Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(2,896 posts)
25. I'm 69. I returned to Berkeley in 2022 to finally finish my Sociology BA, and I graduated last year.
Sat Feb 24, 2024, 12:53 PM
Feb 24

I got all A pluses, which was quite an improvement over my previous GPA! Of course, at my age, I actually did (most!) of the reading, which (it turns out) can be quite helpful. I was very worried about how I would do, since admission to Berkeley is a lot more competitive now, and I have taken any slight indication that I’m slowing down as a sign of serious cognitive decline. (I’m extremely anxious by nature, and tend to catastrophize!) I was very relieved to find I could still excel as a student, and in fact, my instructors considered me to be one of the top students in each class… and a few told me they appreciated how much they were learning from me. (It was shocking how much even the graduate student instructors didn’t know about critical events I actually lived through… like the realignment of the parties when Southern Dems switched to the GOP over civil rights.)

On the other hand, my fluid intelligence was not as… fluid. I was still quick at analysis and understanding (etc.), but (compared to my younger self) I felt a bit slower at word retrieval and crafting oral (not written) responses or arguments… although that might also be a reflection of not having been immersed in academic vocabulary for so many decades. At the same time, my crystallized intelligence (based on all that I’ve experienced and learned through those decades) helped make up for that, and so did my cognitive reserve. If I encountered personal limitations, I could find ways around them.

I also wrote a paper (not assigned) on Du Bois that examined the racial wealth gap by comparing two families–my own white family and that of Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project). I was born in a MS Delta county adjacent to the county where her Black father was born, and race played a pivotal role in our families’ contrasting trajectories in term of wealth accumulation. My professor, who used to be the head of the American Sociological Association, really loved it and wanted to publish it… but he told me to leave it in his hands (8 months ago), and then I never heard back (except I learned he might have retired). I guess one thing I didn’t outgrow is being timid about advocating for myself, since I haven’t pursued it. (I’m great at advocating for others, though!)

For Joe Biden, who was never the best public speaker, always made gaffes, and has lived with a speech disability his whole life, I don’t think public speaking should be the measure of his ability to govern. Of course, I’ve always thought charisma and eloquence are overrated qualities for elected officials. (They are definitely icing on the cake, but not the most important qualities.) The main requirement (for me) is supporting the right policies, and then being able to get them enacted as effectively as possible, given the existing constraints, and Biden has more than exceeded my hopes in that regard. In fact, I really underestimated him… not because of age, but because I had assumed he would be more moderate than he has turned out to be.

