Wise Elder’s Background

Wise Elder’s Background

Wise Elder’s Background. The Wise Elder Project: Sample Body of Paper

Due Date: November 8 (Thursday) by 11:59 p.m.

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Length of Paper: Five full pages of text (at least 110 lines of text) to 8 full pages (176 lines).

Format for Paper

Introduction (½ page to 1 page). I purposely did not give you a sample introduction. Create your own. In this section, state problem you’re addressing and two reasons why it is important.

Body of Paper (minimum 3 pages). See sample “body of paper” below.

Wise Elder’s Background (no more than ½ page)

a) Explain why you picked this elder.

b) Were they as wise as you anticipated?

Favorite Story told by Wise Elder

Lessons which You Learned from Your Wise Elder

Conclusion (minimum 1 page). I purposely did not give you a sample conclusion. Create your own.

Recap what you did.

How did what they said compare to Izzo’s five secrets? Did they mention any of

the secrets implicitly or explicitly?

Offer at least three conclusions (one per paragraph).

Use the excerpt below as a guide for writing the body of the paper. Follow the general outline below. Put suitable headings into your paper.

Sample “Body of Paper”

Wise Elder’s Background


Robert was my high school calculus teacher and the coach for scholastic pentathlon and super quiz. He would always tell the most interesting stories and seemed to know just about everything there is to know about history and science. He was a scientist grandfather to me.

Robert grew up in Texas and attended the University of Texas. He received his bachelors in physics, but decided being a scientist wasn’t the right path. He began working on his masters in English but never finished his dissertation. During our interview he made sure to tell me that finishing dissertations is important, and this is his only regret. Being a UT student in the 60’s naturally made Robert a hippie. In high school he saw I was listening to the Velvet Underground and began to tell me about all of the adventures he had with his roommate, who just so happens to have been their bassist, John Cale.

After dropping out of his master’s program, Robert went to live in the woods and find himself. He quickly learned that he prefers camping to full time nomad life and moved back home to find a job. He became a manager of a local grocery store, and learned a lot about being an adult and having responsibility. Many of his employees were high school students, and Robert discovered the best part of his job was mentoring the young adults which led him to becoming a teacher at Harlingen High School. I was fortunate enough to have him in his third decade of teaching, and the quiet wisdom behind his smile is what made me choose him for my wealth and happiness project. I could’ve chosen a financially wealthier subject, but I felt that there was something I could learn interviewing Robert Hill.

Favorite Story

Robert had a ton of fun stories to tell, but I think my favorite because I can’t imagine doing it today was when he went camping in Mexico. Today the Texas/Mexico border is plagued with violence, and most Americans wouldn’t dare drive to the forest and mountains that are a mere three hours from the Rio Grande Valley. When Robert was young he would often go camping and purposefully lose himself in the woods. He would go on an all day hike and simply exist. He learned a lot about himself and grew spiritually. I hope that one day while I am living it is safe enough to take a trip into the interior mountains.

Lessons Learned

My interview with Robert was very fruitful. I learned a lot about living a life full of love and creating happiness. Money is great to have, but not at the expense of missing out on adventures. Mr. Hill would go on a camping trip every winter and summer with his wife when they were teachers. Now he goes on a trip in his RV almost monthly. His passion is exploring the outdoors, so he made sure to create a budget that supports that. I think the valuable lesson is to find your true passion and make sure that you are making enough to pursue it, and saving enough so you never have to give it up.

Another lesson involved Robert and market timing. He has watched his private investment portfolio rise and fall, but never made a rash decision, and has been able to watch it grow and help support his retirement as an adult. He says it’s easier to be patient when you know you have a pension, but I still think that it is important not to be rash or try and time markets. Another anecdote would be some land he inherited when his father passed away. At the time he could have sold the 5 acres for $20,000, a good chunk of change at the time. Instead he held onto the property and recently sold it for over $300,000. It usually pays to be patient.

Another lesson Robert wanted to share with me is the importance of budgeting. He says he never kept an extremely detailed account of his cash flows, but it’s important to make sure at least once a month you take into account your fixed expenses, your income, and think carefully about what you want to devote to discretionary spending. He says that he and his wife were frugal about purchasing things and lavish in spending on travel. This supports the argument that it is more important to spend on achievements and experiences because they are what offers true happiness.

Mr. Hill and the Five Secrets

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the five secrets videos, and I thoroughly annoyed my girlfriend by reminding her to live with no regrets. Robert Hill hit on all of the secrets before we made it to the last section of interview questions. This led me to believe that I was correct in my assumption that he was full of wisdom.

Mr. Hill is without a doubt true to himself. Of all the teachers I’ve had he always stuck out as the strangest. He moves to the beat of his own drum and doesn’t care what others think. Every cross road he has walked upon in his life has led him to look inside and ask himself what he truly wants. That led him to living in nature, and later towards nurturing curious young minds. Robert is passionate about teaching others and giving back to his community. He has made sure that the choices he makes reflect his values, and this has without a doubt brought him happiness.

Robert made sure to tell me his only regret in life is not having finished his dissertation in grad school, and maybe breaking a few hearts. Clearly he lives a life with no regrets. He never wakes up with a heavy heart because he is not afraid to do what he likes. When he married his wife she told him she didn’t like camping. Most people would probably have done one of two things. Leave her, or give up camping and harbor resentment. Instead he chose to take her to Yellowstone because he knew the beauty of nature there would have a great shot at changing her outlook. Sure enough she was hooked and goes camping with him all the time. He had the courage to try and make it work and not live with regret.

Robert has become love through teaching. He treats every student as if they were his own child, and it shows. His eyes have a loving smile and he finds so much joy in helping. His relationship with his wife is something he never took for granted and to this day works hard at ensuring that there is a loving connection between the two. Robert makes a conscious decision to be love.

When Robert told me he isn’t afraid of death, but really enjoys living he demonstrated that he lives in the moment. Every time he goes on a trip he lives for each day. Even the seemingly boring part of driving to his destination around the continent is fun for him. He finds mini adventures and loves to stop at different rest stops and take in his surroundings.

Some teachers only teach because it pays the bills and affords long vacations. Robert, on the other hand, teaches because he loves helping out future generations, thereby giving more than he takes. He also loves to donate time to charitable causes rather than money. He feels that it is extremely important to donate time to the community if you truly want to make an impact. I know for a fact that I am a different person due to the impact he had on my life. He has about 200 students per year, so over his 35 year career he has probably affected 7,000 members of his community.

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