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March 28, 2010

FOUND Any Good Stories Lately?

Ever find a crumpled note somewhere and wonder where it came from? Did the writer change his or her mind? Did the reader find it and throw it away in rage, sorrow or disappointment?

Sometimes a stranger might leave a note intended for a specific person....

...or situation and somehow it ends up forgotten or lost and one of us might find it and try to piece together its story.

There is a wonderful online magazine called, appropriately enough FOUND that compiles these pieces of human flotsam that drift around our neighborhoods. Some are funny, some are puzzling and some are sad beyond description.

There is a print version that comes out about once a year which collects the best - or most poignant - random note or photographs. You can see a summary and some excerpts - as well as the details on ordering at http://www.foundmagazine.com/store.

For a history of the project and a bit of background on how this all started, take a look at http://www.foundmagazine.com/about.

And to submit stuff, look here http://www.foundmagazine.com/submit.

From their website, here is what they are looking for: "love letters, birthday cards, kids' homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, telephone bills, doodles - anything that gives a glimpse into someone else's life. Anything goes..."

Again, the premise is to get a glimpse into a stranger's life through some unintended remnant from a larger story, and we, the finders, get to speculate, guess or wonder about how this happened or what happened next.

I would use these (or at least this idea) in a classroom in a couple of different ways. First I might have students collect the notes or odd pieces that they find and either write or discuss a back-story or follow-up story to the found item. It might also be fun to send items to FOUND as a class project.

There's a whole world of undiscovered fragments of human evidence out there. Go do some FINDING.

We are all always learning. And we, as well as the world around us, are always changing. And we never know what stray note or photo might shed some light on a situation or make us wonder or be thankful for the life we have.

It is always more fun to learn together, so let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foreign foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at March 28, 2010 03:23 PM

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