Nestled in the serene setting of St. Petersburg, Florida, Guide Marjorie is continuously learning and connecting with her community. A former vice president of a community college and head of a Cisco Academy there, Marjorie's transition into retirement brought her to GetSetUp, where she continues her technological journey. She joined GetSetUp to keep up with her technology skills and for something to do. After years of caring for her husband, she relocated from the north to Florida to be closer to her children and grandchildren when he passed. She thought the transition would be hard, but she's managed to make many local friends since she moved.
Marjorie has a true passion for animals, so she is surrounded by furry and feathered friends at home.
"I have a little toy poodle and two birds, Costa and Blu. They bring so much joy to my life," she shares.
She has to watch what she says around Blu, who picks up on language cues quickly and will repeat back what is said around him. Her connection with her pets underscores her empathetic approach, which extends to her interactions with her students.
Bold Explorations and Lifelong Learning
Traveling is Marjorie's way of embracing boldness.
"I love to cruise and explore," she says.
She regularly takes cruises in the Caribbean, and her most recent trip was to Switzerland with her grandson. This particular trip taught her a valuable life lesson.
"My luggage didn't make it. I realized I could do without many things," she reflects.
This experience highlights her adaptability and resourcefulness, qualities she imparts to her GetSetUp students. Now she’s ready for her next adventure, where she and her family will take a Viking cruise that starts in Athens and ends in Italy - places she is eager to explore!
Her adventurous spirit is not just about leisure; it's a quest for learning and understanding different cultures. Travel has sparked Marjorie's interest in learning more about different cultures and histories.
"There's so much I don't know about other cultures. Travel makes me want to learn more," she states.
She’s also interested in learning more languages. She took French when she was in college and still remembers enough to ask for directions when traveling. Now she’s most interested in starting to learn Spanish since it would be useful even in Florida.
Cultivating Connections and Hospitality
Having lived in St. Petersburg for only a year and a half, Marjorie has already built a robust network of friends. She’s active in her new community playing cards and is even one of the Officers of the condominium.
“I don’t want to sit back and not use my mind because I think that it goes away if you don’t use it, so I’m trying to be bold and go out and try new things!”
While part of trying new things is fun, sometimes health issues interrupt that. Recently, Marjorie needed ankle surgery, which was going to keep her a bit less active than usual while it healed.
"After my surgery, I was surprised by how many people came to help me," she notes, emphasizing the importance of community and mutual support.
"Aging has allowed me to interact more with people," Marjorie observes.
When she was working, she was gone all day and would come home, get dinner, and take care of the children. So she didn’t have time to really just talk to other people like she does now.
“Now I’m making so many friends and learning about the interesting lives people had. That’s a real opportunity to really know more people and know what they think.”
Marjorie's had some of her own unique experiences to share with others that she meets. She was a torchbearer in the Salt Lake City Olympics. She was nominated by a student for this opportunity, which was a significant honor and an important moment in her life.
“I was lucky enough to be a torchbearer in the Salt Lake City Olympics. That was my 15 minutes of fame. I carried the torch in Asheville, NC, through the tunnel to the hospital.”
She was lucky enough to even get to keep the touch afterward!
Empowerment Through Education
Marjorie's journey into technology education was self-driven.
"I decided to get a master's in technology before retiring. I was self-taught initially, which inspired me to keep learning," she remarks. “At the time, my husband said you’ll be 60 when you get this master's degree. But I said, ‘I’ll be 60 with or without it, so I’d rather have it and see what I can learn.”
Marjorie doesn’t want to lose touch with technology, which is part of her drive to teach it so she can stay up to date on the latest trends. This drive is a source of inspiration for her students, showing that age is not a barrier to acquiring new skills. Her aim in teaching is to start at the beginner level, ensuring no one feels overwhelmed.
"I love it when people ask questions. Everyone learns from questions," she states.
Her role at GetSetUp goes beyond teaching technology.
"I'm an avid knitter, and teaching it on GetSetUp was a challenge compared to technology," she says.
She realized she needed to make a number of adjustments to help show what she was doing and how she was doing it. The positive response from her students has reinforced her belief in her abilities and shown her that she can do something that she didn’t initially think she would be able to do.
Marjorie's journey with GetSetUp is not just about imparting knowledge; it's about fostering a community of learners who are as passionate about growth as she is.