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The Exhilaration of Continuation
Lewis Taub received his formal college degree before spending 40 years working as an optometrist in Saratoga Springs.
His wife, Marion (Sonia) Taub earned a bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College and a masters from Columbia University at a time when women were still a minority in the higher education community.
“My wife was brilliant – much better educated than I,” said Taub.
By the standard measure, both had completed their schooling. Taub, however, decided to follow his wife’s lead and embarked on more than 25 years of additional classes.
“I’m taking classes in subjects I want to because I’m interested. It fills a vacuum in my education,” he said.
At the age of 93, Lewis Taub is marking his 25th year of continuing his education with his 50th elective course at Skidmore College.
To the nth Degree
The symbolism of the Taubs’ life journey is hung at the utmost height of their living room walls.
Dozens of souvenirs – from figurines, to fans, to totems – form a line so long you must spin around to see them all. These mementos are evidence not only of where the Taubs have been, but what they’ve learned.
“Taking classes made the marriage stronger because we had the same interests. It opened up new horizons for us,” said Taub
Lewis and Sonia were married for 67 years before her death in 2016. They met on a three-month bicycle trip across the United States and Canada sponsored by American Youth Hostel in 1948, raised 2 children and have 4 grandchildren. Sonia was beloved in her role as a librarian at the Saratoga Springs Public Library and both earned certificates of appreciation from Skidmore College for all the courses they took. They also traveled the world together.
“Studying Hinduism, the Islamic Religions, Asian Art, and going to places like China, Japan, Indian, Asia, New Zealand; it made me more tolerant of other people and their religions. They’re all great. The US is only 250 years old, while cultures in India and Egypt are 5,000 years old, yet we’re trying to tell them how to run their lives,” said Taub, while shaking his head.
“There’s a big, wide, world out there.”
Guardians of the Future
In addition to pursuing his own personal interests, Taub selects courses based on the people that will be participating in them.
“The professor makes the course,” he said.
This fall, he will be auditing Skidmore College Professor Gregory Spinner’s class; “Priests, Prophets, and Warriors” while also taking a SUNY Empire State College Adults in Lifelong Learning (ALL) class. At the ALL classes, Taub is able to meet other seniors while also being intellectually stimulated. It’s a different environment than what Skidmore provides.
“Skidmore wants to have a good relationship with the community but for a long time, people didn’t realize what an asset it is. They do more so, now. I take classes with young people – that’s essential. They’re brilliant. They like to party but they’re hard working and very welcoming. I find it invigorating. They give me hope for the future.”
To audit courses at Skidmore College you must ask for the professor’s permission and pay a small fee. For more information, go to Skidmore.edu/registrar/other/audit-registration.php