Introduction to Meema Stories: A Tutorial

This is a step-by-step tutorial introducing Meema Stories.  It contains a list of stories below. 

Read the introduction to each story following the suggestions.  Then click on the play button to play the story.

Prerequisites:  None

Objectives:  Learn how to play, pause and resume a story in the Meema Story player.  You will also learn a simple three-step process to sharpen your ability to find things to talk about from the story.  And finally, you'll start to experience three categories of Meema Stories:  film, sports and animals from the past and present.

1) Begin with "No Place Like Home" from the Wizard of Oz

The last scene from the Wizard of Oz is a beautiful story to start with because there are so many different ways to introduce the story and so many different ways you can use it to initiate conversation.

As you watch this story, think about yourself first and how you can share your own thoughts and experiences with your companion.

What do you notice?  Do the adults in Dorothy's life understand her?
How do you feel?  Are you as relieved as Dorothy is?
What thoughts or memories do you associate with the story?  Think of a time you returned from a challenging experience.

Play the story all the way through, experimenting with pause, resume and page controls.  Try switching between full screen and the smaller player window.

Once you have played it a few times, you'll become familiar with the elements of the story and you can share it with a friend or your care companion.  Try it and come back to this tutorial or complete the tutorial and then try sharing the stories.  Either way works.

2) Next try 'The Beginning of the Wizard of Oz'

Once you have experimented with the last scene of the Wizard of Oz, try the beginning of the epic journey.  It's a more linear, narrative sequence, a little longer too.  This story helps bring back the entire premise and plot of the picture, including Dorothy’s recruitment of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion.

As you did above, think about what you notice in the story, how it makes you feel, and any thoughts or memories you might have.

Notice and take advantage of the interaction 'prompt' screens in the story.  They are used to remind you to pace yourself.   Give your partner time to process each step of the way.  You can even exchange observations, feelings or associations after each break while it's still fresh.  Pay attention to your partner.

You can practice by yourself.  You’ll enjoy reminiscing.  But sharing your experience with someone you care for is even more rewarding.  I can help you connect or reconnect with them.

3) A Meema Story about Sports: Yogi Berra

Not all Meema Stories are about old movies from the 40's and 50's.  Here is an example of a story about sports.

In addition to a change in topic, in this exercise, we'll consider how you can reframe the story and initiate conversation afterwards to suit your own interests as a caregiver and also those of your companion.  For example, if both of you are big fans of baseball and know the stories of this legendary team, there are many things to talk about.  But what if you're not?  What if you just don't have at your disposal the details of that team or even that sport?  In that case it might be hard to make an authentic conversation.

So one possibility is you can look for another story, perhaps one about fashion would be more interesting?  

But you can also reframe this story to look at different dimensions of the same iconic images.  For example, perhaps there's another professional sport you DO care more about?  What about an experience with sport growing up?  Does this remind you of little league or sandlot baseball?  Perhaps it reminds you of summer?

Look carefully and spend some time with the last photograph in the story, where Jackie Robinson is stealing home on Yogi Berra.  What can do you see in the picture?  You can literally talk about what's in front of you.  Do you notice the light?  The runner?  The ball?  The catcher?  The umpire?  What's happening?  Can you feel the drama of the moment?  What will happen in the future?

Click on the story link and imagine all the different ways you might frame this story and initiate conversation.  Then try sharing the story with a friend or your care companion.

4) A topical, contemporary Meema Story about "Petting Chickens"

So by now you can see that there are Meema Stories about film and sports history.  There are other categories too.  This is a story about animals.

Many of our stories are about the past.  But we also have movies about timeless and contemporary topics, including aging itself.

This story begins with the humble chicken.  That's right, a chicken.  It turns out that, although most of us think of chicken as meat we buy in the grocery store and as the source of eggs, some people have found chickens to be good pets.  Can you imagine talking about that?   What experiences have you had with common pets?  What about other animals?

And the story ends with an account of live animals visiting seniors in independent living and assisted living programs.  Maybe you've experienced live animal visits in senior housing?  If not, does it seem like a good idea?  And dogs are one thing... but can you imagine a visit with a live bird?

Sharing this story with someone else might surprise you.  Some people don't find the idea of a pet bird very appealing.  Lots of people find it pretty amusing.  And there are a few people who don't like pets at all.  But almost everyone will find something to talk about here!