Questions, Considerations and Resources
What do you want to know/share about the person in question?
- What it was like growing up?
- Who was a major influence?
- Funny stories?
- Wedding day?
- Information about siblings, parents?
- Employment history and stories?
- Marriage (and Children?)
- Favorite things (family heirloom, movies, books, music, etc.)?
- Best friends and why?
- Recommendations to the next generations?
Try to think of a question for each major topic area of interest.
If you want to develop a really nice life summary for you or someone else, it may be worth investing $10-$25 in a good book to help with a substantial number of questions plus strategies for assembling the materials. Two books you might consider are Memento: My Life in Stories by Michael McQueen and Questions to Bring You Closer to Dad by Stuart Gustafson and Robyn Freedman Spizman
WARNING: I’ve talked to numerous people who were handed a book like the two mentioned above and asked to fill it out. For the people I’ve talked with, any guess how much of it was completed? Almost none! To use one of these books effectively involves choosing key questions and then collecting the information in a way that’s convenient
Some people will be more comfortable answering the questions verbally rather than writing or typing responses. Assure you collect the information as easily as possible for the person you want the background from (including if it’s from you, of course!)
Put questions and responses in your Binder of a Lifetime.
- List the questions and then provide hand-written/typed responses. Save them on your computer and print the results to put in your binder
- For voice recording of the responses, you can use a cassette recorder; MP3 recorder; smartphone voice recorder; computer recording program or ???. Then put the media (CD, thumb drive or ???) in the pouch in the back of your BoaL. (you may also want to note where on the computer and internet you have saved this)
- For video recording of the responses, you can use a videocamera; computer camera and microphone; smartphone camera, StoryCorps.me or ??? Then put the media (DVD, thumb drive or ???) in the pouch in the back of your BoaL (you may also want to note where on the computer and internet you have saved this)
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