In my four years plus in Boston, I have found that one of the things
that I love is a warm, sunny day in the Navy Yard. Today was one of those days. The harbor was sparkling, but smooth as glass. The sun shone down on our school, highlighting its interesting architecture. This was just one of those days that popped. What could be better? Let me tell you....
Three hundred of our graduate students---nursing, speech-language pathology, physical therapy, even a few prereq students..... joined by lots of faculty and staff members (40 or so), spread out all over Charlestown (that's the Boston neighborhood that serves as the
Institute's front yard). Armed with rakes, crayons, toys, games, and a few stethoscopes and band aids our students spent several hours serving the community that will be their academic home for the next few years. Organized by a remarkable committee of MGH IHP faculty and staff, our students played with little kids, read to them, talked with some seniors at the Zelma Lacey House and at the Golden Age Center, did some exercises and some line dancing with some new friends at the Boston Housing Authority, taught some folks about ways to stop smoking, get more exercise, or manage their diabetes. The parks are cleaned up, lots of new Charlestown friends are smiling, and some of our faculty learned to line dance! We provided hundreds of folks with new pedometers to promote their walking, left lots of little kids with some new books, and provided jazzy new Charlestown walking maps for walkers of varying ages and abilities. Most important, there were lots of new friendships started, lots of ideas for "next year" generated, and plenty of lessons learned.
Thanks to the Charlestown Community for letting us in and letting us learn a bit more about where we live, study, and work! Thanks to our students for giving up a Friday, for being so generous with their smiles, energy, and enthusiasm. I hope that you learned something and made a new friend or two or maybe 300. Thanks to Heather Easter who served as the logistics commander for this remarkable project. Thanks to faculty members Regina Doherty (SHRS), Jane Baldwin (SHRS), and Margaret Mahoney (SON) who planned for the last year to make this happen. It makes me proud to be part of an organization that can deliver an event that is transformative, generous, and fun.
So, that's what is even better than a sunny day in the Navy Yard. Thanks!
PS- Thanks to John Shaw, Paul Murphy, and Susan Reynolds. They were fantastic communicators and worked hard to deliver our messages to our Charlestown friends!