Thursday, September 14, 2006

Creative Writing 5th block

Ah, the biography assignment. A chance to talk to zany relatives and hear the crazy stories of their youth. Yes it is that, but it's so much more. How many of you have ever actually sat down with a grandparent and asked specific questions about their growing up years? How about what they did for a living or why they chose that profession? What about other friends or loves that they may have had in their lives?

Here's the chance (somewhat forced upon you) to do just that. Get to know your family a little better by talking to some of the oldest living members of that family. I know some of you don't look forward to it. I'm sorry. But not much. 99% of students recommend this assignment after they've done it. It can be very entertaining for you and your interviewee. It can be incredibly enlightening for you both. It can be a life-changing experience.

Notice all those "it can be" phrases? You have to make it those things by actually being prepared to do a worthwhile interview and biography.

Here's the question: What attitude are you taking with you into this assignment? How are you going to make it all those "can be's"? What questions do you have that will make this an interesting interview? Share with us some of the unique questions you have thought of so far.

Respond to this post with your comments, then respond to someone else's comments too. Remember to include your first name and last initial at the bottom of your comment.

Mr. B.

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think that this will be a good assignment... I don't know how easy it will be which I am all about... It should be fun to get to know about some new people in my family... I plan to have agood time doing this.
Kasey W

Anonymous said...

Im kind of excited to do this actually. Im interviewing my grandpa, and he's had a pretty interesting life. I've talked to him a little bit before about things when he was growing up. So yeah, I think it will go pretty smoothly.
-Melissa G.

Anonymous said...

Going into this assignment I'm trying to be positive but it's hard because it is an assignment. How I can make the "can be's" is by asking interesting questions and trying to learn all I can about that person.

Keri U.

Anonymous said...

Melissa... I agree... this should be ok. It should be cool that you get to talk to your grandpa... I think I will do mine on my granpa's brother though.. I didn't even know he had a bother... well have fun with it.
Kasey W

BBAXLHS said...

I think Kasey's right. This is a good assignment. But it's also easy. As long as you take it seriously and get to work immediately, it really comes together quickly.

Mr. B

Anonymous said...

im going to have fun with this assignment. I dont know alot about my grandma so i think this should be fun for both of us. One question im going to ask her is how did she meet her spouce because i think that it would make for a very good answer.

kayla H

Anonymous said...

i think its a good assignment. i want to know what types of experiences they have had to change them into the person they are today. i also think im going to incorporate food into the interviewing process to make things run smoothly.
molly m

Anonymous said...

I think my attitude to this assignment would probably be anxious because i do want to know more about my elders then i acually do now. When i interview my grandmothere some of the questions im going to ask her probably would be about her life mostly as a child then how she wanted to be a nurse. For the "it can be" the way you can make it fun for both of us is make a joke once and a while. Then to make it interesting im going to show her i actually care about what shes saying. Im not going to sit there and act dumb.
Jennifer T.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to this because I will get to learn things that I probably wouldn't learn or ever know about my Grandpa.
I am going to make it a good experience by asking questions that I know wont make him upset but will give me good information about him and his life.

Anonymous said...

I think this will be interesting. I've already had some experience with this kind of assignment before, but we got to interview anyone over the age of 50 I believe. Now I can learn some more stuff about my Grandma I suppose. That's pretty much all I can think of to say in this comment.
Kayla N.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that an assignment to write a biography about a family member is such a bad idea. For me, i have lot's of family members to choose from. I've decided upon my uncle Linn, who is kind-of a crazy guy. I'm actually excited to talk with him, because I don't really know anything about him besides he hunts with my dad... so easily enough, I will ask about hunting, how long he's done it, and why. But the more interesting stories, I'm hopeing, will come from what he was like as a child. I'm anticipating some crazy things..

Tiffany D.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is a good assignment to do. The things that i would say to the person that I would be interevewing would be where they liver, how old they are, and if they got any storys that they want to tell me when they were a child. Rich S.

Anonymous said...

