A Man Cooler than Ice
Akanksha Sharma and Rose K Chua
Dr. Jeffrey Ash
Nov 26th, 2014
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
I have always admired the senior citizens who are wondering how they have passed such long journeys of their lives. They not only have accomplished achievements, but also have done memorable works that deserve admiration, respect, and priority in today’s society. These old people may look incompetent and unexciting in somebody’s eyes and thoughts, but not everyone realizes that they are the people with greatest knowledge and experiences beyond their masters of life. From my own experience, whenever I see an old mister or mistress looking for help or in need of help, I can never ignore him or her and instead offer to help as much as I can. Originated from my respect upon them, I decided to interview an elderly gentleman about the observations and opinions on his experiences with ageism and ageist stereotypes. I interviewed this one particular person who wanted himself to be acknowledged as John Evans. We were so glad that he was more than willing to help us get through this assignment and really appreciate him for sparing his free time telling us his life story.
First of all, we began by asking questions about his background information. He was born into a middle class Puerto Rican family. He began by saying “I was a New Yorker who used to live on the 21st floor of the apartment right next to the highway, which was always noisy and unpleasant. The car horns would always bounce off the tall buildings and echoed into my room. And I can’t take that. If I were to choose a place to live, Georgia would be my first choice”, he added. He has moved from New York his hometown, to Florida, and now has been living in Maryland for more than 40 years. He went to Cornell University at the age of 16, which was considered young in today’s statistics, and graduated in his 20s. “You went to the Cornell University?” we questioned. He just calmly explained, “Yes, I did. I am not smart, I never considered myself smart. I did what I had to do and it was about it”. Now, he is a honored father to two daughters (ages 51 and 52), a loving and caring husband, a grandfather to four grandchildren, and last but not least, a great-grandfather to two lovely great-grandchildren. He explained how he was a widow and raised his children as a single parent after his first wife passed away. He really surprised us when he said that he married his second wife not to raise his children but when he was ready for another wife. He now lives in Annapolis with his second wife.
After enough discussion about his basic background, we moved on to asking him about his observations, experiences, and opinions on ageism. The first thing that comes in mind was the physical changes of a person as he or she approaches elderly era. In other words, I was wondering how it feels to become old as time passed by and he was more than happy to answer. He sees aging as a natural process that is inevitable for every human being on the planet. “All living creatures on earth experience the growth of oneself everyday; if one does not, it would not be alive”, he chuckles. Then he explains that as one ages, their basic physical abilities starts to wear off. He gave us an example; he said that older people get tired more easily and that he noticed the decline in physical strengths compared to that of the same person’s earlier life. One elder would have more health concerns; sensory abilities being the foremost one. Bottom line, the person’s body parts become weaker over time. The comparison between older people and younger people immediately reminded me of one of the theories we discussed in class. The Wear-and-Tear Theory, under the topic of biological theories of aging exactly described the same concept that Mr. John did during the interview. The Wear-and-Tear Theory states that the human body, like all multicellular...
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