Today was the last day of the PALETTE program. Bob and I actually had more conversation than we’ve had since day one. This is probably because we realized that we hadn’t gotten to know each other as well as we would have liked to. We started the day with print making, and in the middle of that we got to do the mirror painting! Printmaking was nice, but I absolutely loved the miror painting. I used a small brush and Bob used a large one, so on my side of the board it looked really cool because my lines had a back drop pretty much. He and I both laughed a lot at this because the board was filled with paint already so we were trying to fill in the blank areas as well as keep track of where we were! He told me I was good at keeping up with him! I appreciated that he said that because a lot of people would assume an older adult would need to keep up with the younger adult, but he did not cut himself short and I was proud of that.
I had a wonderful experience making art with my PAL Bob, he was definitely an interesting person and he and I both share some of the same qaulities so I am glad we got matched up. He has a young attitude and I feel like he had the exact same personality when he was in high school or college. I will miss sharing moments like this with him because I do not get to spend time with my grandparents so he was sort of filling that void in my life.
We all have objects that evoke particular memories from past experiences in our lives. Today, we each brought an object that held a memory and we exchanged them with our PALs. Without looking at the other person’s object, we were instructed to paint a memory or a feeling that we thought of, based on our PALs object. This activity opened a lot of opportunies for conversation and bonding with our PALs. My PAL, Edith, brought a necklace that she got at her retirement party. When I felt the necklace, my first thought was of my friends and family. Whenever I’ve gotten necklaces, they have been as gifts from loved ones. I painted a picture of a summer sunset at Stinson Beach, where I spent one of my last days in California before leaving for Virginia. The object I brought for Edith was a toy horse. The memory that it evoked for her was a time where she use to walk her dog and drive in the 2nd car she had ever owned. Overall, we had a great time sharing and bonding over our memories with the rest of the class. Our background experiences are what shaped the person we are today and oftentimes we get so caught up with our day to day lives that we forget about the little memories in our past that brought us joy. Today’s event allowed us to take some time to reminisce about the small moments in our past and share it with our new friends.
Janice Chan, first year Dentistry student
Sometimes the most random objects can bring back the most special memories. I brought in a toy car that my grandparents had given me as a symbolic gift one year. Feeling this car without seeing it, reminded Edith of the second car that she owned: a pink Plymouth. Telling the story of her car put such a light in Edith’s eyes. She gushed about how special the car was to her and how much she loved it. We recognized our age specific cultural differences by describing our favorite cars. I told Edith how pink cars are a very rare sight now and how most people my age buy black and white cars. Edith shared that hot pink and light blue cars were very popular when she got her car.
Edith brought a Faberge egg necklace that was given to her at her retirement party. She said that she had retired two times prior, but kept returning to work. The necklace was dainty and simple. It reminded me of the future that lies ahead of me in the workforce. Although I did not view the necklace until after our paintings were complete, I used the chain and raised details of the necklace to inspire my artwork.
Grace Prestiy, graduate student in Social Work