Lifelong learning

"It's never too late to learn."

One of my college friends was fifty years old. To a nineteen-year-old—as I was back then—that was ancient, yet he did just fine in his classes. In those days, I thought that age made a difference in how much you could learn. Today, I know better.

Colleges and universities are finding a growing market among retirees who want to remain active or even learn new careers. The College of DuPage in Illinois has an Older Adult Institute with an enrollment of 2,200 students. Most of them are aged sixty-five to over ninety. Among the more popular classes are Great Performers/Great Composers. Other courses include classes in the humanities, and democracy and global economics (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12, 1999). The Older Adult Institute is not the only interest of senior students. There are over nine thousand in the fifty-five-and-older group enrolled in regular college courses (Chicago Tribune, Oct. 27, 1999).

So, who says older people can't or don't want to, learn?

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Of universal stature
September 4, 2000

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