Saturday, September 26, 2009

Of sinks and smart folk


Fixed the leaky "stem" in the kitchen faucet this morning, with just a little help from my Time Life Fix-It guide.

Feeling quite proud of myself.

Here's someone else who should feel proud: (My thoughts, besides being amazed at this man's stamina, are that his emphasis, "specializing in the works of Chuangtze, a 4th century B.C. Taoist master," should remind us that human genius is not limited in space and time to New York, London, Athens and Rome. That philosophy is more than Sartre and Plato.

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96-year-old grad student’s secret? All-nighters
Taiwan man says method is only way to keep up with younger classmates

AP
Chao Mu-he, 96, will receive his Masters degree in philosophy in Nanhua, southern Taiwan, this weekend. He says he's uncertain about his future plans, but that he just wants "to stay healthy."


TAIPEI, Taiwan - A 96-year-old Taiwanese man who will receive his master's degree in philosophy this weekend said he was able to compete with younger students by pulling all-nighters before exams.

Chao Mu-he, better known to his classmates at Nanhua University in southern Taiwan as "Grandpa Chao," said he began graduate school after being told he was too old to continue as a volunteer at a local hospital.

"I was bored after I left the hospital," Chao said Thursday. "I don't play mahjong or have other hobbies. I felt I had to do something with my life."

A spokeswoman for Guinness World Records said she could not say if Chao is the oldest recipient of a graduate degree because the company does not keep records in this category.

Memory lapses
Chao said the most difficult part of his studies was coping with a poor memory.

"I can't remember things as well as my fellow students," he said. "So before a test I would wake up at midnight and study all night. That way, the material was still fresh in my mind when the test began."

He specialized in the works of Chuangtze, a 4th century B.C. Taoist master.

Twenty-five-year-old classmate Liang Yu-chen described Chao as a polite and modest man who got on well with fellow students and paid great respect to younger teachers — making a deep bow before addressing them.

"Grandpa Chao is a living example of Chuangtze's teachings," Liang said. "He is always at ease, not fighting anyone."

Just wants ‘to stay healthy’
A spokeswoman at Nanhua's graduate school, where Chao will get his degree Saturday, confirmed that he was born on July 4, 1912.

Chao, who lives alone, said he was uncertain about his future plans.

"I just want to stay healthy," he said.

1 comment:

Janice Thomson said...

One is never too old to learn are they - a fantastic example of focus that puts many of us to shame...