Pat Harris has been a volunteer for SASI since January 2016. She is the facilitator for the Best Day of My Life…So Far writing program at The Merion in Evanston, which takes place on Thursday mornings from 11am to 12pm. This writing program brings older adults together to write about their memories and thoughts, and then share them with each other. The interesting and varied stories are posted to a blog for participants to share with their families and friends.
Pat has been a teacher on and off for over 50 years, teaching high school English, Journalism and Special Education until 1999. She then taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at Oakton Community College until 2015. Facilitating the Best Day of My Life…So Far writing group is an excellent fit for her.
Why did you want to volunteer as a Best Day of My Life…So Far facilitator?
I retired from teaching in 2015. I knew I wanted volunteer after retirement and to to use my skills in a slightly different way. I also love to write, so when this opportunity opened up I accepted it. It fits my talents and the time slot fits my schedule.
What is one of your favorite memories of facilitating this group?
When we began meeting as a writing group we had 4-6 members, very lively, vocal. Everyone enjoyed writing and reading their writings to each other. Often, after the group session was over, we’d stay for about half an hour and chat.
What have you learned from spending time with seniors?
I just turned 80, so I am a senior myself. The seniors in the group show me that aging doesn’t mean I can’t be productive and use my mind. They are all well read, intelligent and as active as their bodies permit! They attend plays, concerts, lectures and keep up on current events.
To learn more about Best Day of My Life...So Far, please visit their website at: http://bestdayofmylifesofar.org/
To read the stories written by people in this group, please go to their blog at: https://bestdaysofarsasi.tumblr.com/