Friday, February 21, 2014


In their own words, here is what StoryCorps is:

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

Regular readers might recall that I'm a big fan of StoryCorps, (in fact, I have even used some of the recordings in my classroom as part of the memoir unit) and every week I look forward to sharing a couple minutes of someone else's life. When they gave the teaser at the top of the hour this morning I sat bolt upright in bed. This morning on StoryCorps we"ll hear the story of triplets, blind from birth...

Wow! There can't be too many of them! I thought, and indeed I was correct. It was a recording of some of our former students. Nick, Leo, and Esteban are in ninth grade now, but working to meet their needs when they were in middle school, especially sixth grade, turned our worlds upside down. Those guys left a huge mark on our school.

Listening to the two minute edit of their interview, I was struck mostly by how much was left out of the story. What they said was true, but I knew personally it was incomplete, so much so that it almost seemed inaccurate to me.

To be honest? I was a little annoyed, and for a moment, I even questioned the entire premise of StoryCorps. But then I realized that such inconsistencies actually embody the spirit of the project. Every voice matters, because we all hold a piece of the truth.

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