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A Fascinating Woman by Shana Galen

Here’s a little known fact about me. I have a minor in Women’s Studies. What I thought I was going to do with a major in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies, I’ll never know. But the point is, I’ve studied a lot of fascinating women.

But the most fascinating to me is my grandmother. She’s 92 years old and still going strong.

She attended Calvin College in Michigan in a time when women didn’t usually go to college. Not only did she attend college, but she majored in pre-med (or whatever they called it back then). She was the only woman in her class. And she was not welcome.

One time a professor gave her a B on a paper, and she asked why. He said she did A work, but he couldn’t give her an A because then all the men in the class would feel bad if a woman did better than they did. Seventy-something years later, my grandmother is still mad about this!

Sad to say, my grandmother didn’t become a doctor. She became a science teacher and a wife and a mother and, of course, my grandmother. She’s lived long enough to tell me so many of her fascinating stories. When my grandfather retired, they began to travel and have visited every country in the world except Iran and Antarctica. Pretty cool, huh?

Oh, and what does my grandmother do in her spare time? She writes. She self-published a book of daily devotionals about twenty years ago—long before it was easy or popular.

I know my own daughter probably won’t have the opportunity to hear my grandmother’s stories, but I hope one day I’m half as fascinating a woman as my grandmother is.


  1. so, when are you going to write about her. i just lost my 92yo mom a month ago...i wish i could write well enough to do her story!

  2. Shana,

    Your grandmother sounds like a lovely lady. 92 and still going strong--so awesome!

  3. Shana, what a great lady. My grandmother lived to be over 100, and I think it was because she stayed so active. We recorded her telling some stories to me and my sister years earlier, and I'm so glad we did! Highly recommended.

  4. So typical that a male teacher would give a woman a B in an all male class in the early years. Shame on him!!! Great story about your grandmother! Bravo!

  5. I don't blame your grandmother one bit for being mad about getting a B instead of an A. ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!

  6. HODGEPODGESPV, great idea! I should write her story while she can still read it.

    Tracey, Terry, and Cheryl, thanks!

    Joanne, I don't know why I haven't thought about recording my grandmother before. I should and will. Thanks.


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