Everybody’s Got A Story was born out of pandemic teaching. In the fall of 2020, while teaching first-year students virtually, I wondered how we would connect, find one another, get to know each other. Thinking more broadly, Sheridan College has three campuses in different locations—Oakville, Brampton, and Mississauga, Ontario—and it can feel like a big place no matter who you are. In seeking connection, I thought how storytelling can help us feel more understood or understand others, and how important it is for people to feel seen. We asked for volunteer participants to share their stories—anything they wanted—via conversation with us, in an effort to show how there is unity even through diversity.
I sought out colleagues Glenn Clifton, who works with me in the Creative Writing & Publishing program, and Patrice Esson, a former Psychology professor who was serving as the Associate Director, International Services to join me. Together, we hired three Interviewer/Writer student Research Assistants, Hazel Mekkattukulam, Alya Somar, and Eugenie Szwalek; a Digital Imagist, Jaime Velazquez Loza; and a Photographer, Nolan Brinson. We put out the call far and wide at Sheridan College, seeking people who wanted to share their stories. That’s what you’ll find in these pages: stories of professional success and personal struggle, about things that make us happy, people who influenced us, places that inspire us, and things that make us nostalgic. In all the ways we are human, we have stories to show for it.