24 April 2011

22 April 2011

Musical Therapy Class

Back in February, the Activities Department said that the Arizona State University Music Department was going to conduct a program in which we could learn how to play a variety of musical instruments, so I signed up. We went every Monday afternoon for an hour. The sessions were (and still are for two more weeks) conducted by two students studying Therapy By Music - or something like it. They were supervised by a graduate. One of the teachers is from Taiwan, her name is Jeana (but probably with a more Asian spelling - I'll ask next week) and, since I have a granddaughter named Jeana, I told her to call me "Grandpa", which always comes out as "Grandfather".
We started out with a drum circle, in order for them to get to know us better. The initial group was 12 residents, but dwindled to 4 regulars plus someone from the Activities Dept. Drums for 3 weeks, followed by xylophones for 3 weeks, then on the keyboards for 3 more. We learned the first few bars of "My Wild Irish Rose", since it was getting close to St. Patrick's Day; have you ever heard an Irish song sung in English with a strong Taiwanese brogue? One day was spent trying out a variety of percussion instruments, whose names I can't recall and couldn't spell even if I knew.
Finally - finally, we started on the guitar, which the real reason I signed up. The rest was interesting, but I really REALLY wanted to find out if I had the ability to play a guitar. Well, that day, I learned the first two lines of "Love Me Tender"! Now I'm hooked! I can't wait to go back to class for more. And I'll be looking around for guitar stores. Who knows, maybe I'll be serenading the neighbors by Labor Day. Wish me luck.

10 April 2011

Olympics Fun and Frolic

It's been a busy two weeks here. We just finished the 2011 Westminster Village Olympics games. Registration took place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (the 27th, 28th & 29th), followed by two days of Contract Bridge. Duplicate Bridge finished out the first week. On Monday, the Torch was escorted from the front gate into the building, where all in attendance were treated to a hearty breakfast. The day continued with the Bocci preliminary games, Table Tennis preliminary games, ending with the Indoor games. The Indoor games included Ladder Golf, Horseracing, Bean-bag Toss and something with Table Tennis balls and glasses of water. Tuesday, the activities were: a Walking contest; Bocci playoffs; Table Tennis playoffs; Croquet and games in the Assisted Living complex. Wednesday: Watersports; Lap Swimming (if a third person had signed up, they would have automatically received third prize!); Putting; Whiffle Golf; Trivia-rama; Home Run Derby fot the Staff and Wii Bowling. Thursday started with Indoor Games in the Health Care unit, followed by the Electric Cart "Rumble" (in which electric cart users were timed through a twisting course); next were Billiards, Basketball for the Staff; Lawn Bowling; the last activity was Outdoor Games in the Health Care Center. All in all, a very busy week for the volunteers who coordinated and conducted the games. And a very fun-filled week.
Shirley and I volunteered to help with registration, the Indoor Games and the Walkers. Also, I was tapped to take photos of the Walkers, Putters, Billiards players, Horseshoe throwers and the Contract Bridge players.
On Friday, all the photos of all the events were continuously projected on two screens in the main auditorium during the Awards ceremony (yours truly won a gold medal for Billiards). Needless to say, Saturday and today are days of well-needed rest.