Birthday Interviews

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Article courtesy of by Denise Gormish

Birthdays! Ah, the fun and excitement! There are celebrations galore, from small home or office parties to big celebrations that involve just about everyone you know.

Not only is a birthday a celebration but also it is a milestone. Birthdays give us an opportunity to reflect on where we are today and where we�ve been in the past. You can journal about the celebrations, but you can also journal about your thoughts, feelings and memories during this milestone.

One fun journaling method involves interviewing someone. The questions and answer format allows you to find out about the person and hear how they view themselves.

I enjoy taking the time to interview people around their birthdays. If you do this often, you can compare answers and see how the person has changed and made progress during the year. Birthdays are a convenient time to remember to do this. You can also do this at the beginning or end of the school year, or for a holiday or an annual religious event.

To do an interview, you simply need your questions, some paper and a pencil. You also need your interview subject. Pick a time and place that will be relaxing for your subject.

What should you ask? The list is endless. Choose questions that are answered in sentences, not with a �yes� or �no.� Like and dislikes are often good starter questions. Try to make the questions open. You can use the response of one question to dig deeper in a follow-up question.

I recently interviewed my eight-year-old daughter. Here�s a sample of the questions I asked her:

  • What are some things you like to do?
  • What sports do you like?
  • What things do you like to do around the house?
  • What are some of your favorite foods?
  • What do you like to wear?
  • What�s your favorite color?
  • Where are some of your favorite places to go?
  • What things make you happy?
  • What makes you sad?
  • What do you do when you are sad?
  • What do you do when you are mad?
  • Who are your best friends?
  • What are your favorite movies or TV shows?
  • What are your favorite books?



Remember to take good, legible notes. After the interview, add the answers to your scrapbook. You can use the answers in any way � as a table on a page, a Q&A list, within text about the interview, hidden in a pocket, as a mini book, on a tag, etc.

In my example above, I added the text on the page below her eight-year-old portrait. I began the journaling by talking about where and when the interview took place. Then I simply made a Q&A list with her responses. You don�t have to include every response from your interview. You can narrow it down to the more interesting responses.

Next year, I�ll do a similar format with many of the same questions. It will be quite interesting to see her responses in a year!


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