cousin Irene Marie Jose might have been some sort of "royalty" while
she was at Chilocco. I don't know how long she was there, or when. I
don't remember when she graduated, but think it was in 1968 or '69.
It's been a long time since I've thought about the years. Her
grandmother was my grandfather's sister, so my mom and hers were
I only attended in Spring 1969 (when I was to graduate) because of
family issues, and then went back in Fall 1969 because I liked it.
Could have graduated that December, but stayed on and graduated in May
1970. Then went on to university but only stayed two years...wanted
to work. Ended up getting married, having kids...but took classes all
along. Finally, they all added up to close to 80 credits and I only
needed 120+. So here I am.
My cousin passed away in her early 30's from alcoholism. It was a sad
time. In fact, for that whole family, alcoholism was a bad thing -
most of the family died from that.
Irene responds to her cousin:
thanks for the congrats. And to you, too, congratulations on
completing your BA. Quite an accomplishment. It's harder when you
are older because you have responsibilities, things that you have to
do, and I am working full-time. My inspiration came from reading an
article, I think in AARP magazine?, but this woman graduated high
school, married her childhood sweetheart, never went to college, had
children, raised them, and sent them off to college. When the last
one graduated, she enrolled in college, completed her degree, then
went on to apply for medical school. She finished that, did
internship, residency, all that...and, at the time, had her own family
practice somewhere back East. I thought that was amazing, and had
been trying to figure out if I wanted to go back, and when I read
that, I thought, I'm going to try! And I did, and now it's history.