Sunday, June 2, 2013

Week 16 - It's a Wrap!

I can't believe it is the final day of DIY!  At the beginning of this project, Mr. Ziebarth told us that we need to make something.  Well, here it is:

What started as a big bag has quickly transformed into a big box of memories.  It contains everything and anything that reminds me about my younger years.  Everything in that box has a story.  I've learned a lot about the person I was, the person I have become, and the person I am becoming from this box.

Throughout this project I have also produced smaller things - I have begun the process of digitalizing my family's pictures, I have made a personal blog where I write about my family's stories, and I have made a family timeline.

Time to work on my speech.  Au revoir!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Week 15 - Letters

Since it is Memorial Day weekend, I have had more time to sit down and finish writing my letters to future me.  In the letters, I talk about my life now and how I expect my life will be at that point in my life.

I wrote a letter to my high school graduate, college graduate, 30 year old self, and 40 year old self.  Although I wish I could have written more, with the projects piling up I just didn't have the time to do so!  I will definitely finish it over the summer though.

It's weird to think about how quickly things change.  Although I only wrote my letter to my high school graduate and my letter to my college graduate about two weeks apart, the description of where and how I am in the current moment is completely different.

Next week, I hope to finish collecting my memories and find some box or bag to put them all in.  I also want to start working on my speech.

It is crazy how the project is starting to wind down.  It feels as though it was yesterday that I started on this journey.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Week 14 - Good ol' Days

Now that AP testing is finally over, I am finally able to dedicate more time on my DIY project.  However, I'm not going to lie... my motivation is decreasing at exponential rates.  With less than a month left of school, it is hard to keep up the same level of passion that I had when I first started this project.

After talking to Mr. Z about shifting the focus of my project, I realized that I have left my first one with many loose ends.  I collected many of my family's stories, but just left them hanging without documenting them in anyway besides a quick summary on this blog.  To finish documenting their memories, I have created a personal, password protected blog on Tumblr - which I will continually update with their pictures and memories.  Additionally, I have and will continue to digitalize many of the pictures that are sitting up in the attic.

Continuing with my journey, I have written a letter to my college graduate self!  Next week, I am hoping to write one to be opened on my 30th birthday.

I have also continued looking for things from my younger years.  Here are two of my favorite things:

In 5th grade, we had to get in groups and write a book about success.  The story was about a cougar (Cougar was the mascot of my elementary school) who found success by acing a test.

It was weird to think about how long I have known the people that were in my fifth grade class, and even earlier.  People like Amber, Sarah, Connor - I've known them and had classes with them since second grade.  Since we were all in the GATE program, we were always in the same class.

When I was looking for awards to put in my Personal Interest section of the College project, I came across the "Declaration of Cell Phone" I wrote to my parents at the beginning of 5th grade.  Why I thought I needed a cell phone in 5th grade, the world may never know.  Either way, it was just about the most adorable thing I've ever read.  The fact that I wrote the entire thing in my neatest cursive makes me laugh.  I ended up getting a cell phone at the start of middle school.  It was one of those LG "Chocolate phones."  I will never forget how protective over it I was.

I anticipate this upcoming week to be slow for my DIY project.  I am a member of the club Friday Night Live and our annual talent show is this Friday!  There are a lot of small things we need to get done to ensure that it runs smoothly.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Week 13 - Deciphering the Past

Remember those pages I posted a few weeks ago with the language I made up five years ago?

I was able to find the key and decoded it.  It took about three-four hours but it was worth it.  The journal talked about everything from friends, family, social life, hobbies, and hopes for the futures.  I think I cringed at a couple of parts at how stupid I used to be, though.

Because, like I said...
2007: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2008: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2009: Wow I was so stupid last year.

It was weird to think that I one point I had become fluent in writing in the language.


This week, I found two more things tucked away in our attic.  The first thing I found was a souvenir I got while visiting Lebanon with my family when I was seven years old.  It is a piece of cedar bark with my name burned into it.  Although it is small, it means a lot to me.  My dad was born in Lebanon and that was the only time I had ever visited it.  I remember my dad taking us around Beirut.  I remember him pointing to a torn up collapsing building and telling me and my sisters that he used to live there when he was younger.

I also found my mom's dorm room key when she went to the University of Cairo.  My mom has the fondest memories in Egypt.  Although she used to always want to take my family on vacation there so she can tell us all of her memories from her college days, because of the internal conflict and some new laws that they have passed recently that curb women's rights, she no longer wants to visit.  It's scary how fast places can change.  It's scary how fast peoples' opinions of places can change.

