EIN November Newsletter




The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rutgers University in New Jersey has been approved for a second $2 million grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation. Their enrollment is now at an all-time high of 1,115 members. Well done Marvin Schlaffer, and all the members of the OLLI program at Rutgers.

Congratulations to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of S. Maine in Portland. Late this past summer they moved into their new facilities at the newly-constructed Wishcamper Center. OLLI members worked very closely with the architects and builders to ensure their space fit their needs.

EIN has received some inquiries about the issue of charging participants to attend Teaching Company lectures. This month we are posting a letter that the Door County LIR received from the Teaching Company that spells out how the lectures can be used.

The Brown Bag Lunch Series of the Lifelong Learning Institute at James Madison University in Virginia has some interesting subjects this fall. Topics include: Long Term Care and Tax Free Investing – Gangs in the Valley – Going Digital – Women and Heart Disease – Preventing Back Pain, and Options for US Energy Independence with an Examination of the Benefits and the Potential Environmental Impact of Prospective Energy Portfolios.

The Adult Learning Institute at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, New York enjoyed a slide show this past summer contrasting the former and the present Tibet. The slide show was presented by a local world traveler who has been to over 150 countries.

Congratulations to Dorothy Johnson, a member of the Worcester Institute for Senior Educations (WISE) in Worcester, Massachusetts. She has just published Rupert and the Orange Jello Salad. Geared to readers aged six to eight and younger, the colorful illustrations are by award-winner Kevin Collier. They capture a whimsical tale of two mischievous leprechauns in a left-out bowl of Jello. Dorothy is a retired librarian from a twenty-two year career at Worcester Public Library. Copies are $10 at



Congratulations to artist Arnie Edinberg, another member of the Worcester Institute for Senior Educations (WISE) in Worcester, Massachusetts. Arnie recently had a showing of his paintings at the Jewish Community Center in Worcester. His paintings offer an extraordinary view of water which reveals his mastery of this intricate subject.

Members of the Encore Center for Lifelong Enrichment in Raleigh, North Carolina are studying Topics in Endocrinology this fall. The aim of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the function of the endocrine system. The science of Endocrinology is vast and complex. This course will review the scientific research and development of new tools in diagnosis and improvement of medicines used in treatments as well as improvement in healthcare.

Lifelong Learning at Regis College in Massachusetts offers members a chance to be Study Group Leaders (SGL) after taking the course, So You Want to Be a Study Group Leader? This four-week course leads members through the steps necessary to plan, organize and lead a LLARC study group of their own. With lots of one-on-one time with the SGL and with help from the rest of the class, participants cover topics such as: How to Pick a Topic; What Makes a Study Group Interesting to a Class; How to Organize and Pace Material; How to Encourage Class Participation; What are the Pitfalls to Avoid; and How to Have Fun While Leading the Group. By the end of the course, participants will have a firm outline of a course they could lead, and be well on their way to becoming LLARC’s newest SGL.

The ILEAD program at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire held a challenging lecture event this past summer. Faith, Tradition, and Change: The Sunni-Sufi-Shi’i Rivalry for the Soul of Islam examined the differences that developed among the faithful. Led by the speaker Glen Swanson, Ph.D., who has completed advanced studies on the Middle East, Islam, and the Balkans, participants learned about the riddle of identity within Islam, Islam’s foundations, the role of Muhammad, the Qur’an, the ensuing rivalries and the responses – responses which too often have led to armed conflict and civil war. Dr. Swanson concluded the lecture with commentary and questions about the Qur’an and its interpretation over the centuries.

Last month at the Lyceum program at Binghamton University in New York, members enjoyed a Chinese Celebration Dinner, complete with delicious Chinese delicacies. After dinner they listened to a talk by a senior lecturer of Chinese at Binghamton University. After her discussion she and her students performed Chinese songs and dances for the assembled members.

Dr. Jim O’Brien, coordinator for Reminiscence Writing at the PLATO program in Wisconsin, has published a second volume to his memoirs entitled Confessions of a Sixties Priest: But Probably Not What You’re Thinking. Picking up from the point at which Volume I ends on the seminary steps, the story follows Father O’Brien from his ordination in 1961 through the Sixties and his checkered career as parish priest, newspaper editor, graduate student, television intern, and motherhouse chaplain. Known locally for his humorous writings, O’Brien teaches reminiscence writing and film courses for senior learners at UW-Madison, plays in a jazz band, and continues to crank out his remembrances as long as he has them. Confessions of a Sixties Priest, published at $24.95 by IUniverse, may be sampled at their web site,


- obtained online, or ordered through a local bookstore. Congratulations, Father O’Brien!

The Academy for Lifelong Learning at Empire State College in New York has saved considerably on expenses related to communicating with members through the use of email. Newsletters, program brochures and registration forms are among the documents that have been sent electronically to members. Members who do not have email may still receive mailings by traditional post. Also, be sure to read about their new Male Caucus program under Managing Your LLI this month.

In lieu of exchanging presents, members of the Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell instead donate book, hats and mittens to Community Teamwork Inc. of Lowell, a local community service organization.

