Inter-generational Living and Music and Beyond

Collington is launching a wonderful Musician in Residence Program.  As announced:

The University of Maryland School of Music (SOM) and Collington, a Kendal-affiliated Life Plan retirement community, have partnered to create a student artist residency program that brings together two different generations through music. Beginning this August, SOM graduate students Samantha Flores and Matthew Rynes will receive free room and board at Collington in exchange for performing regularly and organizing additional concerts and educational programs for residents.

“The artist residency at Collington affords students the chance to connect in meaningful ways with a distinct segment of our community and compels them to think about how we use music to engage with specific audiences,” says SOM Director Jason Geary. “It’s important that students understand fully the role that music can play in enriching the lives of those around them.”

And, here are Cellist Samantha Flores and Clarinetist Matthew Rynes:

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If we do this right, there are just so many possibilities.  One idea I heard at a recent Hopkins Oncology Patient Council presentation by their Peabody Institute, for example, was having musicians work with end of life patients to help them compose musical pieces to leave for their families and friends to express their lives and their connection.  This is all part of a much broader movement in music to get it beyond static performance and back into connection and community.

This is not only great for music and community, but also suggests all kinds of broader possibilities.  As an article in  Statnews, describing  how two students from USC’s gerontology school live at Kingsley Manor Retirement Community in Los Angeles, explains, having students join communities can have very broad impacts:

The students, Tina Guan and Sai Raj Kappari, are part of a unique collaboration between the retirement home and the University of Southern California’s gerontology school. The program, which has been around for more than 30 years, allows select students to live and eat for free in the retirement home. In exchange, they spend time with the residents — they teach fitness and art classes, swap stories over dinner, and answer a constant flurry of computer-related questions.

“Having young people? That is the best idea. We can see their energy,” said Gabrielle Boisson, 97, a resident who lights up when Kappari stops by her room to say hello.

And:

The goal is to spark the next generation of health care providers to take interest in gerontology — and better equip them to take care of the elderly by immersing them in the world of retirees, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“They share things with you that you wouldn’t necessarily get as a doctor at a 20-minute appointment. It’s kind of like being an undercover police officer,” said Ben Howie, a former participant in the program who is now in medical school.

So, at Collington this feeds perfectly into the creative thinking in our strategic planning process, for what some of us call “asset-driven proactive gerontology’ and beyond.

Our residents have so much knowledge and expertise that we could be life and career changing to almost any receptive live-in student.  Just think of the mentoring we could provide.

 

Women’s History Videos

We can now post two videos of presentations given here during Women’s History month this year, arranged by Tucker Farley.

First, Clare Coss, discussing Political Theater, Women, Race, Class and Power.

Second, Eleanor Roosvelt Comes to Collington, with Blanche Cook, distinguished biographer.

Marian’s Photo Essay on “Inanimate Animals of Collington: Summer 2017”

Last year we published pictures of some of the inanimate creatures with whom we share our campus. There was an occasional complaint that a given animal had been overlooked, and others seem to have come wandering in, to nestle quietly under some available shade…

The inanimate creatures are as varied as their animate cousins. They have all kinds of different shapes and temperaments. This summer it seems we’ve had quite an influx of calm and slow-moving turtles and dragonflies…

Some creatures are are far more in-your-face assertive…

Some are pale, sleepy, shy or just quiet…

While others are more colorful, but nestled in vegetation…

And some are just happy to be together.

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After the publication of the recent batch of photos, we were surprised and delighted to be sent additions — the first three pictures below are by Shirley Denman. We were directed to additional locations by several other residents, and following their guidance, discovered many more. So here are pictures of yet more sweet, serene or slightly sinister creatures, now living silently in the shadows of our cottages.

Nestled among foliage, it was hard to spot these happy cats and this solemn dog. And we might never have known about the magnificent driftwood lion below, if Alice Nicolson hadn’t clued us to its location in the Arbor garden.

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The first batch of pictures has inspired another photographer, who is out and about with his camera these days, adding to the collection. Both of us will continue publishing our discoveries as they are uncovered.   Meantime, enjoy a few more…

The owner of the cute critter on the far right (who also owns the watchful heron) says it’s an otter, and no doubt she is right; but to us it looks quite like a meerkat too…

This set ends with (left) something special that its owner calls a ‘prairie Buddha’. The owner of the bird on the right tells us it’s a quail. It’s certainly handsome.

Remember, along with any other outdoor friends we find, images of the inanimate animals living in the corridors of the apartments will be coming later this summer!

 

Strategic Planning Status Report

On Friday at our Community Meeting, Marvell Adams reported on the moving forward of our strategic planning process.  The slides appear below.

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As you cab see, we are making significant progress.  As you can also see, we continue to be ambitious, in the best sense of the word, in wanting to embrace the future, to be of service in the world, and indeed to change it.

 

Ainslie Embree, An Ultimate Collingtonian – Memorial Events Now Scheduled

ATE Portrait May 2009

On July 29 (Saturday) at 2 PM, there will be a traditional Episcopal Book of Common Prayer service in the chapel here at Collington to mark the death of Ainslie Embree.  At 3 PM there will be a reception in the Auditorium.  It is understood that some may wish to attend one of these events, and others both.

There seems indeed for me a special need to mark the death, after an astonishingly full life, of Ainslie Embree, perhaps the ultimate Collingtonian.

Ainslie brought a combination of dignity, warmth, intelligence and humility to Collington.  He and his wife Sue quickly became some of our earliest and closest friends.  As one of the internationalist generation, it turned out that we knew surprisingly many in common. His wide knowledge of the world, and of people in it, and his humane wisdom about everything, made every conversation an adventure, which also provided deep reassurance about humanity.

I can not resist sharing two stories.  Outside the dining room, there is a wall festooned with photographs of Collingtonians with heads of state.  (As our son remarked, if you are a head of state, and want to get on that wall, you have to get to know someone at Collington.)  One is of Ainslie talking to Indira Gandhi.  Ainslie pointed out the strange look that the person standing next to him is giving him, and told us that he had asked the man, a missionary, why he was looking at him that way.  According to Ainslie, the man replied, “Because you were being such a suck-up.”  (I wonder how many of that set of photos have similarly ambiguous and fascinating back-stories.)

On another occasion, we were having dinner with Sue and Ainslie and overheard someone at the next table ask, “Are you in Who’s Who?”  After appropriate quiet snickers, we all tried to come up with the perfect come-back.  Ainslie won, hands down with, “Isn’t everybody?” and an immediate return to the topic at hand.

When resident Doris Ball died, I asked Ainslie to use the occasion to draft an appreciation of Dorothy and her husband Robert.  His contribution, which because a much broader appreciation of several of other residents (including, with particular relevance to today, Elliot Richardson), appeared under the heading, Thoughts on Robert Ball, Social Security and Collington’s Unsung Heroes of American Governance.

Collington  has had the good fortune to be the home of many outstanding citizens, with many  of them entitled to belong to the category of what has been called  by  Professor Mashaw  of Yale Law School, “unsung  heroes of American governance.”  Four who come immediately to mind, without selective judgment, are Admiral Bill Crowe, Elliot Richardson, Senator Chuck Percy and Robert Ball.  Each of them, as Kipling put it, walked with kings, but did not lose the common touch, exemplified in their fondness for small parties with fellow residents in their own homes or in those of other residents.

As so often, the appreciation he wrote could have been a mirror held to Sue (a giant in her own right) and himself, although they would be the last to have realized it.  Ainslie’s Wikipedia entry, with all the details, is here. Please read it.  Here, also, is a Unniverity of California TV interview of Ainslie.