Friday 20th September
I’m stunned by how quickly this week and the workshops have passed by. I was initially quite nervous about the workshop delivery, because although in many ways the attitude towards learning and culture in the US isn’t that dissimilar to the UK, there are also many differences. I was also unsure of what content I’d get and whether my delivery approach would work. But as the workshops unfolded the participants have really engaged with the project, and as a group they bonded well. They have been willing to share their stories and family photographs as well as offer other members of the group encouragement, elaborating and bringing individual reflections to each of the stories that were shared.
Today’s workshop session had two main aims. Firstly to capture the remaining stories that we hadn’t had the time for yesterday and secondly to take the group through the process of how to construct their own story within the iMovie app, and within the two hour slot we just about managed it.
The story that most stood out most today was told by Denise McIver, Librarian for the California African American museum. Denise’s story detailed her small act of defiance during the Rodney King riots, that led her to break curfew during a socially turbulent time. Her story was so eloquently delivered and informative, and was able to bring her own personal perspective to a widely known story of historical relevance.
At the end of the session I was given some great feedback and thanked by each of the participants. Including from Vi, a librarian from the Teenscape Department of the library. Vi told me that she had been so impressed by the programme that she wants to submit a small grant proposal to enable her to run the same workshops with young people at the library. I’m so pleased.
To come all this way and not spend at least a few days in San Francisco would have been a great shame. I was really very eager to visit the city, it’s always been in my top 10 places to visit and I also had the added incentive of being able to visit both my brother and sister in law who are both currently studying there.
So today I caught a late afternoon flight from LAX to SFO. On the way to the airport I stopped off at Union Station. The breadth of historic architecture here has taken me off guard. The outside of the building isn’t much to look at, in fact it looks more like a Spanish church than a major train station, but internally it’s an art Deco dream. Just stunning.
The airport was an entirely different experience to say the least. I must have looked suspicious to the security staff, because not satisfied with me passing the metal detector and full body scan, they also pulled me to one side to ask if I was concealing anything under my dress. The conversation at the airport went a little like this –
Airport security: ‘Have you got any pockets in the back of your dress ma’am?’
Airport security: ‘I’m sorry ma’am, but I’m going to have to pat your butt down’
Both Dylan and Jordan came to rescue me from the airport and drove me to their student digs to spend the weekend. It’s lovely to see them both, we spent the evening catching up in a local restaurant. I say restaurant rather tentatively, as in actual fact it was a converted garage that served all sorts of random food from their not entirely Korean Barbecue menu.
Enjoyed this post? Start at Day 1 of Sally’s adventures taking Memory Box to Los Angeles. Or you can carry on to Day 8.