Jessica Calderwood



When I learned that we would be writing about aging for the semester, I was excited. Immediately, I thought fondly of the octogenarians I know. They are wonderful sources of knowledge, experience and history. So, that’s where I would start.

I knew I wanted to focus my writing on the positive aspects of aging. My hope was to write stories that would uplift and inspire my readers. I found myself researching a new field of study called gerontechnology; tracking down fun-loving members of the Red Hat Society; chatting with a travel-loving couple in their 80s and soaking in the inspiring story of a fiercely independent, Finnish immigrant battling rheumatoid arthritis.

I learned how important it is as a writer to care about my subject and the people whose messages I was trying to convey. I learned to move past the rigid question-and-answer style of interviewing and leaned more heavily on friendly, genuine conversation.

My experience this semester has been one of inspiration. The people I’ve met have inspired me to live life with more humor, happiness and determination in the face of any obstacle. Life can be fun at any age. I’m grateful for this opportunity and I hope others can be as inspired as I have been by the lives of those I’ve come in contact with this semester.


I’m a 24-year-old newlywed planning to graduate in May 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication: News Editorial. I’m so excited to graduate! The last couple of years have been full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. During the summer of 2008, I spent six weeks in Kiev, Ukraine, as a volunteer English teacher. After the six weeks, some of the other teachers and I decided to take a week-long trip to Egypt. I saw the pyramids of Giza, visited the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and snorkeled in the Red Sea. I could never have imagined such amazing opportunities! Then, on April 3, 2009, I married my best friend, Mike.

As a student, tutor and volunteer teacher, I value the special role of books in our society to entertain, teach and communicate values and history. I hope to use my degree to edit books and contribute to an industry I can’t get enough of and love immensely. I’m so grateful for the endless support from my awesome husband, family, friends and teachers. Thank you all!

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