Altzheimers or Just Aging?

Many years ago when a colleague and I were teaching at Vassar College we both decided to take on a summer course at a local community college and for fun traded fields — psychology versus philosophy — so I got to teach a psychology course from a pre-selected text. I recall that in a section on aging it stressed that recall tends to slow or delay with age — something like skiing down a slope with a rise at the bottom over which one must get which was like the slow down in recall that most of us experience as we hit advanced years (I am now 77 and retired several years ago when I realized I was fading in my evening class). I gather that we cannot really determine whether one has had alzheiners until a brain autopsy can be done. The following website contrasts the 10 indications of alzheimers with the parallel and normal age related symptoms.

Given that one is constantly reminded by TV ads of the hazards of health – cancer, alzheimers, etc., I figure that it might give some relief to know that if they, as I, have to wait to a recall some word which I want to use in the blogs that I do for enjoyment and to continue my ‘teaching’.

I am a worried critic of our national crises — wars, economic health, poverty, hunger, etc. I am sometimes attacked as being anti-American. The same results from criticisms of Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinians and neighboring states. For the record — as the Chair of the Yale Daily News, I exposed its anti-Semitic admission policies way back when and Yale became the leader of the Ivies in opening its doors to minorities. My class of 1,000 had admitted two or three African Americans — one a grad of a leading prep school and another a good basketball player who dropped out. When I started teaching at Vassar in 1963, 3 lonely African Americans were enrolled in the whole college.

Back to Alzheimers don’t begin to panic if one’s memory begins to give one a rough time. You are just getting older. And as Socrates said when he was being executed for antagonizing the local establishment, when I die, I will either have the best sleep ever or meet up with my dear friends who have proceeded me.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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