Seniors line up daily for the classes at the Merion Retirement Home in Evanston, where the average student is over 80 and their instructor is on her third master’s degree at 86.
“I was a public-school teacher for 23 years,” said Robin Tucker.
Tucker is 86, she has accumulated several post-graduate degrees and is still teaching today
Don’t let the walkers lining the wall food you. This class of 80+year-olds is as sharp as the younger set.
“I think people get a rap…a bad rap like anyone who is over 55 that they don’t think any longer or want to use their minds and that is just not true,” said Tucker.
The classes at the Merion have been so popular that they added two more instructors and even more subjects just this last year.
“It allows them to continue to grow as people and a chance to not only teach but to learn and they really enjoy that,” said Mark Zullo, of the Senior Classes at the Merion.
It’s not that they don’t enjoy the bingo and the bridge, it’s the intellectual stimulation that keep’s this group excited and bragging about who is the oldest in class.
“I have a mind and as long as it’s active I’ll keep using it and i think the people here all feel that way,” said Christopher Tori, who is in the class.
In the last few weeks, this group has read books, wrote long personal essay and debated a range of topics.
“You find out you can do what you didn’t know you could do,” Tori said. “I’m remastering Spanish, I learned Thai…after living in Thailand for 10 years, we debate things like Freud and Carl Rogers…so it’s just a part of me. when it dies, I will go.”