Monday, February 25, 2013

Belief and Nola Ochs

An email article was sent to me recently regarding an 87 year old woman called Rose who went on to college and received a degree.  It is an inspiring and uplifting story that tells of one woman's quest to receive a college education.  In the process, she gains the respect and admiration of fellow students who applauded her spunk and wisdom.   Since I was curious to find out if the article about Rose was true or not,  I went on line to find out more about "Rose".  This is what I discovered in the process....  the story was written by Dan Clark who is a motivational speaker and the Rose story appeared in 28 different books, including Chicken Soup for the Soul.  I found no indication if Mr. Clark ever had the personal experience of meeting Rose in college and to be personally impacted to write about her.   Either way, the Rose story needs to be told since it speaks of the human spirit and how, if driven by a purpose and challenge will make the way for success in achieving that goal, despite age or background.  The below photo was attached to the story circulated on the internet about Rose.

Nola Ochs
I made another discovery when researching the article... the above photo is not Rose. This image with the “Rose" story is actually a snapshot of  Nola Ochs, who is a real-life inspiration. In 2007, she became the Guinness record holder as the world’s oldest college graduate at the age of 95 with a 3.7 GPA.   Nola graduated from Fort Hays State University with a General Studies Degree with an emphasis in History She also graduated with her 21-year old granddaughter, Alexandra Ochs. 

2007 College Graduate at age 95
Nola went on to pursue her master's degree in liberal studies from Fort Hays State University in the fall of 2007.  She received her Master's Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in History in May of  2010, making her the oldest recipient to earn her master's at age 98.

2010 Master's Degree at age 98
After receiving her Master's Degree, Nola applied for and got the position of Graduate Teaching Assistant in the History Department at Fort Hays State University.  She served in this capacity until the end of the first semester of 2011 and continued as a  History M.A. student at the University.  She celebrated her 100th birthday at the Fort Hays State University basketball game on November 15, 2011. At age 100, she began working on her genealogy project and is currently writing a book.  Ms. Ochs states that she has a good start on the book, which is about her life experiences, and will title the book,  "Nola Remembers".

Some of Nola's quotes:
-  I'm very gratified to have attained the distinction as the world's oldest graduate.  I would like to encourage people to keep on learning.  Our education is never complete.
-  I don't dwell on my age.  It might limit what I can do.  As long as I have my mind and health, it's just a number.
-  I give thanks every day for each new day that the Lord allows me to live and enjoy life to the fullest.
-  Most everyone has an inner desire....something they would like to do.  Maybe it seems impossible, but it isn't.  Today, there are so many options.  People will help you do almost anything if you want to do it badly enough.  The desire has to be intense, but I would encourage people to search their desires, to pick out one, and then get out and do it!
-  I've led a long, interesting life.  We went through the dust storms.  We had some difficult times in our marriage financially.  But it's been the Lord's will that I've lived this long life and I thank Him kindly for it.

I bring this true story to you in today's post about Nola Ochs as an example of what belief can do to fulfill a personal desire.  Believing is a force which encompasses the beginning of a desire and stirs it up towards an outcome.   To believe is to have faith, confidence and trust, which springs from an inward conviction and results in achievement.   Simply stated:
- We can each say, "I believe in You" to our Father of Lights and it will make a difference in our daily living, because.... HE CAN!
- We can each say, "I believe in you" to one another to make a difference in his or her daily living because.... YOU CAN!
- We can each say, "I believe in you" to ourselves to make a difference in our own inner being because.... I CAN! 

Nola lived out these three dynamics towards her goal - her core belief in her Lord, other people believing in her, and personally believing in herself that she could and would make a dream come true.

The following video can further explain, "I Believe in You".  It is delightfully whimsical, yet gives a powerful message using a composite of Disney characters, cleverly produced by  Teddybear2323.  The beautiful song is performed by Amanda Marshall with lyrics written by Amanda Marshall and Eric Brazilian.
Link to this video:

Until next Monday,  we'll meet again at the Turn-Up Patch.  May you discover your dream and believe that it can come true with hope and encouragement through God... who believes in you caring people... who believe in you and yourself ... to believe in you.......

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