When I was a senior in college, I began working on my capstone thesis project in history. Unsure of what I should focus on, I asked my dad for advice on topics he thought might be interesting and hadn't been over-studied. For some reason, we started talking about my dad's experiences growing up in L.A. during the '80s rock scene. From the age of 15 on, my dad played in various bands that rubbed shoulders with groups like Los Lobos and Kansas. I decided that this subject was exactly what I was looking for in my research. Throughout the course of the year, I grilled my dad about his adolescent life, asking him about the club subculture of Orange County and commutes between the Sunset Strip and his house in Bellflower, CA. By the end of the semester, I finished my research and ended up winning a Best Paper Award for it at a state history conference. My dad sat in the audience during the award ceremony. Two years later, my dad passed away. After this happened, my interviews with him took on a whole new meaning. If I hadn’t bothered to listen to his stories about growing up in Southern California, I wouldn’t have a written record of his experiences. I wouldn’t have his voice - his spoken inflections, his personality, his humor - jumping off the page at me every time I read it. Although I am now working on a doctorate in history, that original research has guided my entire path of study. I still study youth in Southern California during the 1970s and 1980s, the era my dad loved and told me in such detail about. Listening allowed me to capture a little of my dad’s essence, forever changing the way I recall those conversations with him. Ultimately, listening allowed me to freeze-frame my dad in time, keeping him with me just a little bit longer. That is what listening means to me.