How long have you lived at The Summit? Did you grow up in the Rochester area? I have lived in Brighton my entire life. I entered kindergarten on the day when the Brighton school system first opened and went all through my primary education there—all 12 years in a single building. What brought you to The Summit? When I began having difficulty managing on my own, I explored many senior living options.
I attended every meeting and was preparing to move in when something made me rethink my decision. I came back to revisit The Summit and realized that I liked it here much better. The other apartment looked too small and cramped. My apartment at The Summit has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a porch, which very much reminded me of my former home in Brighton. The den and bedroom in my home were like the rooms I have here. There were many similarities.
So, I changed my mind and came to live at The Summit. What else do you love about The Summit? The staff is remarkably caring and considerate. They know about us and our families. When my son Andy comes to visit, he is recognized and they greet him warmly. If I put in a work order for something, the staff responds right away.
I receive one-on-one fitness training with workout plans based on my personal goals. We also have excellent entertainment and intellectual programs. The grounds are park-like. The transportation is wonderful! What did you used to do for a living? In fact, I was the first certified sex therapist in upstate New York.
What led you to pioneer this line of work? I began as a psychiatric social worker at Family Service of Rochester—the largest counseling agency in the community—and had a long experience in counseling individuals and couples. I was fascinated by the interview and believed the techniques he described could be utilized in the marriage and family counseling that I was doing at the time.
Following that, I went to conferences where Masters was teaching and tried to learn as much as possible so I could begin utilizing the techniques with my clients. I did it kind of quietly at first because it had never been done by any other therapist in our area before.
No Rochester station had ever broadcast a similar program. At the end of that day, the telephones were ringing off the hook, both at my agency and the station. People were calling by the dozens. And those programs helped to establish my sex therapy practice.
Tell me about the poetry class you teach at The Summit. I never liked it in school and I never want to learn. When I came to The Summit, I began a poetry group here. Classes take a lot of preparation. I select poets and poems that are relevant for the time of year or feelings that are going on in the world. I try to link those. Each person in my class has a book for each of the four poets whom we largely discuss: Robert Frost my favorite , one of the most popular and critically acclaimed American poets of the twentieth century, who received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry , , and She writes many nature-focused poems.
Do you write any poetry of your own? Instead, I read it. I hear the music and the rhythm in it. And I try to convey that. Tell me about the other class you teach at The Summit.