Here’s something new – to me at any rate. Dublin City University(DCU) has, for the last six years, been running an Intergenerational Programme, the first university in the world so to do. It involves offering courses in literature and science to older people.
Older is the operative word here for,in academia, while people of 23 are regarded as mature students, the people on DCU’s Intergenerational Programme are aged 60 – 80. The Inter bit comes from the aim of providing a means for older people to write down their experiences and tell their stories to younger people.
And how do I know all this? Because DCU has invited me to launch, on Wednesday October 8th, the Intergeneration Programme’s first ever book, a collection of short memoirs written by nine people on the course.
I’ve already dipped into the book and found myself groaning and grinning in equal measure.The House with the Good Buttermilk (grinning) and The Old Sewing Machine (groaning) are two and there are lots more.
My brief is to read the stories, eat a delicious lunch and then speak for 5-10 minutes, it says here. That’ll be no problem as the stories bring back all sorts of memories of my own. But the best part is that I get to meet the memoirists which means we can have a good old chat about sewing machines, buttermilk or indeed mothers. One of the writers had one who smoked 20 Woodbine a day, gambled and played camogie for Wexford in 1922. Lookit, you can’t get better than that when it comes to memories. Bring ’em on.
DCU hasn’t told me to say this but I imagine you can buy the book – it’s called Stories of There and Then – and is published by Woodenhouse Publishing House: firstname.lastname@example.org