Hello everyone. It’s me, Vienne! Here comes my third blog post about the Intergenerational Engagement in Research & Teaching (IE) Vertically Integrated Project. When was the last time you did an activity (like working out, cooking, or knitting) with people from a different generation? Mine was a film-making volunteering experience for the Film Active Project. This is an innovative video project led by Prof. Fiona Gillison who is also the academic lead of this VIP. Both the IE project and the Film Active Project aim to challenge everyday ageism experienced by older people in different aspects of life.
I have to admit that I am a BIG FAN of being a participant of all sorts of interviews and experiments. I have been in the laboratory setting for tests on attention, priming, memory span, the word superiority effect, or categorical perception of speech sounds. I know all the experiments were Psychology/Language-related. This is exactly why I said joining a VIP enables us to expand our learning zone. I haven’t done anything like making a video of me doing an activity with older people. In particular, we can learn from our older partners who teach us something new that they are an expert in!
All IE teammates were invited to volunteer and given a film-making brief. As I saw “ You can make this as silly or serious as you like just as long as it is safe” on the instructions, my mind ran wild. I thought about my dad’s hobbies and some of mine, and wondered how I could get him to do this with me. When I approached him, the first thing he asked, “Oh why me?” I can’t believe “Because you are old enough” (因為你夠老) just slipped out of my mouth. He raised his eyebrows and commented, “Nope, I’m not old. Go ask your grandpa.” I felt terrible for what I said because I was reinforcing the stereotype. What I meant is that he is the perfect candidate for this video as he is from a different generation. Despite this unintentional miscommunication, my dad welcomed me to join his interior design and decoration project where my uncles were also part of it.
As an experienced interior decorator, uncle Tak can use a step ladder as his extended legs as free as a bird. His agility on the ladder gave me a wrong impression that things should be easy. It was not until I tried to walk with the ladder that I found it was difficult to push the left leg and pull the right leg of the ladder in order to move sideways. What I learnt is that if you overdo it, you run the risk of falling off because the ladder is now in a small A shape, and you will find it hard to balance. Ideally the ladder should be in a wide A shape, pictured below, so that it gives you the best support. After each push and pull, make sure the ladder remains a wide A.
The video intends to help spark more ideas of the kinds of physical activities that people from different generations can do together. If you would like to get involved, please join us at the two upcoming events. An online Film Active Workshop will be conducted on 22 February 2022 (Tuesday). If you would like to meet face to face, please attend an offline Film Active Workshop at Bath City Football Club on 26 February 2022 (Saturday). To learn more about the Film Active Project, please click here. It is a meaningful project which helps us all rethink ageing. Why don’t you give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram?
Photo courtesy of the Film Active Project
Going back to my story, you may wonder "Why would someone learn that skill?" That’s true. As I proudly call myself a nerd, I bury myself in books and probably won’t need those extended legs. But there is something called library ladders, isn’t there? Maybe it’s where I can put the skill to good use!