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Landon Center on Aging Offers Continuing Education
Theo and Alfred M Landon, names often associated with Kansas State University, also contributed to Kansas University. Research at the Landon Center on Aging located north of the KU Medical Center complex in Kansas City focuses on major issues for the aging population including stroke recovery, Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's. Recently, I attended a class offered at the Landon Center. Maril Crabtree, a published author and presenter spoke about Flow Writing. I cannot pass an opportunity to learn something new about writing. Arriving early allows time to study "This Motherless Child" series of eight drawings by Elizabeth "Grandma" Layton on display. I say, "study" because one cannot just look at these drawings. Elizabeth Layton describes the Motherless Child as a "frail, elderly person, who, like a very young child, has become dependent on someone else, yet still has dignity and independence of spirit." Perhaps because of experiences with my family, I find her drawings reassuring. She uniquely captures the elders determination of character in a care facility with drawings and explanations. As the tables fill, I feel apprehensive. All women and one man sit with pen in hand. They are mostly retired. Were they previously English teachers, newspaper editors? Listening to conversations, I learned there are several poets. Thankfully, no credentials checked and in fact, laughter all around and I feel at ease. We are ready to write."Flow Writing is a way to find out what's going on inside. It's an act of discovery" explains Ms. Crabtree. To accomplish this, she tells us to keep our hand moving, try not to think too hard or control our thoughts. Lose our critical editor. Be specific. See a mind picture and write it. Don't worry if it doesn't make sense.The hour and half flies by. We write three essays, read them aloud, feel emotions of humor and sadness in the compositions while learning something about ourselves. I know these people a short time, but feel they are old friends.There is a final Flow Writing Class this summer on August 12, 2008, from 1:00 to 2:30. Attendance at previous classes is not a prerequisite. In addition, September 23rd will be another writing class entitled "Thanks for the Memories" all taught by Maril Crabtree.Our last assignment was to write two minutes about an object from our past that is dear to us. Try it. Get a piece of paper or sit at the computer and let the words flow.