HOW TO RE-CREATE YOUR "LIFE CONTEXT"
We grew up
in different times—before computers, fax machines, cell
phones, heart transplants, fast food, MTV—even TV, for some
of us. Just think how transportation, communication,
medicine, and social customs have evolved since your
childhood. Yes, it was a different world—a world that shaped
our choices, shaped who we are today. It’s vital that you
re-create that world so your descendants will understand what
your life was like.
anything for granted. Your readers may not understand what
you mean if you say that your mother was a housewife. The
role of housewives is different today than it was 30 years
ago. The same principle applies to other occupations. What
was it like to be a teacher in the ’40s? What were teachers
paid? What was expected of them?
such as Flapper, Beatnik, Black List, hi-fi, beehive hairdo.
Don’t assume your descendants will know what these terms
pop culture. What songs and dances were popular during your
dating years? Describe the role that radio and TV played in
hair and clothing styles that were popular when you were
growing up. Let your readers visualize what you looked like
when you were young.
current events that were important during your life. Be sure
to keep these descriptions personal. Explain what they meant
to you and how they affected your life so they become vivid
in the minds of readers who only know them as dry,
historical events. How did the Salk vaccine change your
life, for instance? What about air raid drills? How did you
feel when John F. Kennedy was killed?
The Internet offers all kinds
of “context” information to help you re-create “your day.”
Just go to a search engine like Google or Yahoo and type in
the topic that interests you. You’ll be surprised what turns