Memories, memories.

Next week, I want to write another letter to future self, but this time for when I graduate high school.  I also want to start better organizing that things that I have been collecting from my younger years so it doesn't end up all over the house again.

Au revoir!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Week 12 - Dear High School Graduate

This week, I wrote my first letter to future me.  I decided to write the letter to my future self when I graduate from high school on June 6th, 2014.  I am going to keep it in my nightstand and set a reminder on my phone so I don't forget on graduation day.  Let's hope that iPhones aren't obsolete by then...

I think it will be interesting to see all of the things that have changed with my family, friends, but most importantly, me.  The letter was four pages.  I was surprised at how long it took and how many things I felt I needed to write about.

This week I also began to explore some of the things from my past... and by past, I mean elementary and middle school days.  Just like most people, middle school was the most awkward period of time ever and I was both excited and nervous to see what I would find.  

I checked a bunch of desk drawers, nightstands, and miscellaneous areas in the house for any trace of the good ol' days.  I collected everything into a big Ziplock bag.

Just a few of the things I've found include letters my friend Jackie wrote to me in 7th grade, worry dolls my 8th grade Spanish teacher gave to me when I went to high school, a wood truck I painted at a girl scout event in 2004, and a postcard my friend sent me when she was on vacation in Hawaii in 2007.  I even found my ID card from 2008 when I was wearing a Powerpuff Girls shirt.  Talk about the #fine #fresh #fierce days...

Each item I found is a story in itself.  Just like I had to dig up my family's past, I am excited to finally dig up my own past.  Things have changed a lot and at each new year that passes, I always think to myself, "Wow, I was so stupid last year."

2007: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2008: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2009: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2010: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2011: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2012: Wow I was so stupid last year.
2013: Wow I was so stupid last year.

Pretty much.

I am hoping to continue finding these artifacts from my past.  I will probably start collecting them in a box from now on since the bag is stuffed up to the brim right now.

Next week, I hope to decipher the journal I kept in 2008, write another letter to my future self, and continue scavenging the house for pieces from my past.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Week 11 - The Plan

I didn't get around to talking to Mr. Ziebarth about my new plan for the DIY project.  It's weird how fast/slow the week went by.  Either way, Mr. Z was talking about how it is ok for changes to come up throughout the project and to change your purpose and audience.

I have decided what I want to do though!  Each week, I will...

  • Write a letter to my future self.  The first letter will be for when I finish this project, the second for when I graduate high school, the third for when I graduate college, and each one after that for my "tenth" birthday - 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, etc. until this project is over.  
  • Journal daily using the application "My Wonderful Days" on my iPhone.  I also want to keep a dream diary next to my bed.  Although I used to record my dreams religiously last year, I stopped since I got caught up in the stress of school.  
  • Scavenge the house and collect all things that remind me about my childhood and put it in a box.  I realize that I am still a child, but I'm definitely not the same person I was five years ago.  Towards the end of the project, I may pick the more sentimental items and put them in a time capsule.  I will probably not bury it since my family might move.
  • Create a bulletin board with my favorite pictures to put above my desk.
  • Create another type of photo holder (for lack of a better word) thing to put above my bed.
My audience seems pretty small considering that it is... well, it's just me.  I have shifted the focus of the project to me because now that my family's stories are uncovered, I want to make sure that mine are too. 

Let the good times roll.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 10 - The Week of Changes

This week, I came to the realization that I seriously lack the passion to make the scrapbook that I was once so excited about.

Exploring my family's past has been absolutely incredible - I have learned so much about their life growing up that I could have never imagined.  I feel that a mere page in a scrapbook will not do their life stories justice though. I have been digitalizing as many pictures as I can.  Since my project is centered on preserving these memories, the best way to do this is to create something that will last forever.  Although I know that it is near impossible to digitalize every picture, this project can definitely extend into the summer where I can dedicate an hour a day to digitalizing pictures.

I am thinking about shifting the focus of this project to preserving my past and memories.  Although I may only be 17, I feel as though I have some interesting stories (and probably some meaningless ones) that I would like to remember when I am seventy years old.  I have been journaling about five days a week using the application My Wonderful Day on my iPhone, but it doesn't feel like enough.  I want to create a time capsule with some of my favorite, for lack of a better word, things.  I am not entirely sure what these things entail, but I am hoping to discover what is important to me throughout the next few weeks of this project!  I also want to decorate my room with pictures.  I would like to have a cork board above my desk and some sort of frame set above my bed.

