Key Takeaways:

I believe in synchronicity. I always feel that things happen for a reason. The idea that both of us would be in the same class at the same time with all the classes on GetSetUp I thought was truly amazing," said Kathy.

It’s rare that a virtual cooking class brings together long-lost friends who haven’t spoken in over 40 years. Yet, Marvin and Kathy were able to reconnect thanks to Deb’s Healthy Winter Meals in 30 Minutes or less.

“I was taking this cooking class with Deb when I heard the name, Marv Goldstein. I looked in the chat and saw a Marv from East Lansing. I thought how many Marv Goldsteins can there be in East Lansing? In NYC there would be a lot, but Mid-Michigan is another story. So after the class I did some googling, found him on Facebook, and called him up,” said Kathy.

Marvin was pleasantly surprised to hear from someone he hadn’t talked to in over 40 years.

“The class that day was pretty big maybe about 30 people, so I could only see a portion of my screen. I didn’t notice Kathy there at the time. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have recognized her, after all, this time if we had passed on the street. But about an hour after the class I got a call from Kathy,” said Marvin.

The two hadn’t seen each other since about 1980 when Kathy moved with her husband to Alaska. Before that, they had worked together. Marvin had been Kathy’s boss. Marvin had been hired by the Michigan Department of State - Bureau of Automotive to work closely with automotive specialists and investigators in a special task force. Essentially, the task force taught the police mechanics and taught some of the mechanics some basic investigative skills. Kathy was an investigator that Marvin had hired at the time and her husband was a repair specialist who she met thanks to this task force.

The two were excited to catch up with an old friend after so much time. They were able to share the ups and downs of the last 40 years, and Marvin got his question answered about the rarest car in the world, but that’s another story.

Finding GetSetUp to make new friends and encounter the old ones too!

Kathy first heard of GetSetUp from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services newsletter.

“I thought hey why not. I’m always looking to learn and with the pandemic, it’s not like my calendar is overbooked. I’m a people person and I like meeting new people and hearing their stories and learning new things.”

GetSetUp has been particularly great for Kathy as she needs to get a hip replacement and part of that process involves losing some weight. That’s why she’s enjoying Deb’s cooking classes with tips on healthy meals. Plus, she has also dived deeply into some technology classes on topics like Google Calendar, Excel, Google Docs, and how to sell things online.

“I think GetSetUp is a great idea. I love it. I’m thrilled that the State of Michigan is allowing me to take these classes for free,” said Kathy.

That means that in the slower life that is the pandemic period, GetSetUp is an opportunity for growth and socialization even for those with some financial worries. Thanks to Michigan's partnership all older adults in Michigan have free access to these new skills and opportunities.

Meanwhile, Marvin first saw GetSetUp through Facebook or one of the emails from the Michigan Departments.

According to Marvin, “I had been looking for another venue to teach or facilitate since I had taught at a senior center for fun.”

Marvin has been hosting his own groups on humor, reading aloud, and chit-chat since the pandemic started but was looking for a bit more diversity.

“One frustration I have with some of my discussion groups is that East Lansing is not so diverse. I like how GetSetUp is structured. People can jump in and out of classes. Plus people come from all across the US, so you get to hear lots of different opinions and ideas. It’s a nice cross-section of people. Plus it's a place where I can be both a student and a facilitator,”  said Marvin.

GetSetup is truly a place for those who love to learn. That’s why there is a bit of something for everyone from Norman’s morning chats to classes on photo apps or technology.

Classes are a great way to meet new people and hear new and diverse opinions from new friends and perhaps run into old friends too!

“I believe in synchronicity.  I always feel that things happen for a reason. The idea that both of us would be in the same class at the same time with all the classes on GetSetUp I thought was truly amazing," said Kathy.

At GetSetUp we think it's only natural that great minds think alike and perhaps end up in the same classes together too!

"It’s good for people to be challenged and to be educated while feeling connected to others. That’s the thing about running into Marvin. He was an important part of my life, my boss, and how I met my husband through the department we worked in together. He was part of the beginning of who I am now. I just want to say thank you for opening up that opportunity for us to reconnect.”

Marvin and Kathy have had the chance to rekindle a former friendship and spark new ones with GetSetUp.

Who could you reconnect with within a GetSetUp class?

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May 19, 2022
Community Stories

Classes by:

Liz Miller

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