Student Volunteers Help Local Seniors With Life’s Little Problems, Pickle Jars

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Cliff Happy

Chronic News Writer

Disclaimer: The following article is published as part of our annual satirical April Fool’s Day issue. Please don’t believe any of it, and please don’t sue us. Thanks.

Sociology major Brandon Wu remembers the first time he helped 86-year-old Irma Kirby open a jar. “It only took me three seconds and then she raved about how strong and handsome and helpful I was and then we ate pickles,” he said.

Every week students earn extra credit and lessons in life by lending a helping hand to the Senior Citizens at Chateau Manor Retirement Community. Lower-level behavioral and social science classes offer opportunities such as “elderly interaction” through service learning programs. “Students learn the practical side of abstract principles. They can put a face to the facts they read in the text,” Professor Dale Lund said.

Lund said a quest for class credit turns into a labor of love for some students.

“They truly are the greatest generation and they definitely have a thing for stuff that comes in jars. Sometimes its weird stuff I don’t use like marmalade and Vicks VapoRub,” psychology major Gillyn Guleta said. Of course, things sometimes get complicated. “Edith really wanted to make tuna salad and the lid to the mayonnaise jar wouldn’t budge. I had to run the jar under hot water. It was quite a learning experience,” Guleta said.

“Your hair is so pretty and long. It’s just like mine used to be,” said Guleta’s new friend, 76-year-old Edith Parfait.

However, elderly interaction is not limited to opening stubborn jar lids. “I helped Mrs. Kirby open a bottle of wine once and then she got me drunk,” said Wu. “Can I say that?”

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