Interesting tidbits from the latest batch of LLI newsletters.

Glens Falls Medical Mission: Project Guatemala was the title of a Lunch and Learn held at the Adult Learning Institute at Columbia Greene Community College in New York. The guest speaker described her trips to Guatemala with the Glens Falls Medical Mission. The mission is a non profit non-denominational group of 45 medical providers who go to Nueva Santa Rosa, Guatemala twice a year to care for people who have limited access to medical and dental care.

Members of the Chemeketa Center for Learning in Retirement in Woodburn, Oregon studied the History of Slavery, this past winter. The History of Slavery in the United States was an unforgettable history of how slaves, especially black people, were viewed in the early days of our country and even today when remnants of the past seem to reappear on occasion. Today slavery is well and alive in many countries. Can the world ever learn by past mistakes and the unfair treatment of people of different cultures?

Members of the Institute for Continuing Learning at Young Harris College in Georgia recently took a Journey through Comedy. They discussed and compared the various types of comedy.

Members of the ILR program at Old Dominion University in Virginia recently studied Cuba: The Reality of Communism and the Embargo. In spite of the embargo the United States provides 30% of Cuba’s food. In 2004 a group of Cape Henry students traveled to Cuba to examine the communist economic system and the effects of the embargo. In this class they discussed Cuban communism in depth, including exclusive video of homes, hospitals, factories and schools as well as the reality of the U.S. Embargo.

This fall, members of the Jefferson Institute for Lifelong Learning (JILL) in Virginia will be studying Blockading the South: The Union Navy Civil War Squadrons. This course will cover the four blockading squadrons used by the Union Navy to attempt to close the southern coastline during the Civil War. All major Union coastal operations will be covered, from the Burnside expedition to the Fort Fisher to the Charleston campaigns, to Mobile Bay to the lower Mississippi River. Also covered will be routine blockage life, pursuit and capture of blockade runners and their disposition as prizes.

The Learning in Retirement program at Iona College (LIRIC) in New York is offering a course entitled Pirates in History: Terror on Land and Sea. This course will focus on the lives of brigands and their impact on the history and population of their time.

This fall, members of the LIR program at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, are studying Every Rock Tells a Story. They are starting with a visit to Weis Earth Science Museum, and will learn some geology basics. Then they will be carpooling to High Cliff State Park to explore the Niagara Escarpment and will also look at an important pioneer industry.

WWII Resistance Movement in Belgium was the title of a program held at The Learning Club at Winona State University in Minnesota. The speaker joined the resistance movement in 1942 as a 15 year-old girl in Belgium. She worked as a medic and performed numerous acts in support of the allies. Later she traveled with the Red Cross. She began giving talks to student about 20 years ago to inspire them to remember WWII and the Holocaust.

This fall, the Lifelong Learning Institute at James Madison University in Virginia is offering members a chance to study Before, Behind and Around the New Testament. This course will survey the background of the New Testament, introducing historical, religious and cultural elements which shaped the world in which Jesus and the first Christians lived. Emphasis will be on the period from the reign of Antiochus IV (beginning 175 BCE) through the rule of Emperor Domitian (d. 96 CE). Topics covered will include the Maccabean revolt and its aftermath, Greek and Roman influences, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Apocrypha and non-Biblical writings, the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the apocalyptic worldview found in this setting.

Members of the Lifelong Learning Program at Regis College in Massachusetts will be studying Sherlock Holmes this fall. During this course participants will read, discuss and enjoy several of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries. The readings will be supplemented by one or two 1930s radio shows dramatizing some of the stories as well as the viewing of two Sherlock Holmes films. As background, the facilitator will give the class small peeks of life in the United States and Europe during this time period.

The Lifelong Learning Society at Christopher Newport University in Virginia is offering a program this fall entitled World Geography Sampler. Regional geography looks at places in a synthetic manner, including elements of the physical environment, as well as politics, culture, economy and human settlement. This course will examine a sampling of countries and regions that feature prominently in today’s news headlines.

The new LLI at Armstrong Atlantic State University is off to a great start with some excellent courses. The Expressive Power of Great Music: Searching for Meaning Behind the Notes was one such course. Participants attempted to convey the richness, variety, and stimulation afforded by listening alertly to recorded examples of great orchestral music from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Primary emphasis was placed on symphonic music as represented by concertos, symphonic poems and overtures.

Over last summer members of the Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale took a Three Embassy Tour. Participants visited the Russian, Swedish and Indonesian embassies in Washington, DC.

The Ever Changing Earth is the title of a course being given this fall at the Lifetime Learning Institute at SUNY New Paltz in New York. The Earth is a very different planet from its nearby planets, Venus and Mars. It contains large amounts of liquid water and the atmosphere is rich in oxygen. For us the most significant difference is the abundance of living forms. These four lectures will discuss the unique features of our planet, how it came to be, and what the future holds.

The L.I.F.E. program at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York is offering its members a chance to study Nature, Naturally. Members will take some delightful nature-walks/hikes to some familiar and some not-so-familiar locations.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts is offering members a chance to study The Spanish Civil War Through Film. Two documentary films To Die in Madrid and The Good Fight, will establish the historical component of the course. Then four additional films that incorporate in varying degrees the war and its aftermath will be viewed and discussed.

Understanding Islam was the title of a course given this past spring at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Topics included The Spirit of Islam – the Five Pillars of Islam – Islamic History – Islam and the West – Gender Equity – Faith and Reason/An Islamic Perspective – Commonalities among Abrahamic Faiths – Jihad – Importance of Peace and Justice in Islam – Challenges for American Muslims. The course was led by the Co-Founder and President of the Center for Understanding Islam.

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor recently took a course entitled Democracy in America. This book, written by Alexis deTocqueville is often referred to as the single best book ever written about the U.S. Participants discussed Volume I in the spring and Volume II this fall of the Lawrence translation currently published by Harper.

Last summer, members of the OLLI program at Yavapai College in Arizona took part in a course entitled Labyrinths: Paths to Peace and Well-Being. Participants experienced the many aspects of the labyrinth. They learned the history and symbolism of the two most commonly used labyrinth circuit designs, explored the connection between them and chakras and looked at how labyrinths are being used in schools, hospitals, churches, communities, prisons and other venues to promote body, mind and spirit healing.

The Rose Institute for Lifelong Learning in Beachwood, Ohio offered some delightful courses this past spring. One of them was The Mad hatter. Humans have covered their heads from the beginning of time. Initially, headwear offered protection from the elements and from injury. Later, head coverings became symbols of status and authority. Today, hats are a fashion statement and are sometimes considered an art form. Participants learned the history of hats and viewed samples from the instructor’s historic collection. They also had the opportunity to be photographed in their favorite hat of the collection.

Members of the Worcester Institute for Senior Educations (WISE) at Assumption College in Massachusetts will be studying Emerson and Transcendentalism. This is a lecture/discussion course focusing upon one of the major figures n American literary, aesthetic, and cultural history. They will consider a selection of Emerson’s major essays and poetry in light of his seminal role in the development of American Transcendentalism.






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