ACH & MUC Tell "Life Stories"
Alliance, OH - It was the story of a lifetime â€“ actually, several lifetimes.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
A special reception was recently held in the Community Care Center of Alliance Community Hospital at which first-year writing students of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />MountUnionCollege's College Writing class presented residents of the center with their final class projects.
The senior citizens may have had little interest in the freshmen research papers, if not for the fact that each one was a biographical account of the life of one of the seniors.
The presentations were the culmination of a three month long collaboration between ACH and MUC, through which each of the writing students was paired with a senior living at the CCC. The students were challenged by their instructor, MUC Assistant English Professor Nancy Pine, Ph.D., to interview the seniors --during the course of a semester-- about their past experiences and write their â€œLife Stories.â€
The â€œLife Storiesâ€ co-venture between ACH and MUC started in theory last fall, after ACH Volunteer Services Coordinator Marcia Todd asked Dr. Pine if she'd be interested in a project that would pair the students with the residents. In February, the students and seniors met for the first time.
The end result was more than just a stack of term papers; it was a true, special bond between both groups.
â€œMany wonderful, long-lasting relationships were formed between the students and the residents as the seniors opened up and shared their most precious memories,â€ said Todd.
She explained that the students met with their given residents many times over the course of the semester, with the seniors discussing their experiences and offering advice, as well as giving insight to the students about how life was when they were college aged.
At the reception, students read portions of their papers aloud, each with their project's inspiration standing or seated nearby.
â€œIt was a wonderful exercise in writing, but more importantly, it was a tremendous lesson in humanity,â€ said Todd.