Perspective Online

Retired Dentist Comes Back to College

Newnan resident, Dr. Charles Barron, sat in on an astronomy class in Newnan during the fall semester. The following are his comments about his experience as a 93-year-old student. Astronomy has been a long time love of his.

Retired Dentist Comes Back to CollegeThe old Newnan Hospital, 90 years old, has been beautifully restored as a university campus. Never in my wildest dreams would I have conceived of taking a class in astronomy in a room adjacent to operating rooms where I performed oral surgery for over 20 years. We as a community are deeply indebted to those responsible for the transformation of the hospital to a college campus.

The Astronomy class, taught by Dr. Ben Team, was a complete delight. Under no circumstances could I have competed with the bright and nimble minds of 20-year-old students armed with calculators, iPads, and cell phones. I knew my place, and I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible while enjoying it fully. The only problem I had was one I brought with me—a hearing disability. Even with great hearing aids, I missed part of the dialogue, which hindered my comprehension somewhat.

Professor Team, in his introductory remarks, set rules of behavior regarding questions and cell phones. His objective was to give a better understanding of each one’s place in the universe, and all done with a smile. The depth of his subject matter, to say the least, is huge. I think he did an outstanding job of teaching under difficult circumstances with his wife having emergency surgery from which she is still recovering.

It has been over a half century since I was in college; and, my, how things have changed. These students in their teens are much smarter than my generation and better prepared for the future. It was a real treat to be able to participate in this Astronomy class.

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