TAT CN Header

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tuesday's 12

Not miles. Hours. At work.

Tuesday is my long day on campus: I have 2 day classes, then an afternoon of office hours, and then a night class, so I'm here from 9 am until 9 pm. I actually don't mind being on campus that long -- it does force me to get some work done (or read blogs and write emails, ya know how it is, homies) -- but it does mean that I take Tuesdays as a running rest day.

Thus, I have nothing running related to report; however, I do have a few student-related stories:

One student, the most unique, is 82 years old. Yup. You read that right. 82. She decided after her husband died to return to college and earn a degree, and this is her second semester. Can you imagine? 82 is my grandparents' ages! She's very interesting and has lots of valuable insight to add to class discussion, but I can tell her long-winded comments annoy the younger members of the classroom. 18 and 19 year olds don't really appreciate having a grandmother in the class. I wonder, though, if they'll ever reflect back on her and her endeavor and appreciate her courage and bravery for doing what she's doing -- daring to live life for as long as she's capable. I hope so. Certainly has provoked me to think differently about "retirement."

One guy showed up to class today when he hadn't been there at all last week and he hadn't contacted me. The first part of their first assignment was due today. He asked me after class if he had "missed anything" last week. I told him, sarcastically, "No, we've been waiting for you to show up before we did any work." I noted this afternoon that he withdrew from the class.

Lastly, in one of my literature classes this afternoon, we were discussing the short story "The Story of an Hour" about woman, in 1894, whose husband dies. As part of our discussion, we compare and contrast the nature of marriage in 1894 and marriage in 2008. I asked them to list some of the motivations for marriage in each era, and three people said "looks" were the main reason people get married in today's modern world. "Looks"! Man, I thought such superficial attitudes were only on TV. Guess I need to adjust some expectations.

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll have more as the semester progresses. But one thing's for sure: teaching at the college level is never boring. No sirreee, always interesting.

21 comments:

Non-Runner Nancy said...

What an inspiration that lady is. I hope I make it that long and continue to LIVE it.

Nice retort. :D

Looks? Really? I wonder how I managed to get married twice. HA.

Sarah said...

Looks?! Looks are for music videos and eye candy at the mall.

michelle said...

Forget looks, I'm marrying Dan for the money!! Seriously, how sad is that?! What about the butterflies in your stomach or the pukey feeling you get everytime you think about someone? That's how you know who you're supposed to marry!

Kudos to your "older than average" student! My grandma is 84 and it's hard to imagine her going to the grocery store, much less going back to college! I hope I'm that brave in my golden years.

David said...

No chance the majority will appreciate her perspective or wisdom. If so many don't even value their own time at college, I would suspect very few even pick up on what she has to offer. Too bad, but I guess it's part of youth to an extent. Like wishing you could remember all the stories grandma or grandpa told you when you were younger.

Thanks for the "Tales from Beyond the Lectern" (I think that's the right term). Always neat to get some insight to others' lives.

Marathoner in Training said...

LMAO, those are great. Keep the comments comming. I love the reply to the student who was not there last week. Now that I think about it, that was me during my undergrad. Now I got 2 masters.

P.O.M. said...

LOOKS? No way. Well, maybe when you're 18 or 19, but "looks" drops down on the list about every year after that. Don't get me wrong, "attraction" is important, but that is not necessarily the same thing as "looks." Especially because I am totally "attracted" to nerdy type with big noses. Seriously... like the guy on "Revenge ofthe Nerds."

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

You definitely get some of the best one-liners from your classes! I actually do think that many of those kids will eventually appreciate what they learn from that elderly woman (even if it is just that life doesn't end because you get older), but probably not for quite a while.

Viv said...

What strength that older lady has. More power to her!
I loved your reply of we were waiting for you, LOL!
Hope your the rest of your evening flies by.

Christine said...

Today is a 6-6 day for me at school...and also my running rest day! we have lots in common today.No 82 yr olds in my classes though! haha. Have a great rest day!

Firefly's Running said...

Wow! That's amazing at 82.

Crystal said...

Good for her for going back to school and living her dreams. She is a good role model for us all.

Froyd said...

oldsters, left untethered and babbling, are an annoyance that I couldn't stand in undergrad.

I still couldn't stand them in grad school.

Also, I plan on getting married for cold hard cash.

RunnerGirl said...

The 82 year old lady is awesome, how brave of her to go back to school at that age!

Mary Gee said...

It is a shame that we don't value aging as a society. I am glad you value this woman. It must take a lot of guts to do something that wild!

teacherwoman said...

Teaching in general is never boring. Every day is a new day with a new story!

I love the sarcastic remark! What a dumbass!

Marcy said...

Wow that is so awesome about the 82 yo. I could not imagine going back to school that late in life. GO HER!!

AnthonyP said...

82 ? 82 ? They should make a movie about that and call it something like "Back to School". :))

ws said...

I'm curious - did anyone write "psychosis" as an explanation/motivation for marriage?

Hope you enjoyed your rest day...

keith said...

Kids don't have any respect for their elders anymore, and neither does this society. Youth may be exuberant & beautiful, but on the whole it is always the "oldsters" a generation ends up learning from.

Most people my age just get married because they think it's what you're supposed to do. I know all too many rabid little princesses who think they ought to be swept off their feet by a perfect prince charming and live happily ever after...

ps you're funny.

J~mom said...

It used to get on my last nerve when students would ask, "did I miss anything?" I always wanted to answer something similar.

Allison said...

1) That 82-year-old rocks
2) LOOKS? Yikes.
3) Nice comment to Mr. "Did I Miss Anything"

:)