Friday, March 13, 2009

Ageing and Society HDCO501-09A(HAM)

This is the masters paper that I am now enrolled in, with four other classmates. We have had two 3-hr classes so far and handed in one assignment. I don't think my mark will be very good, as I was completely partisan about singing, but I will be very interested in the feedback that I get from the lecturer; Professor Bevan Grant who has been working in the area of Gerontology and physical activity for many years, with much involvement in the masters games. My fellow students are delightfully contrasting, with 25-yr-old Steffi from Taiwan, Doreen who has a lot of knowledge about policy and is around my own age, and Leslie who is a little younger, and is doing a counselling degree. Having typed those ageist comments, I will have to add this post to my third assignment which is about 'Images of Ageing'. I know Steffi is 25 because she told us, I have guestimated the other two women's ages by their appearance. It is amazing how much our personal stories inform our classes, and I see that continuing in such a way that we will be very familiar with each other, and already the friendship between us is growing. We have since been joined by Gabby also around age 25, who works for Sport Waikato, and runs fitness, and wellness sessions for goups and inviduals who are aged. She made a delightfully ageist remark in our last class, when she noted that the Anlene milk advert on tv had used an old woman, which she justified because she had wrinkles. The woman in Question was Alison Roe, marathon runner who is 50 yrs of age, but looks a lot younger, as you may be able to see yourself at this link. Allison Roe

Retirement VIllages Association Waikato/Bay of Plenty Managers Forum

Harry, his wife Kerry and Elizabeth and I set out for Bayswater Metlifecare last Thursday morning leading to a most interesting and enjoyable day. Because I currently spend little social time with the Glee Club, I know "scraps" about them. This trip with around 1 1/2 hrs driving each way was so informative and so enjoyable. Hearing about Harry's driving escapades, and how he had to get in good with Kerry's Mum so they could get married, such that towards the end of her life, Harry was the one she always remembered, not her own children. Harry and Kerry have their 55th wedding anniversary this week.

There were approximately 30 managers at the meeting, and I presented my findings to them, including many quotes from participants. Technology difficulties meant that I could not play two interviews that I had videoed with two other participants, but the conversation with Harry, Kerry and Elizabeth more than made up for that. I was fascinated to hear their responses to questions. The depth of their enjoyment of the singing programme in some ways surprised me. These are busy people, with many activities in their days, Harry has recently self-published a book about his experiences as a child prisoner of war in Indonesia. Yet both of them and Kerry as a non-participant all said that they start looking forward to the next rehearsal as soon as it is finished. Harry said that if he has to miss rehearsal, something is missing from his week. I is time for me to put together a new survey for the Glee Club and ask some of these questions in a setting where I get full responses. This work gets more and more exciting from every event!