An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know.
I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me
with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.We became instant friends. Every day for the
next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine”
as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and
she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was
introduced and stepped up to the podium.
As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell
you what I know.”
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop
playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.
You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!There is a huge difference between growing
older and growing up.
If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.
If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.
Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
Have no regrets.
The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those
She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.
At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died
peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s
never too late to be all you can possibly be .When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.
I would never have expected a feminist novel to carry such precious and truthful ideas. Not that I am masculinist. Hardly so.
Virginia Woolf had a room in Cambridge, mine in somewhere far less prestigious. Nonetheless, the same principles still apply. To a 19th Century lady, or a poor student in a metropolis with exorbitant property prices, a private room where study and thought can flow unperturbed is a precious resource (that and air-con where humid and hot). It is a sort of sanctuary where the quiet finally allows so much time as is necessary to pen down enough ideas to write a full chapter.
In a sense, such endowment also comes with the burden and pressures (although, yes, also the encouragement), of those who have gone before and produced manifold new insights, art or discoveries with their rooms.
Perhaps the greatest joy will come from, once again, being an individual, unrestrained by the interests and hence differing ideas of others. It is an opportunity to be one’s own captain, and fully chart and execute the course of navigation alone.
Where the room is located is key, though. A room of one’s own in 1965 China is of little merit, for ideologies would have penetrated the walls and wafted into the PLA officer’s nose. A room of one’s own in 1945 Nagasaki might not be a room the next year. Or tomorrow.
Likewise, not all occupants realise the magnanimity of their privilege. It is at once both fascinating and maddening to note how although human faculties permit such profound thought, many hearts and minds do not. So many refuse to remove their pull-tab cum safety sticker that prevents the battery from touching the contacts. Or maybe they do not even realise what they are capable of, which is actually sadder than the former paragraph.
This writing is not complete without mentioning the role of mental illness in brilliance. Perhaps it is the sheer volume and quality (ingenuity? controversy?) of thought that sprung from the minds of Abe Lincoln, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Beethoven. Any correlation with living in their own rooms? In isolation and buried, consumed even by their radical racing brains? Could it be that there is much brilliance in the world, except that only these with their own rooms could shine?
The world is still wrought with little pockets of secrets, still with all the potential to change paradigms all over again. That frontiers have been pushed does not mean they cannot be pushed again. And again. And again. Ironically, the biggest of ideas often come from the littlest of confined spaces.
I am proud of my little country and its little rooms. We have in the past thrived on ingenuity. Yet the world is not so kind, for whatever merit that is earned must be continually renewed. More little rooms and little people in those rooms represent the future. Today however, we also talk about collaboration and big rooms. I guess we need both, for there is much work cut out for us.
As for me in my little room, there is, too, work to be done. Work starts on Monday. Que será será, pero con suerte es muy buen.
P.s. Sieving through my Tumblr and seeing beautiful photos of Edinburgh is slightly depressing. I promise to take nice photos of Jurong West. But some comfort in the fact that I am genuinely excited for school, and that I will have access to $2.50 菜饭 (which may or may not be a good thing). Also extremely crushed that the In-N-Out Burger thing was a stupid April Fool’s Joke. Stupid. Bad news became bad news. Grr.
Top 10 Overwater Bungalows
Whether perched above a quixotic lagoon somewhere in the remote waters of the Indian Ocean, or accompanied by a glistening plunge pool, these overwater bungalows that seem to float above the azure surface of the water are as close as you can get to paradise.
- Water Villa with private plunge pool at Dusit Thani
- Ocean Pool Villa at Kandolhu
- Royal Overwater Two-Bedroom Pool Villa at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
- Laamu Water Villa
- Overwater Faré at Vahine Island
- Waterfront pavilion with pool at Niyama
- Senior Water Villa at Constance Moofushi
- Water Villa at Villingili Resort and Spa
- Overwater Villa at Song Saa Private Island
- Ocean Bungalow with pool at Huvafen Fushi