Eighty-year-old Tsao Shang-pin (曹尚斌) has never forgotten what his father said to him: “You have to get an education and be a teacher.”
On Friday, Tsai attended the first day of class in a doctoral program at National Dong Hua University.
Tsai, who followed the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) army to Taiwan when he was young, said he had always kept in mind the words of his father, who died when he was 15. After he was discharged from the military in 1969, he was accepted at National Taipei Normal University’s Department of Chinese before transferring to the same department in the Chinese Culture University.
After graduation, Tsai taught at several universities for more than two decades before retiring at the age of 70.
However, Tsai said he had always wanted to study for a doctorate, and on Friday his wishes came true.
Age might have affected his hearing, but Tsai has gotten around that difficulty by bringing a recorder so he can record the entire class and then listen to it closely at home. He added that he intended to make an in-depth study of Chang Chi-yun’s (張其昀) Chinese History of Fifty Centuries (中國五千年史).
Chen hsiu-hua (陳秀華), director of National Dong Hua University’s Chinese department, said the school would seek the help of two students to aid Tsao in taking notes and other computer-related tasks.
Lin Chih-po (林志博), another doctoral student in the department, said it was not easy for Tsai to devote himself to academic study at his age, and other students should look up to him as an example of continuous learning.