The Maria Rogers Oral History Program

Activist Archive, Spring 2010
To view a participant's digital story, click on their name

Senior Participants:
Jean Gore
LeRoy Moore
Anne Marie Pois

Student Participants:
Laura Bergland
Julieanne Combest
Amy Guinan
John Hallett
Joy Hamilton
Edie Hulings
Kerri Hunter
Melissa Khat
Erika Larson
Ryan Long
Claire Werthan
Brett West
Natalie Ziemba
Tiffany Zarr, Teaching Assistant

Memory Box III, Spring 2008

To read a participant's story, click on their name

Senior Participants:
Anne Chapman
Ed Hardy
Irv Hoffman
Pearl Hoffman
Ike Markowitz
Ken Ogren
Marjorie Ogren
Ruth Ross

Student participants:
Taylor Baird
Matthew Beale
Hunter Cuchiaro
Nick Driver
Adam Elias
Charles Frank
Julia Gallyot
Christine Giltner
Alexa Levinson
Kelly Longe
Anthony Martucci
Katie Rabinowitz
Cory Sargeant
Katheryn Svaldi
Ashley Warner

Memory Box III Photo Gallery

Memory Box II, Spring 2007

To read a participant's story, click on their name

Senior Participants:
Natalie Arnold
Ed Hardy
Jacques Pankove
Leo Streeter

Student participants:
Chelsea Bear
Mali Emerson
Stephanie Harper
Corey Lovato
Katherine Pierce
Kali Portlock
Jessica Schrader
Caroline Wilson
Tiffany Zarr, Teaching Assistant

Memory Box II Photo Gallery

Memory Box I, Spring 2006

To read a participant's story, click on their name

Senior Participants:
Penelope Amabile
Mary Jane Marlowe
Margaret Massey
Katie Rowe
Charles Yeomans

Student participants:
Rhonda Burge
Charlie Fehring
Shoni Gustafson
Susanne Heckler
Michael Matsura
Sarah Perzow
Jonathan Pfeiff
Mary Pollitt
Kelly Reid
Aubrey Sacco
Ben Tucker
Tiffany Zarr, teaching assistant

Memory Box I Photo Gallery


my portraitThe Memory Box Project is designed to build community through sharing life experiences as written memories. For this service learning practicum, CU-Boulder students from Dr. Kayann Short's Literature of Lifewriting course pair with local seniors to create a personal narrative or "memory story."
This intergenerational exchange teaches us the ways in which the past, present, and future can connect us through lifewriting and the expression of memories as stories.
The Memory Box Project also fosters cross-generational understanding and friendship as seniors and students collaborate in the writing process. Through this interaction, participants gain a stronger sense of themselves as a part of the multigenerational Boulder community.

Memory Box I, Spring 2006

Students from Dr. Kayann Short's "Literature of Lifewriting" course in CU's Farrand Academic Program met weekly with participants from the City of Boulder's West Senior Center to write "memory stories." The project began by senior participants constructing "lifelines" from which they chose one event to shape into a memory story. Using the Memory Box workbook, students and seniors drafted and revised their stories until each reflected the insight gained from that particular life experience. These memory stories were then read out loud in a final session enjoying the wit and wisdom of seniors in our community. Each of these remarkable stories shares a valuable lesson for living a long and rich life: "Make the best with the opportunities life hands you" OR, more simply put, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"

Memory Box II, Spring 2007

In the second year of this project, Dr. Kayann Short's "Literature of Lifewriting" students worked with seniors at The Academy retirement community on the Hill in Boulder to create memory stories based on important life experiences. Students were also trained by Susan Becker and volunteers from the Maria Rogers Oral History Program of the Carnegie Library for Local History to tape oral history interviews of senior participants. These interviews enriched the Memory Box project by providing another opportunity to share life histories and initiate writing topics. The Academy, formerly a holistic school for girls built in 1891, provided a wonderful setting for the Memory Box cross-generational lifewriting collaborative by welcoming students into each senior's home and community. Working together, each team of two students and one senior shaped memories into stories that expressed the lessons learned by following life's unexpected opportunities to see where they may lead. These stories were shared with other Academy residents at a final reading in the elegant chapel of this historic building.

Memory Box III, Spring 2008

For the third year of the project, Dr. Kayann Short's "Literature of Lifewriting" students returned to The Academy retirement community on the Hill in Boulder to create new memory stories that share the remarkable experiences of eight wonderful seniors. Like the stories written for Memory Box I and II, these stories explore life's decisive moments in which decisions made take the writers down new paths or on new adventures. From these stories we learn that taking risks can reap unanticipated rewards. We thank our senior writers for taking the time to share these important life lessons with us. We appreciate the thoughtful conversations and sage advice that helped bridge the so-called "generation gap" between students and their elders.

Activist Archive Digital Storytelling Project, Spring 2010

The Activist Archive was the service learning project of Dr. Kayann Short’s INVS300 course, Innovative Approaches to Contemporary Issues through Service. For this project, students worked with long-time community leaders to create digital stories about an experience that influenced their commitment to social change. Students not only learned about important campaigns like Rocky Flats Nuclear Disarmament, The Dinner Party, and Peace Brigades International, but also were inspired by these activists’ life-long dedication to social justice.

"To write one's life is to live it twice, and the second living is both spiritual and historical, for a memoir reaches deep within the personality as it seeks its narrative form and it grasps the life-of-
the-times as no political analysis can."

                                      Patricia Hampl




Dr. Kayann Short • Farrand Academic Program, University of Colorado at Boulder • 303-492-1267 • shortk@colorado.edu