Tuesday, October 8, 2013
We are very lucky to have jobs as law profs. There are a lot of folks who want to be law profs, there are a finite amount of those jobs, and we happen to be the lucky few to hold them. One of the privileges of the job is working with the students. I happen to think elder law students are special group of people, and I'm sure you would say the same about yours.
Ok, ok, so now I'm going to brag about Stetson Law students (and I'll gladly brag about yours if you email me the info). In my Elder Law Seminar, I require that my students form teams and take a "field trip". They choose the subject of the field trip-visit a nursing home, CCRC, ALF, or senior center; attend a ALJ hearing; interview the head of the AAA; etc. I got this field trip idea some years ago from elder law's own Rock Star, Larry Frolik.
Last spring a group of the students chose to visit a nursing home that is very close to the law school. This nursing home isn't one of the more lush facilities. As I recall this (and remember, it's been some months) the students were talking about the dementia wing and the lack of art hanging on the walls. One of the students mentioned that Stetson's arts society should provide some art work. This gave another student an idea--why not get law students to paint with the residents, and the paintings would be hung at the nursing home?
Thanks to the efforts of this one student who worked on the project off and on all summer (getting clearance from the nursing home and the law school, purchasing supplies, recruiting students)---voila, the first Masterpiece in Maturity painting project took place on October 4 from 2-4 p.m. There were about 8 law students who participated along with close to 15 residents.
Some of the residents didn't paint, but simply talked for 2 hours straight to the attentive law students. Others chatted and painted, creating their own masterpieces. The facility plans to have an art show of the paintings and then will hang them in the rooms of the painters. The students are already planning their next painting excursion for November.
This was an amazing example of learning outside the classroom. It just made me so proud to know and work with these students, especially Christine (graduating in May) the rock star student who pulled this off single-handedly. Plus it was a kick to talk to the residents, including a centenarian who will turn 101 in 8 days. I've included photos of a couple of the masterpieces created during the visit.
Elder Law students ROCK!!!!!