By Resident Steve Katz —
Residents at Kendal at Granville can choose to spend their evenings however they wish. Many opt to spend quiet evenings at home in their comfortable apartments, cottages or villas, but several nights a week there are community events that draw them to the Amelia Gathering Room for lectures, live entertainment, movies or other activities.
This week was no exception. On Monday evening, we had the privilege of hearing a fascinating lecture by Tim Conway, a noted expert in the computer world, on cyberbullying. Tim is a captivating speaker and has a wealth of knowledge on this subject. While social media has lots of good qualities bringing people together, he focused on the bad ones. He stressed that while kids today need cellphones to do their homework (cheaper than textbooks) and to apply for college online, besides keeping in touch with friends, there is a dark side to social media, too.
Because much of what can be posted on social media is anonymous, it encourages cyberbullying, which is the use of digital tools to intentionally and repeatedly harm someone. The smartphone is the perfect weapon: it’s stealthy, effective, damage is infinitely spreadable, anonymous, there is no accountability, the victim doesn’t know what’s coming next, the attacker doesn’t have to see what he just did, and kids can be paralyzed by the attack.
Schools are taking steps to intervene, but most parents don’t know or have time to learn about their kids’ access to social media. There are a number of ways to stop cyberbullying, but the most effective is “If you see something, say something” — report it to the social media platform on which it appears. And just as negative posts can be devastatingly powerful, positive posts can have just the opposite (and favorable) effect.
On Tuesday evening, we welcomed noted historian and musician Steve Ball, who presented a program on Music of the Civil War. Steve is an exceptional singer and guitar player, but what really made the songs come alive was his detailed knowledge of each song: where it fit into the events of the conflict, who wrote it, who published it, who the characters in the song were, where and when they were born, and what happened to them after the war.
Steve was dressed in an authentic Union Army sergeant’s uniform, complete with authentic (and uncomfortable shoes), and played an antique 1851 Martin guitar (very well!). He is an accomplished musician, and gave us a fascinating tour of the Civil War, battle by battle, and song by song. He really knew both the history and the music, playing such songs as “Dixie,” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again,” “Tenting Tonight on the Old Campground,” “Marching Through Georgia,” “Lorena,” and sing-alongs “Goober Peas” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It was a wonderful performance and Kendal is so fortunate to be able to bring in talent like this!
How is it paid for, you ask? Kendal at Granville’s Resident Association (KAGRA) raises money each year from the residents with a fund drive that goes to fund all of the 25 groups and committees that function at Kendal. The Speakers Committee brings in interesting speakers and lecturers from around central Ohio to talk about their special interests. The Entertainment Committee brings in local talent to perform. The Movie Committee arranges for movies to be shown several times a month. And so it goes. It’s wonderful to live in a place where the residents determine and direct their own activities, and everyone can have a say in bringing them to Kendal.