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University

Old 03-23-17, 07:33 AM
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University

So who here is over 50 ... and still in university?

Especially trying to juggle university, full-time employment, and cycling/training for cycling events?


How are you fitting it all in?
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Old 03-23-17, 08:32 AM
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I"ll gladly take more middle age students over millennials, and so would my wife.
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Old 03-23-17, 08:56 AM
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Not me. From time to time I take courses at the local community colleges. But at near $100/credit, with the crazy cost of "educational" textbooks, added fees a single 3 credit course can easily cost $500. I can find night/weekend courses at the community colleges that return value. The universities around here are more like $1000/credit. Evening and weekend courses at the Unis never include the courses I'd like to take. Tenured Profs don't want to teach evenings for the most part. Guess I can't blame them.

Watching new employees entering the workforce with a new degree and a student loan debt that exceeds my mortgage I'm thinking, "It ain't worth it." Some of these kids will be paying off the loan for twenty years. Most of these jobs don't really necessitate a degree even if they require it. I see it as similar to the housing bubble. Eventually something's going to pop. Hope I'm wrong.
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Old 03-23-17, 09:02 AM
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I'm "in" a large university (for my sins), but faculty, not student. Can't be of much help, Machka
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Old 03-23-17, 09:27 AM
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Not in my 50's, but did so in my mid-30's, completing my doctorate in BioChemical Engineering while working full time at a big pharma company. It was a real bear to the point that I nearly became a casualty of ABT syndrome (all but thesis). I lost track of the days as I'd spend weekends doing experiments, and all of a sudden it would be Monday again.

I can't even begin to imagine doing same in my late 50's and also training for cycling events.......
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Old 03-23-17, 09:32 AM
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Not university but lots of computer certifications required - Cisco, HP, Microsoft - and many hours spent in the home lab and reading, preparing for exams.

I cope with 800 lumen lights and do many rides at night.


-Tim-
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Old 03-23-17, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I cope with 800 lumen lights and do many rides at night.


-Tim-
lol. Been there.

Hat's off to the OP for managing school, a full time job, and training. Doing it at 50+ is an extra bonus that will keep her young.

You're no doubt aware of Parkinson's Law ... that work expands to fill available time? That means that if you want to get something done quickly, give it to a busy person, as they will attack it with dispatch. That's you.

I love school ... and never had the luxury of not needing to hold down a job at the same time. Maybe I'll try that (or teaching) upon retirement ... if that ever happens.
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Old 03-23-17, 09:58 AM
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for several years I had a full time day job, a 2nd job 2 nites a week & 1 wknd day, also 1 night class. continued to go to the gym every day at lunch but the riding only happened on nice warm wknd days when I didn't have a family commitment. it's tough to keep the riding going for sure. good luck!
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Old 03-23-17, 10:49 AM
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At my age if I tried the same things at university, that made university so much fun when I was 18, it would kill me.

The studying I think I could handle but the socialising.................
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Old 03-23-17, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
At my age if I tried the same things at university, that made university so much fun when I was 18, it would kill me.
Literally. Old people sex is great for ladies, bad news for men | New York Post

I take classes occasionally and guest lecture. But I'm also partially retired.
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Old 03-23-17, 11:11 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Gerryattrick View Post
At my age if I tried the same things at university, that made university so much fun when I was 18, it would kill me.

The studying I think I could handle but the socialising.................
NOT ME!!!!

Didn't do much in "college" then, not doing much in "retirement" now. "Same as it ever was......"

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Old 03-23-17, 11:46 AM
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Well, that's not what I was expecting.
“Strikingly, we find that having sex once a week or more puts older men at a risk for experiencing cardiovascular events that is almost two times greater than older men who are sexually inactive,
If sex gives you a heart attack, I think you're in pretty bad physical condition anyway.
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Old 03-23-17, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
Literally. Old people sex is great for ladies, bad news for men | New York Post

I take classes occasionally and guest lecture. But I'm also partially retired.
"Ultimately, while moderate amounts of sex may promote health among older men, having sex too frequently or too enjoyably may be a risk factor for cardiovascular problems, Liu said."

So I'm OK if I work at not enjoying it? I think this might come under the category of "expensive but worth it."

I wonder how these guys define "sex" or "having sex too frequently."
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Old 03-23-17, 12:39 PM
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skip to 1:53 "if you can climb a flight of stairs"

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Old 03-23-17, 01:46 PM
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To be a bit more serious than my first reply I think that mature students are more likely to concentrate on their studies than I was. They have more life experiences that will allow them to prioritise their studies and make the most of their late opportunity. I was not ready for the freedom, literally p*ssing my opportunity away so that I was kicked out after two years.

Luckily I managed eventually to make a good career, at one stage managing the graduate recruitment programme for a national company, and I found that a very large percentage of mature graduates, who had prior experience of work, were very impressive at interview and made good employees.
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Old 03-23-17, 02:36 PM
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I am 58 and I am taking a university statistics class. I just show up, I am not registered. Big class so the professor won't notice an extra body. And I get paid while I am attending.
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Old 03-23-17, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Well, that's not what I was expecting.


If sex gives you a heart attack, I think you're in pretty bad physical condition anyway.
But if I had to pick the means by which I will be ushered out of this life, I think it would be worth consideration.
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Old 03-23-17, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Phloom View Post
I am 58 and I am taking a university statistics class. I just show up, I am not registered. Big class so the professor won't notice an extra body. And I get paid while I am attending.
I wish I could get all of my stat students to show up consistently. Especially come test time!
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Old 03-23-17, 05:57 PM
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One of the reasons I'm working my way ever-so-slowly toward a Masters is because I figure I've got at least 20 years of work left, and I'd like to expand my choices and options.

