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Marianas Variety: Jardinero proves that learning is for life (May 29, 2018)

Maria Luisa Jardinero had a lot of free time on her hands after logging out from her job as human resources officer at Century Tours and POI Aviation in Lower Base. She was bored with her usual office-home routine. That’s when she hit on the idea of enrolling at the Northern Marianas College in 2012.

After six years of balancing work and studies, the now 60-year-old finished her associate degree in Business Administration with Computer Applications as emphasis. Graduating with cum laude honors made it sweeter.

“I [didn’t want to be] idle and I had nothing [else] to do, nowhere to go after office hours, so might as well study,” the Manila-born Jardinero told Saipan Tribune.

The 60-year-old mother of four chose Computer Applications as her course at NMC after two of her sons earned computer-related degrees.

“We are in a world that is in the technological age. Today’s youth are computer savvy. I’ve heard that employees or people in advancing age are difficult to teach because they are not into the tech world,” said Jardinero.

“I challenged myself that I am teachable and [I’m] willing to learn. Computer applications emphasis was my first choice because my two sons were graduates of multimedia (eldest) and computer apps (youngest).”

Her eldest son finished his multimedia arts degree at College of St. Benilde in Manila while her three other children—two daughters and another son—are also NMC graduates.

Jardinero’s eldest daughter graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree with Elementary Education as major in 2015. Her daughter taught for two years at the Tanapag Middle School.

Her other daughter finished with a Rehabilitation and Human Services major and is currently a teacher at Marianas High School, while her youngest is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Everett Community College in Washington State after graduating at NMC in 2012 (AAS-BA Computer Applications).

Jardinero is not yet done. She is still one subject short of earning her AAS-BA with Accounting emphasis. After that, she plans to take up one more course—either a bachelor’s degree in accounting or nursing.

She, however, is leaning toward nursing after hearing news that most jobs in various industries would be phased out in the future but not in the medical field.

“Nursing is my other option. Nursing courses/subjects are very challenging because of the thick books to read and the medical terminologies, which means more time to spend on studies,” added Jardinero, who has been with TanHoldings Corp. since 1995.

Before studying in 2012, the last time she was inside a classroom—typing—was in 1976 at the Jetwriting School of the Philippines. Her first day at NMC seemed totally new to her.

“I was really nervous because…it was 36 years ago when I last attended classes. [But] there’s no turning back. I just kept praying to God for wisdom,” Jardinero said. “My classmates and professors were helpful and they did not discriminate against me because of my age. My classmates were all respectful.”

Her greatest challenge was time management. “Reading time, and juggling work with studies, homework, and deadlines.”

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