Saturday, April 18, 2009


I recently read a blog about the subject Lifelong Learning and it brought a number of things to mind. I was reminded of many years ago when I began college and met with the chairman of the Sociology department about my major. He was an older man who was getting ready to retire and obviously had not kept up with what was going on in his field. I right then and there vowed not to let that happen to me. Now I have retired and believe that I have honored that commitment.

There are two perks of retirement that I have availed myself of. In the state of Tennessee when you reach 65 you can get a permanent fishing license and you can audit college courses at state schools free. I quickly took advantage of both. I am now taking all the history courses that the community college in our area offers. The first course I took was world history. The young people in the class could not figure out what I was doing there, and not long after the semester began the young lady next to me said, "Why are you here?" I told her I was retired and had always had an interest in history, to which she replied, "When I get out of here I am not coming back." She then said, "Why don't you play golf or something?" I told her that I did some of that. She then suggested that I get a puzzle. To which I replied, "I am not ready for that, yet." I then told her that I hated to break it to her but, learning is a lifelong process.

Learning is a lifelong process and here are some suggestions about the process. Keep up with the field of work that you chose for a career. Read what is happening in that field, even when you retire. Don't just sit down when you retire, develop new interests and try new things. Read, Read, Read, use the computer to keep up with the world around you and the technology that is available. Take advantage of educational opportunities and seminars in the community. Travel, see parts of the world that you have never seen before and study up on the places you go. One of the real joys that I have found is genealogy and have traced my family all the way back to Europe in the 1300's. Contribute to the community that you are a part of. Since I retired I have become involved in Chaplaincy at the hospital and with Hospice and find that it is very fulfilling. Get out there and do something.

That is the way I see it from my side of the road.

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