Key Takeaways:

Gale H, 69, currently resides in the Catskill Mountains, although she legitimately identifies as a New Yorker after 40 years living and working in Manhattan. She’s a retired teacher who left the city at the beginning of the pandemic to observe stringent social distancing guidelines and counts finding GetSetUp as a huge blessing,

“GetSetUp has been amazing for my mental health. A key part of my own mental palace.”

Most of her working life has been in education, teaching English to adult immigrants on New York’s Lower East Side and in Chinatown. In her twenties, she lived in Taiwan and loved speaking Mandarin. During her teaching career, she had the opportunity to hear Mandarin on a daily basis. She missed all that after retirement,

“After retirement, I wanted to change things up. I missed hearing Chinese and took a few classes on YouTube and Coursera, but they weren’t interactive enough. On GetSetUp, I found Sue Tang and her Mandarin classes in cultural programming. This was native speakers discussing culture, exactly what I’d been looking for. It’s been improving my language skills since I started it.”

Another big part of Gale’s life currently is volunteering as a tax preparer for the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program which involves a lot of studying and tests. She now uses a lot of online software she wasn’t all that confident with before,

“I need to apply tax laws for people and take all the tests to get qualified for that, and to be able to support people proficiently with their often complicated tax situations. For that you have to use a Google Chromebook and Google software.  My technology skills weren’t all that strong, and so it was all taking much longer than it needed to. GetSetUp has been so valuable to me to learn those things and help me with my volunteering.”

A lot of us can relate to Gale feeling overwhelmed by suddenly having to use a new machine and unfamiliar software. Using the latest technology and applying tax law was confusing to start with, but Gale says she's so much more confident now, since taking GetSetUp tech classes. Google Drive, Google Meets, and Gmail were all new programs to Gale, as well as using the Google Chrome laptop.

“It began with me guessing my way through these programs. If I’m instructed well, I can get it; it’s not that I’m a technophobe. Working with Guides, like Wade and Vicki, has massively reduced my stress levels, in trying to figure it out alone. And their knowledge is amazing.”

Gale is also thrilled about the volume of classes and the round the clock delivery of them,

“I’m a night person, so GetSetUp appealed to me. It’s a global company, so classes are running at all hours of the day. The variety of courses and Guides have been amazing. I have so much respect for the Guides, as I know how much preparation goes into these courses.”

GetSetUp has structured its classes to fit in with demanding lifestyles. Gale reinforces how easy it is to take these classes in amongst her other weekly demands,

“An hour is a low time commitment too, and you can sample something for an hour. If you like it, just sign up again for the next class, otherwise, keep trying new things.

The main benefit incurred from her involvement with GetSetUp has undoubtedly been her technological capabilities. These new skills have supported her paid work and volunteering and given Gale much more confidence to do all that work online from the Catskills. Both ensure her quality of life and job satisfaction is high.

“I recognize the benefits of this organization through mental stimulation and socialization. The intellectual stimulation is a quarter of my ‘four-leaf clover’. It’s an important part, with the other three quarters being fitness, socialization, and diet. I can see how GetSetUp supports learners with all of these things. For a retired senior who wants a brain workout, it’s perfect!”

Mar 2, 2022
Learner Stories
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