Nobody lives a life without incident

This past summer, a group of colleagues and I were invited to join The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Initiative through Penn State University. The professional development and opportunities provided through this initiative have been life changing and eye opening to say the least.

Once a month we gather with other educators from across the state. This past Wednesday, Initiative Lead Team member Russel Frank joined us to share his expertise in a session titled, “Collecting Stories: The Personal Experience Narrative as Data.”

He wove so many stories into his short time with us, while at the same time teaching us how to conduct interviews and then how to take those personal accounts and turn them into secondary sources.

One line really stuck with me and I even took the time to jot it down.

“Nobody lives a life without incident.” –Russell Frank

There is so much truth in that one line. It made me think of my own life and my students’ lives and the parts of their lives that maybe we don’t even really know about.

It also made me think about how often we say nothing interesting ever happens.

Why is it that we spend time waiting for these big momentous events to happen? We should instead be paying closer attention to those small everyday moments.

Things are happening to us and around us all the time. Sometimes we just need to slow down and pay better attention.

“Nobody lives a life without incident.”

This line makes me think about my own experiences growing up and how many small moment stories I could share that would definitely be considered “incidents.” And how those said incidents have shaped and molded and changed and challenged me. I wouldn’t be the me I am today without them.

There is so much beauty to be found in a person’s story and the incidents they encounter over their lifetime.

“Nobody lives a life without incident.”

I’m participating in the daily March Slice of Life Challenge #SOL22 by Two Writing Teachers! Today is day 25!

Categorized as Krista

By kristasjots

Reader. Writer. Teacher. Singer of Random Tunes. Lover of Jokes, Doodling, & Flair Pens.


  1. Thanks for sharing this slice! I love that you were able to connect to one of his sentences. It is a very powerful one! I think before I started participating in SOL, I was someone who would say “my day was fine. Nothing really happened.” But there is always something!


  2. What a powerful initiative, session, conversation, opportunity … And I love how it connects to slice of life. It makes me think about how writing can really help us notice the incidents and learn from them.


  3. This seems like the epitome of the slice of life challenge. –and it sounds like an amazing professional development experience! The line “Nobody lives a life without incident” is so rich–it carries so, so much to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally beautiful line and so thematic for the concept of “slicing”. In writer’s workshop kids often want to write about a big event, or something exciting/dramatic for personal narrative, but the unit really is better suited for the day-to-day incidents and small moments. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for dedicating your time to this group of learners. You inspire me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I agree about the personal narrative connection–I actually love the little everyday incidents better for small moment stories. It’s amazing to see students grow and stretch and add so much craft into a small moment of time. 🙂


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