College Life of a Retired Senior: A Memoir of Perseverance, Faith, and Finding the Way

Yvonne Blackwood

College Life of a Retired Senior: A Memoir of Perseverance, Faith, and Finding the Way

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Dust Jacket text About the book

Seven years after retiring from the Royal Bank of Canada, ending a thirty-seven-year career, author Yvonne Blackwood surprised her friends and family by returning to school at sixty-four to pursue an English degree. She craved knowledge, but four powerful reasons motivated her: to add texture to her writing; to ward off dementia by exercising her brain muscles with her studies; to incorporate ongoing structure to her life by attending classes regularly; to inspire her two young grandsons to attend university full-time when they graduate from high school.  

 Blackwood attends York University, Canada's third-largest university, and struggles with maintaining her established lifestyle, being in class with hard-to-connect-with millennials, and a shocking diagnosis in her final year. She stumbles upon several obstacles in her quest to earn the degree. They include two strikes at the university, one lasting 143 days; the lockdown of the campus when the WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic; and her hospitalization. The university's motto is Tentanda Via—the way must be tried. Blackwood weaves this theme and the metaphor of climbing a mountain into the narrative as her guiding light. When some situations become almost unbearable, and she thinks of quitting, she perseveres and relies on her faith. She writes, “What I didn't know was how much the pursuit of the degree would inform me, challenge me, satisfy me, and drive me to consider giving up on more than one occasion.” 

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