The thing about older people [View all] edhopper Feb 24 OP
Agree with you 100% Diamond_Dog Feb 24 #1
You are on target snowybirdie Feb 24 #2
I am 80 and could be President because I would surround myself with smart, efficient patricia92243 Feb 24 #3
That's the key to responding to anyone making the argument that President Biden is too old. Harker Feb 24 #6
Well done.. I'll be in that decade Cha Feb 24 #67
I think you put that very nicely. Harker Feb 24 #4
Biden pauses DownriverDem Feb 24 #5
This is also true edhopper Feb 24 #7
I also Rebl2 Feb 24 #55
Yes. I worked closely for years with a colleague Demobrat Feb 24 #66
And when Biden does stumble over words, it is often because of his stutter. Bev54 Feb 24 #8
All of this... Hope22 Feb 24 #9
Was Franklin Deleno Roosevelt Successful? Stuart G Feb 24 #48
Your comment is very rude to people who navigate on wheels. Nt Hope22 Feb 24 #56
I think that was a rhetorical question. LisaM Feb 24 #70
His age makes many things more difficult but he overcomes it. That is what counts. twodogsbarking Feb 24 #10
As someone who just made it to 76 mountain grammy Feb 24 #11
I want to be Joe Biden when I grow up. Well he is only 6 years older,. yellowdogintexas Feb 25 #76
Good comments, all Seinan Sensei Feb 24 #12
Speaking only for myself and being a somewhat younger TheKentuckian Feb 24 #13
Compare Pres Biden's occasional slip, or verbal hesitation to TFG's. Here is some of TFG's "poetry" FailureToCommunicate Feb 24 #14
Some of the comments made by the stinking Nazi Farmer-Rick Feb 24 #30
Yikes yikes yikes. How can ANY thinking person -of ANY color- this is blob is fine? FailureToCommunicate Feb 24 #49
The problem is, it doesn't seem to matter with voters. 3Hotdogs Feb 24 #15
He's our only candidate. llmart Feb 24 #24
Did I miss something or someone? walkingman Feb 24 #44
Just the musings of an old man edhopper Feb 24 #45
Who is? shrike3 Feb 24 #62
You are so right edhopper. I also see a thoughtful man with wisdom to offer, remembreing c-rational Feb 24 #16
Not all poems rhyme. twodogsbarking Feb 24 #17
The media can't find any dirt to throw at Presidents Biden dlk Feb 24 #18
As someone who is nearing 70, Mr.Bee Feb 24 #19
Well said edhopper Feb 24 #35
EXCELLENT post, Mr.Bee. calimary Feb 24 #65
Well said, my friend! FakeNoose Feb 24 #20
Mental acuity? He's lost none of what matters. Neither have I. But it's not just that. paleotn Feb 24 #21
When does his age become a liability? Basic LA Feb 24 #22
His age liability is real but vastly exaggerated by the media. hay rick Feb 24 #29
Post removed Post removed Feb 24 #38
What the ever loving fuck!! edhopper Feb 24 #46
We HAD a President in a wheelchair. He did pretty well, as I recall. FailureToCommunicate Feb 24 #52
Electability llmart Feb 24 #33
If wheelchairs were concerning, Greg Abbott would not be governor of TX Generic Brad Feb 24 #36
Than you agree with a wheelchair? Basic LA Feb 24 #41
I disagree with your premise Generic Brad Feb 24 #43
Again, what the fuck are you talking about edhopper Feb 24 #47
We can't pretend everything's fine. Basic LA Feb 24 #54
He does not have trouble walking and talking edhopper Feb 24 #57
No need for the 'tude. Basic LA Feb 24 #61
Trouble walking and talking? shrike3 Feb 24 #63
Must be my imagination. Basic LA Feb 24 #64
He has a life-long stutter GenThePerservering Feb 24 #71
OK, let's hope so. Basic LA Feb 24 #73
Must be. I don't see it. shrike3 Feb 25 #80
I think some people react to his slow walk and squinting spooky3 Feb 24 #23
I'm 69. I returned to Berkeley in 2022 to finally finish my Sociology BA, and I graduated last year. deurbano Feb 24 #25
And making sure he doesn't say anything he should say regarding classified or not ready to disclosed info. LiberalFighter Feb 24 #26
The times I have seen and heard him talk for an extended period shows he has it together. LiberalFighter Feb 24 #27
I'm only 65, but I find my energy goes in more useful directions than it once did getagrip_already Feb 24 #28
You have much more wisdom and common sense than many younger people. Pepsidog Feb 24 #31
Agree. republianmushroom Feb 24 #32
I think a more recent video would be more convincing to those that need convincing Freethinker65 Feb 24 #34
K&R redqueen Feb 24 #37
+1,000,000 highplainsdem Feb 24 #39
An old man guided this country through the worst pandemic we'd ever experienced. llmart Feb 24 #40
70s here, but I question whether younger people see it like I do. As Bill Maher said a few weeks ago, Silent Type Feb 24 #42
A wise grandpa nowforever Feb 24 #50
President Biden has not lost a step and is an amazing person LetMyPeopleVote Feb 24 #51
Well that's a little far Polybius Feb 24 #59
I am not too worry about the fitness issue if TFG is the opponent LetMyPeopleVote Feb 24 #68
We older folk have made mistakes, seen mistakes and learned a lot. BarbD Feb 24 #53
Kick / Rec JustAnotherGen Feb 24 #58
Amen. The 'old' thing is getting old. Stupid has no age limit, but age can bring wisdom. So keep that in mind, people. Joinfortmill Feb 24 #60
Late night talk hosts and comedians love to hit Biden on this. Hope22 Feb 24 #72
You're only young once, but you can be immature forever. Better Biden than a return of the toddler-in-chief. nt eppur_se_muova Feb 25 #77
I am 70 now and I could not perform Mr.Bill Feb 24 #69
With age comes the ability moniss Feb 24 #74
I often feel around my peers GenThePerservering Feb 24 #75
Obama was criticized for being cautious and careful, speaking slowly, using a teleprompter. betsuni Feb 25 #78
With any kind of good fortune . . . Bumbles Feb 25 #79
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»The thing about older peo...»Reply #25