Tuesday, June 19, 2007

This article is so amazing!
As the saying goes:

Lifelong Learning
Still Cracking the Books at 95
By Tamar Snyder
Nola Ochs is a living textbook. During history courses, the 95-year-old regaled her much younger classmates with memories of dodging the dust storms in the 1930s that threatened to destroy her family farm in Kansas. “It was dark as night, even after we turned the lamps on,” Ochs says. She also shared tales of cattle drives, life as a farmwife, and living without running water. Ochs made history when she graduated in May 2007 with a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. She’s the oldest college graduate in the world and will be entered in Guinness World Records 2008. Learning keeps her alive, she says. Come September, Ochs plans to head back to school--and start working on her master’s degree. “There’s something within me that wants to keep learning,” she says. “I just can’t quit.”

A former teacher at a one-room schoolhouse in rural Kansas, Ochs married in 1933 and raised four children. It wasn’t until 1972, when her husband Vernon died, that she began taking classes at Dodge City Community College. Last fall, she moved into student housing at Fort Hays, where her granddaughter Alexandra was also a student, and completed the final 30 hours toward a general-studies degree. Still sprightly, Ochs checks her e-mail every morning before breakfast, and drives her own car. “I encourage the elderly to keep up their driving skills,” she says, recommending American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) refresher courses for confidence boosters.
What’s her secret to a healthy and productive longevity? Don’t dwell on your age. “People think I’m supposed to be sitting in a chair, crocheting,” she says, laughing at the thought. “If we don’t think about how old we are, that helps give us the enthusiasm to get up and do something.” Her son, Alan, attributes his mother’s vitality to her good attitude. Ochs is preparing for a summer cruise to the Caribbean aboard the Crown Princess with her granddaughter. She’ll share with passengers stories from her past and participate in a question-and-answer session. “I always told people I wanted to be a storyteller on a cruise ship,” she says. “Now I’ll get my chance.”


Allie_Marie said...

I always said that I never wanted to live past 75, but this lady is definitely still alive and kicking very well. I would love to be like that.

MissionsAngel said...


J.Elle said...

Wow that is awesome...so inspiring!