POV: You’re a TimeSlips Intern
May 3, 2022
College students are not strangers to chaotic schedules. From studying, working, internships, clubs, planning for the future, and time with friends, their schedules leave little room for meaningful connections. TimeSlips Interns Lauren Konold and Tess Miller, both Public Health students at Ohio’s Miami University, feel differently. Through their TimeSlips work, they discovered a special peace in learning about those living with dementia. Discover how this has helped shape their outlook on aging as they look towards their futures after graduation.
Question: When you came to TimeSlips, what did you think people who were aging were capable of?
Lauren: When I first came to TimeSlips, I was not sure what their company was or what their main mission statement in general was, but while I was doing research on the website, I was able to find their mission statement in bold on their main page. I have been serving for many years and have built relationships with elders, so firsthand I see how they grow and engage with others. Most people are scared to age, but it is a part of life. Some may have a decline in vision and other functions, while some may have a decline in memory. I believe that as long as elders are engaging in their environment then they may be capable of whatever they want to accomplish.
Tess: I have always known that aging people are capable of amazing things but I felt that the diagnoses of any memory-degenerative condition would drastically change an individual’s quality of life. Now, after I have spent time working with TimeSlips, I know this diagnosis will cause a drastic change, but it does not need to be entirely negative. TimeSlips has allowed me to shift my point of view on what to expect in the future and how important it is to continue to be in touch with the world around you and your own creativity.
Question: How do you think aging is viewed in our society, and why?
Lauren: Everyone obviously views aging differently; however, in the TimeSlips community, I think aging is viewed as an open door that will lead to many more possibilities. The engaging environment that TimeSlips offers along with the creativity center itself, is an environment for ideas to bounce off one another and to always involve everyone. Aging in general is seen to be scary and declining in the general society, but TimeSlips proves that wrong.
Tess: Aging is not viewed very positively in our society; we see this in every magazine and millions of ad campaigns. Our society does not know the full potential of people who are aging today because I think this may scare them. Seeing older people reminds us of our own limited time here, but we need to use this physical reminder to create agency within ourselves in staying healthy and connected, not as a negative.
Question: What is your goal in your career? How has TimeSlips influenced this?
Lauren: After I graduate from Miami, I would love to pursue a career in medical sales. TimeSlips has helped the direction with this because I have been offered advice from both Kathy Hawkins and Sammy Goodrich. They both offer such amazing advice and I thank them tremendously for that. With TimeSlips, I see so many relationships being built within that community and throughout a medical sales career: it is big on building relationships.
Tess: My career goals have broadened because of TimeSlips. I have always had the intention of working in the nonprofit world but originally was thinking I would work with a women-focused company. Now, I have opened myself up to more opportunities because I see the connections within TimeSlips!
Question: What is a “Beautiful Question” that you want to incorporate into any time you meet someone (ed. note: a “Beautiful Question” is the cornerstone of TimeSlips that is used to teach each person training in the method how to invite others to open and join in creative communication without feeling self-conscious.)
Lauren: A beautiful question that I would like to incorporate anytime I meet someone would be, “If you could close your eyes and be anywhere in the world when you opened them, where would you want to be?”
Tess: A “Beautiful Question” that I want to incorporate anytime I meet someone new is the same “Beautiful Question” I used during my social media takeover. The question, “If your feet could talk when you are an elder, what would they say to you at this age?” It allows me to see how people see themselves and who they hope to be. Responses to this question ranged from silly things like getting a pedicure, to profound answers to taking the path less traveled. I think this question allows for people to be introspective across all ages. I cannot wait to continue learning about people through their responses.
Question: What advice do you have for your peers who may not have been involved with the elderly?
Lauren: The advice that I would have to give to someone who is not involved with the elderly is patience is key. When someone ages, it takes longer to critically think about something and understand what someone else is asking you. Often, people become flustered with elders who take awhile to answer a question, but you must understand that patience is the key to the door that will lead you to a path of unforgettable memories.
Tess: My biggest piece of advice for my peers who may not have been involved with the elderly is to be patient! Patience will help you in every aspect of life, but will be especially helpful when interacting with someone who grew up in a different world than you did.
Question: If you could build a “favorite day” for an elder, what would you do for them?
Lauren: If I could build a favorite day for an elder, I would incorporate group activities and hold a TimeSlips beautiful question/prompt session. That thoroughly engages the environment and makes elders think about their environment and much more.
Tess: Building a “favorite day” would be such a rewarding experience. I think I would keep it simple so everyone could have an opportunity to put their own spin on it! Having a field day with snacks available and easy outdoor activities. Some bocce ball, maybe a good nature walk and a picnic at the end (with ice cream of course)!
Meet the Miami University Spring 2022 TimeSlips Interns
Lauren Konold transferred to Miami University as a Junior from Lorain County Community College. Her major is Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Administration.
Tess Miller is a double major at Miami University studying Economics and Public Health with a concentration in Public Health Policy and Administration. Her hope in working with TimeSlips is to gain experience with helping those affected by their prognosis through creativity and acceptance.