Amidst a sea of young adult books, language arts textbooks, and teachers from all parts of Florida, two English teachers sat down for conversations with the mentor-professors who trained them in graduate school. They came to record their stories for StoryCorps’ National Teachers’ Initiative, which celebrates the brilliant and courageous work of teachers around the country. StoryCorps partnered with the Florida Council of Teachers of English (FCTE) to record for two days at its annual conference in Orlando, Florida.
Cari L. Sadler, who had just completed her seventh week as a teacher, interviewed Joan F. Kaywell, her professor at the University of South Florida (USF) College of Education. Joan told Cari about her relationship with her mentor, Ted Hipple, and described the Ted Hipple Young Adult Literature Collection, a collection of autographed YA books that she started to honor Ted after his death. Cari pointed out that Joan honors Ted the most by passing onto her students the support and respect that he gave to her. Cari confessed that while Joan intimidated her early on, she is now inspired to maintain academic rigor by Joan’s example and teaching.
Remember the days when children were born in hospitals for less than the arm-and-a-leg charged today? Well, technically, Phyllis Hart doesn’t either, but during her visit to StoryCorps, she proudly displayed her proof from 1925.
The StoryCorps Door-to-Door team has had quite a busy February, with the completion of its first month-long Door-to-Door event sponsored by Florida Hospital in Orlando, FL. With eighteen hospitals located throughout the state, 2009 marks Florida Hospitals’ centennial celebration, and as a gift to its employees and local community, StoryCorps was brought in to record a story for every year of the institution’s history.
One-hundred stories in a month? Mission accomplished – and then some! Of the 108 stories shared, Phyllis’ family memories of her 1925 birth in the formerly named Florida Sanitarium are quite remarkable. “I don’t remember it, of course, but I have pictures of the building. It was like a framed house, very small.” Seeing Phyllis’ mother’s hospital bill made it that more memorable:
14 days’ room and board – $75
10 meals – $7.75
Tray service – $0.60
Physician service – $15.00
Medicine and supplies – $05.17
The total cost of Phyllis’ world debut: $103.52.
Now 83 years old, Phyllis misses more than the cheap price tag on childbirth. “Wouldn’t that be nice? When you have a baby you have two weeks just to lay there.” she says.
Jae Nale (R), an Orlando resident, always knew she wanted a baby, and she was determined that coming out as a lesbian wouldn’t change her chances of having one. Jae was artificially inseminated in the early 1980s, which was almost unheard of among lesbians in the south. She came in with her daughter, Stacy Nale (L), a psychologist, to talk about Stacy’s often difficult experiences being raised in rural Mississippi by a lesbian mother. Stacy then told her own coming out story. Both women have worked hard to change people’s conceptions of lesbians, and, in Jae’s words, “they can only stereotype us if they don’t know who we really are.” (more…)
Want to break a world record? No better place than with Orlando’s History Center!
On Saturday, January 26, over 1 700 yo-yo enthusiasts (and the yet-to-be initiated) gathered in downtown Orlando’s Heritage Square. Undeterred by the overcast sky, people came out en masse to support the Guiness World Record-breaking attempt at the local Orange County Regional History Center. Yo-yo-ing, a long-loved sleight of wrist activity, is just one event as part of its latest exhibit, “Kid Stuff: Great Toys from our Childhood,” running through April 13, 2008.
Oh, and here’s what a real Orlando gator looks like!
If you feel like wrasslin’ with a gator, here’s exhibit A (and don’t forget to wear a hat!):
Soo Na and Jenna finally had the chance to try some real Florida oranges… er, clementines. We saw a big tree full of orange fruit and busted into a lovely Florida backyard (with the home owners’ permission, of course), and savored the flavors of the world’s most celebrated citrus fruits.
Zora’s Place, named after writer Zora Neale Hurston, is located in Eatonville, Florida, the nation’s oldest all-black incorporated municipality, founded in 1887 by a community of formerly enslaved Africans, who dreamed of raising their families off of plantations, in a community of their own choosing – and succeeded.
(L-R: James Ransom; Dave Isay; Cherie Johnson)
So spoke Cherie Johnson about Sunday school teacher, Miss Divine. StoryCorps alumni and special guests, cousins Cherie Johnson and James Ransom, drove from Tampa, Florida, to join Dave Isay during yesterday’s book signing at the Orlando Public Library.
MobileBooth East began its first stop of 2008 with opening day in Orlando, Florida. After kicking off with breakfast provided by Orlando’s very own Z-Café, located inside of the Orlando Public Library, Cornerstone Society members of WMFE heard a presentation from MobileBooth Senior Coordinator Eliza Bettinger. A sincere thank you to the members of WMFE who helped make StoryCorps’ stop in Orlando, Florida, possible!
Facilitators Soo Na Pak and Jenna Weiss-Berman recently rolled into Orlando, Florida with StoryCorps’ MobileBooth East, where they were shocked and awed when they looked at the thermometer on their rear-view mirror (see for yourself below!).