Gillian King



On the first day of class when I discovered the beat we would be covering was aging, I was unsure what to think. I wondered how I would write four articles all focused around aging issues and the people dealing with these issues. I soon discovered the story options were endless.

When I decided to write an article about the senior-to-senior pet adoptions at the local Humane Society, I thought I would simply write an informative article about the benefits of having a pet, and the opportunity senior citizens have to adopt a pet at a discounted price. Being the sucker for animals that I am, I should have known that the article would end up being much more for me. As I spoke with the adoption specialists and toured the facility looking at the animals, tears began to fill my eyes as I saw so many homeless pets. It was no surprise when a few weeks later I was back in the shelter picking out an animal to take home with me to join our family.

As I delved deeper into aging issues I had the opportunity to meet and speak with a lot of amazing people. My article about seniors planning for their funerals as well as their spouses’ gave me valuable insight as to what people really care about when planning the end of their lives. I saw the love these couples had for each other, as well as the desire they had to remain family oriented even in death.

I also had the opportunity to meet Pam Mayne and speak with her about her desire to live a family oriented life in a society that didn’t recognize her family as a family. Being in a domestic partnership in a heterosexual society has presented many difficulties and astonishing stories as she has raised her family and now as she begins to age within the LGBT community. She is a strong and independent woman with many more experiences to tell about than I could ever fit into just one article.

It seems as though this semester has gone by so quickly, and at some points the deadlines seemed too near to accomplish. Now as I look back I am grateful for the opportunity I had to participate in this class and for the people I was able to meet. I have gained a new perspective on aging issues and have learned more than I ever thought I would.


I am a double major at the University of Utah in English Literature and Journalism. I grew up in Salt Lake and I have always loved writing and reading. When I was in junior high I decided I would like to develop that love into a career someday. I went on to be part of the writing staff and later the head editor of both my junior and senior high school newspapers, sparking my interest in journalism.

While working on my journalism major I discovered that my real point of interest was in fiction writing, so with graduation in sight I decided to add on a second major, putting off my graduation by several semesters. Without the love and support of my husband I don’t think I would have been able to add this extra load and still keep my sanity. I am grateful to him for putting up with me.

As I near graduation, like many I am unsure of what I will end up doing with the rest of my life. My passion for writing continues, and whatever I end up doing I hope to be able to incorporate that passion, whether in fiction or news format.

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