follow drbillthomas at

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Category Archives

Monthly Archives

Subscribe to this blog's feed Subscribe to this blog's feed


Announcements Retirement Living TV

Blog Data

Top Blogs

Add to Technorati Favorites

Politics blogs

Directories Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory

Directory of Politics Blogs

Ageless Project

Bigger Blogger

Blog Directory

Blog Universe

« Yelling at a Cloud | Main | Digby's Dad »

May 21, 2008 |Permalink |Comments (2)

Bridging the Gap

I am at an interesting point in my career. Looking back, I can measure the influence that the ideas like the Eden Alternative and the Green House have had in the field. Looking forward, I can see the need for new leaders with new voices and new perspectives.

The Erickson School is dedicated to growing a new generation of leaders who will take the aging adventure farther than we can even imagine today. That's why I joined the faculty, that's why I think the school will, in the not too distant future, be world famous.

Carrie Ryan will, I expect, be one of those leaders. With her permission, I have posted a message that she recently sent to me. I'm hoping that Carrie stays in touch and keeps me, and the readers of this blog, up to date on her personal and professional growth.

I'd be thrilled if she made Erickson/UMBC her top pick for undergraduate school. She'd be an amazing student and I'd love to have her in class.

See if you agree.

Dr. Thomas,
I was thrilled to come upon your book and your blog Changing Aging. I am a senior in high school at Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, California and am interested in pursuing a career in the field of gerontology. With my interest and passion for the elderly, I have decided to create an organization: Bridging the Gap between Generations.

Over my years in high school, I have noticed my peer’s lack of regard and fear for the elderly. In order to vanquish this fear and to inspire a more accommodating and respectful attitude for the elderly among my generation, I am trying to increase the interactions between the elderly and the young. I have matched a local retirement community, Monte Vista Grove homes, with my high school and I am beginning to set up a computer lab at their community.

Students will be tutoring the retirees on this new technology and as the students tutor them, the retirees will act as a mentor for their tutor throughout their years in high school.

Two nights ago, I came across your book, What Are Old People for? in the bookstore and was astounded to find the same idea. I just wanted to email you about my excitement in finding our similar ideas and to also ask for your input on how to best carry out this organization.

Do you have any other ideas I could possibly do to bridge this gap? I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for your time!

Carrie Ryan

Comments ( 2)

Dear Carrie,
I am in awe of your intelligence and brave heart! Keep pursuing your passion and the new ideas will come. Best of luck to you!

Dear Carrie,

I must say I am completely taken back by your forward thinking, your passion, and your drive to accomplish something you put your mind to! Your actions demonstrate to me that you will excel in all you do in the future and I can only hope, as a student of gerontology, that you will maintain a continuing interest in working with elders as you continue down your career path. The field of gerontology is in great need of people like you and I encourage you to remain steadfast to your beliefs as it will take you were ever you want to be.

You have made a great stride in bridging the gap between your generation and your elders’ by starting the program you did in your school and local retirement community. It is wonderful that you and your classmates are teaching computer skills to older adults. I would make one suggestion. Make sure you and your classmates sit back and let the elders teach at times because they have so much wisdom, knowledge, and experience they can teach us all. Create a dynamic, reciprocal RELATIONSHIP between the generations and you will see those gaps that you once perceived disappear. The first step is making this happen for your classmates but then we will need you to teach the world that these generation gaps we create can only hurt us! Best wishes and PLEASE contact me if you have any questions about the field! Hope to hear your name again soon!

Patrick Doyle

Post a comment

Remember me?

(You may use HTML tags for style)

©2007 Erickson School