Thursday, March 24, 2011

Elder talk on one of the last snowy days of winter, I hope

I awoke to two inches of sticky new snow on the ground -- and car. It was pretty but -- jez-louise, last Saturday was the first day of spring! It disappeared by late afternoon and maybe we won't see any more.

I was out bright and early, brushing the snow off the car and on my way to take part, at the invitation of the teacher, in a sociology class at the community college. Three other senior women are also participating in two classes this week and two next week. We are vocal and thoughtful bunch with more to say, I think, than the teacher was prepared for as she went through her power point presentation about myths about aging. We all have actively thought about the aging process and are eager to dispel the myths with anecdotes and personal learnings. I watch the students who seem like pebbles in a stream of words, I have a feeling very little is penetrating, I doubt they're being enlightened. The teacher's specialty is gerontology so I don't think she had much to learn either. In short I think it's a futile exercise but perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps a few of the students will retain something if only a picture of four women over 60 who have thought about the subject.

Later in the day, in a short story class with all seniors, the subject of obituaries came up as one story was called "Obit". A very spirited exchange included some people wishing obits would show reasonably current photos of the deceased instead of ones that were obviously taken 30 or so years earlier; others felt they would prefer their own obits to have younger photos. I think I'm in the latter category. The photo on this blog, I admit, is about 15 years old and I haven't had a photo taken in most of that time that I would choose to use in its place. My favorite photo is from 1996 and I'd definitely prefer it in an obit. If I manage to live another 20 or so years, no doubt I'll look back at later photos [maybe something that will be taken in the next year or two] that will look very acceptable to me from that perspective.


A Creative Dream... said...

I just wanted to let you know that I found your blog through a comment you left on "So Many Years". I think both of you ladies are just fabulous! What inspirations! I'll be visiting often!

June Calender said...

Thanks, Creative Dream, I've been finding blogs I like very much on other people's blogs -- it's a great "web" isn't it?


June -- of course one should have the photo of their choice on their obit or even on their blog. Some blog photos are their pets, have bags over their heads, from their childhood etc. Why not have the same choices for your obit. I think it would be downright cool to have a photo of me when I was about three on my tricycle as an obit photo. There are no rules to dying -- yet! Your post gave me food for thought -- barbara

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the photos for the obit. I have made it clear they should show me at my prime or I will return and haunt them all (whoever is left)

Regarding your classes. They both sound interesting. No doubt you get at least one thing from each class. At least that is how I look at it. Dianne

June Calender said...

Thanks for your comments, Barbara and Dianne -- I love the idea of an obit photo with a 3 year old on a trike. Maybe people will start to think to tell their probably survivors just what photo to use.

I also like the memorial services I've been to where photos are displayed of the deceased a various times in his/her life. That makes a lot of sense to me.