Mrs. Blumenschein Matriculates at Sixty
Enough with the babies. It’s time now for you.
Cease with the usual. Do something new.
For once be the player instead of the coach.
Let this school year start out with a brand new approach.
Before you’re a grandma, face your heart’s desire.
Matriculate college as others retire.
Sixty’s not too late to make use of your mind.
Create the life for which you have pined.
As your youngest departs to expand his knowledge,
pack up your own bags. It’s your own turn for college.
When I entered college in 1965, one of my fellow freshmen was Mrs. Blumenschein, age 60, mother of nine, who, when her youngest packed up for college, packed up and enrolled herself. She had long red tangled hair, the nicotine-stained fingers and cracked voice of a chain-smoker and a sharp mind. Graduating in four years with an A average, she became a graduate assistant in the English Department as she went on to get her masters. One form of discrimination rarely mentioned in this age of protest against racial, sexual and gender discrimination is ageism. Mrs. Blumeschein conquered that prejudice long before it ever became an issue elsewhere. So, here’s my tribute to Mrs. Blumenschein.