Just a Number

Aging and Intergenerational Friendship

Aging is a life-long experience that is both universal and different for everyone. While most of us agree that people of different generations have wisdom to offer those who are ahead of or behind them in life's journey, barriers to connection often persist between generations. Many of these barriers are rooted in our ideas about age and aging. Where do these ideas come from, and how do they impede or encourage relationships across generational differences? Independent scholars Jenny Sasser and Simeon Dreyfuss lead an open discussion about how we experience aging in community. How do we acknowledge both the universality of aging and the differences we experience? How do we create meaningful connections with others of different ages and life stages?



Simeon Dreyfuss | Portland

Simeon Dreyfuss is a writer and independent interdisciplinary scholar. He attended Fairhaven College in Bellingham, Washington, where he focused his undergraduate studies in the interdisciplinary liberal arts with concentrations in writing, literature, anthropology, and philosophy. His graduate work at NYU was in English and creative writing. He currently teaches part time at Tillamook Bay Community College and was on the faculty of Marylhurst University for twenty-three years. His essays, stories, poems, scholarly articles, and journalistic publications have appeared widely. He has an abiding fascination with the structures we evolve to make sense of our lives—ideologies, theoretical constructs, or simply stories we tell about ourselves—which are at best partial and provisional and always transform over time. He is currently coeditor of Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Jennifer Sasser | Portland

Jennifer (Jenny) Sasser is an educational gerontologist, transdisciplinary scholar, and community activist. She has worked in the field of gerontology for more than half her life, beginning as a nursing assistant and aging advocate before focusing on research, writing, and teaching. After completing her doctorate from Oregon State University, she joined the Marylhurst faculty in 1997. Jenny is the author of Aging: Concepts and Controversies and of the forthcoming book Gerontology: The Basics. She convenes the Gero-Punk Project and offers consulting and presentations throughout North America. Currently, she works as an educational gerontologist doing program evaluation and consulting around the country and is on the part-time Gerontology faculty at Portland Community College.

Program Themes

Community , Health , Identity

Equipment Needs


Microphone for large groups; none otherwise