NPR’s StoryCorps is sponsoring the first annual National Day of Listening on November 28. Thanksgiving is a time of gathering together, and while we are gathered, what better way to pass the time vegetating after good food than to tell our stories. Instead of cruising parking lots and fighting the Black Friday crowds, relax by a warm fireplace and spend some quality time with the people you love. While you’re at it, think about recording the conversation, either with a good digital voice recorder, like Olympus DS-30 or DS-40, using certain mp3 players or iPODS that can record, or, preferably, by videocamera. The more people involved in the gathering, the less the recorder or camera will be noticed. The StoryCorp website has a great list of questions you can ask, such as:
What is your earliest memory?
What was the happiest moment in your life?
What are you proudest of in your life?
Do you have any regrets?
What were your parents like?
Did your parents tell you any stories?
Did you ever get into trouble?
My favorite question is for our grandparents: What was my Mom/Dad like when he/she was growing up? Let’s get the real scoop about our parents! Load your audio/video file onto the computer and burn it to CDs to share with everyone – get the kids to do it if you don’t know how.
I plan to sit down with my mother’s 97-year-old African-American neighbor sometime during the holiday weekend. What history she must hold! StoryCorps asks us to honor those we care about by asking them about their lives and listening, really listening, to their stories. I hope you’re in the listening mood this weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!