When St. Valentine was punished for marrying couples centuries ago, he probably wasn’t thinking about the importance of chocolate. Since then, the reputation of the holiday has become more complicated.
Now, the holiday has a tendency to be over-commercialized, and people feel an extreme pressure not to be alone. But, when people are walking through campus between Feb. 12 and 19, they might see a reminder of what Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about.
Members of Waterfield Library, Murray Art Guild and the Murray-Calloway County Endowment for Health Care have collaborated to create a Valentine’s Day project. Students, faculty and passers-by will have to opportunity to write their sentiments on caregiving on the walls of Waterfield Library and the Calloway County Public Library.
The topic of caregiving for the elderly is just a base for the project, and the idea is to share different ways of caring for yourself or others.
The main goal is to fill the walls of each library with sentiments.
There will be a performance piece by Constance Alexander, professor of English and philosophy, that will be gathered from all the responses the project receives.
Alexander has done other performance pieces throughout the country and is an award-winning author. The performance and project are components of the Art Access Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council that focuses on the needs of the elderly and their caregivers.
Alexander said the project being targeted at college students will help bring out an important message.
“I wanted to get younger people involved with this project because college kids might have elderly grandparents at home,” Alexander said. “Caregiving is something you do every day; we are all caregivers in some way.”
Alexander is working on another grant project that is focusing on the caregiving roles of new mothers and midwives.
“I get to write about caregiving from birth to death,” said Alexander.
Maybe the notes posted on the front of Waterfield Library will teach us that red roses and heart-shaped candies aren’t the gifts that we should be giving each other.
Story by Taylor Inman, Staff writer