You Are Never Too Old To Learn

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4 Responses

  1. Patrick S. O'Donnell says:

    Having returned to the academic world (part-time mind you) in my 40s (and now 50) and just starting to write and publish in earnest, I think lifelong learning (certified or not) is absolutely essential and especially rewarding. My older students are often my best students and the younger ones benefit from their presence inside and outside the classroom.

  2. Deven says:

    Patrick, great to hear you are in the classroom. You have excellent comments, and I have wondered whether you had returned to academia. I am sure your students are happy to have you as a teacher.

  3. I also think Joan Erikson’s fascinating divergence with her husband is instructive here inasmuch as she questions the widely-held belief that generativity is greatly diminished in the later stages of the life cycle. I have often wondered myself why it is necessarily the case that one’s ability to think critically and innovatively is less at age 80 than at age 40.

    This strikes me as a stereotype about aging so pervasive as to be widely uncontroverted. To be sure, some elderly persons may have diminished mental capacity, dementia, or related conditions, but as gerontologists perpetually remind us, aging in and of itself is most assuredly not a disease. The ramifications of this conceptual distinction are, I submit, quite important.

  4. Patrick S. O'Donnell says:

    My best friend, Nandini Iyer, is well into her 70s, although now retired from teaching (UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College). She is a rather remarkable woman, much sharper and quicker on her feet than most folks half her age. She recently contributed to a Festschrift for one on my former teachers:

    She’s the mother of Pico Iyer, the travel writer, novelist….