Preserving memories

Class focuses on telling the story of a life

Haley Gustafson | Daily Press 
At far right, Meaningful Memoirs Class member Donna Aird discusses a childhood memory while other members listen Tuesday at the Gladstone Senior Center. The classes, which consist of brainstorming sessions to get senior citizens and others to write about their memories, will take place every Tuesday at the center in Gladstone for the next eight weeks. Other members shown, from left, are Donna Marchak, instructor Lois Corcoran, and Naida Standing.

Haley Gustafson | Daily Press At far right, Meaningful Memoirs Class member Donna Aird discusses a childhood memory while other members listen Tuesday at the Gladstone Senior Center. The classes, which consist of brainstorming sessions to get senior citizens and others to write about their memories, will take place every Tuesday at the center in Gladstone for the next eight weeks. Other members shown, from left, are Donna Marchak, instructor Lois Corcoran, and Naida Standing.

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone Senior Center has introduced a new writing class, “Meaningful Memoirs,” in hopes of getting senior citizens and others to write down their memoable life experiences.

According to class instructor, Lois Corcoran, the sessions will take place every Tuesday over the next eight weeks at the center in Gladstone. Classes begin at 10 a.m.

During the classes, students will be prompted with questions that explore different areas of their lives including family/ childhood/ neighborhood, where they went to school, careers, relationships and more.

In Tuesday’s class, the students were asked about their families, childhoods, and neighborhoods. Members of the class then jotted down notes as they thought about different memories that were spurred from the prompt.

While some wrote, others told stories of their childhoods. This method of discussion is meant to jog the memories of the others in the session to hopefully prompt more memories.

“I really like hearing about other people’s lives,” said Corcorran, adding the end product of the classes will also make for great family memorabilia in the future.

One student, Chuck Dedic, said he liked hearing all of the different stories being told around the classroom table.

“For me, it’s entertaining to listen to what you (classmates) have to say,” said Dedic.

Following the Tuesday brainstorming sessions, the writers are encouraged to go home and put more thoughts to paper, explained Corcoran, which can be brought in for the following class.

An online forum was also created by Corcoran to keep the conversations going. At the end of the eight-week class, students will have compiled a memoir in their own handwriting.

Topics of conversation Tuesday included stories of picking blueberries with aunts and uncles, helping grandparents with their flower gardens, trips to the grocery store and many others.

Donna Aird, a member of the class, told stories of working on her family farm in Big Bay in the Marquette area. Another member, Sara Miller, told the group about picking her grandfather’s prize winning gladiolas.

In all, eight people joined in on Tuesday’s session. Corcoran said if anyone else is interested in joining, they are more than welcome to sit in on any class over the next eight weeks, adding she enjoyed the first day of class.

“Overall, I think today’s session went great,” said Corcoran.

For more information about the Meaningful Memoirs Class, call 428-2843.

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