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The PIPs of PVE

PIP
or P.I.P
[pee-ahy-pee]
Informal
1. previously important person.

It is mid-summer and the visiting grandchildren are concluding their visits with us and eagerly anticipating their college experiences at the campuses of their choice.

Our daughter wrote this after a recent trip from their home in Texas:

“I have been thinking of you both often and about what a good visit Matt and I had with you both in ‘paradise’. I love the way the residents at PVE generously engage in interdisciplinary , cross generational networking! There is so much talent there and it is so beneficial to all.”

Our daughter is alluding to a set-up conversation between a resident and retired head of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Davis and our grandson, Matthew, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry at Clemson University in South Carolina.

For an hour or two, our residence was the scene of a collegial dialogue between two academics – one a Ph.D. and the other an undergraduate student– who share a passion for plant pathology and other subjects that seem arcane to the uninitiated.

They discussed future goals, of which courses to prioritize, the strategies for networking (“Knock on doors, Matt.”) and how to land internships. It was a win-win situation, with Dr. Jerry Hedrick’s gracious warmth and expertise balanced by our grandson’s enthusiasm and appreciation for shared knowledge.

Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina

A second scenario played out when a visiting granddaughter who was struggling with an college application essay came to PVE for a week’s visit with her grandparents.

Well-grounded in the classics from her college prep New York City school, she had many creative and innovative ideas she wanted to include in her essay to convince the admissions directors that she was a perfect match for them.

Her grandmother asked a friend and PVE resident –who was a published author and professional writer– to spent some time with her granddaughter, suggesting grabbers, teasers and other strategies for developing an essay that would persuade readers that she was a unique candidate with much to offer.

These are only two  examples of intergenerational helpfulness that takes place on our vibrant campus.

Look at the PVE tennis court where granddads are offering tips on how to improve a teenager’s serve and volleys; the putting green on campus when an experienced golfing grandmother shares strategies for success on the greens and fairways to be used on grandchildren’s local golf courses; in the PVE swimming pool where grandfathers expound on the importance of “grabbing air” in butterfly stroke speed and proficiency.

And there are the unintentional advantages that resident grandparents show visiting youthful family members: the kind acts, generous invitations of friendships and compassionate acceptance of disabilities that are part of the daily life at Paradise Valley Estates.

Unspoken but genuine, these qualities reassure our grandchildren that we did not leave our intellects and fitness practices on the moving vans that brought our possessions to a retirement lifestyle. We still network, not necessarily with colleagues, but with even more valuable associates – our cherished grandchildren.