Monday, September 24, 2012

3 Years, 30 Moments, 1 Story

3 years ago today, this project was born.

It needed a name.

The Best Day of My Life (So Far) were the only words big enough to encompass the positive spirit of my grandma, and the deep joy her stories and friendship make me feel.

What I didn’t know was that these words are even more massive than I realized, stretchier by the day to welcome more stories, more lives, more friendships. I didn’t know how many people this project would soon connect - and I mean truly, emotionally connect - from senior storytellers to volunteers and readers of all ages worldwide. Turns out we were never just collecting stories. Turns out this project is the ultimate intergenerational story, and you and I are all a part of it.

What better time than our shared 3rd birthday, to bring back 30 of the most memorable moments from our shared story… so far? Click to read the original blog post about any of these moments!

1A. When I wrote my first half-a-post about class… haha yes it was only a half, what a way to start…

1B. And then, the second half

2. When the words came tumbling out

3. When Bernice told about war, race and “Black and White Grits”

4. When Hattie told me what she had told her dying grandmom

5. When Big Mo took down his walls

6. When Henrietta made me cry

7. When Mo’s daughter emailed me and made my dream come true

8. When Henrietta thanked the worldwide web

9. When inner city teens started visiting our class with friends and created their own story-reading blog

10. When audience members, including 7-year-old Baye, shared their reactions to our seniors' stories and our project at our first major public event

11. When history came alive –  Helen, Beatrice, Hazel, Loretta all wrote about Martin Luther King

12. When Beatrice said our class is like a rainbow

13. When my grandma wrote our seniors a napkin note

14. When Madi stepped up from a visitor to become a teen intern

15. When a fluorescent pink walrus came to class

16. When Joe wrote about vision and Olivia, a teen, responded

17. When we launched a senior-and-teen satellite class in partnership with AARP and Free Library of Philadelphia

18. When Watson wrote from South Africa after finding Ellis, his favorite middle school teacher, on our blog

19. When Arthur passed away

20. When Arthur’s sister came to class to feel his presence

21. When this class helped Greta start a conversation with her grandson

22. When Isadora told her dying daughter, “You are My Sunshine”

23. When a reader from Canada thanked Isadora for inspiring her to reach out to her mom

24. When we were featured at Online News Association’s Social Media Summit

25. When Wharton students spoke up about our project

26. When Norman talked about how this project changed his pre-judgment towards young people

27. When 10-year-old Jasmine came to class and called it the best day of her life

28. When my senior buds pulled off the surprise of the century - a surprise party for me

29. When we unveiled our vision

30. Every time I get back on that phone with my amazing grandma