Once again, Winterim 2007 is the reward for members of the Academy for Lifelong Learning on Cape Cod who don’t fly off to Florida. They will be studying topics that include “Christian, Jew, Muslim,” “Alternate and Renewable Energy Sources,” and “Literature Today.” It will be a stimulating three days.

Members of the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee recently delved into Understanding and Experiencing the Sacred. Using intellect and their spiritual senses they explored the religious experience. They started each class with silence and then engaged their minds with issues such as: What is religion? What is the sacred? How can one find meaning in life? Is it faith? Is it overcoming attachment to reality? Virtue? And what lies beyond death? They also explored techniques for experiencing the sacred: meditation, contemplation, ritual, nature, the material world. They finished each session with a discussion of their experiences.

Members of the Brevard Elderlearning Program at Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Florida recently studied How Your Local Governments Work. This full-day program started with an educational morning explaining it all by the local League of Women Voters. After lunch participants heard from representatives of some of these entities. Guest speakers included a retired County Commissioner, a retired Port Authority manager and a City Manager.

Members of the Center for Learning in Retirement at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois will be studying Dietrich Bonhoeffer in the 21st Century. They will review his life and legacy to facilitate an understanding of selected writings that are now re-published. They will “Will of God,” Church-State Relations,” and “Community.” The objective of this class series is to develop an understanding and acceptance of the complexity of life in the 21st century and the importance of acknowledging another’s point of view.

Red, White & Blue: Americanisms in Music, Art & Literature is the title of a new course at Encore: Center for Lifelong Enrichment in North Carolina. In the 230 years since this country’s founding, America’s art has helped define who and what we are. Through explorations of various art forms, this course will illustrate how different arts accommodate attributes of identity at differing rates in varying times.

The Furman University Learning in Retirement program in South Carolina is offering members a chance to study Use and Misuse of the Bible on Moral Issues. They will examine the use and misuse of the Bible in making moral and ethical decisions. Controversial issues will be considered such as feminism, homosexuality, environment, anti-semitism, abortion and certainly will be considered. Various sources will be used including bishop Spong’s, “The Sins of Scripture.”

Members of the ILR at Albertus Magnus College in Connecticut recently studied A Concise History of Mathematics From Ancient Egypt to Today (Glamour! Intrigue! Humor!). They listened to a retired mathematics professor talk about a subject close to his heart; mathematics and the many ways it affects the lives of human beings, from ancient Egypt to today.

How the Irish Lost Their Language is the title of a new course at the Bradley University ILR in Peoria, Illinois this January. The Pastor of a local church will present an overview of the history of Ireland with attention given to the events that caused the Irish to lose their native tongue; the invasion of the Normans, the penal laws, the plantations, the Great Famine, the National School System, etc.

The Lifelong Learning Society at Christopher Newport University in Virginia is offering a new course entitled Reading Ancient Past: Deciphering Forgotten Scripts. There is a touch of mystery about unknown writing, especially when it comes from the remote past. Yet, it is the fate of writing systems – once they are no longer actively used to be forgotten. This program explores the efforts of archaeologists and paleographers to decipher the now-extinct scripts and examine the transmission of the alphabet of the Greeks to that of the Romans, from whom we inherited our modern script.

Members of Lifelong Learning at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina took part in three interesting programs last month. The Academy of Gardening probed horticultural secrets of the ancient Pharaohs in Gardening By The Moon. Since earliest recorded history the phases of the moon have figured prominently in determining planting success by some highly advanced civilizations. Are these practices based on fact or simply superstition? The gardeners explored the mysterious validity of these unusual planting practices and their relationship to gardening success.

The Moveable Feast program offered a double delight at Pawleys Plantation. Catherine Forrester discussed her book At Home Charleston and Douglas Bostick and Jason Davidson discussed their book The Boathouse. Attendees got an insider's look at one woman's celebration of the customs and social traditions that have made Charleston the home of elegant entertaining for generations, coupled with collaborators on tales and recipes from Richard Stoney's famous Charleston restaurant.

Finally last month, the Lifelong Learning Book Club met to discuss the book The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. First published in 1929, Faulkner created his "heart's darling," the beautiful and tragic Caddy Compson, whose story Faulkner told through separate monologues by her three brothers--the idiot Benjy, the neurotic suicidal Quentin and the monstrous Jason.

Art History’s Mysteries is the title of a program that members of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Edison College in Florida took last fall. Representational vs. non-representational…Abstract…Cubism…Dada? These are terms that confuse most people and the course participants undertook a study of the meaning of these terms, along with viewing many fine works, and studying the theory behind these very different art styles.

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Alabama in Huntsville had the wonderful opportunity to experience Beyond the Stars: Star Gazing with the Von Braun Astronomical Society. The program began with the topic:”Cosmology – What is the universe?” Then after viewing the program, “Celestial,” members were provided with telescopes for viewing the night sky.

Members of the Lifelong Learning of Hilton Head Island program studied Life on Earth. This course was devoted to the concept of Life – both conventional definitions and some exceptions. Also covered were the theories of the origin of life on Earth, intelligent life, and the evolution of life. This course was based on the sciences of biology, chemistry and geology, but was presented in very basic scientific language understandable by all.

Publishing Non-Fiction Writing: How Six Local Authors Do It, was the title of a course given this fall at the OLLI program at the University of California, Davis. A discussion period followed each lecture, providing an opportunity to ask questions of the writer. Participants learned how these individuals accomplished their writing goals, the challenges they encountered and how they met the challenges.

Members of the OLLI program at Duke University in North Carolina will be studying The Requiem Through Five Centuries. The requiem, along with the mass and oratorio, has been one of the most enduring forms of sacred choral music through the centuries. This class will
study the requiems and funeral music of Ockeghem, Victoria, Schutz, Gilles, Mozart, Verdi, Berlioz, Brahms, Faure, Britten, and Stravinsky, among others. They will also explore the cultural and religious contexts of these works and study the connections with contemporary music and the influence of one generation upon the next.

Members of the PLATO program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studied Energy and Quanta: How Our World Works. This course dealt with energy – collapse and unobservability, atomic waves of probability, molecules and states of matter.

Members of the Rose Institute for Lifelong Learning in Beachwood, Ohio recently studied More Philosophical Issues in Classical American Literature. They examined the philosophical issues raised in the following American works: Billy Budd by Herman Melville, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, and Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Members of the Worcester Institute for Senior Education at Assumption College in Massachusetts will be studying Jean-Paul Sartre: Philosopher & Playwright, this spring. A study of Sartre’s dramatic works, together with an understanding of his existential philosophy will be the focus of this course. Participants will study how Sartre’s philosophy informs his writings, with emphasis on Reason, Will, Meaning, and Human Dynamics.




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