Memory, Aging & Expressive Arts 2017

The following post is written by Shelby, a current student in MAEA:

To be honest, I didn’t really expect MAEA to lead to a philosophical analysis of my own thinking. I’m learning so much about my creative process and why I form attachments to the things I do.

My MAEA community partner and I hit it off very quickly; despite our 60 year age difference we had a lot of things in common and talked very easily. We’re both only children, had multiple golden retrievers, and hailed from middle America. She was involved in the feminist movement, and I was reading about the feminist movement. My dad works as a carpenter, and her son works as a carpenter. We both liked to bend the rules, discussing controversial topics and going for walks instead of exclusively working on the project. But above all, we discovered a mutual enjoyment of analyzing root causes and understanding why people act the way they do.

When it came time to come up with a project, we weren’t really interested in producing anything; we just wanted to keep talking. We agreed that the days where we weren’t forced to complete something were the best days. So we started to look introspectively.

Why do we get along so well?

 It seemed easy, we have a lot in common, but that led to a second question: What about those commonalities did we attach to? What do these outside influences do to shape us as a person?

We began delving into deep philosophical discussion, and decided that our project would be proctoring a discussion on attachments with the other members of this program. Keeping a casual, and not-forced tone of course.

We’re still in the planning project, but I feel like I’m learning so much from her along the way. It’s like she’s giving me the tools to think about how I behave, and what influences me to do the things I do. Our conversations are applicable to my intellectual history class, and I’m excited to tell her about the new things I read.

I’m glad our project is fostering similar introspection with the rest of the participants. Although we are still in the planning process, I’ve gained a better understanding of myself in this short time- I can only hope we do the same for the group.

Unexpected Intellectualism

Shelby Meyer

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