GED Graduate, Age 80 :
Massanutten Technical Center
We sat down to ask Alice about her experience studying to get her GED Credential.
How long had it been since you stopped going to school?
Oh my goodness, I couldn’t tell you. I moved to Harrisonburg in 1949. I went back about 2 ½ years ago... so about 2011.
Why did you quit?
I lived in New Hope, but then I moved to Harrisonburg and got married. I thought the grass would be greener, you know?
What motivated you to go back?
My children had all grown, and I decided that it was time.
What was your biggest challenge in going back to school?
The biggest challenge was working my brain. The road was rough. It was hard, but I told myself I’m not going to fail at this. I’m going to keep tryin’. You got to be determined to get what you want, and I was determined. My children were a bit discouraging, at times, but my teacher was very patient and encouraging.
How did it feel to graduate?
I was surprised! We graduated with the high school class at James Madison. They sat us in the front row, and we even had our names read. He didn’t read my name right, the first time, so I had to correct him. I was on Cloud Nine. That was my Cloud-Nine day.
Do you have any plans to keep going?
Oh, yes. I’m definitely going to do something, once I figure out what I want to do. It always seemed, to me, like college was for...young people, but I spoke to a lady at [Blue Ridge] Community College, and I asked her if there were older people there. She told me, "Oh, yes, Mrs. Graves, people are always coming back."