Gloria Hoffner, owner of Guitar with Gloria and Science for Seniors, an activity for senior citizens was featured in an article appeared in August 15, 2012 edition of Delaware County Daily Times. To see this article online Dailty Times, click HERE. To read more about Guitair with Gloria or Science for Seniors, click HERE – http://guitarwithgloria.com/. To contact Gloria Hoffner, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By BARBARA ORMSBY
UPPER PROVIDENCE — Gloria Hoffner had a lot of different ideas for what she wanted to do in life.
As a middle-school student, she loved science and wanted to be an astronaut. In college, she majored in journalism and minored in music. And she has managed to combine all three — science, writing and music into one career.
Well, maybe she won’t orbit the earth, but she has authored a book on science for senior citizens titled “Science for Seniors” that was written for activities directors and certified therapeutic recreation specialists at retirement communities, independent or assisted-living facilities, long-term care facilities, adult day care and senior citizens.
“The book gives you everything you need to run a one-hour program,” Hoffner said. “It is easy to understand. For instance, I wrote that the blue whale is the largest creature on earth, the size of three school buses, end to end, with a heart the size of a Volkswagon Beetle, rather than say it is 100 feet long. I made it very simple. The book tells you how to do an experiment with everyday stuff, like eggs, water, and salt, to explain the density difference between fresh water and salt water. I use flour, a baking pan and seasoned salt and a rock to show seniors how craters on the moon are formed.”
Hoffner worked as a journalist for almost 30 years, first with the Daily Times and then the Philadelphia Inquirer, and she brings a lot of happiness to patients in nursing homes and retirememt communities with her Guitar with Gloria program.
“I only went into journalism because I could not be an astronaut,” Hoffner joked. “When I was in seventh grade, I wrote to NASA and asked what courses to study in high school and college so I could be an astronaut. I received a form letter telling me I had to learn Latin and German and chemistry. And at the bottom of the form, hand written in blue ink, was a sentence, ‘we do not accept women in this program.’”
With her hopes for a career in space dashed when she received that curt dismissal from NASA, Hoffner thought she would write science-fiction stories, but a lecturer she heard advised, “if you want to be a science-fiction writer, you have to get a day job.”
Obviously, rejection doesn’t seem to deter Hoffner. With the success of Guitar with Gloria and “Science for Seniors,” Hoffner recently took another big step forward professionally. She is busy writing a series of 10 books on travel.
“I asked the Idyl Arbor Publishing Co. about my writing a travel book with a one-hour program, and the publisher asked me to do 10 books. I’m starting with Europe,” she said.
The travel books will also be geared to senior citizens and the countries their ancestors came from.
“Guitar with Gloria and ‘Science for Seniors’ is my company, and it is a registered trademark,” Hoffner explained. “I play guitar at places, do science progams at centers, speak at conventions, write a monthly column, and I’m writing 10 books on travel.”
In 2010, there was a national contest for the best new idea among activities professionals. Hoffner entered and won first place for the best new idea for a retirement community.
Hoffner is 56. She and her husband, Jim, have two grown sons, Richard and Stephen. She graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School and Temple University. While in college, Hoffner earned spending money by playing guitar at weddings. Her love of music and performing extends beyond the guitar. She also plays baritone horn with the Chichester Community Band, and she also earned an activities director certification from the National Certification Council for Activities Professionals.
“I loved being a reporter, and I love doing what I’m doing now. I’m a very blessed person. I wish I could meet the teacher who said ‘you will never be a science teacher,’” Hoffner said, recalling a teacher who discouraged her from seeking a master’s degree so she could teach science in schools.
“She said no school will hire me because when I graduated, I would be too old,” Hoffner said with a laugh.