This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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At the time of this interview, Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl is the director and founder of the Liberi School, previously located in Hudson, NY and now run entirely online. She describes the two iterations of Liberi as being distinct from one another other. The new school is not just an online hold-over until the school can reopen in-person. As she describes it, the school closed and then reopened as a new school, though guided by the same philosophy, online. The online school opened mid-September. This interview took place on December 3, 2020 and was conducted remotely via Zoom while the interviewer was in Oakland, CA and Jennifer was in her home in Hudson, NY. In the interview, Jennifer describes her daily routine with her family and talks about how the last months of quarantine have created a time of reflection and familial closeness. She talks about her decision to re-open Liberi as online school and how that new format offers both safety from Coronavirus, consistency for students in this chaotic moment and an opportunity to connect learners and educators in disparate locations. She speaks proudly about her teachers and the ways in which they are using the virtual format to engage their students. She notes that figuring out how to market the school to new students remains a challenge because she can no longer rely on word of mouth within her small community. She describes the solace and support she is finding in reconnecting with old friends and her family of birth.
Annelise Finney is a European American cis-woman, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works as a radio journalist covering reparations in California and breaking news in the Bay Area. Previously she worked as defense investigator for public defenders offices in New York City and San Francisco. She is an alum of the 2016 Oral History Summer School. She is also an avid sewist, hiker and cook.
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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.