My mother and I have been trying to get an oral history project started. This is a way for us to use the combined forces of her Master’s in Religious Education and my Master’s in Educational Research for good instead of just away to entertain ourselves at Starbucks while we are waiting for our beverages. (There was on truly exciting debate about the value of Curriculum designed with Chaos theory vs designing secular curriculum with a religious basis. It was exciting and we drew quite a crowd.)
We haven’t been doing to well with this because although she is retired and I work for myself, we are still unable to schedule regular meetings.
The current plan is to use my grandmother as a test case and interview her, documenting it with a video camera. We would have a transcribe on which to draw as well as areas to research. Thanksgiving would have been a great time to do this but it didn’t happen. Mom did draw my grandmother in a conversation in which she revealed my Grandfather’s battlefield conversion during World War II. The post war grandfather I knew was a very religious man who lived the example of a true Catholic head of the family. He provided an example for everyone he touched and I always refer to him as a saint upon this earth if for no other reason than he stayed married to my grandmother for over 50 years.
Apparently he had a wild past. Prior to joining the army he was going the process of baptism preparation and preparation for First Communion. Well, with a war in the way, that instruction fell to the wayside. He was wounded and insisted the Chaplin come to baptize him on the battlefield.
He was a changed man after the war. Whatever he saw and did gave him the strength to turn his life around.
Earlier that day,my brother and I got into a conversation about St. Genesious, the patron saint of actors. I explained to my brother that Genesious was a roman actor who underwent a conversion while he was performing a scene that mocked the act of baptism. He proclaimed his was a true baptism and when he refused to disavow this, he was beheaded on the spot
I went through that whole story, and my brother decided that he needed to play fact checker. He googled the info and read it back to me. It was almost exactly word for word what I had just said.
It was a little frustrating because my brother could certainly believe that conversion can happen having just heard two inspiring stories, but he could not wrap his mind around the concept that his highly educated sister was capable of providing accurate information.
Probably because he has seen my living room full of Fabricated Americans wearing hand knit hats. (I’m working on a project and I need a place to store the finished ones and who doesn’t enjoy a room full of smiles all snuggly and warm?)
Apparently my whimsy challenges my veracity (World’s worst pay per view special)