The part I am most enthusiastic about is writing letters to my future self.  For the next six or seven weeks, I want to write a letter to my future self and seal it.  The first letter will be for me to read when I graduate high school, then another letter for when I graduate college the following week.  After that, I want a letter for every "tenth" birthday - my thirtieth, fortieth, fiftieth, sixtieth, etc.    

Although my new idea seems far from my original one, it was inspired by my old one.  My family's memories and stories would have gone unheard had I not taken the time to talk to them about their life.  I want to make sure that my stories are told by journaling, digitalizing pictures, and creating a time capsule.

I'm not sure if this is just a temporary stray from my original project... I am going to talk things over with Mr. Z to get his perspective on the change of plans before it is made official!  I was inspired to make this switch after I found about ten pages of writing in code from five years ago.  I know I have the code for it, somewhere...  I distinctly remember becoming "fluent" in my language.  I was able to write it as fast as I write English!

Au revoir!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week 9 - Supplies, supplies, supplies

This week, I was able to talk to my Teta on my mom's side to finish the family tree.  I will make the family tree in the scrapbook by breaking it up into chunks with my mom and dad's side so that everything can fit.  I am using the website to store all of the names for now.  It is a great website, and the best thing is - it's free!  I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to start a family tree.  How cool would it be if one day your great-great-great grandchildren knew the name of their great-great-great grandparents?

I also went to Michael's this week and looked at some scrapbook supplies.  I wanted to go once without buying anything since it is really easy to get carried away in that store and end up leaving the store with six packs of glitter glue and some yarn.  I have decided to set my budget at $80 to make the scrapbook.  Although this seems a little high, a good quality scrapbook will cost $20 and a stack of 12x12 paper will cost another $20, which will only leave me with $40 to buy the extra embellishments.  The money will all come from the money I make tutoring after school.

Although I originally wanted to buy all of my supplies from JoAnn's or Michael's, I think I will purchase the big items through Amazon to save some money.  Here is the supplies that I am thinking of getting:

This is a Pioneer Silk Postbound Scrapbook with a photo window which sells for $19.99 on Amazon.

I like it because it is clean, simple, and the dark blue is a calming color.  I do not want anything in the scrapbook to ever overpower the pictures that I am putting, so I think that it will be a challenge for me to limit the glitter and puffy paint.  I usually get a little too excited when I start projects like these...

I also think I am going to purchase this La Creme paper stack.  It comes with 48 12x12 sheets which should be plenty for my scrapbook.  I like how all of the colors are black, white, or beige.  The designs are simple, which is what I want so it does not eat up the pictures I put on it.

If I end up purchasing this stack of paper, I will probably use my neon papers to make a border around the pictures so they stand out against the dark background.

I will probably make a visit to JoAnn's before purchasing these, but hopefully all of my supplies will be ready for takeoff by the end of this week!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Week 8 - Meet My Jiddo and Teta!

These week I got to talk to my grandparents - David and Souheila Saad.  They told me about how they met and I am currently finding a way to contact Nicholas Sparks so he can write a book about their story.  Both of them were only children, so it added to the already protective nature of their grandparents.  When my Jiddo fell in love with my Teta, all of his friends were telling him not to marry her since her parents were so against her getting married.  On one occassion, my Teta's parents called the cops on him just for coming to see her.  But they persevered!

I also learned about their hardships growing up and raising a family during the Lebanese Civil War - particularly the burden they both had to provide for three sons and one daughter.

Is this not the most joyful Pepsi ad you've ever seen?

Although I anticipated finishing up my family tree, this week has been madness between all of the family visiting.  My house has transformed into a bed & breakfast!  Tomorrow, my aunt and my cousin leave back to Dubai which means I will have a lot of time to talk to my Teta on my mom's side and my Teta's sister.

This upcoming week, I want to finish up the family tree and start looking at scrapbook supplies from JoAnns.    It's weird to think in about two months my speech about my DIY will be over... It's crazy how fast time passes sometimes.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Week 7 - Meet the Saads

All my family has arrived!  Although I thought that this would be one of the weeks I would be progress the most on my project, that wasn't exactly the case.  My aunt and cousin arrived from Dubai, my mom's aunt from Lebanon, my mom's uncle from Monaco, my uncle from Houston, my grandma from Canada, and my cousin from Washington D.C. all on Thursday or Friday night.  In addition to this, my sisters were in town from their Spring Break, adding to the madness in my already stuffed house!

