In a perfect world I would write a month’s worth of Wordplay Wednesday posts at one time and only be in a crunch once a month, rather than every freakin’ week. Alas, life is not perfect – as I was reminded yesterday.
Like me, are you feeling cheated and swindled out of your time this week? Who or what is the cattle-rustler-time-swindler in your life?
CHOUSE (chous) vt. – (Brit.) to cheat, swindle; vt. (West) to herd (cattle) roughly. [WW #64]
Doesn’t the 2nd definition kinda reference the first one? You know – like a cattle rustler cheats and swindles his victims? Jus’ sayin’.
And that said, occasionally, time-cheating at the right time for the right reason, should be allowed into your schedule. Especially when it comes to learning about the cheating and swindling of time that can erase our memories.
This week for me, my time was choused for all the right reasons by an event, that as a (early) Boomer, I simply could not miss.
Wednesday’s AARP Aging Summit in San Diego was 1) free, including lunch; 2) featured keynote speaker, super-entertainer, Dick Van Dyke; and 3) provided valuable information about the causes and effects (as we know them today) of dementia, and especially Alzheimer’s – and did I say it was FREE?!
Confusion at conference for dementia …
Although I gave my time freely – nay, eagerly – to attend the Aging Summit, it stole time away from a book I’m trying to complete for publication by the end of the summer. No matter how much I cajoled, I could not entice my muse to work on it in my absence. Sigh. So … add a day to that publishing deadline.
My time reviewing the ravages of aging that will haunt one out of every three San Diegans, and meeting the still-agile, 90-year-old Mr. Van Dyke was worth the cause.
But I left feeling choused as I walked away, a vague question nudging my brain.
Numbers, graphs, and promises permeated the PowerPoint presentations; and accomplished speakers’ eloquent words referred to and asked for research dollars. But for Boomers, their underlying message was there won’t be any real help for our generation, any time soon.
Obviously, there are still years if not decades before cures and/or preventions, will be prevalent. At this point, only the rich can afford to avail themselves of the still controversial, but promising, treatments and therapies. The rest of us – well, we could be in for a sad, bumpy ride on the road to the pearly gates.
The best part of the conference was the Q&A session at the end of the day, with two prominent doctors in the field. (Mr. Van Dyke consistently wished the venue was more intimate and he’d been allotted Q&A time, as well.) They responded quickly and knowledgeably to all personal questions presented to them, and offered more insight than I’d heard to that point.
In thinking through the day, perhaps my question was not about the information presented, but with the tired conference format that goes out of its way to be senior unfriendly.
Decades ago, someone with a “bright idea” decided the answer was to accommodate attendees not interested in all of the subjects, with concurrent breakout sessions.
For seniors, though, moving from room-to-room and trying to keep track of what is being presented when and where – and then trying to fit in a bathroom break and lunch – is unnecessarily exhausting. Isn’t it time to reevaluate and refresh conference formats? Did those extra sessions ever really work well?
I was unable to attend several of the breakout sessions, barely making it into the line for a copy of Dick Van Dyke’s humorous and applicable book, Keep Moving: and Other Tips and Truths About Aging, after the line for the women’s restroom. Then I had to hunt down a lunch sandwich, because those were served while Mr. Van Dyke graciously signed volumes of books for fans like me, until his eyes glazed over.
This type of conference is not ideal for anyone, seniors or otherwise. Of course, I’m working up an alternative format, to offer the event industry. Break’s over – back to the conference …
Unfortunately, the quote on Alzheimer’s San Diego says more in one succinct sentence than all of the conference edifying designed to raise awareness – and of course – money:
“We strongly believe that in the absence of a cure and effective therapies, good care is the best medicine we have.”
Wherever you are, visit the website of your local dementia / Alzheimer’s organization. Alzheimer’s San Diego is very informative, with all the stats and current information at your fingertips.
Be aware of symptoms in your loved ones. Pray for a cure before you get there. Timing is everything.
Word of the Week: CHOUSE. Can you fit it into your own line of prose this week?
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