Dreaded to loved: A school project

January 20, 2009
By Jack Jepson BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
Jack Jepson BRONZE, Oak Park, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

What?! We have to interview our parents AND act out their reactions?! That was the reaction of everyone in the class. I thought this was just one of those half-assed, make up most of it and do the bare minimum assignments. It was a chore. After many days of procrastination, I finally got around to interviewing my dad. From that point on, it was a great experience.

The parent project was a project made by my teachers. First, we had to interview a parent for thirty minutes and record everything on some kind of recorder. During the interview, we had to ask them questions about their life and experiences, and not what their favorite color was. Then, we had to type out the interview exactly how they said it. It may seem like a simple task, but it really isn’t -- unless you count typing a twenty-seven page paper that took, on average, five or more hours to write simple. Next, out of all of those thirty minutes, we had to select two of them to act out to the class. Once we preformed it, the project was complete.

When I first accepted the fact that we actually had to do this, I started to think about what I was going to do. My mom was boring, and most likely she would throw in all those embarrassing words and a story about when I was a baby. Even worse, I would have to act her out, and I don’t make a good girl. My dad on the other hand, was more interesting. He played sports, went to a lot of places on vacations and was an identical twin. I assumed he would have a great twin mix up story, where someone thinks one of them is the other one. I based all my questions around twin stuff. As I got into the interview, he said he didn’t have a story like that. I didn’t have a lot of good questions then. However, my backup plan still worked. I asked him the single most important event in his lifetime, and he listed quite a few events.
If I was going to do this again, I would definitely treat the person I’m interviewing like I don’t know them and they are a complete stranger. That way, I would ask better questions because I would want to know more about them. Also, I already knew most of the good stories about my dad. I wanted to learn more about him, so I didn’t ask questions that lead into those stories.
Even though I tried to learn more about my dad’s life, I really didn’t. He just made his past a little more specific. I knew he went to high school and played football, I just didn’t know all the details. I tried to learn more stuff about him, but not much. I guess I can blame myself for that, as I didn’t take this project seriously until after the interview. At first I didn’t even plan on doing the interview and just writing a fake one with random stuff, then interview him for 2 minutes on the things I was planning to do the monologue on.
The two minutes I chose were when I asked my what was the most important event in his life. Of course, in the beginning he had to think for a while and just added some ums and uhs, but after a few seconds he really got into it. He talked about what he remembered from Watergate, Kennedy being assassinated, the moon landing, Martin Luther King Jr. being shot, and, the single most important event of his life was…the bears winning the Superbowl.

Overall, I thought this was a good experience. I didn’t learn much about my dad, but it was a great change from the normal read this book or look up what this theme means and write a paper about it style projects. When I started this project, I knew that I didn’t know about my dads life and was hoping to discover something that I didn’t know that I didn’t know. At the end of this experience, I knew a lot

Similar Articles


This article has 1 comment.

tallsally said...
on Feb. 25 2009 at 5:03 pm
awesome story! I wonder...if you thought the Dad would have great twin stories, and he did not...maybe you thinking the Mom would be boring isn't true either. It would be interesting to hear an interview with da mudder...keep writing, you're good at it!1


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!