This June, the MobileBooth is recording stories in Indianapolis, thanks to local radio station partner WFYI.We will be recording voices and stories of various Indianapolis neighborhoods until June 30, 2012. You can make a reservation to record by clicking here and tune in to WFYI 90.1 FM during the summer to hear stories from the Indy community. (more…)
In Indianapolis, Indiana, Dan Taylor, who is affiliated with Teach Plus Indianapolis, recorded a StoryCorps interview with Aaron Wallace, 13. Aaron was Dan’s student at the Tindley School last school year. At Tindley, Aaron and other students attended Saturday school with Dan whenever he thought they needed extra attention.
Dan and Aaron talked about Dan’s teaching, which Aaron says is “strict but fun.” Dan confessed that he tries to emulate the teaching style of his 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Lewis, who sang and danced in her classroom. Dan says that with Mrs. Lewis, “every day in the classroom felt like an educational Mardi Gras.”
Toward the end of their interview, Aaron told his former teacher of the difference his methods have made in his life. Aaron used to have trouble with reading and writing, but teachers like Dan have helped him make progress. Aaron recalled Saturdays spent in Dan’s classroom playing learning games, which have fueled his desire to become an engineer. Dan told Aaron that “caring and work make a great classroom.”
Tom and Jean Gaunt recorded a StoryCorps interview in Indianapolis, Indiana, in partnership with The New Teacher Project and Indianapolis Teaching Fellows. Jean shared that teaching had been a lifelong interest she put off while raising a family. At 55 years old, though, she realized that her experience raising their children and foster children was a crucial asset in her goal of becoming a teacher.
When Jean was accepted by ITF, she worried that she would not connect with her mostly African-American, special education students. However, during her first year year in the classroom, Jean quickly learned the power of playfulness on her students.
above: The Booth takes a final lap around Monument Circle before our ace driver Rocky tows it south to Louisville.
below: some last looks at downtown Indianapolis.
Storycorps had a great September in Naptown, and we echo the sentiments on the giant Chinese food takeout carton pictured above! On to Kentucky!
Here are some of our favorite shots of StoryCorps participants who came by to record an interview this September in Indianapolis:
Pictured last is the Thompson family: Robert, Sloane, and pint-size participant Matthew Thompson, two months. Waking up just as his parents’ interview was finishing up, Matthew was able to dispense some wise gurgles to his future self, who will no doubt appreciate it!
On their day off, facilitators Yuki & Quentin took a Segway tour of Indianapolis’ Canal Walk, courtesy of our generous partners at WFYI. Indy’s canals are the real deal, complete with gondoliers, carp, and beautiful bridges.
Reverend Chen (left) came to the Booth on Monday with his son, Paul, to talk about surviving the 228 Incident of 1947 in Taiwan. He had lost his voice that morning but managed to half-whisper a remarkable life story. He was 19 when Taiwanese University students rebelled against the Chinese Nationalist forces that had been granted control (by the UN) of Taiwan. His older brother was one of the students who took back control of the of the island on February 28th (aka 228 Massacre), and continued to keep power for one month. There was a lot of bloodshed, but Chen described the day they took power of their own island as a “miracle.” When the Chinese military came back in after several weeks, Chen’s brother and fellow students hid in the mountains with the aboriginal people, who agreed to protect them. The Chinese established martial law and Chen, who worked for the weather bureau, was arrested and locked up in an old Buddhist temple, (left over from the years of the Japanese occupation,) which had been converted into a prison. He was held there for 50 days along with hundreds of others, many of whom were lawyers and academics, and tortured for 6 hours every day. On the 31st day of imprisonment, Chen said he had a vision of Christ telling him he would be released in 19 days. His name was called on the 19th day, and though most prisoners were shot when their name was called, Chen was set free. After his release he dedicated his life to spreading Christianity. He came to America in the 1950s and was one of the first Asians to minister in churches in the rural Midwest. Despite everything he had been through, Chen was one of the most loving and sweet-natured people to come to the Booth that day. At 79, Chen is retired but works everyday as the Chaplain in the Indianapolis Airport. Say Hi to Rev. Chen if you fly into Indy!
The sandwich Yuki ate:
The stand where it was made:
And the he trophies it had won:
Well played, sandwich, well played.
We started off in Indy with a breakfast hosted by our parter radio station, WFYI and friends at the Indianapolis Historical Society where the booth is parked. Our first participant of the day was Dorothy Mengering, mother of a certain successful former Indianapolis weatherman who has done pretty well for himself in StoryCorps’ native NYC. Dorothy did a very sweet interview with her granddaughter Bryn, who grew up visiting Dorothy in her home in Indy’s Broad Ripple neighborhood. Bryn learned how to can veggies from her grandmother at the end of every summer. It was a great opening day–here’s to a month full of Indy stories!