Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
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Youth and Elders Co-write Memoirs
November 30, 2017
As you may have noticed from my recent posts, I think it is a good idea
to record life stories and having young people talk to their elders can
spur the process and help the elders reminisce and share their
experiences and life insights. The young people gain a valuable
perspective; the elders get the satisfaction of passing on values and
history to the younger generation. It seems like a win-win.
This idea is validated with a story out of Australia. In Students bond with aged care residents by writing down their memoirs
a 102-year old woman, Florence Wheeler, shared her life story with
16-year old Nathan McCarthy. They were just one young and old couple
that worked together and it appears it was a good experience for both,
despite any initial doubts.
The program was part of Rostrevor College's English curriculum that
paired nine year 10 students with residents of an aged care center in
Adelaide. According to the communications director for Allity Aged
Care, Janet Leung, "For residents, maintaining the community connection
leads to a better frame of mind and to better health."
Young and old, working together to tell life stories is a great way to co-write a memoir.
National Day of Listening from StoryCorps
November 24, 2017
Every year since 2008 StoryCorps
has encouraged families to spend time the day after Thanksgiving to
share stories about their lives and to even record them. Most families
gather for a big meal and time together on the Thanksgiving Holiday.
The next day can be a great time to find out more about your family
members. It is especially important for the young people to do this
with a family elder. There are values and wisdom to share and pass on.
NPR (National Public Radio) partners with StoryCorps and here's a post to encourage and help you with the day of listening. You can also find out more about StoryCorps with this upclose look I put together. I have had StoryCorps featured as a highlight site from Your Life Is Your Story.
Talk to a Ten Year Old
November 20, 2017
In my role as a 5th grade teacher I spend a lot of time learning about
how ten and eleven year olds view the world. They don't have the same
perspective as adults - and that can help elders understand something
about what it is like growing up as a kid these days. It's not the same
as it was 20, 30 or 50 years ago.
Likewise, elders can give young people insight into what it was like to
be a kid growing up in a different time. When I was ten we would ride
bikes around the neighborhood and our parents were not worried. We'd
drink water from the garden hose and stay out until the streetlights
came on. People aren't willing to take that kind of risk anymore, and
understandably so. Sadly, our world is less safe for kids.
If you are past fifty then you are of a generation foreign to most
children. They have no idea what a world without computers, smart
phones or the Internet was like! But they are kids with active
imaginations and lots of curiosity. Talk to a ten year old and let them
know you have some interesting experiences to share. Get them wondering
what like was like "back in the day". Let them know it is okay to make
mistakes, to try new things, to wonder and to play. Children enjoy
playing, but they need to know about the past. They learn history from
you, the elder in their life.
Stories of Veterans Are Vital to Preserve
November 11, 2017
Another Veterans Day is upon us
and once again we observe how important it is to pay tribute to the
many men and women who have served our country. In the United States
there are thousands of American Veterans - men and women who have
served their country in various 20th century wars. Each of them has a
story, often a vivid and heartfelt account that is not a history of war
but personal recollections that make us laugh, cry and remember.
Veterans History Project
collects and preserves the extraordinary wartime stories of ordinary
people. It is a project of the American Folklore Center of the Library of Congress. The United States
Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 and it is an
ongoing project. It received a great boost of publicity from
release of The War: A Ken
Burns Film, the in-depth documentarythat aired on PBS
And the more recent documentary by Burns on the Vietnam War makes it
even more apparent how important it is to preserve the stories of
| read more |
Rolling Stone Magazine Turns Fifty
November 9, 2017
Fifty years ago today the very first issue of Rolling Stone debuted.
Over the years it has been a very influential magazine. The writers
mostly covered the rapidly emerging and evolving musical and cultural
scene of the 1960-70's.
was a heady time in 1967. Jann Wenner, the founder and editor, chose
John Lennon to be on the cover of the first issue. Over the years Rolling Stone
revered and chronicled Lennon, going to great lengths to document the
life and music of the Beatle and songwriter. But at one point Wenner
and Lennon had a falling out when Wenner made a book of an interview
that Lennon only wanted published in the magazine.
There has been a lot ot talk and coverage about the magazine and
Wenner. I admit to reading the magazine almost religiously over the
years, especially when in my high school and college years, but also
for the time I spent in rock radio. It's interesting how the magazine
often panned albums that have since become considered classics (such as
the first Led Zeppelin release).
Rolling Stone also has
had a political side and anyone who has read much of Hunter S.
Thompson's work published for the 'zine can't help but marvel at the
gonzo journalism he churned out.
At age 71 Wenner has decided to put the magazine up for sale, but he
hopes to stay on in some capacity. It will be interesting to see
what the future holds for a magazine still closely connected to the
music and culture of today, even though its heyday is arguably in the
If you are interested in learning and reading more you might want to check out the CBS Sunday Morning piece that aired last Sunday. There is also a controversial new biography by Joe Hagan about Jann Wenner that has just been released, Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine.
In it the author maintains that Wenner was obsessed with celebrity.
Wenner isn't pleased with the end result although he hired Hagan to do
the book and gave him great access to information.
One thing that cannot be denied - Rolling Stone magazine is fifty and its historical impact on the Baby Boomer generation is a huge part of its legacy.
Funeral For Fats
November 2, 2017
All Souls Day or Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) is a good day to
say goodbye to rock n' rock architect Fats Domino. New Orleans did just
that with the traditional funeral procession known as second line (see NPR article).
New Orleans is a special city with a great musical heritage. NOLA
residents came out in force to remember one of their own, a great
songwriter and inspiration to many other musicians. Fats Domino had so
many great songs, from "I'm Walkin'", "Ain't That a Shame", and "Blue
Monday" to the timeless "Blueberry Hill". Yeah, hard to top his hit
Fats Domino was born Antoine Domino in 1947. He died last week, October
24, but his legacy will live on. Nice that he got the funeral sendoff
that only New Orleans can deliver.