Reflection's from Candidates for Credentialing

Passion, Pastures and Potential

Margriet De Lange,
M.A. Gerontology

As I drive along Highway 280—the highway connecting San Jose and San Francisco, often referred to as the most picturesque highway in the US—a rather peculiar idea comes to mind: I suddenly realize that cows and gerontologists have something in common. Let me quickly explain.

California is known for its golden hills. During summer, drivers along Hwy 280 can capture the beauty of the glowing grasses turned golden by long sunny hours. Then, when fall arrives, cows are brought back into the pastures. Their owners expect rain to fall soon to turn the dry golden grasses into green juices for the grazing herds. Unfortunately, as of today, rain hasn’t come to the Bay Area and my heart goes out to the cows as they graze and graze… The hills are covered with dried grass and the cows are in place, but the rain has still to come. The potential of milk and butter is ready to sprout, if only the heavens would open up.

I can’t help but compare myself with these cows. As a professional, equipped with a Masters Degree in Gerontology, I also am ripe with potential. The fields of aging are stretched out, and the workers are in place. But something is missing, something that would make the process right and complete. Just as the cows need an intervention from the sky, the gerontologists also need one.

It was a passion for the elderly that steered me back to school. Two years of intensive studies at San Francisco State University equipped me to go out as a Gerontologist to work among the aging. Yet, the aging communities and other professionals around me need to be assured that Gerontology graduates are professionals according to a certified national standard. This will boost the confidence of getting a high standard of service in the field of Gerontology and allow the potential that is in place to come to fruition. The high standard that has been approved by university professors and other experienced professionals in Gerontology needs to be standardized and certified.

Passion, pastures and potential…cows and gerontologists…thoughts while driving a picturesque highway. As fall continues, the rain will come and provide what the cows need. And so it will be for me, I tell myself as I continue driving. With NAPG in place,

I, also, will soon be provided with what is needed: a certification of the high standard of education that allows me to go out and use the passion and potential that is burning within me.

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