I'm really looking forward to this assignment because it's the first time i can ask my grandpa some things I never had the attitude to ask for. I have the little problem of just being able to talk to my relative over e-mail but I think it will work. I know that he was drafted for war and escaped from the train so maybe I'm going to talk about that or he will have sth. else to tell. I see this assignment as a great opportunity.
Lutz Z.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to this because I will get to learn things that I probably wouldn't learn or ever know about my Grandpa.
I am going to make it a good experience by asking questions that I know wont make him upset but will give me good information about him and his life.
-Brenna C

Anonymous said...

Im taking a postive attitude into this because it give me a chance to learn things about my family that i probably would never know. It is also a good chance to hear some good stories that i havent heard.
Taylor W

Anonymous said...

I think by doing this asignment, it will show me about some people in my family and what it was like for them.. I have never really sat down and got the whole story... I think that this assignment will be kinda fun.. Im kinda excited to do this..

~Taylor H

Anonymous said...

hey molly, who are you going to interview?
-Melissa

BBAXLHS said...

Molly has the right idea. Food. Sit down with Grandma or Grandpa with a nice big pizza and watch the dentures fly.

Mr. B

Anonymous said...

1. i try to take an open and reletively blank attitude for all my assignments. i'm deffinately interested to find out why my brother-in-law is the way he is by interveiwing his mother.
2.it's not making "can be's" ,its making "did's". just do it.
3. i think that my question about giving me a defineing expeiriance in someone's life is producing some pretty interesting. because it gives you a clue as to how someone turned out the way they did.
--sarah E. period 5

Anonymous said...

I already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from my grandma since she already wrote her own autobiography. I really do hope that I can learn more about my grandma, she has certainly lived a very good, long life.
I've already set up some questions that are specially tailored for my grandma, questions such as; "Do you have trouble with modern technology?" and "When did you get your first credit card? Did you use it wisely?" I plan on having a good time with this assignment.
-Jace Q.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to try to go into this with a positive attitude because that's how we can turn it into all those "can be's". If we're really interested in what they have to say I think it'll make a big difference. Some of the questions I might ask them are...the general personal info questions(where there were born, family info, etc.), what they wanted to be when they were a little kid, what 3 words describe them best and why, and if they have a good story they would like to share. -Laura S.

Anonymous said...

I dont have many questions yet and the questions i do have are just the basic ones like when were you born? and where did you grow up at? and what is one of the most memorible times in your life. thats all i can think of to comment about...
Kesha D.

Anonymous said...

i dont really want to do this assignment it seems like it will be very time consuming and time is something i dont have a lot of. im going to try to make it fun by asking interesting and fun questions to whoever im interviewing. i want to ask about what they were like in highschool and see if they are kind of like me. i dont really know any questions im going to ask, but im sure ill think up some interesting ones.

Ruth O.

Anonymous said...

Hey the other Taylor, who are you interviewing?

~Taylor H

Anonymous said...

Ruth.. I agree on the time consuming part.

Keri U.

Anonymous said...

i think this will be sort of fun because i will learn things about my relitives i did not know.

Allen s

Anonymous said...

Ruthy....who are you going to interview and why????
Jennifer T.

Anonymous said...

This assignment will be a good opportunity for me to talk to my grandma, and get to know her. Especially since she lives really far away. Besides, old people have interesting lives, and I think its fun to hear about it.

Mary S.

Anonymous said...

I think the assignment is good idea. I'm really looking foward to doing this because I never really get to see my uncle. So I now finally have a reason to get to know him a little better.

~Crystal G

Anonymous said...

Well this assignment is interesting. i would love to know a little more about my grandfather's past. i know that he was born in 1939 and the other day i read a little book about that era and everything was way different then now. i also know that he grew up most of his life on the family farm. so i would ask questions like, was it hard work?, how many cow hands were there?, how did u go from living in the country on a farm, to living in boise and owning a bar? and in turn, learning about his life might educate me on why he is so bitter, and why he harbors so much hate for his step son, my uncle. I'm glad i have this opportunity to explore his past.

