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September 26, 1976 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-09-26

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page four-books
looking back

Number 3

Editor: Stephen Hersh

Associate Editors: Ann Marie Lipinski, Elaine Fletcher

September 26, 1976

Older students: Bridging the campus age ga


ROZ KRIFT, a University fresh-
person, has a psychology
quiz tomorrow, and she doesn't
hesitate to admit that she has the
first year jitters.
"I want to be able to do well
so badly that I may be my worst
enemy," say Roz, relaxing in the
Bursley lounge, her jean clad legs
casually crossed.
Roz has taken college quizzes be-
fore - thirty years ago before she
started her career as an Ohio farm
wife and registered nurse. Now a
grandmother of two and widowed,
Roz is filling an empty gap in her
life with a belated but conscienti-
ous drive towards her degree.
She's not alone.
With a small but growing num-
ber of older - some say, more

mature--students pursuing under-
graduate curriculums at the Uni-
versity, and a larger band of "non-
traditional" graduate students
striving' towards their masters, the
campus classroom scene is gradu-
ally becoming an academic inter-
action where generation divisions
dissolve. Professors and graduate
assistants occasionally find stu-
dents old enough to be their par-
ents scribbling notes, intently fix-
ed on their lectures. The age dif-
ference between the traditional
and non-traditional students can
reach upwards of thirty, even for-
ty years.
New programs and services with-
in the University have gone a long
way towards making campus life
more amenable to these students
-- most of whom are women con-
tinuing, or even launching an edu-
The Center for the Continuing
Education of Women (CEW), the
largest such group on campus -

which, despite its name, is open
to both sexes offers counseling,
refresher courses, scholarships and
even social opportunities to the
mature student. Program EONS,
Educational Opportunities for Non-
traditional Students, opens the
door for those whose past academ-
ic records have been tinged with
failure, but nevertheless wish to re-
enlist in academia.
MEANWHILE, the students them-
selves are finding school to
be an attractive path out of a
dead-end job - or no job at all.
Still, these hardy women and men
have encountered problems on a
campus whose rah-rah spirit, tor-
rid pace and heavy financial de-
mands better fit the schedule and
lifestyle of a twenty year old, than
the adult who must juggle an es-
tablished personal life and a com-
muter style education.
But for people like Roz, who is
enjoying her first two weeks on

campus, there will be plenty of
time later in the semester to wor-
ry more about the complications
of an academic existence. Right
now she is absorbed in the novel-
ty of her new status.
"My urban planning class is go-
ing to be fantastic," says Roz, an
attractive woman whose blond hair
is cut stylishly short. "We just had
our first speaker - he talked on
the bottle bill."
And if the enthusiasm she
exudes for her two courses isn't
enough, Roz bubbles over the pre-
sence of a college identification
card in her wallet.
"I'm very proud of the ID card
from the University of Michigan,"
she says, "and I'll be even proud-
er when I get a new one that
doesn't say 'non degree' "-a status
which was assigned to her this se-
mester due to a late application.
Roz' youngest son graduated
from the University last year, and
after the coaxing of a family friend
who later became her urban plan-
ning instructor, she thought it wise
to enter the University.
"When my son graduated last
spring, I felt it was my turn," Roz
Roz admits she'll have to make
some adjustments in order to con-
centrate on her classes, even
though she now lives alone; her
three children are grown with ca-
reers and families of their own.
But she has few fears that her
late comer status might single her
out in any negative way, in class.
"I never think about age in peo-
ple," she says. "I think about what
they have to offer. You can learn
from anyone."
NOT ALL WOMEN however, can
afford to be as ebullient over
the prospect of school as Roz. Fam-
ily responsibilities, coupled with
the overwhelming financial burden
of college, stand in the way of
many a potential student. One
woman who has found relief from
that load is Jennifer Sarah - a
recipient of a scholarship from
"Education has always been very
important to me. But since I mar-
ried right out of high school I nev-
er had the chance to pursue that

Selma Weisman

goal," explains Sarah, now a jun-
ior in her mid-thirties.
It wasn't until 1970, after she
had been married eleven years, and
had three children, that Jennifer
finally had the opportunity to be-
gin school. She enrolled at Eastern
Michigan University as a part-time
student, hoping eventually to earn
her teaching certificate.
"When I started bacl, I started
thinking that I had to fit my ca-
reer around my family," she re-
calls. "But education is a liberating
force. You don't settle for the in-

tolerance of ideas forced upon you.
I began to realize that I didn't
want to choose my career in terms
,of my mother role."
And so six years later, Jennifer
is enrolled as a full time student
here in journalism, and looking for-
ward to a career related to that
field. But if all goes well academi-
cally this year, she'd like to try
graduate school first.
"It.(my ambition) is something
that just keeps growing. I'd hate
to stop at the undergraduate level
See OLDER, Page 5

Roz Krift.

