“Fisticuffs break out at Park Plaza!!”
Not really! But this was the headline from Sarah Jacobus, the leader of the Timeslips Group along with Tanya Kutukdjian, Programs Assistant for Park Plaza Senior Apartments in North Hollywood, CA.
Sarah explained: “Eager storytellers were vying for position at the storytelling station and two women were arguing good-naturedly because one was given more time to tell her story than another. Good signs, all!”
Sarah continued: “There were a number of people hanging out in the community room in the afternoon. Time permitted only five to tell stories, but with more time, there would definitely have been more. Tanya and I are both encouraged that this process seems to be gathering steam.”
[Instructor Sarah Jacobus is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in creative writing. She is committed to the practice of creative engagement as a tool for meaningful self-expression and community building. She was trained and certified by TimeSlips founder Anne Basting, Ph.D., at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Timeslips, an organization that opens storytelling to everyone by replacing the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.]
This month’s Resident Spotlight is on one of our regular storytelling participants, Gohar. Tanya reports:
Gohar is a sweet and positive woman who is always happy to be around her friends and meet new people. She was the brave resident that took the first step towards participating in our new Storytelling group. Gohar took on the new adventure with a positive attitude and she inspired others to just go for it as well!
Looking at Gohar, always happy, you would never imagine the struggles she overcame as a child. Gohar told us stories about how there were days when they didn’t have a full meal to eat, but that never stopped her from being a happy and humorous child. She always found the positive in things and never gave up hope. These characteristics, along with her talent in sewing, gave her the opportunity to start working in a factory and help support her family at a very young age.
I never knew all the challenges she overcame but I loved hearing her tell stories of her victories. When Gohar speaks, she is so animated and full of life, sometimes recalling mischievous moments and laughing while telling us about it. Other times, she goes to a darker place and her smile diminishes, but only for a moment, as she beams with pride in ending her stories of strife with victory.
Gohar continues to be a regular participant in our Bingo, ESL and Storytelling groups. She never runs out of wonderful stories to share. When she is not telling stories or playing bingo and learning English, you can spot Gohar at one of our Karaoke or dance events, grooving to the music and socializing with that sweet smile.”
~ Elizabeth Sampson, Regional Program Director