The Crusader Online

November 08, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 9

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Student inspired by seniors

During fall open house, I talked to the prospective students who were interested in the Writers Institute. However, once the conversation in our circle got around to clubs, I decided to make a plug for one of my favorites, which has little to do with writing -- Senior Friends. I caught myself rambling about how much I enjoy my weekly visit to the Selinsgrove Center.
When I met up with the group for our first visit, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. There are two nursing home visits to pick from, and I had chosen the one that fit best with my schedule. I didn't realize until we were getting into the cars that the women we were making crafts with had mental disabilities, and I didn't know what to expect.
The first few visits were rewarding but difficult. I understood very little about the women and their capabilities, both as a group and individually. I embarrassed myself by forgetting which ones couldn't walk on their own. However, Senior Friends quickly became one of the clubs that I wouldn't miss for anything. Now, I know all of the women's personalities and the crafts go more smoothly. They love whatever project the officers put together. Every week is different, so we always get to see a new side of them.
The idea of volunteering to make crafts with seniors doesn't sound relevant to writing, but it has been a brand new experience, which is always worth something to a writer. When I told some of my favorite stories to the group at the open house, I was told, not for the first time, that I should write something using my experiences at the Selinsgrove Center. Eventually, I'm sure I will. Spending time there has opened my mind to a lot of new ideas.
Getting off topic at the open house reminded me that freshmen year is about trying new things and getting out of your box. I expected to become involved mostly in the writing clubs here, and though those are great opportunities for me, I've discovered that the service clubs are fulfilling for me in a different way. Next year, I know I'll have to cut down on my activities, but I'm glad I took this year to experience everything I could.

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