Now that my sisters, cousin, and one of my uncles has left, things are starting to settle down in the house.  I know this upcoming week I will be able to talk with my family, especially since I'm off of school for Spring Break.

Although I didn't progress as much as I had hoped, I still had a great time catching up with my family, especially since I usually don't see them more than once a year.  We had a surprise birthday party for my Teta's 75th birthday at the Orange Hill Restaurant.  It was so great to see all of the family together, and even more adorable to find out that my grandparent's were maid-of-honors at each other weddings.  I learned that my parents met each other through their friendship growing up.

I've set a rough schedule for myself for the rest of the duration of this project:

  • Continue talking with my family, collecting pictures this upcoming week, and adding to the family tree
  • Raid the aisles of JoAnn's and sort/group pictures for each scrapbook page
  • The three weeks leading up to AP testing I want to start making the scrapbook and have it all done by the end of AP testing
  • After the scrapbook is done, I will focus on digitalizing pictures and making the Facebook account for my family to enjoy the pictures from all around the world.  I might also digitalize the scrapbook depending on how expensive it is.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Week 6 - Branching Out

This week I finished as much of the family tree as I could by my dad about my ancestors.  I learned that both of my grandparents on my dad’s side were only children.  This surprised me considering how many families on my mom’s side had a lot of kids.  I also learned that my grandma’s dad’s first and last name were the same.  How cool is that?  Honestly, knowing that my grandparents are only children is a bit of a relief.  It will make it a lot easier for me to fully complete the family tree without needing to add an extra twenty branches for their siblings!  The family tree still has a lot of growing to do – once I talk to my grandparents it will be able to really blossom.  Although the family tree only shows names, I am also able to store information for maiden names, birth date, and death date. 

My grandma arrives late tomorrow tonight and the rest of my family – my grandma’s sister and brother, my aunt, and two of my cousins – will arrive from Dubai, Monte Carlo, and Washington D.C. this Thursday.  Time to bust out the sleeping bags!  My sisters also arrived this past Saturday from UCSB for their Spring Break.  The week will be a bit hectic with everyone around but luckily Spring Break is the following week for me.  I will get the bulk of the information from my mom’s side during Spring Break.  This will give me the opportunity to solidify how I am going to make the scrapbook.   

I have also continued to digitalize pictures onto my computer.  I have started a couple of albums.  I am starting to realize that the task is a lot more time consuming than I originally intended.  This will definitely be something that stretches into summer.  Here are a couple of albums I have been working on.  I will soon make subsections within each album to further organize the pictures.  I also want to organize a few of my memories from the past – hence the pictures I compiled from the Culture Fair last year.  I will back up the pictures ASAP in case something happens to my laptop.  I am thinking about creating a Facebook so I can upload all of the pictures and add my family so that they can enjoy them. 

Next week will be hectic with all of my family arriving and with all of the pre-Spring Break tests and projects!  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Week 5 - The Family Tree

I am so relieved that the pitch is finally over!  It felt like a rain cloud was following me for the past three weeks leading up to the pitch.  Although I thought I would be really nervous while presenting, to my pleasant surprise, I managed to stay calm and tell everyone about my project.  I am so excited for everyone’s project – some of my favorites were Natalie’s idea of crocheting blankets for animals in shelters and Stephen and Ann’s idea of creating an organic skincare line. 

I have successfully been journaling for one week using the app “My Wonderful Days” on my iPhone.  While this doesn't seem like a huge accomplishment, I’m so proud that I've managed to stick with it.  I am hoping to journal at least five times a week to preserve my memories, so that one day, my great-great-great-grandchildren can know how cool their great-great-great-grandma was.  My blog also got a face lift!  I changed the background, layout, and colors to make it more appealing.  I made the background a piece of lined paper to inspire me to continue writing about my day. 

