Recently, college students taking English 101 College Composition at GCC Medina Campus interviewed local seniors from the Medina Community. Students met their subjects in the fellowship hall of the St Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Medina. There, they interviewed Mrs. Pat Kennedy, Mr. Thurston Dale, Mrs. MaryEllen Dale, Mrs. Williams, Mr. Emerson, Mr. Gregg Stroyen, Mrs. Jane Stroyen, Mrs. Kathie Granchelli, and Miss Jeannie Upton.
The purpose of the interview was to give students an opportunity to use a comparative writing technique in a way that was both a useful practice and a meaningful experience. Instructor Karen Jones explained that the objective was to deepen her students' understanding and to help them better appreciate the perspective and wisdom of older people within the community.
"It's important that writers get outside their comfort zone and write something real," she said. "I"d rather they compare their beliefs and experiences to people they might not normally talk to...otherwise, the assignment becomes mere exercise and rote learning, devoid of real meaning."
Students' topics were self selected, and ranged from everything from relationships, to war, to the proper raising of children. Unanimously , the students in the college course found the activity rewarding and compelling, one that all were happy to have done. Here are their stories.
*Missing from photos: Scottie Scribner and his interview subject, his teacher Mr. Emerson [Scottie was serving in South Carolina for National Guard Duty the week of the interviews we did in Medina.]