Today our conversation was about oral histories or story telling. We all have videos and tapes of events in our lives, that may mark special things like wedding, graduations, birthday parties , anniversaries and more.
Story Corps is an organization that records and saves recorded interviews of Americans all across the country. The idea is to preserve cultural, historic and personal stories for all of us. It also offers an insight into humanity. Click here to link to the Story Corps website, where you will find lots of interviews on all types of topics, that makes us who we are. We watched this short video that is about a new campaign #WhoWeAre.
Then we looked at this photo of Albert and Aidan Sykes who are featured in this Story Corps campaign. They are father and son and live in Mississippi. Albert, the father is 31 years old and his son Aidan is 9 years old.
In this Story Corps interview Aidan asks his father some questions about what his father thinks of him and what he wants for him. First, we listened to the interview. And after listening we talked about the content of the questions and answers. Then we talked about the style of the language – the intonation, word stress, and linking of words. We listened to it twice to help with comprehension.
Next we watched this animated video of Aidan and Albert’s interview. We agreed that watching helped us to better understand the interview. Watch it again here :
After watching we described the characters of Aidan and his father, Albert. We talked about the message of the film and how it relates to “love over hate” and “empathy over fear” . We talked about what this says about racism in America, and racism around the world. Here is the transcript of conversation between Albert and Aidan Sykes. Thank you all for contributing your ideas and thoughts to our conversation!!
Lastly, we talked about what we would talk about if we did interviews on Story Corps. Some of your ideas included topics on American politics; women’s equality; and friendship and peace.
We had some extra time, and since it was cloudy and rainy outside, we watched these 2 short videos from Story Corps. The first is about an extraordinary act of kindness from Ron Ruiz, a bus driver in New York City. Watch it here :
Lastly, we watched this video about Julio Diaz, who was robbed at knife point and what he did next:
So, these videos show us ordinary people doing extraordinary acts, while demonstrating “love over hate” and “empathy over fear”.
I hope you have some time to explore the Story Corps website and listen to some more videos to help with your English, and to give you some inspiration!
Thanks for sharing in our conversation today.
See you next week.