Maybe you talk to your mother every day. Maybe you talk to her once a week. Maybe you rarely speak. But in any case, how often do you really talk? How often do you have meaningful conversations, about more than just the latest news in your lives?
For Mother’s Day, WBUR is inviting children of all ages to sit down and have conversations with their mothers or mother figures. And we hope you’ll record them, too.
Here’s how it works:
1. Visit with your mother or mother figure, from now through Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11. We expect many people will have plans to do so for the holiday, and hope the interview might be a meaningful part of your visit. If you won’t be seeing your mother in person, you can still participate via email, as explained below.
2. Bring a smart phone to record. Believe it or not, smart phones can record audio of broadcast quality. Just be sure that the speaker end of the phone is held a couple inches from the mouth of the person talking, and the speaker on the phone is directionally angled toward her mouth. More detailed instructions for recording on your smart phone are below.
3. Talk to your mother. Choose one of the following three questions to ask your mother or mother figure. Record her answer using your smart phone app. If your mother lives out of town or you won’t be seeing her from now through Mother’s Day, email her one or more of the questions and ask her for a written response instead.
What has been your moment of greatest joy as a mother?
What has been your greatest challenge or low point as a mother?
How did becoming a mother change you?
Alternately, if you are the husband or partner of a mother with children too young to conduct the interview, ask your children one of the following three questions.
What is your favorite thing about your mom?
What is the best time you’ve ever had with your mom?
What is one thing that your mom has taught you?
Note: We hope this will provoke long and interesting conversations, but for the recorded portion of the interview, please send us an audio file of under three minutes. If you would like to record your subject responding to more than one question, we ask that you record each answer as a separate file and send them individually because of the file size.
4. Send us the recording. The apps make it very simple to email the audio file (details below). Email the recording to email@example.com. Please include in the email your name, the name of the person you interviewed, and where you both live. Feel free to also include a picture of your mother, or, even better, of the two of you together.
5. We will make something wonderful from your recordings!
Instructions for recording audio on a smart phone
Your phone has a built-in app called Voice Memos (it is likely in your “Utilities” folder, if you can’t locate it.) All you have to do is tap the red circle to start recording, then tap it again when you’re done to stop recording. If you’re using an iPhone 5, tap “Done,” just to the right of the record button; if you’re on an iPhone 4, tap the black button twice. You’ll be prompted to name your recording. Give it a name, or leaving it untitled is fine, too. Then tap “OK.” The recording will then be saved as a voice memo. If you tap on the saved memo, you’ll see an option to share the recording – it’s the icon of the square with an arrow pointing up. Tap that and you’ll have the option to share it by text or mail. Choose mail, and it will open an email for you with the audio file already attached. Send the file to firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name, the name of the person you interviewed, and where you both live.
For other smart phones:
Many phones have a built-in voice recording app. Look for Smart Voice Recorder or download it in the app store for free. Tap the red button to start recording and then tap it again when you are done to stop recording. Tap “Finish.” Tap the file. Click “Share” and then “Email.” Send the file to email@example.com, including your name, the name of the person you interviewed, and where you both live.