Hailey L.

BBAXLHS said...

Ruth,
Is there an easy way to interview your person? Or is the interview itself what you think will take so long?
The writing process shouldn't be the biggest chunk of time in this assignment, but to be "creative" in the biography, it could be.

Mr. B

Anonymous said...

Jen-
I dont know who im gonna
interview, i dont know most of my family and the ones i do know its hard to get an interview with them. Who are you inverviewing?
-Ruthy

Anonymous said...

Hey Kayla,
did you interview your Grandma the other time you wrote a biography, or did you interview somebody else?
Tiffany D.

Anonymous said...

Allen Who are you going to interview. I think im goin to interview my great grandpa.
Taylor W

Anonymous said...

Ruthy.....i agree with the comsuming time for this assignment... i think if the they want something good and for you to know you elders better them we probably would need more time.... you cant rush very many things
Jennifer T.

Anonymous said...

hey richard who are you going to interview? oh and ruthie i think im going to interview my grandma.
molly m

Demetria T said...

My attitude that im taking into this assingnment is a very positive one, because i plan on working hard on the paper to make it be everything that you are asking for in a paper. I am going to put some very interesting similies and comparisions into the paper, etc.
I also want to make the paper my own. I want to have some of my original sayings in the paper, so i want it to be humerous pretty much.
Some questions that i have come up with is: what is your biggest challenge in life? what are your hobbies? do you feel like you have accomplished anything so far in your life? those are some of the unique ones but i am working on more.

Anonymous said...

i think taylor w is right about hearing stories that you would never hear, because some of the stories relatives tell you are good ones. allen s

Anonymous said...

Taylor W. has a good attitude about this. You never know what kind of stories your ancestors know that can be related to yourself, help you out, or just be entertaining. The elderly have had long lives, so they're bound to have a couple good stories.
-Jace Q.

Anonymous said...

Mr. B... I dont mean that it will not be an easy assignment i just ment by getting started and getting around my work schedual... I think it is doable and should be fun.
Kasey W

Anonymous said...

Hey Talor im goin to interview my great grandpa. Who are you goin to interview?
Taylor W

Anonymous said...

It's kind of funny that most people go the simple way of asking their grandparents. I do to.

How many people are there not interviewing their grandparents?
Lutz Z.

Anonymous said...

Good idea Molly on the whole food thing. Food makes everything better, and if you need a minute to think, just cram some food in your mouth and buy yourself some time. - Laura S.

Anonymous said...

i think that Jen is right that you should joke with the person and not sit there looking dumb. it will make them more comfterble and they will open up more.
-Ruth O.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Hailey, I am looking forward to asking about how the world has changed and how it affected their lifes.
-Brenna C

Anonymous said...

ruth i deffinatly feel what ur saying about not having enough time. big assignments like this are fun, but not when you have to do your math home work while interveiwing your grama. crap! it's good it's not due for too long
-sarah e.

Anonymous said...

Ruth....I think im going to my Grandma May because she us to live the farm life and sorta still does i think it will be very interesting....i will probably find out things that happened around here and about her life....

Anonymous said...

i dont know who i am going to interview

allen s

Anonymous said...

yeah, Jen if you want to do it right it will take time
-ruthy

Anonymous said...

Crystal-

What kind of stuff are you asking your uncle?

Mary s.

Anonymous said...

I thank you for the opportunity to interview my family, once again.

1. I have been forcibly interigating my family my entire life. It is something I enjoy. So in answer to your first question, I must answer yes, I have.

2. What did he do as far as occupation is concerned?
When he was young, he always had a mind for business. Even at the age of 5, he went out, and knocked at all the doors of his neighbors asking for old magazines. They gave them freely, and when he was finished. He went around again, and sold them for a penny a piece.
Sadly... He was then escorted home by police. But he still says "That's the easiest 35 cents i've ever made"

3. Um... My grandpa found my grandma, and that was that.
(Quite a romantic story actually)

I'm taking a curious attitude, but slightly annoyed, I thought this was creative writing. (I guess I just have to make it interesting eh?)

