The following is a post from Natasha, a student in our Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts class. Natasha has been exploring photography with her Coffeehouse Club member and reflects on what she has learned. ~ Anne Mondro, Professor of Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts
Hello, I am studying art and design at the University of Michigan. I chose to take this class after hearing wonderful things about it from my friends that had taken it. I did not expect it to change the way I think about things. Learning about memory loss has changed my perspective on so much. The speakers that have come in to talk to us have explained how finding solutions to things like funding and research for memory loss can be very difficult. It is a lot more complex than I had ever imagined. I have learned things ranging from the experiences of caregivers to the scientific details about memory loss. There is so much more to be done in helping deal with memory loss and educating people about it.
Collaborating with the Coffee House members is a perfect example of how effective being actively involved can improve the journey of those with memory loss. It is also a two way learning street. The way my partner approached our project has taught me how to utilize photography in a way that I never thought to. He taught me that it is good to take breaks from photos. This seems simple, but I had never done this and it has really helped me! Then being able to just sit and talk with Coffee House members makes me realize how at times we have so much in common, whether it be favorite places to visit or interests in art. One of my favorite things about working with my partner is learning that we are very similar in the way that we approach things with a frank mindset. We both like to have things straightforward and simple. This experience helps to close this gap between generations and changes my perspective on how I should handle future/current relationships. I can’t wait to continue working with my partner and seeing how our project turns out!