I started making the family tree with the help of my mom and dad.  I never realized how big my family was and how many people I haven’t met.  It was a lot harder than I anticipated.  I started to write it down on a piece of paper… but as you guys can see, that wasn't too successful.  After a quick Google search, I was able to find an awesome website called Family Echo where you make a family tree for free.  I will use this website to keep track of all of the names so that I can easily transfer them to paper for the scrapbook.  The picture on the left shows my struggle making the tree and the picture at the bottom shows a part of the tree I have created on

My grandma is arriving in exactly one week from today – on the 24th!  I haven’t seen her in over a year.  She lives in Canada, and she is one of the sweetest/sassiest/coolest people I know.  I am excited to have her help me with the family tree.  When I spoke to her on the phone she was thrilled for this project and eager to tell me about her life growing up.  Plus, now I can finally learn how to make her delicious Easter cookies!

I've also started to digitalize some pictures… well, I've digitalized ten if that counts for anything.  As pathetic as that sounds, it is so much harder than I anticipated.  I have to scan them one at a time onto a USB drive, crop them, center them, and save them into a document.  I am hoping to find an easier way to do this, like perhaps just taking a picture of the photo with my phone.  Although the quality won’t be as good, I feel like in this case quantity is better than quality.  As long as I find the perfect lighting to photograph the pictures, I don’t think it should be a problem.

I can’t believe it has been five weeks since Mr. Z introduced this project.  I’m so happy with everything that I have learned so far and I can’t wait for everything that I am going to learn throughout this journey.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Week 4 - Up in the Attic

This week I went up into the attic to look through the remainder of the pictures.  Although this seemed like an easy task, when I turned on the attic light I was shocked to see over fifteen boxes filled with pictures.  Each box seemed to have triple the amount as the one before it.

These pictures ranged from super hipster pictures of my mom in her college days when she went to the University of Cairo to pictures of my sisters and I camping out in our backyard.  Each picture is a story in itself.  I was able to group a lot of the pictures based on the person so that when my family arrives at the end of March I'll be able to ask them the story behind it.

Looking through the pictures has inspired to me to start a journal.  I'm notorious for starting journals and stopping after the first entry, but this time I really want to go through with it.  Although my life seems bitterly dull (and probably is), I can't imagine how interesting my stories will be ten years from now... or fifty years from now... or two hundred years from now.  When I look at pictures of ten-year-old me, I can barely remember the story behind the pictures.  Time to preserve the memories!

I downloaded the app "My Wonderful Days" on my iPhone.  The app lets me type journal entries on my phone, add pictures, export my entries in a PDF file, and back it up through WiFi.  The best part is that it is synced with iCloud, so that if I ever lose my phone, I will still be able to access my entries.

I have to admit, I haven't been making as much progress as I had hoped.  By this point, I expected to have a lot of scrapbook supplies purchased and a rough idea for how I want the pages of it to be organized. Now that I have finished my SAT, I am ready to dive in.  I am hoping to go scrapbook supply shopping this weekend and to start talking to my family to gather names for the family tree.  I anticipate having an idea of how to organize the scrapbook after my family arrives towards the end of March.

It is beyond adorable seeing how excited my grandparents are for this project.  I talked with my Teta who lives in Canada about the project and her reaction was priceless.  She promised to bring some pictures when she visits.  I can't wait to see her!

In addition to preserving the memories, I want to get some of my family's recipes.  Both my mom and Teta are amazing cooks, and I want to save their recipes so they can always be enjoyed.

It's crazy to think that it has already been a month since we started the DIY project.  I can't believe that the pitch is coming up this Friday.  Although I have no idea what my visual is going to be or how I want to present, I'm sure I'll get through it.  Maybe I should just show a picture of myself when I was a toddler...

Who doesn't love an adorable baby picture after all?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week 3 - Meet my Auntie Mona!

This week, I spoke with my lovely Auntie Mona, my dad’s sister.  She told me so many stories about her life growing up in Lebanon during the civil war – everything from baking Easter cookies with her grandma to watching the man living in the apartment above them shoot rats scurrying in the pile of trash.

Although I thought that all of my relatives on my dad’s side of the family were born in either Lebanon or Palestine, I learned that my grandpa was actually born in the Dominican Republic.  My grandpa’s father, along with everyone on the ship, thought that he was in America.  Oh, how time and technology have changed.  I also learned that my grandma had a miscarriage when she was in her third trimester in Lebanon.  She would have been the sixth child my grandparents had.  It gives me chills to think about having another aunt and breaks my heart that my grandparents still tear up when they talk about it.