The OLLI program at Duke University in North Carolina is studying Edwin Muir (1887-1959) one of the 20th century’s most lyrical and moving poets. He is relatively unknown today because he neither started nor ended a “school” or a “movement.” He was unique – influenced by Jungian analysis, the magic of his homeland (the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland), and the troubled European psyche during and between two World Wars.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of N. Florida in Jacksonville, has started a new Box Lunch Lecture Series. Last month their first featured speaker was the Jacksonville Sheriff. The talk gave members an excellent chance to speak directly to the Sheriff and ask questions and get straight answers on the state of law enforcement in their community. The lecture ran from 11 until 12:30 and a box lunch was provided. Reservations were required.

Learning in Retirement, Inc. at the University of Georgia Athens has an ongoing program called Pens and Swords: Meet the Authors. In October members enjoyed a discussion with Jim Murdock who wrote Blankenshipf. His hilarious and scary novel provided enough material for an interesting morning. In September they met Sarah Gordon who has written A Literary Guide to Flannery O’Connor’s Georgia. Dr. Gordon, a retired college English professor has spent the last 30 years as the resident Flannery O’Connor scholar at Georgia College & State University. She fielded questions from the audience about her work and the writings of the famous author.

Coastal Carolina University’s Department of English is preparing to submit a proposal to start an MA in Writing program. It was suggested that they survey those who participate in the University’s noncredit programs. Since the MA in Writing will have a strong creative writing component, it may be that participants in the Osher program will want to take a course or two, and some of those may even pursue the degree as a form of personal enrichment. Members of the OLLI program in South Carolina are being asked to answer a five-question survey that will provide some basic information about the potential demand for the program among OLLI students.

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Yavapai College in Arizona are studying Birth of the Modern Mind: The Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries, this fall. Prior to the 17th century, the world of learning and understanding was dominated by the belief in the presumptive authority of the past philosophers and theologians. This class examines the fundamental challenges to this system of beliefs that resulted from the growth in printing, reading, and education. The goal will be to understand the conceptual and cultural revolution that gave birth to modern thought in the dilemmas, debates and works of the 17th and 18th century mind.

Members of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale are studying A City of Funerals: Halifax and the Titanic Disaster. The City of Halifax, Nova Scotia, remains intimately connected to one of the great 20th century maritime tragedies. After the R.M.S. Titanic slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912, she left behind 705 survivors (soon rescued) and an immense debris field, made grotesque by the sight of hundreds of corpses. Three small vessels were dispatched to recover the remains. Halifax, transformed into a vast funeral city, stood ready to receive them. Mortuary work, morgue visits, church services, and cemetery interments became mainstays of daily life that spring and summer of 1912. Course participants are embarking on a journey through history to discover the sad, yet fascinating tale of Halifax, where one finds numerous, unforgettable memorials to the Titanic tragedy – including gravesites for 150 of her victims.


True Enough, by Farhad Manjoo. Manjoo argues that, over the past decade or two, respect for the truth has been steadily diminishing as more and more people have turned to blogs, sensationalistic cable news gurus, and the like. Part politics and part psychology, this non-partisan book closely examines the swift boat controversy, the World Trade Center conspiracy theory, and a variety of other recent sensations.

The Big Questions in Science and Religion, by Keith Ward. An impressively insightful and well-balanced survey of major questions for science-and-religion dialogue. Writing as a scholar of world religions, Ward discusses multiple traditions in a level of depth and details that exceeds the normal standards of the science and religion literature, according to Publishers Weekly.

Medicine, Religion, and Health: Where Science and Spirituality Meet, by Harold G. Koenig, M.D. Scientists view a wide range of fields: distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this edition, Dr. Koenig provides an overview of the relationship between health care and religion that manages to be comprehensive yet concise, factual yet inspirational, and technical yet easily accessible to non-specialists and general readers.


Voluntary Carbon Offset Information Portal

Information about buying carbon offsets to neutralize carbon dioxide emissions created by individual air travel. Features a consumer handout on "flying green," report on voluntary offsets for air travel carbon emissions, a paper with an overview of international climate change policies and the current carbon market, description of offset project types, list of carbon offset companies, a glossary, and more.

Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers

Excerpt from a book with diaries from World War II Japanese kamikaze pilots. Describes how "toward the end of World War II, when an American invasion of Japan's homeland seemed imminent ... a navy vice admiral, invented the tokkotai ('Special Attack Force') operation" for which kamikaze were necessary. "Of the approximately four thousand tokkotai pilots, about three thousand were so-called boy pilots. ... Roughly one thousand were 'student soldiers.'"

Worldview: Perspectives on Architecture and Urbanism From Around the Globe

Material about architecture and urban development for five cities around the world: Tijuana, Mexico; Beirut, Lebanon; Caracas, Venezuela; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Oslo, Norway. Includes maps, statistics, timelines, background about architects, and illustrated essays and interviews on topics such as the San Diego/Tijuana border wall, women at work in Dhaka, and population density in Oslo.

The Business of the Bomb: The Modern Nuclear Marketplace

Companion website to a 2008 American RadioWorks documentary that examines the current nuclear weapons industry, including "the increasingly white-collar nature of the nuclear bomb business." Includes the full documentary and transcript, additional articles (about nuclear energy, nuclear smuggling, and the Atoms for Peace program), and related links.

European Protest Movements: 1968 in Europe

Online teaching and research guide companion to a book about the history of European protest and activism in 1956-1977, with an emphasis on 1968 protests in Paris, Prague, Berlin, and Rome. Features chronologies for almost 20 European countries, bibliographies and suggested sources for individual countries, and links to related sites.

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




"Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past. Wisdom is of the future."
…Native American Proverb





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