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by Abigail Van Buren

Trustee of College Makes Classes His No. 1 Priority

DEAR ABBY: May I add to your continuing saga of persons "too old to go back to school"?

At the age of 64 and having only a 1937 diploma from an apprentice training school, I decided to enroll in a new weekend college program at Findlay (Ohio) College -- now the University of Findlay. The result? In 1985, at the age of 69, I was granted dual B.A. diplomas engraved "Cum Laude," which meant a five-year grade-point average of 3.56 on a scale of 4.0. My degrees are in business administration and information systems analysis (meaning computers).

My "excuse" for going to college at the age of 64 was to find out what I did right in business for 33 years. The secondary reason was to prove to myself that I was an "A" student -- which I accomplished by making the dean's list the second semester.

Because the dean of the college knew I expected to be treated like any other student, we both laughed about the professor who rushed into the dean's office and exclaimed, "I have a trustee of the college in my class! What do I do?" When the dean told me about it, my response was, "I hope you told him to fail me if I didn't do the work." To which the dean replied, "That is exactly what I told him." -- WAYNE I. PRIBBLE, NEW HAVEN, IND.

DEAR MR. PRIBBLE: Your letter proves it's never too late to resume one's education. We're never too old to learn as long as we're willing to make the effort. Congratulations on your accomplishment.

DEAR ABBY: "Wally" and I have been married for 15 years. We've had our ups and have been through some difficult situations. We support each other and care deeply, but there's one problem we cannot agree on.

Wally loves our house and has decided that all the walls should be painted white. We don't paint that often, but now that we've made some improvements to our home, it's time to paint again.

I would like to get away from the all-white look and consider using wallpaper. I've brought home wallpaper sample books and paint color charts, but all he'll say is that white looks best. He refuses to look through the books or compromise in any way.

We have lived in this white house for 12 years, and I think it's time I had my way. I could wait until he goes on a business trip and redecorate while he's gone, but that would be dishonest. I'm home more than he is since our children have come along. What should I do? -- COLORLESS IN NEWBURYPORT, MASS.

DEAR COLORLESS: An interior decorator who is used to sales resistance may help you convince Wally that a dash of color will liven up the place. Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be all or nothing. A decorator can help you "accessorize" your home with accents of color and texture, making it more visually interesting and less sterile. The bathrooms and kitchens would be the least threatening places to begin.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- THEODORE ROOSEVELT

To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby's "Keepers," P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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