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Activity 1: Expressing memories

Part A: Think of a memory that you remember vividly. It should be a memory that comes easily to you.
Part B: Why do you think you remember this so well? Try connecting one or more emotions to this memory.
A strip of characters from Pixar's "Inside Out" movie: sadness, joy, fear, disgust, and anger.
Part C: Now try and express your memory and emotion in some way. The goal is to get it out of your head. Here are some ideas for what you could do.
  • Verbally: Tell your memory to someone that you know. Can you make them feel the emotion?
  • Written: Write your memory in less than a page. Do the emotions come out in your words?
  • Visually: Express your memory using only lines and shapes. Do the emotions come out in your drawings? Example
You can submit your ideas in the Tips & Thanks section below, or write them down in your story journal.

Want to join the conversation?

  • blobby green style avatar for user ardid9
    How do you deal with the need to share a memory that you feel very intimate, when you want to transform it into a story?
    (405 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user Brent Lillie
      I am a boy, sitting in the living room of my childhood home.

      I am seated on a couch, next to a Christmas tree. The tree is real pine and it smells like Christmas should. Placed within the branches in various parts of the tree are Christmas lights, casting a rich glow on their immediate surroundings. I remember a red light, soft on the pine needles and sharp and bright on the shiny decorations. Round ones, hooked to the branches, and light on the tinsel. Old fashioned decorations for an old fashioned memory. Even now when the stores put out their displays of Christmas decorations I am not drawn to the newer style of decorations but to the round Christmas balls, the fragile ones of silver, green and gold.

