Public Service Announcement: Global Gero-Punking!

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I just realized. It’s that time again. Actually, it is well past that time again! But as I always like to sing: Better late than never; no time like the present; sooner rather than later; life is short, act now!

What time is it? It is time for a Gero-Punk public service announcement!

But first, let me say a few words to those of you residing both far away and close by who have recently come around to see what we are up to here at the Gero-Punk Project: Hey there, welcome, and thank you for your curiosity and interest!

In the past couple of weeks we’ve gathered new readers from the Dominican Republic, India, Belarus, Austria, Finland and China!  (As soon as I get my hands on new supply of gold stars, I’ll add you to my map of the world!) Also, a special hello to my one-and-only steadfast reader in France. (See you in a few weeks, Isobel!)


Perhaps you are feeling a bit confused about what this “gero-punk thing” is. Perhaps you need to know a bit more about what’s what before you’ll feel willing to venture further.

That’s understandable. How about I say more?

The Gero-Punk Project provides a venue for telling and sharing stories about our travels through the life-course. Together we create a space for trying out alternative ways of experiencing and writing about time/space/place, about age and aging, and about the complexities of being human beings, creatures who are aware of the passage of time and how life has its way with us.

We take seriously the idea that we are time-travelers: a particular age, all ages, and no age at all. We give voice to our flummoxing, fascinating, mundane and profound, odd and perhaps transgressive thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to this grand and strange adventure of being and becoming human in and through and outside of time.

We legitimize confusion, uncertainty, and vulnerability, states of no-sense. As well, we harness our inner authority, our sovereignty, our growing expertise about our own inside experiences and our curiosity about the inside experiences of others.

We ask questions such as:

Where does age reside?

What does it feel like to be the embodied creatures we are right now in this present moment? (And what might it feel like to be a differently embodied creature?)

What assumptions are we holding about what a particular age should be like, or look like, and where did these assumptions come from? (And are we served well by these assumptions or do we want to blow them up and create something new?)

How might our confusions, mishaps and missteps as we muddle through this life be sources of learning and wisdom, for ourselves and, by sharing them, for others?

(And for those of us who are formally engaged in the work of gerontology) We ask to what extent do we see our aging experiences reflected in the official Gerontological theory and research? And to what extent are our aging experiences and our capacities to support others with their aging experiences informed by Gerontological theory and research? What are the connections and disconnections? What is missing and what might we add? What new questions might we ask?

As well, we ask: What capacities for self-care and intentional aging do we want to develop so that we can live vibrant and purposeful lives, no matter what challenges we might face as we continue our travels through the life-course?

Also this: What are the ways in which we might be of service to others, to the larger community, and to the world that allow us to enact our deepest longings and commitments, help us grow in all directions as human beings as we continue to ripen?

And perhaps most important of all, we ask: If we had play-dates with our 8-year-old selves, what would we do? If we invited our future older selves over for a glass of wine or a cup of tea, what would we talk about?

Will you play with us?


Speaking of world-wide gero-punking:

Any of you planning to attend the Generations United Global Intergenerational Conference in Portland, Oregon, June 12-14 2019? I’ll be there presenting and networking.  I’d love to meet you! We can rabble-rouse together.

And a reminder to those of you residing in or around the Portland, Oregon metro area: we have a Gero-Punk Salon coming up soon, on Sunday, June 9th. Here’s more information.

Thanks again. Be well! Stay-tuned.


About Jenny Sasser, Ph.D.

I am a freelance educational gerontologist, writer, community activist and facilitator. I am former Chair of the Department of Human Sciences and Director of Gerontology at Marylhurst University. I joined the faculty as an adjunct member of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program in 1997 and since that time, I've been involved in designing many on-campus and web-based courses and programs for adult learners, including in Gerontology. As an undergraduate I attended Willamette University, graduating Cum Laude in Psychology and Music; my interdisciplinary graduate studies at University of Oregon and Oregon State University focused on the Human Sciences, with specialization areas in adult development and aging, women’s studies, and critical social theory and alternative research methodologies. My dissertation became part of a book published in 1996 and co-authored with Dr. Janet Lee--Blood Stories: Menarche and the Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary US Society. Over the past twenty (or more!) years I have been involved in inquiry in the areas of creativity in later life; older women's embodiment; sexuality and aging; critical Gerontological theory; transformational adult learning practices; and inter-generational friendships and cross-generational collaborative inquiry. I am co-author, with Dr. Harry R. Moody of Aging: Concepts and Controversies (now in its 10th edition!) and first author, also with Moody, of the recently published Gerontology: The Basics, as well as author/co-author of several book chapters, articles and essays. I am on the Portland Community College Gerontology Program faculty.
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2 Responses to Public Service Announcement: Global Gero-Punking!

  1. Helen Fern says:

    I’d love to have a play date with my 8 year old self. We’d go in the backyard and make pies and cakes from mud and serve them to the imaginary party goers. Sometimes we’d really eat them. And then, later in the evening, no wine or tea with my future self. We’d have cognac – and we’d talk about the things we’d like to have a do-over of. Like having children, saving better for the future. But we’d also talk about all the good things that have been gained in the journey – and my future self would remind me that there are still so many amazing things along the way. Be sure to keep your eyes, mind and heart open.

    Thanks Jenny. Funny you should have posted this now. I’ve been pondering a lot on both of these things lately.

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