Wednesday, May 21, 2008

World's Oldest College Graduate

Today's posting continues a series on lessons I use to keep the idea for learning alive with the boys aged 6-9 that I find myself tutoring this school year. For those of you with kids, you know how hard it is to control the short attention spans kids have at that age, especially boys. So, I've come up with little lessons that keep them interested and anxious to learn. Here's one about the current title holder of the world's oldest college graduate:

Nola Ochs holds the world record as the oldest person to ever graduate from college at the age of 95. According to Guinness Book of Records when she graduated on May 27, 2007 she bet the previous record held by Mozelle Richardson, who received her journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2004 when she was 90.

Nola Ochs is a 5ft. 3in. tall great-grandmother who was born in 1912, and grew up on a farm in Kansas. She says she always loved learning. After high school, she became a teacher at a one-room schoolhouse, before leaving the profession to be a wife and mother on her own farm. She had four sons, and now has 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. She told reporters, "They’re all such fine boys. Our main crop is our children, and the farm is a good place to raise them."

Ochs lived through World War I, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, World War II and shared a farm with her husband and through it all she says she longed to study and learn about the world around her.

She first began taking courses at a local community college in 1972, when her husband Vernon died. She kept taking a class here and a class there, and her credits started to add up. When she had almost enough to complete a degree, she moved to the campus of Fort Hays State in Kansas. She wanted to study there because her 21 year-old granddaughter Alexandra studied there also. Both of them graduated last year together.

When Ochs was asked what kind of job she wanted now that she had a degree she said she wanted to find one working on a cruise ship as a story-teller. She wants to make history come alive with stories like ones of growing soybeans during World War II on a farm she shared with her husband or living through the Dust Bowl, when families had to light lamps during daylight hours because it was so dark from the dust storms. Find out more about current title holders in the strangest categories at:

Research info gathered at:

Now, here's one of my "cap and gown" poems:

Ways To Become A Visionary Butterfly

No one knows exactly how it came to be this way. I suppose
irony can often be the richest dessert. On the other hand,
wallpaper has never been my obsession. And like any
artist, I crave solitude, as long as no earthquakes
or wars intercede by sundown. Anyway, I
credit my short attention-span on living
in L.A. where even a typhoon would
be forgotten the next day. I also
think it’s because of too many
people wearing too many
tattoos. It could be
because the
angel’s feet are on
fire or simply because
of the bed of hot coals cleverly
disguised in a voluptuous body. All I
know is that most wheat fields were once
drive-in movies and that the Pillsbury dough
boy has a thing for shepherds. What ever happens to
be left-over is an accordion-playing lesbian? O yeah, and the
black hairnet might even tangle in the tree.

Poem first published at:
Poem Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.


oakleyses said...

nike free, oakley sunglasses, polo outlet, tory burch outlet, louboutin pas cher, kate spade outlet, longchamp outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, jordan pas cher, replica handbags, nike roshe, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, gucci handbags, christian louboutin outlet, prada handbags, kate spade, longchamp outlet, replica watches, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, nike air max, nike free run, burberry pas cher, chanel handbags, michael kors pas cher, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, air max, coach outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, longchamp pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, prada outlet, uggs on sale, ugg boots, polo ralph lauren, coach outlet store online, tiffany and co, christian louboutin uk, ugg boots, nike outlet, jordan shoes, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin shoes

oakleyses said...

ray ban uk, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, nike tn, converse pas cher, coach purses, true religion outlet, nike huaraches, polo lacoste, mulberry uk, ralph lauren uk, sac hermes, nike air max, nike air max uk, hollister pas cher, nike air force, michael kors, michael kors outlet online, nike air max uk, nike trainers uk, uggs outlet, longchamp uk, burberry outlet, nike roshe run uk, guess pas cher, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet online, ray ban pas cher, michael kors outlet, michael kors, nike blazer pas cher, true religion outlet, new balance, hogan outlet, burberry handbags, uggs outlet, hollister, timberland pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet online, north face, michael kors outlet, lululemon canada, hollister uk, north face uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

soccer jerseys, converse outlet, north face outlet, celine handbags, mont blanc pens, toms shoes, wedding dresses, bottega veneta, beats by dre, ghd hair, vans, gucci, hollister clothing, mcm handbags, ralph lauren, instyler, north face outlet, babyliss, jimmy choo outlet, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, nike air max, vans outlet, supra shoes, karen millen uk, converse, chi flat iron, reebok outlet, herve leger, juicy couture outlet, p90x workout, timberland boots, montre pas cher, nike air max, insanity workout, hollister, ray ban, oakley, baseball bats, hermes belt, lancel, nike roshe run, mac cosmetics, asics running shoes, louboutin, juicy couture outlet, new balance shoes, ferragamo shoes, nfl jerseys, soccer shoes

oakleyses said...

louis vuitton, wedding dresses, links of london, swarovski, hollister, pandora uk, moncler, doudoune moncler, coach outlet, moncler outlet, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose, canada goose, pandora charms, ugg pas cher, canada goose outlet, moncler, replica watches, pandora jewelry, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora jewelry, moncler, moncler uk, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, moncler, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, louis vuitton, ugg, canada goose jackets, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, canada goose, canada goose uk, ugg uk, moncler outlet