Stalking... er, avoiding.., the

grizzly in


ASK A CITY KID with Central Park
dirt on his knees what a bear is and
he'll tell you it's some six-and-a-half
foot, helmet-clad linebacker from Chi-
cago. Ask anyone hemmed in by tall
glass and steel, and they'll say a bear
is a lumbering, bigger than life teddy at
-the Bronx Zoo.
Well, this city kid learned, pretty fast,
what a real bear is, but it took a visit to
the Canadian Rockies with the grizzly
and his friends to do it.
With four days of Vancouver bustle
on our nerves and only a few weeks left
to find and conquer the wild, Joan -
my sister and perennial traveling com-
panion - mounted the Trans-Cana-
dian Highway with me, bound for Jas-
per and the Great Rocky Mountains.
Moving at a comfortable 80 through
winding mountain passes and rich val-
ley greenery, we skidded to a halt some-
where between Harrison Hot Springs
and Kamloops to pick up a lone hitch-
hiker who ended up going the 200 miles with us to our destination.
It was her home town. We siphoned off all of her knowledge of
the territory because we planned on spending a few days by a
lake there. Amidst all the vegetation between Vancouver and Jas-
per was a stretch of desert. That's where we had chosen to sink
our stakes? Yes, Kamloops, our proposed home for 48 hours, was
the polar opposite of an oasis.
"I guess you don't see many bears around that area," I said
"Well,I've never seen a grizzly myself but black bears you'll
find - especially around the camp grounds," our rider said. She
went on to say what we'd hear at every outpost along the journey:
The most dangerous bear is the domesticated, garbage-can scav-
enger because it has lost its fear of man, and shed its inhibitions,


was at the end of
road studded with gr
calves. Whisps of tho
rolled across our path
been no towering mou
backdrop I might hav
stumbled upon a piece
The sign at the ca
"DANGER: You are a
country," was all the w+
ed. I proposed we slee
the pretense that it wa
down to 40 degrees t
however, flaunting an
lessness, put her foot d
do that tonight," she;
we'll be sleeping in the
two weeks."
I yielded.
Ordinarily there isn
secluded enough for J
to almost any length
near-castles on wheels
ers" or "trailers" or "
That night though, th
of-the-week night, in
without pit toilets, mu
water, we could havel
the lot. Joan insisted or
by four Winnebagos.
In the morning, aft
icicles from my body
the clammy interior of
abode to find that thet
proof" garbage can ha
with. Visions of a near
ed a rapid ripping up
were on the road to Ja

Roc kywilds
CAMPGROUND such treats as newt eggs and beaver
a 10-mile back tails. By night there were outdoor lee-
azing cows and tures and slide presentations on wild-
rny tumbleweed life in the region.
and had there "Well good evening friends, good to
[ntain ranges in see so many of you here this pleasant
ve believed we'd evening," piped the park naturalist, a
of Texas prairie. ranger-type right out of the Lassie
ampsite reading, series.
visitor in Bear "Say," he began, launching into the
'elcome we need- standard opening question. "How many
p in the car on of you have seen a bear in this camp-
s supposed to go ground?"
hat night. Joan "I don't want to know," I muttered,
new air of fear- trying to ignore the multitude of up-
lown. "Sue, if we raised hands.
said, "you know Where did you see them?" the host
car for the next buzzed through the mike.
"Oh, come on," Joan moaned.
"Circle 34!, Circle 36!, Circle 34!, Cir-
cle 35!"
't a tenting site "What are we in?" I asked my sister
an and she'd go in desperation.
to avoid those "Six I think," Joanie whispered. "It's
they call "camp- on the other side of the campground.
camper-trailers." Meanwhile, the naturalist was intro-
a camping area ducing his topic for the evening - not
ucampsring re a lecture on mamallian adaptation or
hadless running on glacial formations like ones we'd at-
had any spot on tended before, but a talk entitled
n a spot bordered "Bears, Bears and More Bears." The
campers settled down to learn the pro-
er removing the per etiquette when entertaining a griz-
I emerged from zlv in your own home or tent. But Joan
'our. green nylon and I had already memorized our com-
top to our "bear- plimentary copies of "You are in Bear
d been tampered Country!"
by grizzly inspir- We learned not to bathe or wash our
of stakes and we hair with scented soaps, so Joan's bot-
asner in no time. 1lnof n -f ital ar cwll

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