EIN May Newsletter





At this time there are no regional conferences planned anywhere in the country. It’s definitely planning time so programs in the following regions - East/New England, Midwest, Southeast and MidAtlantic might want to think about hosting a conference. There is some seed money available too. Please contact EIN for more details.

In looking over some of the web sites from the different programs, which are excellent by the way, it was noticed that not all web sites have an email contact. Many people prefer the first contact to be by email so those that are missing a way for the general public to email them might want to think about adding it to their CONTACT area.

Several of the programs are sending EIN their newsletters and course catalogs via email. That’s fine except that some of them are so large the EIN mailbox can’t handle it. So if you attempt to send EIN an email and it bounces back, please send it instead to learninglater@comcast.net This address should accept it.


In January, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State, formerly the Community Academy of Lifelong Learning (CALL), said farewell to their longtime Office Manager of eight years, Ruthie Carlson. Ruthie was credited with keeping the organization flowing smoothly during their most rapid years of growth, but she as better known for being the “friendly face” of CALL. Well done, Ruthie! We’ll miss you.

Be sure to check out the details on the EIN web site of the innovative summer institute being offered by the Osher Lifelong Learning Program in Burlington, Vermont in late June.


Be sure to check out the article about the Renaissance Certificate of Lifelong Learning that members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of S. Florida in Tampa are eligible to work toward.

The Academy for Lifelong Learning at Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, New York is taking advantage of a local resource to keep the cost of their brochures and other materials to a minimum. The graphic design class at a nearby high school offers its services to area nonprofits. The students receive practical work experience and the nonprofits gain beautifully designed brochures, posters, business cards, etc. What a great idea. Check with your local high schools. Maybe they offer the same service.

In order to find ways to attract new members to the OLLI-JILL program at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Spring 2008 registrants can invite a friend to a course – free of charge. Students in selected classes received a mailer with all the details.

The QUEST program in New York City is fortunate to have four Workshops for members willing to explore their creative potentials in varying ways. Life Drawing uses a live model whom class members try to portray on paper with pastels, charcoal, ink and pencil. Writers’ Workshop allows members to pursue their works in progress in whatever medium they prefer: short stories, memoirs, essays, playwriting, etc. Poets’ Workshop offers participants the opportunity to put their thoughts into words in poetic form. Members assist one another in improving their works. The poems generated in these workshops are frequently published in their annual arts and literary publication, the Q Review. Acting Workshop focuses on developing acting technique through acting exercises, scene study, and improvisation to help class members acquire some of the tools and skills used in acting.

As part of its 45th Anniversary, the New School Institute for Retired Professionals, redid their website. (Yes, the figure is 45, the IRP being the grandparent of the campus-based Lifelong Learning Institute movement.). The group also looked at its many other publications, including the IRP Voices, the first literary magazine published by an Institute. As part of the over-haul. the IRP now issues their Bulletin of Study Groups on-line only. "This helps us to get the Bulleting out many weeks earlier and enable us to respond quickly and inexpensively to the myriad request that we receive." said IRP Director Michael Markowitz. You can see the website and the latest Bulletins at www.newschool.edu/irp

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh recently took a course entitled “Dealing with Difficult People Without Becoming One.” Participants gained confidence in communicating with all types of people. They practiced using more effective listening and responding skills to communicate better with all people, including those thought of as “difficult.” They explored issues of why people are difficult and how to be less defensive, less aggressive and more effective and assertive.


The Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale held a “Climate Change Teach-In” this past winter for its members. It was an afternoon of learning about the various aspects of climate change: science, policy, alternative energy options, and steps that can be taken to reduce the worst effects of climate change. Experts from NVCC faculty and from area universities, government, and the media were on hand to answer questions. Speakers and a roundtable discussion explored the largest challenge of the coming years.

This month, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville will hold the first of what they hope will be an annual event, the Live, Learn, Celebrate Gala. Attendees, attired in tuxes and evening gowns, will sip dry martinis, and gaze at the beautiful river and night lights of downtown Jacksonville from the Regency Hyatt Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel; listen to a jazz ensemble from UNF; dance to the fantastic sounds of the Fabulous Korvettes while they play music of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s; sit down to a gourmet dinner with friends from their OLLI classes; and bid on incredible silent auction items such as a weekend in Hilton Head, S.C. Tickets are $100.00 per person, 50% of which is tax-deductible and include cocktails, dinner, live music, dancing silent auction and mingling with the best group in town – OLLI members! Black tie is optional.