Another reason is that I work in an IT-related field, and I feel like I need to keep on top of things.


Regarding the cost ... it's expensive but right now, for the moment, we can afford it and I'm hoping it will be a good investment. There will be no student loans ... I have years of education and have never had a student loan.
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Old 03-23-17, 06:02 PM
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I earned a B.S. degree at 49 years old, while I worked full-time with my share of parenting 3 children. Well worth it, and I'd recommend continuous education at any age. If I can afford it, I'd like to study ancient Greek history and philosophy when I retire in 5 years.
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Old 03-23-17, 06:06 PM
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I haven't yet, but my plan is to audit courses I took as an undergrad, for fun this time. I can do this for $100/class (plus books) at the local university. My degree is in French, and my lit classes were taught by European or European-trained profs. As an 18-year-old sophomore, I would get to class Monday and the prof would say, "Read <this 400-600 page book set in eight point type> and we'll discuss it next Monday." After working in the language off and on for the past 40+ years, I can actually pull that off now without BS...and without cutting into my cycling time. Being retired helps!
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Old 03-23-17, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Phloom View Post
I am 58 and I am taking a university statistics class. I just show up, I am not registered. Big class so the professor won't notice an extra body. And I get paid while I am attending.
Wait... You're saying you found a class at a university with a prof teaching it??? I call BS.
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Old 03-23-17, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Wait... You're saying you found a class at a university with a prof teaching it??? I call BS.
People with doctorates teach at the universities I've attended in Canada and here in Australia. If I'm not mistaken, when you've got a doctorate, you're a professor.
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Old 03-23-17, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
People with doctorates teach at the universities I've attended in Canada and here in Australia. If I'm not mistaken, when you've got a doctorate, you're a professor.
I suspect the post related to the number of courses taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants, which is fairly common in the US, especially lower level courses with large attendance that require many sections.
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Old 03-23-17, 09:36 PM
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My mom finished her degree in social work when she was nearly 50. Started on her master's but got so busy with work she never finished. Her specialty was care of the aging, the elderly. She inspected nursing homes to ensure compliance with our very minimally adequate state regulations. She was a top notch student, with honors, awards and accomplishments to show her late blooming wasn't wasted.

Unfortunately life wasn't kind to her after that. Her back was broken in a fall, after which her balance suffered and she seemed to keep falling and getting worse with each fall until concussions and mini-strokes led to cognitive problems and permanent disabilities.

She's 78 now and I've looked after her for 10 years. I don't trust nursing homes. I've seen too many problems with nursing homes and unsupervised in-home aides. So I've looked after my own grandparents and now my mom for more than 20 years.

My background was in nursing, occupational safety and health and journalism. I never finished college or got a degree. At 59 I'm no longer motivated to pursue any sort of official validations.

Does it matter? Yeah, it does. Depending on your career goals.

When I was in college in the 1980s, majoring in journalism, our university hosted a college journalism convention. One of the guest speakers was an editorial editor for a major New York newspaper. We went to Billy Bob's, the ***** tonk carnival, but mostly talked. I was considering dropping out of college and asked her whether it would matter to my career as a journalist. She'd read my articles and probably was one of the judges on the juries that evaluated college journalism submissions.

She said she didn't think it would matter as far as my reporting and writing were concerned. I was already fairly advanced, with many state and national first place awards for newspaper writing, but I'd started college in my mid-20s. But she said a degree showed that you can finish what you start. And that would matter to employers who were choosing between equally qualified candidates.

I dropped out of college that year, intending to return. But I never did. I worked for several small weeklies, dailies and eventually a couple of major daily newspapers. But I never got on as a full time regular employee with the major dailies. It was always as a stringer or correspondent, paid by the column inch.

I applied for a full time regular position at what was then the largest daily in Texas with the largest circulation in every number -- subscribers, distribution area -- during the waning golden era of newspapers in America. It was a great time to be a reporter. I didn't get the job. The manager editor liked me and took me out to lunch to explain. I didn't have a degree. Even if I had, it would have been from the wrong university. I'd studied at one of the state colleges, with the best journalism department in the state. But the editorial department of that paper had for decades been dominated by graduates of the prestigious local private (nominally religious) university. So I didn't get the job. And that managing editor himself was soon afterward reduced in status, nudged out of the hubbub of the main newsroom and into a small office out in the hallway.

Later I worked for the federal government as a safety and health inspector. At the time no degree was required if you had relevant work experience, which I did. But I couldn't qualify for the same job now without a degree.

My second wife was a theater major and a fine actress, director and teacher. She had a master's degree, an MA in communications. But she never got a tenured position. For that you needed an MFA at the time. And this was when -- in most other fields -- any master's was still enough for tenure at even a middling state university. But not in the arts.

So, yes, it matters, depending on your career goals. As that editorial page editor told me years ago, mostly it shows that you can finish what you started.

I have friends and family who did finish the whole academic enchilada, held tenured positions, published papers, and worked in their fields. The older ones bemoan the end of the old days of academia. The younger ones say it no longer matters, that anyone who has enough determination and the ability to read can teach themselves anything they could have learned in college, more quickly and possibly better -- with the exception of review by faculty and/or peers.

The main thing missing from most students now -- formally or self taught -- is critical feedback. They believe everything that spills out of their minds and mouths is golden and nobody can tell them otherwise. It shows in their conversations, arguments, Facebook posts, emails, essays, articles and, if they ever get that far, books.

But that can still be learned, assuming they're willing.

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