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The benefits of lifelong learning

(25 Posts)
LadyHonoriaDedlock Wed 04-Nov-20 20:09:35

Is anybody else here enjoying higher education in their retirement years?

At 66 I'm doing a Masters degree, an MLitt in Film and Television Studies at Glasgow University. Apart from the stress of getting postgrad level assessments in by the deadline, and deadlines come thick and fast, I'm really enjoying it even if nearly all the teaching is conducted by Zoom.

I thought I'd feel left out, being much older than everybody else. All of my classmates are young women in their 20s, except for the one who's a young man in his twenties, but they've all accepted me into the circle. I'd say they were surrogate grandchildren, but it's not that kind of relationship. They welcome me in as one of them and the subject of age never comes up except when I tell them of bygone films and TV shows, especially all the black-and-white films that were staples of Saturday night and Sunday afternoons fifty years ago. Most of those films are now forgotten, which is a great shame.

Callistemon Wed 04-Nov-20 20:22:13

I'm thinking of learning Welsh, no reason except for the fact that I could practise the language with my DGC.

However, lessons with U3A are on hold pro tem.

I do remember hoping to go with a DD to a silent film show presented by Paul Merton in Bristol but it was sold out! (We went to AtBristol instead)

Elusivebutterfly Wed 04-Nov-20 20:44:00

I am doing an Open University degree. I have completed five years, which includes an Access course and have one more year after this one. I'm studying Humanities which means two years studying a wide range of subjects, then specialising, which in my case is English Literature and History.
There's a wide age range of students and I'm not the only pensioner.
Before I moved house, I also went to adult education classes for a range of arts and crafts activities and also exercise.

Susan56 Wed 04-Nov-20 20:49:33

Callistemon,I am hoping to learn Welsh too.I had my first lesson then lockdown happened.

My husband is a Welsh speaker and two of our grandchildren will learn Welsh at school so don’t want to be left out of the conversations!

LadyHonoriaDedlock Wed 04-Nov-20 20:49:55

When I was little we used to get a programme of silent Charlie Chaplin shorts at the annual Methodist Sunday School Christmas treat. I loved them. It's something later generations have missed.

As late as 1964, and I checked the year with the Radio Times archives because I distinctly remembered it being at some time, the featured Christmas night film on the BBC was Chaplin's 'The Gold Rush'. That would -never- happen now.

Callistemon Wed 04-Nov-20 21:02:10

One word I have learnt is Araf.

I am araf.

Charleygirl5 Wed 04-Nov-20 21:34:00

In my case the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I am in my late 70's now and money would be a problem because it is law which I have fancied studying.

ayse Wed 04-Nov-20 21:52:22

I finished my OU BA Hons in History about 3 years ago. I started it just before I retired. I’d really like to do an MA but the cost is now prohibitive. It’s sad not to be able to continue.

Instead, I’m contenting myself with improving my sewing skills and trying out new crafts such as decoupage. Rag rug making is also on the cards

Marydoll Wed 04-Nov-20 21:54:26

You can learn Welsh for free, at your own pace on DUOLINGO

Callistemon Wed 04-Nov-20 22:05:04

Diolch, Maridol!

Susan56 Wed 04-Nov-20 22:31:04

Callistemon, yes I think I will be araf when it comes to learning Welsh!

When I got home from my first lesson and was proudly reciting the phrases I had learned,DH told me I obviously had a teacher from North Wales.DH is from South Wales and a lot of the words are pronounced differently.

DGD was singing a song in Welsh and DH joined in.She asked him how he knew it and he said I learnt it at school in Wales.She said grandpa I am way more Welsh than you!

Callistemon Wed 04-Nov-20 22:41:34

I think Welsh varies considerably between north and south.

I do know what cinio means too - a most important word!

NotSpaghetti Wed 04-Nov-20 22:41:53

I am retirement age though still working LadyH but did an MA just a few years ago.
It was SO exciting.
And an MA is so much cheaper and more personal than a BA so 👍

Lucca Wed 04-Nov-20 22:44:13

Duolingo is all well and good if you are disciplined.
Also I’d like to learn a new language with other people and a real teacher ! I had started Spanish but found the teacher extremely pleasant but lessons were a bit turgid. When all this finishes I shall try again. A friend who was at university with me is now doing a phD at age 70!

NotSpaghetti Wed 04-Nov-20 22:49:01

Re Welsh, yes, lots of difference between the north and the south apparently. My father spoke both as he came from the south but visited relatives in the north from being very young and later retired there.

He used to tell funny stories about mix-ups with not just pronunciation but some actual word differences too.
I so wish I could still remember them.

Marydoll Wed 04-Nov-20 22:54:16

Lucca , of course there is nothing better than learning from a native speaker. Duolingo was a only suggestion for the present circumstances and it would present an introduction to the language and also an opportunity to decide whether to carry on with it on a more formal basis.
However, I would imagine it would be quite difficult find a class or teacher at the moment.
Or perhaps not! I'm sure someone will enlighten me.

Lucca Wed 04-Nov-20 22:55:53

I think if you fancy zoom classes it is possible, but I don’t really want that. you’re right marydoll duolingo is a good substitute.

Lucca Wed 04-Nov-20 22:58:02

I had been teaching quite an advanced adult class before March but we all agreed zoom was not for us. A shame as we had a lot of funA friend is however continuing teaching via zoo and says it takes twice as long to plan his lessons.

Callistemon Wed 04-Nov-20 23:05:13

Duolingo is all well and good if you are disciplined.

I am very undisciplined.
I'm better when I have my back to the wall and a deadline.

Marydoll Wed 04-Nov-20 23:12:44

So am I, that's why my DH is on day 1850 and I am on day zéro, null, nulla, cero etc, etc!

Marydoll Wed 04-Nov-20 23:28:20

I always tried to teach children languages in an interactive way, where possible: using games, drama, craft, songs, quizzes, matching games, etc.
Even the boring grammar parts were often done using computer programs, as team games or activities on the interactive white board. However, it was much more difficult to prepare, than just using boring textbooks.

Chewbacca Wed 04-Nov-20 23:54:22

I was doing reasonably well with my U3A Italian For Beginners course. Until the teacher died 6 weeks into the course and was never replaced.

bonfirebirthday Fri 06-Nov-20 20:18:28

I went to university in my aged 42 and obtained a BA and Masters degree, it was great fun. In lockdown number 1, I stumbled across the Future Learn website. There are hundreds of educational courses from which to choose, most of them run by well known universities. The site is well worth a look.

Lucca Fri 06-Nov-20 22:28:21


I was doing reasonably well with my U3A Italian For Beginners course. Until the teacher died 6 weeks into the course and was never replaced.

Che peccato Chewbacca

Grandmabatty Mon 30-Nov-20 14:54:08

All my working life I tried to learn something, usually languages. I have a working knowledge of French, German, Italian, Latin and Russian with a little modern Greek. Therefore when I retired I decided to work on painting and drawing as I loved those when much younger. I have no desire to put myself through exams anymore.