05-31-2004, 08:10 AM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
Woman earns diploma at age 90
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Uceba Babson used to trudge through flooded plains for more than a mile to reach her one-room schoolhouse, her lunch pail full of syrup-covered biscuits.
This was before the First World War had broken out, before Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic Ocean, and before women won the right to vote. In 1931, Babson gave up her daily commute to marry a vegetable farmer. She now has 81 grandchildren and great-grandchildren to hear her tales of traipsing to school, but the end of the story always troubled her.
So after outliving three husbands and letting seven decades pass since her last high school class, Babson decided a few years ago it was time to go back to school.
She graduated from high school Tuesday night, a few months after her 90th birthday, and received a rousing standing ovation, a bouquet of red roses and a congratulatory letter from Gov. Jeb Bush.
"I studied and studied and then I learned I actually passed," Babson said. "A lot of it was memorizing. You had to remember the rules, and at 90, it's hard."
Babson now has new stories of getting to school, of days that begin at 4 a.m. with a hot shower and water bottles to get her knees working. She drove herself in a '97 Mercury on roads that didn't exist in her childhood and never missed a day of class.
Inspired by a book about a man who was in his 90s when he started high school, Babson dove into her math, English, science and social studies courses.
"I thought, 'If he can do it, there's no reason why I shouldn't,"' Babson said. "It gave me a purpose and I said, 'If it takes me five years, I'm going to do it."'
She spent many hours a day studying, learning about the wars that she had lived through in social studies and the photosynthesis that helped her family's cornstalks grow in science.
"I couldn't even pick up a magazine because I felt guilty because I thought I should pick up my books for school," Babson said.
05-31-2004, 01:16 PM #2Inactive
- Join Date
- May 2004