글쓰기 워크숍: 어린 시절 장난감 – ROEN
- 그리드 거터 너비
글쓰기 워크숍: 어린 시절 장난감 – ROEN
Each of us may have vivid or vague memories about the toys that occupied our play time as children. Some of those toys may have been purchased; some may have been lovingly crafted by family members; some have been ordinary objects that we spontaneously converted to toys—e.g., a stick or a rock. And some of us have had more expensive toys in adulthood. In this workshop, we will talk and write about some of the toys that each of us has had, reflecting on the role of toys in our lives and the lives of other family members.
It’s no secret that one of my greatest passions in life is family history and writing about life experiences. It all started when Grandma Roen showed me the Norwegian family Bible when I was in my mid-teens. She opened the cover to reveal the name of Grandpa Roen, along with the names of his siblings and parents, as well as their dates of birth and my great-grandparents marriage date. I was instantly hooked, and I’ve been doing research ever since.
Another of my passions is teaching writing, which I have been doing for more than five decades, most recently at Arizona State University. One of the principles that I learned early on is that everyone can learn to write effectively and that there is always something new to learn. I’ve been writing for nearly seven decades and teaching writing for more than five, and I’m still learning.
Anyone who has done much family research has collected lots of names, dates, and places. However, they usually have collected relatively few stories. When my wife (Maureen) and I realized that, we became determined to leave lots of stories for future generations of our family. On the day that our son Nick was born in 1978, we started a daily family journal, and we have written in it every day since then. We are now approaching 20,000 pages of journal entries full of stories about our family, as well as some events in the world. Reading an entry from forty-five years ago is like watching a video of what happened that day—all the memories come flooding back.
Because I am committed to helping others have their family memories come flooding back, I have developed more than sixty workshops that generate memories about a wide range of life’s experiences with family. Some of those topics include family and food, family photos, heirlooms, holidays, joyous moments, a conversation with an ancestor, family names, gratitude, childhood toys, family lore, humor, love, and dozens more.
I’ve offered these workshop about 500 times in the last fifteen years, and all of them bring me much joy because I get to hear lots fascinating stories that people share. I get as excited about these workshops just as much today as I did when I first started offering them. And people tell me that my excitement is pretty obvious. During the workshops, we discuss questions that focus on memories. We then jot down ideas, and then we share what we have written. It’s interesting to see how sharing stories evokes memories for others in the room. It’s very contagious. Of course, those memories spark a wide range of emotions too, and some of those emotions get our eyes to water a little. And there’s always plenty of laughter in the room.
I hope that you will consider joining me for some of these workshops so that we help one another tell stories about our experience with our families.