Today I met my PAL for the very first time. After speaking with her I learned that she has a daughter in Australia that she visits once a year and that she has traveled a lot her whole life. What surprised me is that I found out she is a nurse. Because she is older than me, I didn’t actually think she would still be able to be employed. I learned that even I have stereotypes ingrained in my brain that need to be changed. Just because people are older, it doesn’t mean they sit at home all day.
I really enjoyed this intergenerational program because it has already taught me so much in one day. It was a bit of a challenge at first because I don’t have grandparents and it was nice to be able to sit down with someone older than me, full of wisdom and stories. She has hearing aids but laughed about it and it didn’t bother her if she didn’t hear something right away. She is funny and witty, I enjoyed myself with her and can’t wait to meet up with her again next week.
Suzy Tavakoli, graduate student in Pharmacy
As we wrap up our program, the remaining times we spend with one another become more and more precious. Today, we painted our vases, which are to be fired once again. It was very exciting to see how our creativity rooted from our different backgrounds. Not only was our uniqueness reflected in the structure of our bases, but also in the choice of colors. It’s incredible how close we have become with our PALs in the past few months. I have learned so much about Bertha as a person, and have also gained so much knowledge about intergenerational gaps as a whole. The biggest thing that this program has offered me was a chance to embrace aging, and to not fear what is to come. I have come to see how aging is a beautiful process and how wonderful our life experiences can be. I will take these values with me as I continue on my path to becoming a healthcare professional.
Gina Pak, graduate student in Pharmacy
In today’s activity, everyone glazed the totem vases that they made a couple of weeks earlier. Creating our totem vases were really fun because we got to use our own hands to work and mold the clay into a vase that symbolized important events or parts of our lives. My vase was simple but it had flowers on it to symbolize this beautiful tree by my house that would bloom big pink flowers every spring. Sadly, that tree has died but it was a big part of my childhood because when the wind blew and the petals would fall from the tree, they would cover the grass in a pink blanket. So, I used the glaze to paint my flowers pink and I colored the rest of the vase a mint green. Lucia’s vase had a lot of texture and I liked how she colored the top of the vase a yellow because she was very excited to put daffodils in the vase because those flowers and her vase would look great together. She also colored the rest of her vase mint green and the fact that we both chose this color was by pure chance. When we realized we both used the same colors, we talked about why we both liked mint green so much since it is a very tranquil and calming color. Lucia talked about how when she was younger she loved bright oranges but now she likes paler colors because they are more soothing. I personally never liked bright colors but Lucia and I are similar because I like pale colors. It was great doing this activity and getting to know more about Lucia and how she and I are actually more alike than we would think.
Sana Zahid, graduate student in Pharmacy.
Today’s PALETTE class was very different than any we have experienced so far. Today we expanded our perspective in art by molding clay totem poles. The designs we created on them signified the feelings and memories that define us. Since this was a harder project, we had many opportunities to work closely with our PAL and help each other. From this project, we were able to bond in so many ways. Since I always had a love for interior design, I decided to express my interest by making a totem pole decorated with a floral pattern and a border framing my vase. This design represented my hobby in interior design and my love of decorating my room with lots of floral colors, picture frames, and symmetrical designs. My PAL, Martha loved the idea of a floral engraving that she too decided to use another floral pattern that was available. When talking more about our art, I learned that she picked this pattern because she has a passion for gardening, and has her own garden in her yard. This sparked a conversation about hobbies, and interestingly, I learned that my PAL and I both share a hobby for dancing! This was such a refreshing experience, because in our busy day we never have time to just relax, take out a moment for ourselves, and talk to another person about our own interests and experiences. It was incredible to see how a project like this leads us to help each other and learn so many new things about ourselves. We may be of different ages, generations, and backgrounds, but its great to see how alike we really are when it comes to experiences and hobbies.
Shabnam Dakwala, graduate student in Pharmacy.