Woman Reaches Lifelong Goal of College Degree at 84
Many people, some even at a very young age, set the goal of graduating from college. One American woman in Texas waited a long time for her chance to reach that goal.
The woman is 84-year-old Janet Fein. Last week, she received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Fein has had a full life. She has raised five children and then had a career as a secretary until she retired at age 77. But even then, she was not ready to take it easy and rest during a well-earned retirement.
"I didn't have anything to do in retirement and I didn't think that playing bingo was up to my speed," Fein told the Associated Press. She said she decided to major in sociology because she felt it was "substantial."
Fein grew up in the Bronx area of New York City. She said that in high school, she just wanted to finish and get a job. After graduating early, at the age of 16, she went to work as a secretary at a dress manufacturer.
After getting married, she spent 18 years staying home with her children. She held several jobs throughout her life, including 20 years as a secretary at a Dallas hospital. That is the job she retired from in 2012. She also worked for 20 years on earning an associate degree, which she received in 1995.
But Fein told the AP she also wanted to earn a bachelor's degree "with all of my heart." Even with all of her life experiences, she said she enjoyed reading, writing papers and learning new things. "With each class I already knew a lot, but then I also learned a lot. And that made me happy."
Fein took part in a state program that lets people who are 65 and older take free classes at public universities in Texas. State officials say about 2,000 people used the program last year.
Estimates show that nationwide, people 65 and older make up less than one percent of U.S. college students. But health experts say continuing with education later in life is one way to keep fit.
Carmel Dyer is director of the UTHealth Consortium on Aging at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She says that keeping active and giving yourself something to look forward to "is just a really positive move."
In Fein's case, she kept going to class even as her health conditions worsened. During her studies, it became necessary for her to use a walker to get around and she required oxygen. She also developed knee problems. So, Fein took online classes to finish the last part of her degree requirements.
Her college advisor was Sheila Rollerson. She told the AP that Fein never showed signs of giving up even with all of her difficulties. "She just kept plugging along," Rollerson said.
Tracy Glass, a 40-year-old student, became friends with Fein after they both took seats in the front of the class. "I sat right next to her and over the course of the semester, built a fast friendship with her," Glass said. She added that Fein's personal memories of world events - like the women's movement – improved a lot of the class discussions.
Carol Cirulli Lanham teaches sociology at the university. She agrees that Fein could make the classroom experience more meaningful for other students. "She would speak up a lot in class and I think that it just made for a more interesting class," she told the AP. "Because she literally remembered some of the times we were talking about."
Renee Brown is one of Fein's caregivers. She says Fein has also inspired her. At 53, she plans to begin nursing school to further her career. Brown said Fein told her, "Renee, you can do it. If I can do it you can do it, and you will feel so good about it,"
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1.speak up 大声说出
If you have any complaint, don't just sulk; speak up.
2.public universities 公立大学
Here too, public universities charge more for out-of-state tuition.
3.make up 弥补；组成
I think it's very unkind of you to make up stories about him.
4.bachelor's degree 学士学位
He got his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1962.
5.Fein took part in a state program that lets people who are 65 and older take free classes at public universities in Texas.
took part in 参加
She took part in a BBC radio phone-in programme.
All the villagers, men and women, old and young, took part in the battle against the drought.
6.But even then, she was not ready to take it easy and rest during a well-earned retirement.
take it easy 从容；不急
Can't you take it easy? I know you're tired.
You can take it easy now since you are on vacation.
很多人立志上大学，有些人甚至在年幼时就定下这一目标 。得克萨斯州的一位妇女等待了很久终于有机会实现这一目标 。
这名老妇是84岁的珍妮特·费恩（Janet Fein） 。上周，她拿到了得克萨斯大学达拉斯分校的学士学位 。
费恩的一生忙碌且充实 。她养大了5个孩子，之后担任秘书直到77岁退休 。可即便如此，她也不打算在衣食无忧的退休生活中享清闲 。
费恩对美联社表示：“退休后我无事可做，我觉得玩宾果游戏已经跟不上我的速度 。”她说自己决定主修社会学，因为她认为这“很有意义 。”
费恩在纽约市布朗克斯地区长大 。她说，高中时只想毕业找份工作 。16岁早早毕业后，她去了一家服装制造厂担任秘书 。
婚后的18年里，她一直在家陪伴孩子 。她一生中做过好几份工作，包括在达拉斯一家医院当了20年秘书，这份工作她一直做到2012年退休 。她曾用20年的时间攻读副学士学位，并在1995年拿到了该学位 。
但是费恩告诉美联社，她想“一门心思”地考取学士学位 。即使她拥有丰富的人生阅历，她还是喜欢阅读、写文章和学习新知识 。她说：“即便充分了解每节课的内容，但还是能学到不少知识，我为此非常高兴 。”
费恩参加了一个州项目，该项目允许65岁及以上老人在得克萨斯州的公立大学免费就读 。州官员表示，去年约2000人参加了这一项目 。
据估计，全国65岁及以上的老人在美国大学生中所占比例不足1% 。但是健康专家表示，晚年继续接受教育是保持健康的一种方法 。
卡梅尔·戴尔（Carmel Dyer）是得克萨斯大学休斯顿健康科学中心UTHealth老龄化联盟的负责人 。她说，保持积极的心态并且有所期待是一项非常积极的一步 。
以费恩来说，即使健康状况恶化，她仍坚持上课 。在学习期间，她需要借助助步器行走，还需要吸氧 。她的膝盖状况也不好 。所以费恩参加了在线课程，以完成学位要求的最后一部分课程 。
她的大学导师是希拉·罗勒森(Sheila Rollerson) 。罗勒森告诉美联社，即使遇到了困难，费恩丝毫没有放弃的迹象 。罗勒森表示：“她一直耐心地坚持 。”
40岁的学生特蕾西·格拉斯（Tracy Glass）与费恩都坐在教室前排，两人成为了好朋友 。格拉斯表示：“我整个学期就坐在她旁边，我俩迅速成为了好朋友 。”她补充说，费恩对妇女运动等世界大事的个人印象提高了课堂讨论的氛围 。
卡罗尔·拉纳姆（Carol Cirulli Lanham）在这所大学教社会学 。她也认为费恩让课堂体验对其它学生来说更具意义 。她对美联社表示：“她会在课堂上畅所欲言，这让课堂更加有趣 。因为她完全记得我们讨论的一些时期 。”
蕾妮·布朗（Renee Brown）是费恩的看护员之一 。她说，费恩也激励了她 。53岁那年，她计划进入护理学校来进一步提升自己的事业 。布朗说费恩告诉她，“蕾妮，你能行 。连我都能做到，你一定也可以 。你会感觉很有成就感 。”