The Academy for Learning in Retirement in Saratoga Springs, New York offered members a chance to study History, Science, and Art All Around Us, this past fall. The program was a series of day-long trips to noteworthy sites in the region that exemplified one of the topics of the course.

Members of the Adult Learning Institute at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, NY listened to a guest speaker discuss his Experiences in Military Service. An adjunct professor who teaches Psychology at the college, he spoke about his Naval experience in Afghanistan. In December they also presented a stimulating workshop entitled Women’s Role in Society in Respect to Politics. A Professor of Human Services and Gender Studies at the college showed video clips of Hillary Rodham Clinton as part of her presentation.

Great Experiments is the title of a new course being given at the Berkshire Institute for Lifetime Learning in Massachusetts this winter. Scientific experiments are the keys that unlock nature’s secrets and as such rank among the highest achievement of the human spirit. Topics include: Milliken’s Oil Drop Experiment: How the Electron is Weighed – Gravity: Falling Bodies and Inclined Plane – Measurement of the Speed of Light: Michelson and Morley Experiment – Mendel Pea Experiments on Inherited Traits or How Gregor Mendel, an Esoteric Monk, Discovered the Basis of Modern Genetics – Harvey’s Discoveries of Human Circulation: How the Engine of the Body was Revealed – Faraday and the Magic of Electromagnetism.

The Duke ILR in North Carolina is offering members a course entitled Novels of the Sea. Certain maritime novels have become classics of literature due to the power of the images they create of dominant characters in exciting environments. Although fiction they are usually rooted in the life experiences of the authors, thus partly autobiographical. Two of these masterpieces focus upon their legendary captains – Wolf Larsen and Ahab: the third focuses upon the entire crew. Members will read The Sea Wolf by Jack London; Moby Dick by Herman Melville; and The Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad.

The Encore Program at North Carolina State University will give its members a chance to learn all about endocrinology with a course entitled Tops in Endocrinology. The aim of this course is to provide a basic understanding of the function of the endocrine system. Participants will review the latest scientific research and development of new tools in diagnosis and improvement of medicines used in treatments as well as improvements in healthcare.

The Axial Age is the title of a program being given this month at the ILR at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. The world changed dramatically in the 6th century B.C. with Confucius in China, Buddha in India, Zoroaster in Persia, and most importantly, Second Isaiah and Ezekiel in Babylonian exile. The class will focus on these Biblical prophets and their role in turning the world on its “axis.”

Members of the ILR at Old Dominion University in Virginia studied The American Century last fall. This course gave an overview of a century that is referred to as the “American Century,” one that began with no electric household lighting and infrequent indoor plumbing, and ended with computers, microwaves, and trips to Mars.

Members of the Institute for Retired Professionals at the New School in New York are studying An Interdisciplinary Look at the Concept of Time. For two semesters they will look at time from philosophical, scientific and humanistic standpoints. In philosophy they will read Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and others. In alternate weeks they will focus on time in science and the arts. They will review classic physics of Newton, Einstein and thermodynamics. They will also study time in biology, medicine, and in the quantum world as well as the science of time travel. In the humanities they will discuss time in historiography, art, the cinema, literature, music, drama and poetry.

Learning in Retirement, Inc.
in Athens, Georgia has teamed up with their local library to offer Theatre Thursdays. International documentary films are shown, and members then move to a local restaurant for refreshment and post-movie discussion.

From Impressionism to Expressionism was the title of a popular repeat course at the Learning in Retirement program sponsored by Edison Community College in Florida. Century to century, artistic styles change. Members learned about the progression of styles from the 17th, 18th, 19th and perhaps 20th centuries, along with the motivation behind realism, impressionism and expressionism.

The Lifelong Learning Society at Christopher Newport University in VA is giving its members a chance to learn about Organizing Your Family Filing System. Over 10 weeks, this course will explore important family documents and the need for a well-designed and manageable system for organizing, updating and safekeeping these documents.

The Americas in the Revolutionary Period is the title of a series of video lectures that were given this past fall at the LINEC program in New Hampshire. These lectures dealt with the wars for independence that erupted across all the Americas between 1776 and 1825. The course dealt mainly with the revolutions in South and Central America, ending in 1825 with the final defeat of the Spanish in South America. The discussions related the revolutionary history of these countries to the current issues they face.

The OLLI program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks offers members a Winter Lecture Series. Last month Tsunamis from Atlantis to Augustine was the topic. In February, the topic is Sundogs and Spheres. Participants will look at some of the atmospheric halos that can be seen in Fairbanks, then some world class halos from the South Pole.

Last fall, members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University, Channel Islands spent ten weeks studying Tribalism: A Human Dilemma. This course surveyed the variety of social groups (tribes) to which people belong. From family to local gang, sports team, the nation and religion, tribes are a universal human construction. Through examination of case studies involving both mundane and highly involved groups, students reflected and in the process, came to better understand their own tribal identities.

Members of the OLLI program at George Mason University in Virginia studied The CIA and Intelligence in Today’s World. This four-week course discussed the role of the CIA today, Is it the right role? Is intelligence needed? What purpose has intelligence served throughout history? and Why is the cost so high?

Members of the Seniors’ Education Center at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, will be studying Ritual and Society. This course will examine a wide variety of rituals from around the world and explore some of the approaches that anthropologists have used to understand the function and significance of rituals in the religion, economy, ecology and politics of various societies.

Capitalizing on the recent film, Good Night and Good Luck, the WISE program at Assumption College in MA is offering a winter course entitled Good Luck…Words to the Wise. This class explores the themes of responsible journalism and social conscience raised by the film. Participants will view portions of the film and do outside research on Murrow, McCarthyism and early TV.




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