Monday, February 1, 2010

A Century of Learning

Harriet Richardson Ames dies on 23 Jan 2010, three weeks after her 100th birthday.

Ames has left behind an unusual life story not because she has lived up to a ripe old age. Rather, she became a college graduate at the age of 100 years old and dies the day after.

This is her story:

Ames earned her teaching certificate in 1931 and she taught first-graders at Keene Normal School in New Hampshire (now Keene State College). While she helped the little ones learn, she was learning too.

During her years as a teacher, Ames was taking classes to earn credits for her diploma. She continued to do so until her retirement in 1971. Due to failing eyesight, she stopped her classes and was not sure if she had earned enough credits for a diploma.

It has always been her dream to receive a diploma in education.

A few years ago, the college came to know about her dream. They decided to go through her coursework to see if they could award her a diploma. When Ames came to know that the college was working on her diploma, she cried and said, "If I die tomorrow, I'll know I'll die happy, because my diploma's in the works." She requested for her diploma to be read at her funeral if she did not live long enough to accept it herself.

Ames did receive her diploma when it was delivered to her bedside. The day after, she passed away, pleased.

Ames was known to be a dedicated teacher and now, even more outstandingly, a determined student.

This story is not only touching but it also tells us about something simple, yet important - lifelong learning.

Many people would agree that lifelong learning is necessary but they believe it is not easy to do. This seems to be the general perception about lifelong learning but I beg to differ.

Lifelong learning is seen to be unachievable simply because it is, if I may say, overrated. In the next post, I would share my thoughts on why lifelong learning need not be accompanied by lifelong agony.

Stay tuned.

See report by AolNews.

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
~Mark Twain~

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1 comment:

Inspirational Quotes said...

Hey great stuff, thank you for sharing this useful information and I will let know my friends as well.