Farewell from the Director
I have spent more than 25 years of my career teaching at Kansas State University. I started my work life teaching art to elementary students and I can tell you this with all certainty—I love older students so much more!!! Some of you may be familiar with the term “flow state” also called “in the zone.” While it has been popularized around a feeling one gets when engaged with physical activity, I have felt it most frequently when I am in the classroom. I know that I have been blessed to teach only the brightest and the best but I am constantly amazed, surprised and gratified by my students’ interest in absorbing everything they can so that they can be better at everything they do, particularly when what they do involves working with older adults. The epitome of these teaching experiences is when we do intergenerational classrooms with the seminar class. When a student is paired with an older adult they are sometimes making friends with the first older person they’ve known outside of their grandparents. This opportunity allows students to see aging from a real-life perspective. Because of this, I’ve come to see myself as a facilitator rather than a teacher. I will miss all parts of my job but it is the teaching/facilitating that I will miss the most.
P.S. As one more act of teaching I want you all to know that I’m leaving academia to focus on my Third Act—another opportunity to re-examine and re-make Gayle Doll. It’s never too late to be new again!
Gayle Doll, Director