family, students, and strangers is a true testament to your generous spirit.
Jennifer S. Black
Public Information Officer Glenview Public Library

Your program was the best! I am looking forward to seeing you in May at NSSC. What is the date? I want to pass the word along. Thanks for doing this program. It was wonderful!!
Jack Neymark
Glenview Library Board

Congratulations. Your narrations are spellbinding and always professionally presented.
Dr. Charles Guengerich
President, Wright College

I wanted you to know that I was involved in "Reading Hour" at Niles West High School this morning, and read "The Elevator" and "Life 101" from the Forever Friends book. The students loved them! They were really impressed to know that a graduate of District 219 is a published author.
Anne Roloff, Ph.D.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Niles Township High School District 219

Thank you for participating in A Day with Northwestern in Evanston. Your enthusiasm and dedication to your field greatly contributed to the success of the program. I appreciate your generosity in sharing your time and expertise as the featured School of Communication alumni speaker.
Catherine Stembridge
Associate Vice President, Office of Alumni Relations and Development
Executive Director, Northwestern Alumni Association

Just a short note to let you know how much I enjoyed your speaking engagement this morning at the North Shore Senior Center. From the moment you walked in until the time you stood on the stage, and then until you took Q & A's you exhibited warmth, cordiality, honesty, and a passion for your calling.
Thank you so much for a delightful hour.
Helen Harris



The story was full of suspense & riveting. I was mesmerized & graphically saw all the images of the main characters in my mind. Arlene Ray

Brilliant!!! Very well done. When will the next one be coming out?
~Shelagh Watkins

I enjoyed each and every word from beginning to end. It certainly held my interest and the writing seemed so smooth and enjoyable. Helen Harris

I just finished listening to your short story online. It was wonderful! I love these kind of stories - an education/teacher focus, realistic, and honest. I think you captured all of that in this story.
Anne Roloff

Very moving, touching, powerful story, Elynne. It really belongs in a prime market magazine. It's inspiring and sobering, simultaneously.
DLKeur The Deepening

I loved it. You really have a talent for writing dialogue. Very realistic phraseology. That was really a striking aspect of the piece. Gloria

It is riveting and beautifully written. Sandy Kite

This was a truly captivating story that held our interest from beginning to end.
Sue and Michael Joelson

Great story! I listened avidly the whole time. Marva Dasef

This is terrifying and riveting at the same time. It makes you sit and listen because you wonder whether or not something good can come out of it all. Amy

Elynne’s vivid and creative story touches the reader with emotion, just as Prof. Gabriel touched her students…The story of LK and the kidnapping would make an inspirational anticipatory set for any curriculum on creative writing…punctuated with chapter-like titles; ie “The Attic”, "The Billboard”, “The Conversation”, etc. the reader is held captive. I love how the story of Miguel is woven as a sub-plot to help clarify the Prof’s “mission” to help LK. The wisdom that the writer (and Professor Gabriel) imparts throughout is invaluable.. "My burden was to help him lose his arrogance..”…”She taught us how not to be afraid”…Listening to her story was a very “deepening experience”..Thank you.
CJ Breman

Compelling, beautifully written, beautifully read.. what a story–full of compassion–teacher as missionary and more! Love the title too.
Yvette Meltzer

What a neat story. It struck me as I was listening that this embodies what short story writing is all about.
Chuck B

I just finished listening to your story. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. All of the feelings of the human soul are captured in that story.
Pidge Joelson


Elynne, I like your story a lot. It brings memories back of Junior High. I think the twist was popular then. You did it again, Elynne. Another wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it.....

Oh you 63 year old man killer. If we wait long enough sometimes we get our due and our ...doo- wop! Congrats. I've seen you dance and know why they wanted to dance with you! You rock, lady!.....

What a lovely and beautifully written story.

Love your "stuff". 'Would you like to dance" takes me back a few years as well. Terrific! I smiled the whole time!! ........

Elynne,I read your dance story and felt every emotion...because I was there too! You're lucky that you were able to live out the fantasies of... a pre-teen...I never danced with those popular guys even at my reunions. Mine are still just fantasies!Great story!!.....

