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Learning for a lifetime



Learning for a lifetime

In response to the May 1 Soapbox column by Dennis Parker, "How age discrimination is killing high tech":

I read the article by Dennis Parker with interest. I set up the technology in a large middle school with over 500 Macs and PCs and running NT, Novel and AppleShare networks. I have taken care of everything from patching, installation and repairs to training, reports and grants.

Everything I know about technology and networking I have learned since turning 50.

Part of my job has been to service teachers, many of whom are fresh from college. I have found teachers of all ages, yes, even the "young ones," who resist learning something new in technology that might be out of their comfort zone. I tell them that if they are unwilling to continue to update their skills, they will be dinosaurs before they turn 30.

I plan to continue learning until I cease to breathe. I resent the opinion held by many that our brains begin to shrivel after 45. Older workers, who are lifetime learners, are able to keep up their skills and, as a group, have a stronger work ethic than the young ones just out of school. It is a shame that this kind of prejudice exists in our society.

On a related note, my husband, who is a displaced executive, has been unemployed for two years. Everyone comments on his excellent resume, which showcases his many accomplishments. He is fluent in two languages, but unfortunately, I think, because he is 56, has not been hired for any of the positions he was eminently qualified for.

Jane Spence
Broward County, Fla.