StoryCorps

I finished “A Whole New Mind” a month or so ago, and am still going through many of the resources Daniel Pink included in the book. One resource is called StoryCorps, and it’s located in the chapter where Pink describes Story as one of the six high-concept, high-touch senses needed in the Conceptual Age.

Storycorps in a non-profit organization that specializes in stories…yours, mine, people we love. It records stories in booths all over the United States, and even sends out traveling kits for you to record individual stories. You can listen to some of them in itunes or on their website. What a super idea! In looking at the site, it appears they are going to be in our area next fall…Sept. 25-Oct. 18, 2008 at the WVTF radio station. I’ll have to keep a lookout for more info!

The process of recording a story of a loved one reminds me of something I did in college…a journal for my parents with questions about their lives. I didn’t have much money one Christmas while I was in college, so I bought two blank journals: one for Dad and one for Mom. At the top of each page I wrote questions like

  • What were your grandparents like?
  • Who was your favorite teacher?
  • How did you meet dad/mom?

I put a note in the front of the journal asking them to write the answers and give it back to me the following Christmas. They did give them back to me the next Christmas, full of stories. I can honestly say those two journals are my most treasured possessions, especially now that my mom has passed away.

So, what’s your story? What are your parents’ stories? We all have them, no matter our age. Even our students have stories! Wouldn’t be neat to have students record their own stories, or even stories of their loved ones? It could be a writing assignment, but also a lesson in learning to tell a story. I do have 4 or 5 portable mp3 recorders you can use if you are interested in doing this!

2 Comments

  1. I’ve been doing this for a while now; video & audio recording my grandparents (yes at age 40 I still have living grandparents.) These stories are the best, and I have learned things that my parents don’t even know doing this.

    I really like your idea with the journal. I might do this with my own folks.

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  2. Hello from StoryCorps! Thanks so much for posting about us; we’re honored to be included among the other great recording strategies you mention. Sometimes it only takes the simplest tools to preserve a meaningful conversation for years to come. With that idea in mind, StoryCorps has just launched a new initiative to make conducting these interviews easier. This November 28th, the day after Thanksgiving, StoryCorps is launching the first-ever National Day of Listening. We’re asking Americans to set aside an hour to record a conversation with a friend, family member, or loved one. We’ve launched a separate website (http://www.nationaldayoflistening.org) with more tools and tips, a downloadable guide, and an instructional video for recording family and friends the day after Thanksgiving and beyond. Thanks again for helping us spread the word!

    Amy
    StoryCorps

    Like

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