This is a common Tuesday afternoon. Grandma Du is getting ready to go to school.
But this is no ordinary school which teaches Chinese and mathematics, it is an art school that has opened specially to those over 50 years old or in their retirement.
Grandma Du: I used to have a classmate who was more than 90. He walked to school everyday. All of our classmates admired him very much. He never missed a lesson.
At present, Grandma Du is learning Chinese traditional portrait painting . There are also a lot of other classes in the school, which suit students with various hobbies.
Grandma Du: I’ve been studying here for 22 years. I’m good at painting flowers and birds. I’ve already started original painting rather than copying others’ work.
Grandma Du: I think my present life is very satisfying. Other people admire my life as well. There are a lot of advantages to go to school. You’ve got something to pursue. And my dream has come true with the help of the school for the aged.
Student 1: I came to school after retirement. Although I’m in old age, I make progress everyday, just like a normal pupil.
Student 2: I had this sense of emptiness after retirement. But now I’m much more outgoing.
Student 3: I’m 71 and I’ve already learnt many classes. This school opens a brand new world for me. I want to thank my teachers.
Grandma Du: The most important thing I’ve got from the school is not winning the prizes, but becoming healthy and energetic. And I’ve made a lot of friends.
Just as Grandma Du said, being old does not necessarily mean being lonely. The Aged School gives senior citizens like her the opportunity to get a sense of self-fulfillment, to build a new social network, and most of all, to feel young again.