December 15, 2009

Welcome back Strayer University students!

Last April, we posted essays from Professor Terry Abramson's “Intro to Sociology” class at Strayer University. Professor Abramson incorporates Losing Herbie (part 2 of The Sandwich Generation) into her class curriculum by first having her students watch the film and then by having them write an essay about it.

This semester, the students were asked to write an essay describing the three things that struck them the most when watching the video. Below are excerpts from five students' heartfelt essays. We will post the five essays (in their entirety) over the next few weeks.

Student 1: I have first hand experience with this subject matter, as I am the son of an Alzheimer’s victim. I use the term victim to express Alzheimer’s disease as a thief who has yet to be caught....Watching the “Losing Herbie” video for the first time made me think about the very first time that I witnessed my mother’s disease in action.

Student 2: Dementia is a cognitive disorder that deprives the mind and body by causing long term decline in cognitive function. This disease effects the ability to process thought patterns. In the short film, my thoughts of a person living with dementia made me feel sad. I felt sad, because the short film explained how Herbie’s life was before acquiring the disease and then living with the disease.

Student 3: Throughout the entire documentary the first thing that stood out to me was the emotional journey each family member experienced. Starting with the aging father we were immediately shown how bad his dementia was and when asked a question about what town he lived in, he earnestly answered “I surely cannot remember.”

Student 4: Watching this video hit home for me because I was caretaker for my mother before she died. She died in December 2007 from Lou Gehrig’s Disease/ALS. Losing a loved one is never easy, but taking on the responsibility of caretaker can be even more challenging.

Student 5: After watching Herbie I immediately felt this sense of despair. What would happen to me if I were diagnosed with Dementia? Could my children handle caring for me each and every day as Herbie’s did? The anxiety struck me beyond belief.

So welcome Strayer University

and thank you again to Prof. Abramson and her students!