Posted on 06 June 2013 by La Habra Journal
By Melissa Munoz
La Habra Journal
Her white knit top covered by her colored sweater with zig-zags was the not the only thing she wore while taking sips out of her coffee cup. Her smile and laughter as well shined through multiple times.
A resident of La Habra since 1966, Teresa Tushla has many reasons to smile now. At 79 years young, she has just received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services from California State University, Fullerton. Tushla has proven it is possible for anybody to do anything. Growing up in Ireland and having raised six children, she decided it was her turn to achieve something her children have done as well.
Tushla is always on the hunt for something new and up for experiencing an adventure. An avid traveler, Tushla has been all over the United States and Europe. Her giving personality and desire to learn from others are reasons why she began her travels years ago. Traveling to Munich, she helped take care of an American family and followed them to London. Then From London, Tushla packed her bags to explore all there is to see in Europe, like Paris then Rome.
According to Tushla, the food in her native Dublin, Ireland was plain and basic, so even spaghetti and cheese pizza were considered exotic delicacies for her.
In Paris though, like any other girl would do, Tushla did plenty of window shopping. However, everything was just too expensive for a woman just doing office work.
She then crossed the Atlantic and ended up in Canada. It was in Newfoundland where she met her husband. Looking for another change, but this time together, they made the move to the states and married in Nebraska, where Tushla says jokingly that she would not return nor recommend that anybody else go.
With the adventurous spirit in tact, she and her husband then made the move to California. They first moved to Fairfield, but then eventually made their way down to Orange County where they settled in and began building their family in La Habra.
She always had a love for music too. Live musical theater is where she can bask in the joy of her love of music. It was while taking classes at Fullerton College, before transferring to Cal State Fullerton, that she learned how to play the piano and the violin.
One song she enjoys strumming her fingers to is the classic “Over the Rainbow.” Tushla commented that her favorite class while at Cal State Fullerton was not even related to her Human Services major. Instead she was amused and impressed by how much effect music can have in films and she thoroughly enjoyed her Music in Films class.
So, why did she major in Human Services? Tushla explained that despite her love of music, she has always been one to lend a helping hand. She was motivated and encouraged by her husband, a private physician, and had always wanted to be a nurse. She explored the field further and between volunteering and interning throughout various adult day cares and helping out those stay at home patients, it was the right fit for her.
After completing her degree and looking to set her sights on her next goal, like learning to sing opera, She gives advice to others who are interested in pursuing their dreams and interests “Make things happen for yourself, nobody else is going to do it for you. Just do it. Like Nike.”