As one of the high school outsiders you were always one of the "in" people I watched and admired. Your ease and friendly attitude towards everyone was lovely. I read your article in Sassee and thought, hummmmmmm, it just proves that in life we all have/had a place where we feel/felt uncomfortable. We are all the same....

I missed that reunion Elynne - but I hope to see you dance at our 63' class reunion in 2013.

Thanks for sharing that story. Save a dance for me.

Wonderful! ...You brought back so many memories. Sorry I wasn't there to dance with you.

Reading it is as much fun as hearing straight from the dancer's mouth! Tell me more stories.

U captured the essence of that magical evening! It was 'Bk to the Future' & it ended too quickly! Only U can again make it come alive!

What a wonderful story Elynne. I remember the only person I wanted to dance with in High School was Mr. Boevers and I got the chance years later at a Bar Mitzvah. What a wonderful memory that is.


Will AcevedoWatching you read your beautiful words brought me right back to that morning in 2001 and my eyes are shedding tears of joy! Thank you for sharing our story, I will never forget you Professor Chaplik-Aleskow!

Shelagh Watkins Wonderful story, Elynne!

Heather Johnson Blecker Beautiful! What an uplifiting story and so beautifully read.

Abe March Excellent story and presentation.

Arlene Orlove Ray What a warm & heartfelt story...executed beautifully & brought tears to my eyes!

Nora Gaffin Shore Elynne, what a beautiful story! You did indeed bring tears to my eyes! Keep up the good work. I love it.

Lawrence D. Elliott A very moving and inspirational story, read beautifully...of course! I listened several times (today on my walk). It is great you have it on YouTube. The world should hear this story.

Will Acevedo Reading these beautiful responses to the story puts the biggest smile in my heart! Everything happens for a reason just as I was placed in your class for a reason Professor. Living through this experience changed my life forever and I thank you for never giving up on me! -Will, aka "Mark"

Arlene Orlove Ray Will...what every Educator wants to hear! If anyone could inspire you it would be your Professor Elynne Chaplik-Aleskow!

Donovan Mixon A touching story. Thank you


This I believe: you are one of the most talented writers I have ever heard, read, seen!
This I believe: your story was one of sadness and joy! But one I truly enjoyed!
This I believe: I am truly glad I know you!
This I believe: Thank you so much for letting me have the opportunity to listen to you first-hand!
Karen Leavitt

You were terrific and the whole evening was very moving. SO glad I made it and got to hear your, and Ivy's, story.
Jeff Emrich

You were wonderful and so inspiring!
Hannah Geraldoy Fernandez

I was moved...Thank you, Elynne for sharing your 'This I believe' essay. It was a beautifully written piece.
Donovan Mixon

I heard you were the best interview of the night! Hopefully I can hear the recording.
Stephanie Linn

You were so amazing last night! Your testimony left everyone around me, including myself, in tears. It was such a beautiful and powerful tribute to your sister Ivy...I wish I could have known her. I was SO very proud of you! Congratulations on such a fabulous performance in front of that huge audience - you were so relaxed and composed up there, I was truly amazed!
Anne Roloff, Ph.D.

Jeff enjoyed every syllable...and what a beautiful acknowledge of affection, for your sister Ivy and in the name of Love!
Stephanie Leese Emrich

Awesome beyond words... A night to remember.
Gail Cutler

It was a pleasure meeting you last night, and thanks again for sharing such a powerful, touching story. I went home and hugged my boys just a little tighter as a result.
Steve Edwards WBEZ-FM

A perfect evening! You were magnificent!
Susan Chaplik

'Bravo' doesn't fit because that would draw praise and attention to yourself, and this evening was about you gifting us with wholeness and peace. Thank you.
Celia Kuick

I could have lived a lifetime and never expected to have a more wonderful experience than I did tonight. I was bursting with pride. It was a gift to Ivy, Susie and me ------and of course our beloved parents. Thank you. It was perfect. You are so gifted.
Linda Chaplik Harris