What questions do I have that would make an interview interesting?

erg.... That's a toughy.
"What's one plus one?"

No, I really don't have interesting questions. I would really prefer to ask some questions, and come up with them on the way. If I come up with more later. I can just call back.

Fine I'll let you in on one question:

"What is your favorite color of sock?"

(Pretty good huh?)

Is it just me, or was that a long comment?

Michael O.

Demetria T said...

Ok, lets try this again, second time is a charm lol...
Anyways i am really excited about this assignnment because i love talking to people and listening to their life, so i find this really assingment interesting.
I am going to give 110% and nothing else on this assignment.
Demetria T

Anonymous said...

Hey Lutz... bro... i am thinking interviewing my grandpa's bro... i didnt even know he was alive... ever... so it should be cool.
Kasey W

Demetria T said...

Allen what do you mean you dont know who you ar going to interview?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you're talking to me Tiffany, because there is like 2934829 Kayla's, but I didn't interview her for my last interview assignment I had to do, I interviewed this old guy at this one Trailer Place....I can't remember what it's called.
Kayla N.

Anonymous said...

Mary-

I'm going to ask my uncle about different jobs he has had, because he done so intresting jobs.

I have to agree with Ruth that finding the time to do this is going to hard, but I really can't wait to do this assignment though.

~Crystal G.

Anonymous said...

So Molly who are you going to interview? Rich S.

Anonymous said...

Too many Kayla's, I hate it, it's too confusing.
Kayla N.

BBAXLHS said...

Michael,
You are the man. Thorough post and creative to boot! What's not creative about writing someone's life for them?????

Mr. B

Anonymous said...

I am going to interview mygrandpa.. He got offered to play in the NFL for the NY Giants.. It will be interesting to see what his story is..

Taylor H

Anonymous said...

Is there anyone else who can just talk to his relative bz email??

lutz z.

Anonymous said...

Lutz i am gonna have to talk to my relitive by e-mail only too bro.
Kasey W

Anonymous said...

I think its cool that alot of people are doing their grandparents. Their really interesting.
Lutz I think i might have to do mine over emails. but im not sure if my grandpa has an email that he uses regularly. hope it works out for you though.
-Melissa

Anonymous said...

I know this doesn't have anything to do with the homework, but could everyone try and spell things correctly, and not use shortcuts.

For example, using "I", instead of "i".

(One of my pet peeves is bad spellers, sorry... and hopefully Mr.Baxter will let this one slide without me posting my name )=D
[Yes that's a smiling devil])

Anonymous said...

I'm going to call my grandpa, I have his email, but it's always refreshing to hear his voice.
I won't be writing about my grandmother, even though i'd actually prefer talking to her. But she prefers to leave her past behind her. She wad adopted, her adoptive father was a professional pitcher. And she just seems to never talk about it. It kinda makes me sad. I mean... It's like i'm getting only half the picture. I have a picture of My Grandfather's life, and his family. But not my grandmother's. It's like a secret... Kept to death.

Mike O.

Anonymous said...

I am excited to perhaps learn something about my grandfather that I have not heard or had the full story of. I already ran into a road block though because the person I was going to origanally interview refused to do it because of the things that happened in her past so I decided to do my grandpa instead. I see this as a great oppertunity to perhaps ask some questions and get a point of view i had not thought of or heard of from him. For the it can i will only ask him questions that i know he will be willing to answer and to just have fun with him and this assingment. some questions i want to ask is how he met my grandma and how he proposed.Another one is about his life and experinces since he was a fire fighter and something that he would always remember. I think it will be really fun to do this interview, I just think that i will have a little trouble with the actual writing of the narrative.
-Michelle 0.

Anonymous said...

Lutz,
Just from reading your comments I am hoping that you stick with the story of how your grandfather was drafted and then jumped the train. It sounds very exiting perhaps not just to you but as well as to anybody reading it. Good luck with the assignment.
-Michelle O.