Oldest Living Relative Interview (Brief)
Take an opportunity to learn more about one of your oldest relatives FROM A SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCE to learn how much society has changed in her/his lifetime. You should complete this assignment by telephone or videoconference (e.g., Facetime, Zoom, Skype) to protect yourself and your loved ones during this pandemic.
First, describe who you interviewed (age, their relationship to you) and the setting of the interview (day, time, event, type of communication, others in attendance, etc.). It will be helpful and valuable to audio record this interview–but only do so with your relative’s permission.
Next, summarize their responses to the following questions:
- What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did/do you have a nickname?
- When and where were you born?
- What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?
- What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?
- Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite?
- Where did you attend grade school? High school? College?
- What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects?
- What were your favorite songs and music?
- What was your religion growing up? What church, if any, did you attend?
- What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?
- How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?
- What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?
- What accomplishments were you most proud of?
- What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?
Keep the conversation going if you want, and be sure to close the interview by thanking your relative for their time and story.