Joyce didn’t go to university herself but started work aged 13 following the outbreak of the Second World War. Over the years she was always interested in Colin’s studies and would have enjoyed further study, he says. Even in her later years when she sadly developed Alzheimer’s, she was incredibly quick and could do mental arithmetic faster than anyone else he knew.
Looking back Colin says: “I’d say ‘what is 5x17?’ and she would come back with the answer so quickly. We had to learn times tables at school by heart in those days and at the time it’s a nuisance but later in life you realise how valuable it is. One of the young carers who looked after my sister commented that she was quicker than a computer.”
Because of this link, Colin made a donation to help future students at the OU.
“In particular I’d like to support students with disabilities but support anybody who would have benefited from a university education, but couldn't afford it.”
Colin personally gained a huge amount from his studies. He enjoyed the social aspects: meeting tutors and fellow students, both in person and online and learned some things about himself.
“It’s taught me to be a bit more patient with people as we are all at different levels of experience and comprehension; that I don’t know everything and the importance of continuing education for people if they get the chance to do it.”
After quite a few years of OU study, Colin is taking a break to pursue another item on his to do list: writing a book.
“I’ve decided I’d like to write a prescriptive grammar book and am basing it on some notes I have from grammar school in the 1940s.”
And after that? Who knows….?
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