Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank a teacher this Thanksgiving holiday

Since 2008, the day after Thanksgiving has been designated as the National Day of Listening. After the turkey's been eaten, it's a great chance to sit down with your loved ones, particularly your older loved ones, to ask them questions about their lives, going beyond the superficial to find out what really has molded them into who they are today and how they feel about their world and what they've seen. It's certainly a nice alternative and respite from the commercial frenzy of Black Friday.

The nonprofit Storycorps, which works to preserve the stories of everyday Americans, is the group that started the National Day of Listening. StoryCorps encourages you to sit down for an hour and, when you do that interview, record it for posterity. Share those stories with your family and pass them down for future generations to enjoy. It's a priceless family heirloom.

This year's theme — to thank a teacher who made a difference in your life — doesn't even involve interviews, although you're certainly encouraged to do that if you like. Pay tribute to your teachers by taping your message and uploading it to YouTube or posting it on Facebook or Twitter (@storycorps, #thankateacher). The medium doesn't matter; it's all about message.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Summer Streets 2011: StoryCorps
Photo by the New York City Department of Transportation;
available through a Creative Commons license

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