      This happy memory makes me feel a little sad. Not just because I cannot recapture the sense of wonder and simple delight of the experience, but because the memory was a mixture of safety, comfort and melancholy. It is the essence of my childhood. About how I loved Christmas. About family and home and the security they provided. And in the darkness beyond the comforting glow of the Christmas lights lay the unlit branches and the half-obscured decorations. And this darkness whispers ‘someday your parents will be dead, the house and all it’s familiar comforts gone and Christmas trees won’t smell like Christmas.’ And they are, and it is, and they don’t.
      (530 votes)
  • leafers sapling style avatar for user Tracey Anne
    It was just past 11pm when my phone rang; seeing the caller ID filled me with dread!
    9 days prior I received a call from my brother, 4 years my junior, it was a conversation you never wanted to have but over the years we had, had many times. Depression so bad that he could no longer see the light, he wasn't coping, we spoke for hours knowing this time was different, there was no anger he was calm and reasonable, we ended the call and he felt ok, not great but ok.
    3 days later he rings me and asks if I’m home, and in the next moment he is pulling into the street in his beloved Red Ute he worked hard to get, his dream car, needed work but he loved it, we talked, drove down with my daughter to see our mum had dinner together and when he went the 4 hrs home that night, it felt that we were ok, we had mad it again.
    6 days later I see my mums name on the caller ID and I just knew something was wrong, she didn’t have all the details, the police had called and given all that they could over the phone, but it wasn’t good and he was hospitalised, she came to me whilst I tried to organise mine and my daughter’s life. Knocking on the neighbours door whilst my princess slept soundly and explained that part of me was dying and I had to go, I left keys and food for my animals, quickly packing stuff and really not knowing what was being packed but everything and anything, a friend (who I had been chatting to online when the call came in) ringing and reminding me to breath as I felt my world fall to pieces (she sadly knew this pain all to well). When mum arrived I bundled my sweet girl into the car and explained her uncle was sick and that we had to go be with him, 4 hrs gone in the car in the blink of an eye and we arrived on the doorstep of a friend who took my daughter and fed, loved, clothed (I didn’t get the right clothing) and distracted, took her to work made sure she was ok whilst she was without seeing her mum for the longest time in 4 and a half years. Leaving my baby that Thursday morning and only seeing her whilst she slept for the coming days was hard but nowhere near as hard as the decisions to be made over the coming days.
    He had hung himself, called the police and alarmed them to act quickly however they weren’t able to act quickly enough, they cut him down, started resuscitation whilst waiting for the ambulance to be cleared to come in and take over, successfully getting his heart started after a significant amount of time and transporting him to the hospital where at 8am on that Thursday we made our intentions clear, the machines would be turned off and his organs would be donated. we had days where family drove hours on end, flew to be by his bedside, friends sat with him, cried with us and were devastated alongside us, the outpouring of messages we received was incredible and so lovely, to know a world of people loved this great man for his kind and selfless heart in the same way we did was amazing.
    We all asked ourselves the question, what could I have done, why didn’t I, where was I, why didn’t he?? He did, we did, and the worst part is knowing that this was to be his story, if not now when, we had no control, no true understanding of how he could possibly feel this way when we loved him, need him.
    I watched as they checked his lungs with cameras to make sure they were clear of any infections, the few years of smoking had done no damage, a slight infection of which was detected and treated with a strong course of anti-biotics through the night. I viewed the brain scans that gave confirmation he was no longer there and would be completely brain dead, gave me the strength to know that there was no coming back from this and only option was to wait until a team was ready to give life to those who want it and need it (donate life).
    The moment the transplant team arrived and were all set, we watched them take him away to be prepped for his final moments with his family and friend that so desperately didn’t want to see him go, then they called us in, got us ready, shoe covers, gowns, hair nets all before they led us into the place we would see you take your last breath. That final tear run down your chest, the final breath the machines took for him, watching as he suffocated because his brain could not tell his body to do what we so desperately wanted it to do, the colours as he advanced through his final moments and the call they made that he was gone, I never wanted to leave him, my best friend, my greatest enemy gone forever right before me. They said it could take time from the moments the machines were removed and had prepared us for that but instead it happened, he was so far gone he never could try to breath for himself he had moved on and left us all behind.
    Initial thoughts may be that this was selfish but was it not selfish of us to ask him to keep suffering so that we did not have to suffer. Everything he did was to make sure his friends felt loved and supported, wasn’t the greatest with his family but we were also good at telling him what he did not want to hear, but guaranteed if we needed him and he could help he would, without a second thought, it was just the person he was and his friends all tell a similar story, they are here today because he was there for them. My brother was a friend to everyone and anyone until they did him or someone he cared for wrong. He was the man that would get into a fight because he saw someone being harassed or bullied even though he may not have known them. My brother was a committed employee who would go above and beyond for his employers even if they didn’t treat him well. My brother died at his own hands but as a hero!
    Why is he a hero? A double lung transplant for a Male recipient, a liver transplant for a Male recipient, a kidney transplant for a woman and another too a young male (sadly this did not take) and heart tissue that would have been used to help many more from newborn babies to the elderly. His life, gave life and saved lives, there are families who have longer and better lives with their loved ones now because he chose to end his life, yes we miss him, cry for him (daily) and occasionally get angry he is not here, but he is a hero and he will always be my hero.
    (192 votes)
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    • duskpin sapling style avatar for user Caroline Ranquist
      this was so sad but it proves that even when someone is hurting there is always a part of the brain devoted to being a hero and helping others ( chose to donate organs which saved a lot of people) also im sorry for your loss and I hope your family ( your daughter included) are ok and healthy
      (31 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Kyla Makarowski
    I was a young girl. How young, I'm not entirely sure. I watched my family splash and play in the hotel pool while I slowly made my way down the slippery staircase, grasping the smooth wooden railing. I found myself at the edge of the deep-end of the pool slowly lowering my body down towards the water. My cousins helped me in the pool and I joined the fun. We splashed each other and dove underwater. At the deep-end of the pool, my cousins took hold of the edge of the pool and opened their legs like a "V". I closed my eyes and dove under swimming towards them. I used my hand to guide me by running it along the edge of the pool floor. I was starting to lose my breath so I let my body float up. However, I got caught. I screamed, sending my cousins into a blind panic. I tried to swim up to the surface to breathe but they were kicking their legs, pushing me to the bottom of the pool. It suddenly became almost impossible to try and find my way to the surface. My body stopped struggling, my eyes became soft, everything was turning black. Then, I felt what I believed to be an arm wrap around my waist and pull my body upwards. My cousin picked me up and placed me on the edge of the pool. Everything was blurry, I coughed up a small amount of water before letting out a fearful scream. I couldn't even hear myself. I was rushed over to my aunt before getting dried off and heading back up the stairs to leave.
    (75 votes)
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  • mr pants purple style avatar for user graci.schiller
    One of my biggest memory is when my grandpa passed. One of my favorite memories is when I watched TV with him. Well, I was supposed to be in bed but I sneaked out. My mom and grandma would always get mad at me. I always waited for my grandma and mom to be asleep so they couldn't hear me. Sometimes when we were there she never knew but, some days she did
    (62 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user mariajmperry
    Do we need to share our memories here?
    (28 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Emma111606
    I remember the phone call that my mom got when my grandpa died. I was only 7 but I remember it so vividly. My sister and I were sleeping in our room on our bunk bed and all I heard my mom's phone ringing in the next room (I'm a light sleeper and wake up to everything). My mom answered it with "Hey, Ma." My sister was still sleeping. I don't know what time it was, but I know it wasn't the usual time to get a phone call. Especially from my grandma, who goes to sleep at around . After a little while, my mom burst into my room. I pretended to be asleep. She shook us both awake. I hopped off of the stairs of the top bunk and sat on my sister's bed. My mom was pacing around the floor, her hand on her head. I tried to eavesdrop on the conversation, but I couldn't make out much. She told us to get dressed quickly. I rushed to the closet, still trying to listen in. All I heard was "Joel... hospital... hurry..." In case you were wondering, Joel is my grandpa. I was such a grandpa's girl, when I heard my grandpas name next to hospital, and my mom repeating "Oh my god," over and over again, I knew it was bad. My mom left the room and ran down the stairs to the kitchen to get on her coat and, probably, snow boots (mind you, its January in New England). My sister and I rushed downstairs, got everything we needed, and got into the car. My little sister, being a heavy sleeper, fell asleep in the car right away. I'm still not sure if she knew it was the middle of the night. I don't remember much after that, except for being at the hospital and the doctor coming to us. He asked for the adults and, when they were talking, all I heard was "Heart attack... cigarettes." Those words are all I know of the cause of death of my grandfather. No one ever told me how he died to my face, I guess they were too hurt, or they didn't think I was ready. Right after he had officially died after a couple of days of treatment was when my mom quit smoking. And because I didn't get a proper explanation, I blame cigarettes for my grandfathers death. Its why I hate cigarettes so much. I vow never to smoke, and, while I don't judge others for smoking, I feel a little bit of anger in my chest when I see lighters or cigarettes. I still miss my grandpa and wonder if he'd be proud of where I am today.
    (35 votes)
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  • hopper cool style avatar for user Joix
    I had just gotten home from the hospital.

