Going back to school

My birthday seems like an appropriate time to reflect on one of the most valuable life-lessons-by-example that Peter imparted to me:

At around age 50, he left his career in the computer industry to go back to school. He ended up getting two master’s degrees, one in math and one in education; then he became a teacher, first of high school and then at a community college.

(I think his father had done something similar, but I’m not sure. Uncles, any comments?)

I find that pretty inspiring. The idea that the life and career choices that you make in your twenties don’t have to be permanent, that you can decide to change tracks and pursue something you love—it’s comforting to me, even though I doubt I’ll follow in his footsteps in this regard.

And for that matter, it’s been useful to me in giving advice to friends who’ve tried to figure out what to do with their lives. It’s not necessarily something everyone can do (there are plenty of issues involving class, money, privilege, children, health, etc), but I think a lot of people may be able to do similar things, and may not realize it.

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