Age is Only a Number

Age is Only a NumberToday was the last day of the PALETTE in Motion program. We had our showcase event where we choreographed a dance incorporating the difference dance elements that we have learned together throughout the movement art classes. It was amazing to see how much my group has learned together through these dance sessions. I remembered in the first movement art class, we were unfamiliar with how our bodies moved. Each movement required thought and the motions were uncertain and less defined. Today, however, as we slowly pieced together our dance, I can see that our movements were more spontaneous but yet more certain and confident. Not only were we more familiar with our own body movements, but we were also more familiar with each other and how our bodies moved together. Because of this understanding and comfort with each other, we were able to communicate with each other using nonverbal cues throughout the dance as we transitioned almost seamlessly from one dance segment to the next. In the end, when we showcased our dance to everyone, I felt like we were not only performing our dance to everyone but we were also showcasing our relationship with each other through these different dance movements.

It has been such an incredible journey this semester getting to know the PALs, especially my PAL Beverly. Beverly told me today that she retired a few years ago, but she is still so actively involved in our community that her grandson jokes that she has not retired yet. Beverly taught me that aging is not something to be feared but something to embrace in the future. Age is only a number; it does not confine us nor does it define who we are as a person. Instead, it’s our actions and attitudes that determine who we are and who want to be in the future as we age. I will take my newfound understanding of ageism with me and apply it to myself as well as my professional practice.

Yvonne Zhang, graduate student in Pharmacy

Clear Communication, Common Goals

Clear Communication, Common GoalsAfter today’s movement art class (as well as previous classes) I have gained a better understanding of intergenerational programming. It is a coming together, both those of younger and older ages, in order to move towards a common goal as a team. In this case, it is practicing and having a better understanding of the day’s dance concepts. It is not as difficult as it sounds. Working as part of a team, we have learned to communicate our opinions on picking the next choreographed move as well as taking into account each other’s limitations. This is one of the most important things I have learned as being part of this program – communication.

We, as individuals, must learn to communicate clearly, reflect back to show an understanding, and practice other forms of communication – those that only come with experience, in order to not just communicate with older adults, but others as well. Clear communication allows a better understanding of each other. For example, giving an opportunity for our PAL to pick the next dance move has shown me that I was wrong in my thinking – older adults are “not with the times”. This is a stereotype that I no longer hold and one that others should not. An older adult may just not have been given the opportunity to show what they know. Overall, I have taken away from PALETTE in Motion,  that we must all work on being patient in communicating with others.

Waimin Khuu, graduate student in Pharmacy