8.03.2007

This is what I like to hear

For the past 26 years, 3 months, and 6 days we've listened to my mom talk about how much she wishes she could go back to college and finish her degree. And we wish that she could, too. But it's like it was never her turn. She was raising us and frequently working part-time when we were little. My dad joined the Air Force right after high school, so it took him a long time to get a bachelor's degree (and then a masters) through night-classes and distance ed. And then all the kids were in college and needing money for things like tuition, books, and million-dollar plane tickets home to AK at Christmas.

Only now, see, we've all moved out and young Master Coolboy is the only one still needing tuition assistance. So now it can be Mom's turn. But I think that after so long she's kind of psyched herself out a bit. And there are always these other things that seem more important at the moment. Because I'm not sure what those things are I'll just take a stand and say they're not actually more important than education. Stands like that are easiest to make when one doesn't have all the facts.

I've told her, though, that if she ends up not going back and getting her degree, especially now that she actually has enough time & money to do it, then she's not allowed to bring it up again. Ever. Because she will have lost her whining rights and it won't be anyone else's fault anymore. We're all about the tough love here.

So when I see a story like this one I want to make sure she sees it, along with anyone else who feels like it's too late for them to go back to school or change careers or just do something completely different. Brian May, the guitarist from Queen, has just turned in his Ph.D. thesis to the university he left 36 years ago. He's 60 years old. And his thesis was about Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud.

That's what I'm talking about, people.

11 comments:

Mary said... [reply]

I’m sure your mom could find any number of older students to talk to if she’s feeling uncertain. I graduated from TWU in May with a second bachelors – a BS in Nursing. I wasn’t the only fifty-something student and there were a number of forty-somethings in my class as well. Never mind the famous guitarist completing his PHD. There are plenty of ordinary older men and women – like me – going back for ordinary sorts of degrees. The sooner she starts, the sooner she will finish. Tell her to go for it from me! And good luck!

cooldad said... [reply]

Ahem...in defense of Coolmom, Miss Nem only provided part of the story. Here is the rest of the story. Coolmom was preparing to apply for a degree program with the local university. However, a full-time job opportunity presented itself that with good pay (significantly more that Miss Nem's master degree required position pays) and retirement benefits. After weighing the pros and cons, Coolmom decided to accept the employment offer with the plan to go back to school and complete a degree when she retires. Because, hey, as Miss Nem points out in her post, it is never too late.

lilcis said... [reply]

My grandma was in her (early?) 70's when she got her BA from BYU - Hawaii. It took her quite a few years to do it, too, since they only spent the winter in Hawaii and the summers in California and Missouri.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Dude, dad, way to rub that in about my salary. . . it's bad enough what you told those nursing school graduates that one time. Speaking of, that's a blog post in itself, so I'll hold off.

Desmama said... [reply]

Our last R.S. president here in our branch started college at 57 years old. She had ZERO credits to her name and went on to get a PhD in English. Her dissertation was on something about Shakespeare. She's from little ol' Bloomington, ID, and one heck of a lady (she'd also been the R.S. president at the local jail . . . not as an inmate, though, you understand).

Anyway, the point of all that was I think it's great your mom's going back and she can go as far as she'd like! It's been done before!

kristen said... [reply]

cooldad, I love your comments, and your snarky sense of humor. Hmmm, I wonder where Nemesis gets some of that from..... ;-)

Jimmy said... [reply]

OK, I'm in a similar situation to your Mom's. At this point in my career, I've had to make a choice to go back to school and get a license. The exam is like the Bar exam for my industry. Motivation has been tough. So tell your Mom she HAS to do it now, my future depends on her!

And wish her good luck for me.

Jenny said... [reply]

Work shmirk. School is so much better. I hear retirement is way overrated anyway. I vote go to school.

Saxon said... [reply]

one of my best friends from uni was a mature student in her 50s and she stayed the whole three years in hall of residence!

She only had problems once when a bunch of rugby players got into her halls and when she asked them to leave they said that the uni had a great equal oppotunities policy to let OAPS into the uni and shoved her .

Unfortuantely for him by friend is quite strong for her size and Said rugby player suddenly found himself airborne then on the floor of the corridor several feet away. while my friend smiled sweetly, she dusted her hands and told him that unless he wanted to leave through a window he should leave through a door immediately because as a OAP she would only get more cranky without some sleep. Said rugby player left the hall very quickly and was never able to live it down.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Bwah hahahah! Love the story, Saxon. OAP = Old Age Pensioner, yes?

Saxon said... [reply]

yes

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