This spring, members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville are studying The Rediscovery of Mary Magdalene. This course will review and reflect on the several alternative views of the Magdalene’s life and significance from the 1st to the 21st centuries, with special attention to information that has been unearthed in the 19th and 20th centuries. All known views will be presented, including competing and conflicting perspectives, and no particular view will be promoted


The Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale held a forum entitled Uncovering the Secrets of the Buried City of Stabiae. In the foothills of Mount Vesuvius, near the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneim, Stabiae was where elite Romans had their lavish villas. Then, one summer day, on August 15, 79 A.D. dense clouds rose from the volcano and Stabiae was buried under ash and lava for nearly 2,000 years. An archaeologist from the University of Maryland spoke about his excavations in restoring the ancient city. He showed slides of unique villas and artifacts and also told about the experiences of arranging and working on such an important archaeological dig.

Members of the McGill Institute for Learning in Retirement recently took a program entitled Doris Lessing: An Introduction. 2007 Novel prizewinner Doris Lessing, in her fiction, both realistic and visionary, explores the pressures of contemporary society – violence, fragmentation, alienation, group paranoia – upon the individual, the family, relationships of gender, race and class, the planet, upon artistic form itself. Participants read three of her books and other selected stories. A subsequent session will study her stories, The Golden Notebook and Shikasta. In addition to reading the assigned texts, participants were expected to participate actively in class discussion and to volunteer for brief presentations or discussion starters.

The Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE) in Worcester, Massachusetts is offering two courses this spring dealing with the beginning of man. The first is entitled The Human Species. In this course participants will examine the evolution of human beings from the first appearance of primitive mammals millions of years ago to the origin of modern Homo sapiens, a species that has now come to dominate planet Earth. Their evidence comes from many sources, especially the extensive fossil record and the molecular studies that have recently shed considerable light on the subject. The course takes the scientific point of view, and will not deal with religions except for their natural origins in stone-age humans.

The second course, Evolution: Theory and Fact looks at the many topics important to us individually in terms of health, politically in terms of the direction of research and its funding, and globally in terms of infectious disease and our environment. They will investigate and discuss some of these topics: stem cells and cloning, gene therapy, evolution and intelligent design, forensics, antibiotic resistance, evolution of viruses, public health issues arising form Hurricane Katrina, cancer and cell reproduction.

This month, the Furman University Learning in Retirement program in South Carolina will hold its bi-annual fund raiser silent and live auctions. Top sellers in the past have been meals catered by members in their homes, specialty cookie and dessert donations, yard work and house cleaning certificates, artwork, tires, and trips to a beach house or on a sailboat.

Thanks to the Omnilore program at California State University in Dominquez Hills for the following contributions:

The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig is set in rural Montana, beginning in the fall of 1909. The narrator, an aging state superintendent of schools, must decide the fate of the remaining rural schools in Montana. He is a product of those schools, and relates the experiences of his seventh grade, his motherless family, and the hard life in the rural environment.
The Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant is a delightful piece of historical fiction taking place in 15th Century Florence. The Medici Family, Savonarola, and the city’s culture are highlighted through the eyes of the daughter of a wealthy fabric merchant. In the course of the action, the reader sees how the church, the diseases, and the political events effect individual lives.
Autobiography of an Elderly Woman, by Anonymous is a tricky book to classify. Is it fiction or nonfiction? Originally published in 1911, it is written from the perspective of an elderly woman who bemoans her existence because of the hovering of her adult children. The book was actually the work of 37-year-old Mary Heaton Vorse, a Greenwich Village bohemian and radical journalist who wrote it in the voice of her mother.
The Fabric of America, by Andro Linklater, reveals how Andrew Ellicott (self-educated astronomer, mathematician, and surveyor), commissioned by President Washington, delineated the boundaries of the capital of the new nation. Later he surveyed and mapped much of the northern and southern boundaries of the country and established principles used in cartography.
The End of Faith, by Sam Harris, with a subtitle, Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason offers a good summary of the content. The author contends that faith is the most dangerous element of modern life. He indicates that faith, as contrasted with reliance on evidence, has proved to be a cure worse than the disease. He also proposes alternate approaches to the mysteries of life, and has a comprehensive bibliography for those who wish to pursue this fascinating topic.


Website for this government agency whose mission is "to safeguard the financial system from the abuses of financial crime, including terrorist financing, money laundering, and other illicit activity." Provides program background, information about the Bank Secrecy Act (administered by the agency), regulatory notices, a FAQ about money laundering and related topics, and speeches, testimony, correspondence, and other documents from the program. From the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Presentation about "America's worst accident at a civilian nuclear power plant [which] occurred on March 28, 1979" on Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Diagrams, photos, and essays recount the details of the incident and its aftermath. Companion to a physical exhibit created for the 25th anniversary (in 2004) of the accident, from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Brief questions and answers about "monetary policy [which] refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit as a means of helping to promote national economic goals." Includes answers to question about the federal funds rate, the discount rate, and how the Federal Reserve maintains the stability of the U.S. financial system. From the Federal Reserve Board (FRB).

That’s all for this month.
Nancy Merz Nordstrom, M.Ed.
Elderhostel Institute Network

“Knowledge itself is power”…Sir Francis Bacon





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