Gero-Punk Collaboration: What to make of changes?


Play and collaboration and spontaneity and complexity and creativity and rebellion are at the heart of the Gero-Punk Project.

At the most recent Gero-Punk Salon — this past sunny Sunday afternoon —  ten of us engaged in a communal writing project, a version of what the Surrealist André Breton called the “Exquisite Corpse,” a collaborative creative process that taps into the collective unconscious.

In our version of the process, together we composed three eight-line poems, starting with three different prompts.  Our writing prompts were inspired by our explorations of the broad theme of the Salon: the complexities of traveling through the life-course — and experiencing adult aging — as gendered beings.

What to try it? First, take a blank sheet of 9.5 x 11 inch paper and fold it length-wise as if making an 8-paneled fan.  Unfurl the fan, so that there are 8 rows. Next, a brave soul writes the first line of the poem at the top of the sheet of paper, across the first row, and then passes the paper on so that the next writer can add the second line; they then fold over the top of the page, hiding the first line, so the next writer can only see the line immediately preceding what they are about to write.  And so forth, until all 8 lines are complete.

Ta da! As if by magic, a lovely poem emerges!


geropunk poem small speck

Mystified that I am here

or what to make of changes

or want to not make change but be content

amongst the thousand witnesses of trees,

I am but a small speck of life.

Life so precious that to be a speck is a gift

and each speck is connected in infinite ways to all other specks.

No matter how long we study the connection, the answer is still inside us.

–Created by some combination of: Erica, Simeon, Ken, Terri, Alison, Teresa, Diane, Karen, Mary, & Jenny

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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3 Responses to Gero-Punk Collaboration: What to make of changes?

  1. Pingback: Gero-Punk Collaboration: Sweet Noise and New Breath | The Gero-Punk Project

  2. Pingback: Gero-Punk News! | The Gero-Punk Project

  3. Pingback: Gero-Punk Collaboration: Momentary Selves | The Gero-Punk Project

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