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.