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Am I madder!

(72 Posts)
sweetpea Sun 16-Dec-18 02:08:59

Embarked on a Beginners' Spanish course in September at my local Adult Ed. I am the oldest in the class by 15 years! Taxing the brain nicely, am I completely mad? 🙇🏻

Marmight Sun 16-Dec-18 04:21:00

Not at all mad. Good for you! Anything which taxes the brain has to be good and being the oldest is of no consequence. Last year I did an intensive 5 day Spanish course, having learnt Spanish 50 years before and forgotten 90% of it. I loved it, and the companionship of the other 5 students. Can't remember a thing now, but that's just me 🤣.

johnsam Fri 25-Jan-19 15:40:14

It's actually good to rightly mad at times. It makes you take your job/work/training serious.

So if you're rightly mad, then it is a good thing.

HildaW Fri 25-Jan-19 16:08:04

Nope.....learning a language is supposed to be excellent for brain. Am quite envious but I'm not too good at languages....and the couple of times I tried a few years ago I found myself in a set up where is was advertised 'For Beginners'.....with the explanation that this would suit total beginners or those who had done some at school but felt they had forgotten it. Wooppee I thought....that's me. First lesson we had that usual little introduction around the room where you all said your name and a little bit about why you were joining. What I heard from the others were comments like (and I'm not making this up) 'Oh my Mum's French but I'm not properly bilingual'. Then there were a few from younger folks (I was about 40 at the time) saying things like, 'did it to A level 5years ago but am a bit rusty'. Hence the class took of at such a speed I was left gasping and well out of depth so gave it up.
Any way don't let me put you off....sorry! X

Greenfinch Fri 25-Jan-19 16:46:23

HildaW.I feel this is a common experience.I started a beginners course to play the organ and found that everyone else could play the piano.I also started a bridge course for beginners and found there was only one other who was a real beginner. But I did have the advantage over him as I could play whist !😁

Maggiemaybe Fri 25-Jan-19 17:32:41

This is giving me flashbacks to our "beginners'" ballroom dancing class. Which turned out to be full of show-offs people who were actually very good dancers already. We (true beginners) gave up after a few weeks, we just couldn't stand the shame. I'll never be the Strictly champion now. grin

M0nica Fri 25-Jan-19 17:33:20

After I retired I went back to university for a year. I was in my mid 50s. All the other students were under 25. Nobody treated me as any different - and I climbed up Hod Hill in Dorset, a very steep hill, for those who do not know it, a darn sight faster than some of the youngsters.

Maggiemaybe Fri 25-Jan-19 17:35:40

Sorry, sweetpea, I meant to say good luck. I'm sure you'll do well. smile To be honest, I did do A level Spanish, and couldn't string a basic sentence together now. It was 45 years ago though, Hilda, not 5.

HildaW Fri 25-Jan-19 17:40:30

Aw Maggiemaybe that's a shame. I do help that horrid false modesty that people hide behind. I've been dragged into Ballroom and Latin by DH who learnt as a young man. We found a competent (nothing like strictly) teacher who takes a few individual classes and I am now officially a non beginner. Perhaps you and OH might try?????

Maggiemaybe Fri 25-Jan-19 18:32:12

That sounds like a possibility, Hilda, thank you for the suggestion. When I've got over the trauma of those classes, that is. grin

HildaW Fri 25-Jan-19 18:50:12

Lor they must have been horrendous.
Actually there are so many different styles of Ballroom as in 'social' or competition ours is quite staid and purely for enjoyment and now that we are older it can be better to go down the sequence route as then everyone is doing the same steps and there is less room for car crashes. In Ballroom especially you do not just learn the steps but you do have to get to grips with floor craft i.e. not crashing into each other. Now and again we find ourselves at an event that is open to all and I must admit its great fun watching those who have perhaps had a lesson or two but have then gone down the 'self taught route'. Some take on some hilarious affectations (not all I hasten to add) and its funny watching a couple who think they look like something of Strictly swoop around a dusty village hall getting in everyone's way....makes for a fun evening.

