New Paths for 2021Peggy Palmiter
Dear Lifespan Family,
When we took Lifespan to a virtual program the week of March 18th 2020, we thought it was the hardest thing we had ever done. Today, on June 1st 2021, finding a path for the future is even harder.
We are very proud of the way we stepped up to the challenge and moved our programs to a virtual format. We were early adaptors to make that move, and in many ways, you led the way for other programs. We were also proud to see how all of you embraced Zoom to be able to participate. Well, ok, embrace may be a bit strong, but you were willing to hang in there and learn how to connect in our virtual world. Some of you learned Zoom because you were interested, some of you because you liked to learn technology, and some of you because you were determined to find ways not to be isolated during a difficult and anxious time. It’s important that we don’t forget the difficulties we faced, not because we want to stay in the past, but because it’s important in understanding why the next steps seem so complicated.
We asked you to complete a survey about how to proceed with our upcoming Summer Session, which many of you did. Others of you reached out in person to express your thoughts. In typical Lifespan fashion, your answers split right down the middle. Some of you can’t understand why we aren’t in person already, and others of you aren’t quite sure you are ready to be part of a group face-to-face. It’s not simple, is it? One thing we know if that we don’t lack for opinions. We believe you are a resilient bunch of folks and what you have been able to do is amazing. Here is what we learned through our surveys and conversations.
- You want to go right back to the way things were – RIGHT NOW!!
- You NEVER want to go back to the way things were – EVER!
- You are trying to figure out what pandemic changes you wish to keep – more quiet time, more time at home, more time to read and think.
- You are trying to figure out what pandemic changes you want to discard forever – being alone, worrying constantly, boredom, fear of COVID-19, and only eating your own cooking.
- How does Lifespan fit into all of that?
You are beginning to see the dilemma. There are different reactions from different members of our family, and some of you have these feelings all at once. In that midst of all that, we are trying to figure out the best way to have a Summer Program of Lifespan Academy that meets you needs.
So, we have decided to jump on in and see what happens. We will offer a hybrid session this summer, including both virtual classes and an in-person session on Thursdays. Here are the basics.
- Our first in-person session since March of 2020 will be Thursday, July 1st, and will continue for 6 weeks, ending on August 5th.
- We start off our in-person session with a performance by The Atlanta Theater to Go summer production of “A Little Thing Called Love” during our first afternoon class on July 1st. We will also welcoming our Agape older adult Ragtime Group as guests for lunch and the afternoon.
- We will have a boxed lunch delivered from Panera Bread and we will provide various bottled drinks. Remember to check salad box or sandwich box on your registration form. You can commit for the full 6 weeks or on a weekly basis. I will have a place on the website for you to indicate if you want lunch for that week.
- Summer Session begins on Tuesday June 29th, with virtual classes, and we will continue to have them on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- Because some of our instructors are not ready to come back to in-person, or have made other commitments on Thursdays, our Tai Chi and Line Dancing classes will remain virtual. We will be offering Chair Yoga during the in-person summer session.
- Our Coffee Hour will be open on Mondays and Thursdays with no other classes. Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Fridays, you are welcome to come in for coffee from 10 to 10:30 before classes begin.
You are welcome to attend in person AND our virtual schedule. Both are included in the registration. There is an additional fee if you want to in include Tai Chi, Line Dancing, Chair Yoga or Zentangle. The cost of the session is the same if you attend in-person and virtual or only in-person. It is important that you register this session, regardless of whether you are participating in-person or virtual. We need numbers.
All the details about the various classes are on the website. Our front page for Summer gives you links to both the in-person class descriptions and the virtual class descriptions. We are finding our way, but the one thing we can promise is that all of us have been forever changed. Even as we begin to gather in person, we are clear that the future of Lifespan will include a virtual format. In fact, the availability of virtual learning has expanded the locations of our participants and the content we can offer. Come help us create Lifespan’s future.