Talking to my aunt made me realize how… for lack of a better word, weird time is.  It’s hard to picture my parents, or grandparents, or their great-great grandparents as teenagers growing up.  Hearing their stories makes me gain a new appreciation for time and everything I have.  My mom told me that my grandma would get in trouble if she listened to the radio.  Whenever my grandma would want to hang out with a friend, her dad would spit on the ground and tell her to be back before his spit dried.  It makes me think about what I’ll be telling the next generation.  You should have seen what life was like when I grew up.  All we had were iPhones and 3D televisions.

I’m thrilled to say that my grandma, her sister, my aunt, and two cousins on my mom’s side of the family have all booked their tickets to come visit us!  I couldn’t be more excited, and the timing worked out perfectly for this project.  I usually only see them once a year, so every moment with them is always a good time.  All of them will arrive the last week of March.  LAX, here I come! 

I anticipate this upcoming week to be a little slow.  I am taking the SATs this Saturday, so it will be hard to focus time and energy on this project.  Once I finish the test, I will be ready to dive in headfirst and start raiding the aisles of Joann’s for art supplies to make my scrapbook.  I've also decided I want to make a family tree that goes as far back as it possibly can to preserve my ancestors' memories.  Week four, here I come! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week 2 - Diving into the Past

This Week: This week I went through some photo albums that range from pictures of my dad’s childhood to pictures of my friends and I in third grade.  There’s something so hauntingly beautiful about the albums; the bend corners, yellowing pages, musty smell, and arrangement of the pictures on the pages make it all the more special.  Although I only anticipated spending half an hour to an hour looking through the pictures, by the time I was finished, two hours had sped by.  If there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s the importance of time stamping pictures.  It’s really hard to picture growing up at this age, but one day when I’m in my twenties… and thirties, and forties, and fifties, I think I’ll enjoy looking back on precious childhood memories. 

I just found out that a lot of my family will be visiting around the end of March.  My grandma will come from Canada, my grandma’s sister from Lebanon, my aunt and cousin from Dubai, and another cousin from Washington D.C.  I can’t wait to talk to them about their childhood and experience growing up.  Although I originally anticipated communicating with them through email or over the phone, I’m excited that I have the opportunity to speak with them face-to-face!  I usually only see them once a year, so it’s always a good time when the fam band is able to get together.

Next Week: I want to continue looking through photo albums.  Although I’ve gone through all of the ones inside our house, we have over ten boxes of pictures in our attic, and I can’t wait to explore some more of my family’s memories.  I never realized how important this step was to the process of understanding my family’s past.  It’s weird to think that some members in my family have lived five times as long as I have - that they have five times the memories, experience, and wisdom. 

I also want to see if there is some way to digitalize the pictures to keep them stored on CDs, computers, and hard drives.  Considering that there are thousands and thousands of pictures, I’m not quite sure how much time it will take for me to scan them all, and the goal may become my summer project.

I am starting to become a little doubtful about the scrapbook though.  Just considering the pictures I went through today, I have no idea how I could possibly pick just a couple to include in the scrapbook when they all seem so important and monumental.  Although I was sure the scrapbook would be my final idea, I want to brainstorm more this week and see where the wind takes me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week 1 - Let the Good Times Roll

Although I was nervous when Mr. Z first introduced the DIY project, my apprehension has slowly turned into curiosity and excitement.  It’s not often that teachers give students complete freedom to explore whatever they’re interested in, and I’m eager to ‘carp diem.’  And so 365 Days of Saad is born!

My project is focused on uncovering my family’s rich history – from my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and of course my parents.  Although I’ve heard snippets of their life stories and experience immigrating to America, I want to fuse the fragments together, explore the thousands of pictures tucked away in my attic, and produce a scrapbook to let the memories live on.

Resources: My mentor is my lovely mom.  She’s my mentor for every project I have and always helps me sift and sort my scattered thoughts.  This week I will plan the questions I’m going to ask each of my family members and scavenge the house for extra scrapbook supplies.

Schedule: My schedule is still an open book.  Right now, I plan to interview a family member one week and make a page in the scrapbook the following week, but the times may be adjusted depending on how short/long everything takes.  Once my scrapbook is done, I am hoping to use a website like to create either an e-book or multiple copies of the scrapbook so everyone in my family can enjoy and share it. 

This week I am going to brainstorm questions to ask with my mom, start looking through our piles of pictures for inspiration, and scavenge the house for extra scrapbook supplies.