Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Memory scraps

In one of my classes this quarter we have been discussing how people and societies construct memories collectively. It is really interesting to analyze the social nature of commemorative practices and to examine how certain events are remembered by society.

The other day when I was hanging out with a friend of mine, she pulled out her DePaul scrapbook and showed it to me. It was a really cute little notebook that her mom's friend gave her as a gift--I guess she took some scrapbooking classes with her mom and her mom's friend back home, and she's pretty into it. Her mom's friend advised her to keep up with the scrapbook because these are memories she's going to want to be able to recall when she's older. So now she has this really cute little book, with all these paper cut-outs, saved movie tickets, pictures of her best friends, lists of the courses she took every quarter...all kinds of college memories compact and there, ready for her to remember.

The internet is taking over hobbies now, too, like it has already taken over so many professions. I never even thought to make myself a DePaul scrapbook; I have my Facebook to remind me of all the fun times and tough classes I took in college. Still, there's something different about sitting down with actual artifacts, cutting them, framing them, and arranging them on a page that you just can't get from a social networking tool or a blog. Scrapbooking is an active memory act, and I think it's a really cool idea. I wish that someone had advised me to make a DePaul scrapbook when I was going into my freshman year. It seems like such a nice way to arrange my memories to be looked at later on.

All the little devices we human beings use to remember are so curious. I think I need a hobby that isn't Facebooking, blogging, or journal writing.

I know this post is kind of personal, but it's been on my mind and I think it's fitting. What else are other DePaul students doing as hobbies? How will we remember our college experiences on a collective level?


  1. I have tried scrap booking before and it takes a lot of time and can some times be expensive to buy the materials. I also have resorted to Facebook to remember my college years. But there will be a day when I close that account and everything will be gone. So what I have been doing since freshman year is keeping a box for each year of anything that would be worth saving to me, like cards, movie tickets, pictures, etc. That way I'll always have something to keep for the rest of my life.

  2. this was really interesting.. i've thought about this before too. Just recently I discovered that DePaul has an actual class about scrapbooking!! I know it sounds silly, but it would be helpful if someone was going into design or layout, I think. Good point about the internet taking that over though.

    Also, I wonder which class that is that you are taking; I took one last quarter that sounds just like that.. the topics, etc.

  3. It's an honors class, hon 301...I think it counts for my junior seminar on multiculturalism. It's called Memory, Pedagogy and Testimony...taught by Stephen Haymes?