Tuesday, June 21, 2011

99-Year-Old Graduate

Some people think the 4 years it takes to earn a bachelor's degree is too long. Can you imagine waiting almost 80 years to complete your college degree? That is just what an Oregon man had to do. The Great Depression forced Leo Plass to walk away from his dream of being a teacher, and instead take work as a logger because it paid better.

Now in 2011, Plass has completed his last semester and graduated with his associate's degree.

90-year-old Laura Thresher Johnston received her master's degree in history from Sam Houston State University in 2005, making her the oldest person to ever receive a master's degree from the university. At the time of her graduation she said that she wanted to go on and attain her Ph.D.

Helen Small was 87- years- old when she earned her bachelor's degree, and at 90 she received her master's degree in psychology. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas after dropping out of school over 70 years ago. Of her accomplishments Small says," It's just mind over matter. If you want to do something badly enough you do it."

Over the years I have heard many stories like these. I have personally known and been inspired by men and women, well into their senior years, who had the courage to pursue their dreams.  As an adult literacy instructor I once had an 89-year-old student --who had just buried his wife of 60 years-- learn to read for the first time in his life.

What excuses have you been giving for not achieving your goals?  No excuses, No regrets.

If you want to do something badly enough you do it.

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