    I was only five, yet there was so much happening. I was diagnosed with a hernia and had to get surgery. The surgery flew by fast, mostly because I had been asleep. I walked in the door, clutching my stuffed animal that I had brought for comfort. I flopped into my favorite recliner, dazed and hungry.

    15 minutes later, my brother came with a surprise. It was a pizza. It looked plain on the outside, but it meant so much to me. Our favorite thing to do together was to make homemade pizza, and he had made this one just for me. I almost cried.
    (21 votes)
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  • starky sapling style avatar for user Destiny  Grangello
    Dear Pixar in a box,

    This is a certainly awesome way to teach, but I want to ask, that maybe you could allow some sort of draw on the device thing, where we could, you know, draw on whatever device.
    I'm enjoying this very much and I wish to do more fun things with you.
    (21 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Yanjing Chen
    In the summer of 2019, I went on a road trip with my friends. At the time we were on highway driving at a speed of 80 m/h. I was sitting at the seat behind the wheel. The vibe in the car was very good. We listened to songs, sang, chatted, and laughed. All of a sudden I heard screams coming from the front. I tried to figure out what just happened but in the next second I was rotating in the car like a sock in a cylinder washing machine--I hadn’t put my seat belt on (I thought it was very short 10 minutes drive and it was ok to ......)
    The scream out of my friend sitting next to me almost pierced my eardrums. I believed that her legs fell on my face several times. Later I found out that at the moment I was brushing with death, the things in my mind, as I had used to think I would think of before dying, weren’t the flashing moments of my past, but more practical ones like when rolling the next circle I had to move my head a little bit away from my friend’s feet in case they running into my mouth, or I better hold my phone tighter because I couldn’t afford a new one.
    A thousand years later the car finally stopped moving and I thought we almost had rotated from the west coat to the east. I lied on the roof of a car with its wheels in the air. The space was silent and everything left me away from me. I didn’t notice when my friends were all gone but I felt so painful that I told myself I would not be willing to get up unless nurses or fire fighters pulled me out. I had been lying there chilling, until an eerie white fog hang over the car.
    Was I in the heaven already? Or this car was going to explode? My brain was still in the middle of nowhere but my body started to crawling towards the broken window. As I got out of the crashed car, my conscious came back along with the noises. Though couldn’t see but from the worries eyes of people around I knew I wasn’t look so good. Some kind people stopped at the side and took me medical kit. They said that if needed they could call ambulance for me. Thank god I got my conscious back. I appreciated their helps smiling and firmly refused the suggestion. Speaking of the result of the accident, out of concerns for my privacy, the story ends there.
    (23 votes)
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  • starky seedling style avatar for user 24josephm
    Well one time at my grandparents house we went to a waterfall/poolish area up in the mountian when we went hikeing and I was playing around the waterfall with my brother when he fell into the little river that went of the clif my mom saved him but it was scary
    (14 votes)
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