According to Hermione Lee's
, "Biography tells the story of a person, it requires, or assumes, a way of thinking about identity and selfhood…writers of, and about, biography discuss the best ways to represent a self: shall it be through anecdote, revelatory incidents, descriptions, conversation, or encounters with others…"
The first classroom activity will ask Omar to tell his classmates an anecdote that is funny about where he comes from and who he is without explicitly telling his classmates the exact details of his life. Omar will tell his classmates small details about his favorite hobbies, and provide an adjective that describes him. The other students can jot things down, or even ask questions about who he is. His story will be meant to be fun, or amusing, so hopefully Omar will tell it in an amusing way. An anecdote is one way that Omar will be able to provide insight about his life.
Omar walked into his writing class at Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School where they were writing about topics like favorite fourth grade moments, favorite subjects, or family life. He enters the classroom at a much later time than the other students, and notices that his classmates are seated in a circle in the middle of the classroom. Each student has already begun to write and share their personal story and is waiting patiently for Omar to tell a story about himself. Mrs. Sanchez told Omar to tell his story in an entertaining manner. Mrs. Sanchez continued initiating a conversation with Omar about his favorite subject and asked him to describe who he is using one single colorful adjective. Some of his classmates knew Omar from another school and knew he was quite the entertaining fellow, but the few students who did not know Omar previously noticed that the way he conveyed his story showed just how colorful he really was. He talked about a favorite moment in his life when he went on a trip to see his aunt and his uncle in Florida. Omar decides to tell about his trip, but he was very selective in what he chooses to tell the class about that experience, which leads us into the second principle, the principle of selectivity.