Interesting tidbits from the latest batch of LLI newsletters.

October, 2007

Discovering Bulgaria was the title of a Lunch and Learn program held at the Adult Learning Institute at Columbia Greene Community College in New York this past summer. The speaker, a highly educated native of Bulgaria described some of the geographical and historical information about her country, the economy, education system, health care, public and private transportation system real estate and religion.

Members of the Community Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL) in State College, Pennsylvania studied Early Lumbering and Iron Making this past summer. The instructor provided true stories, handed down to him from his parents, grandparents and great grandparents who worked in logging, mills, iron ore mines, and charcoal hearths.

Members of the ILR program at Old Dominion University in Virginia recently studied Building the Great Pyramid of the Pharaoh Khufu. This course provided an overview of the building of the Great Pyramid in terms of: its place in time related to Ancient Egypt and the rest of the world; the location, why it is where it is; the people involved; the progression of pyramid building leading up to the Great Pyramid; and the enormity and elegance of the project itself. How could an ancient people with only primitive tools have built such an immense and complex structure?

This fall, members of the Jefferson Institute for Lifelong Learning (JILL) in Virginia will be studying Literature of Assimilation. They will study the literature of assimilation to discover how others enter America – or other countries – and become true citizens, not merely residents.

The Learning in Retirement program at Iona College (LIRIC) in New York is offering a course entitled Digging: Archaeology and Philosophy. The first class will discuss the search for Rose Hill Manor, with a historical archaeologist from Fordham. The second will delve into Existentialism, Atheism and Deism with a presenter from Lehman College.

The Great Dakota Gathering & Homecoming was the title of a program held at The Learning Club at Winona State University in Minnesota. The Dakota Gathering is one of many projects sponsored by the Winona Dakota Unity Alliance and the City of Winona. Members listened to a retired Winona Health Pathologist as he talked about this great partnership between the City and the Dakota Nations.

Lifelong Learners at the Fairfield Senior Center in cooperation with Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut will be studying Native Americans in Pre-Revolutionary America. This course surveys the relations between Native Americans and the European settlers from the first encounter in 1620 to the pre-Revolutionary era in 1763. The discussion focuses on the events leading to the Pequot, King Phillip and French and Indian Wars in the 1600s and the 1700s.

Members of the Lifelong Learning Program at Regis College in Massachusetts will be studying The Phases of Life this fall. Through the viewing and discussion of five up-beat films, this course will examine the many facets of a comic approach to human life. The films to be studied include Moonstruck, Cinema Paradisio, Next Stop Wonderland, Say Anything and Nobody’s Fool.

The Lifelong Learning Society at Christopher Newport University in Virginia is offering a program this fall entitled Bach’s Organ Music: An Overview. They will explore the music, organs and historical context of J.S. Bach’s organ music, and will learn why Bach is one of the greatest composers of all times.

The new LLI at Armstrong Atlantic State University is off to a great start with some excellent courses. U.S. Healthcare: Is there Hope for the Future? was one such course. In this course members examined reasons for the increasing cost of health care and why US health care costs so much more than that of other industrialized countries; they also reviewed how drugs and services are billed and paid for and why the same procedure or drug may cost more for some than for others; along with that they examined whether US health care quality is really the best and what all these “ratings” mean; along with a review of the uninsured and underinsured problem; and options for reform and barriers to adoption.

The Historic Architecture of Ulster County’s Towns is the title of a course being given this fall at the Lifetime Learning Institute at SUNY New Paltz in New York. This course will survey buildings in the twenty towns of Ulster County from the Colonial period to 1950. The variety of architecture styles (from Dutch Colonial to Modern) and building types (from houses and barns to railroad and gas stations) will be emphasized, as will the connections between buildings and the society that produced and supported them.

Over last summer members of the Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale studied Poetry and You. This popular class began its 8th year. Members learn more about poetry, what it is, who is the poet laureate, what is prose poetry, and more.

This fall, members of the LIR program at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, are studying Geography and Geopolitics of Petroleum Near the End of the Petroleum Age. They are examining the conditions which led to the formation of petroleum deposits, where vital oil resources are located, energy use, and geopolitical issues that have brought us to our current “oil” crisis.

The L.I.F.E. program at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York is offering its members a chance to study Our Environmental Health. This series will address such topics as global climate change, Hudson River water quality, and overpopulation.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College in Massachusetts is offering members a chance to study When Crime Paid: Brigands and Builders in the Age of Barons. The course will focus on five personalities prominent in the age of the barons: John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, Jim Fish, Boss Tweed and Henry Ford. In their personal lives they had little in common, but they did have this in common – all were pragmatists. Their rise to power was accompanied by grotesque violations of the fundamental standards of civilized society. Yet their activities built industries and empires and helped launch this country on the path of world supremacy in both industry and finance.

Members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor recently took a course entitled Introduction to Pablo Neruda. In this class students read one long poem titled “The Heights of Macchu Pichu” as an introduction to his poetry. Accompanying the poem, they also read Neruda’s “Memoirs.”

During the summer, members of the OLLI program at Yavapai College in Arizona took part in a course entitled An Introduction to Freethought. This course presented an overview of the development of Freethought, and provided discussion around its role in the modern age.

The Rose Institute for Lifelong Learning in Beachwood, Ohio offered some delightful courses this past spring. One of them was The Israelite Prophets. Who were the prophets? What was prophecy? Did the prophets foretell the future? Participants learned the answers to these questions and discussed the ancient prophets.

Members of the Worcester Institute for Senior Educations (WISE) at Assumption College in Massachusetts will be studying An Introduction to the American Antiquarian Society. The Society is the national research library and center of learning for pre-20th century American history and culture. Participants will learn about the 192-year history of the institution, its mission and operation, and study in-depth one aspect of American history and some historic documents associated with it. The course will be taught by AAS staff.



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