The memoir writing and storytelling class is a community-based class that has been meeting once a week for almost 2 years now. Participants write about – or tell a story – about a different topic each week. Sometimes profound – sometimes playful – it is a snapshot into the lives of the students. Most in their 80’s and 90’s – their stories span decades – and are historical accounts of life growing up in the 20s and 30s – and witnessing the cultural and technological changes that have made life 70 years ago, at times, almost unrecognizable.
I facilitate the group – but now I also participate. Last year – I facilitated but didn’t write and although I looked forward to hearing the stories – I was an outsider. My participation has changed my relationship to the group. I am now part of the inner circle.
Below is a sample of some of the writing topics we have chosen over the last months and years.
- “Games we played.” What games did you play as a child?
- What did your father or mother teach you – that stayed with you?
- How have childhood favorites impacted you? (toys, cartoons, books…)
- What was your favorite subject in school?
- What person had the most impact on your life? In what way?
- How did the depression impact your childhood?
- Which one of your parents are you most like?
- Has education played an important role in your life?
- What was your first job?
- Who do you wish you could see again?
- The pets in our lives. (A favorite dog or cat. A childhood memory. )
- What is your idea about the perfect experience of beauty and happiness.
- How were your belief systems formed? (religion, politics, family…)
- To what degree has technology shaped your life.
- What do your tastes reveal about you (food, music, clothes, books)?
- What will your obituary say about you?
- What words would you use to describe yourself and why?
The group has decided they would like to produce a blog with a collection of their writings – organized by topic. This will give family and friends a chance to read their work. In the meantime, I am posting my weekly contribution on this blog. The next couple of posts are samples of my writing.