HildaW Fri 25-Jan-19 19:39:32

Goh have just read this again....did not mean to sound so judgemental....I am referring to the very few who really think they know what they are doing....but do not. Most people who enjoy a bit of social dance are lovely, we've made some great friends and its lovely to see those well into their 80s gliding gently across the floor.
Our fondest memory is of a trip to Blackpool (the ballroom is open to the public in the afternoons and the organ is played - its wonderful) there was a very frail elderly lady who obviously had danced a lot in her life, she was being very gently guided around the floor in a waltz by a partner. She had obviously lost a lot of movement over the years but she still had the poise and elegance of a life long was so beautiful to see.

CatMum59 Fri 25-Jan-19 19:51:26

Good for you. It's good to learn new things, particularly as we get a bit older. I did a degree in Psychology when I was 50, and I learnt to swim at the age of 55

Mauriherb Sat 26-Jan-19 08:52:27

Good for you ! I read somewhere that learning a new language is very good for the brain

Grammaretto Sat 26-Jan-19 09:04:01

I'm learning to knit on circular needles. Does that count.?
My DM took up the violin when she was 70. Her teacher was 90. I'm not sure how good she got as she never performed for us but it was quite a boast. grin

Marydoll Sat 26-Jan-19 09:09:54

I went on a course at Lyon University, when I was 55. I was fine until I was sitting in Schipol Airport, waiting for a connecting flight to Lyons, and started thinking about what I had done! I was totally out of my comfort zone. 😱
I was the oldest person on the course I had an absolute ball, when I was there. grin.

GabriellaG54 Sat 26-Jan-19 09:11:05

No. I did an Italian course, partly online and partly in classes. Age has nothing to do with it and I was one of several 'older' people there.
Good luck and enjoy. smile

FountainPen Sat 26-Jan-19 09:18:56

I completed an Open University degree in my early 50s.

During the mandatory residential summer school (which was a fantastic week) there were students there of all ages.

The oldest person I spoke to was 92 and this was only the first year foundation course! As many do, he was planning to read for his degree over six years so had another five years to go. I wonder if he got there?

Hm999 Sat 26-Jan-19 09:20:26

Another language is brilluant for straining the brain. Good on you.

M0nica Sat 26-Jan-19 09:25:44

The only time I was ostracised as an older learner was when, as part of the university curse I mentioned above I went to Italy to do three weeks fieldwork.

The look of shock on the young Italian students faces when I arrived was amusing, the way they completely ostracised me while I was there was not. Mature students were obviously not a feature of Italian universities and they felt awkward with me, so avoided me.

After a week of my own company, plus realising the fieldwork I was involved in was poor quality, poorly organised and at times dangerous, and here my age and self confidence came to the fore, I rang my tutor, told him how poor the experience I was getting was and told him I was returning home the following day, to join a field work project I knew of quite close to my home, where I had worked before.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 26-Jan-19 09:27:48

Not mad at all. It's always good to learn new things and it's great for everyone in the class (including the teacher) to have a variety of people who want to learn.
Best of luck sweetpea and I wish you great enjoyment and maybe some trips abroad to put it into good use.

Gma29 Sat 26-Jan-19 09:30:25

Not mad at all. I recently did a term of Portuguese, amd although I found it more difficult to retain vocabulary than I used to, I enjoyed it. There was one chap of 80+ who did a different language every coupke of years to “keep his brain moving”

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy it

Barmeyoldbat Sat 26-Jan-19 09:46:32

No you are not, it you might find it a bit harder to retain information but otherwise go for it.

redamanthas Sat 26-Jan-19 09:54:42

Oh I do hope you keep up the classes. I too started a Spanish learners class and am one of the oldest there. It's such a fun and sociable class. Don't take yourself too seriously, be prepared to speak up even if you're wrong! And enjoy it. I use post it notes all over the house to help me learn nouns for household things/clothes etc. And talk to yourself- in Spanish of course but aloud. It'll help your pronunciation. You're def not mad Go for it and good luck.

Annaram1 Sat 26-Jan-19 10:04:48

All I can say is somebody has to be the oldest in everything in life. I am now 77 and in the last 2 years I have been on escorted trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Vietnam, Brazil, Holland, Ireland, and Spain. I am always the oldest. In the Galapagos I went snorkelling and climbed a volcano. Everyone was amazed. My health is not great as I am asthmatic and have a bad knee. Willpower and determination is more important than youth, Good luck.