LLI News October 2008

Interesting tidbits from the latest batch of LLI newsletters.

Members of the Academy for Lifelong Learning of Cape Cod, Inc., are studying the History of Hawaii this fall. They will review the history, in three volumes, of Hawaii from the early beginning up to today. A detailed discussion of the overthrow of the Queen and its aftermath will be included.

This fall, members of the Adult Learning Program at the University of Connecticut in Hartford are studying The Emergence of the Christian Right. The presenter focuses on the liberal wing of Christianity, which emerged via the enlightenment emphases on reason and progress, and the evangelical wing of Christianity, which is relatively recent and emerged as a reaction to the impact of the enlightenment on the church. It claims to return to the belief system of the early church. The belief system of the early church, the historical context of the enlightenment and evangelical reaction, the liberal and conservative belief systems and the appropriate and inappropriate aspects of faith in politics will also be discussed.

This fall, members of the Baylor Institute for Learning in Retirement in Texas are studying the History of Comic Strips. Comic strips, a unique, creative American invention, depict humor, values, family life and most other aspects of the American culture. This course examines newspaper comic strips from 1896 to the mid-1940s.

A Funny Thing Happened: Humor in the Bible, is the title of a course given this fall at the ILR at Bluffton University in Ohio. Humor is a very human characteristic. The ability to laugh at situations and ourselves is a true blessing that helps make life bearable. A famous philosopher, however, once noted that the most remarkable trait of the Bible is its total absence of humor. Is that really the case? In this course they will investigate the presence of humor in the Bible.

Two Czars: Peter and Catherine is the title of a course being given this fall at the Lyceum at Binghamton University in New York. Members will learn about two personalities in Russian History, Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. He was 6’8” tall. She wasn’t even Russian. Discover what Peter bought for 5 giants and what a Renaissance and lusty lady Catherine was.

Members of the McGill Institute for Learning in Retirement program in Montreal are studying The New Asian Hemisphere. For two centuries the Asians – from Tehran to Tokyo, from Mumbai to Shanghai – have been bystanders in world history, reacting defenselessly to the surges of Western commerce, thought and power. That era is over. Asia is returning to the center stage it occupied for 18 centuries before the rise of the West. Their rise is unstoppable – by 2050, three of the world’s largest economies will be Asian – China, India and Japan. The group will study Kishore Mahbubani’s recent book on the irresistible shift of global power to the East.

What’s New in Electronics is the title of a fall program being given at the Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA) program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Members will learn about Blue Ray, WIFI, Blue Tooth, HD, Blackberry, IPOD/MP3 Players, GPS, Portable hard drives, Flash drives, Wireless routers/networks and other electronic inventions.

This fall Learning in Retirement, Inc. at the University of Georgia Athens is offering members the opportunity to explore Human Billboards: My Life Is My Message. When asked what his message to the world was, Gandhi said, “My life is my message.” We are all human billboards projecting a message to those around us. Who and what do we care about deeply and how is it reflected in our life? This fun, interactive course will provide participants with an opportunity to clarity their values and align their values with their daily choices.

This fall members of the L.I.F.E. program at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York will be studying The Rise and Decline of Local Lodges, Service Clubs and Fraternal and Charitable Groups in the U.S. Guest speakers will discuss various service organizations such as the Masons, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights of Columbus, etc. Various current books and magazine articles will be recommended on the subject of Lodges and Fraternities.

Members of the Lifelong Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College – Manassas recently studied the Enduring Effects of the Two World Wars. The first two classes consisted of brief surveys of World War I and World War II followed by a discussion of nationalism, racism and cultural/religious conflicts. The third class focused on the development of the bomb. Class four dealt with the rise and fall of economies. Information and misinformation through instant and mass communications was the subject of the last class of the course.

O Thou Transcendent: Ralph Vaughan Williams: His Life and Music, was the title of a course given this fall at the Lifelong Learning Institute at James Madison University in Virginia. This course described his life and music in as much details as ten hours of lecture permitted.

Is the World Really Flat? How a Shrinking World Impacts America, is the title of a course being given this fall at the Lifelong Learners program at the Fairfield Senior Center, which is affiliated with Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. A different region of the world will be explored each week with the goal of focusing on major changes over the past few decades. Current political and economic issues and the possible implications of these changes on America’s relations with India, China, Africa, Russia and the Middle East will be among the topics to be studied.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the start of the New Deal program, members of the Lifetime Learning Institute at SUNY New Paltz are studying Art and Architecture of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal this fall. This course will survey the art and architecture sponsored by FDR as a private individual and as president in Duchess County, Warm Springs and Washington. It will also explore Eleanor Roosevelt’s efforts on behalf of the arts and crafts at Val-Kill Industries in Hyde Park and later her support of various New Deal art projects.

This past summer, the LINEC program at New England College in Henniker, NH offered members a chance to study Economic Choices in a Market Economy. Consumers, businesses and government make economic choices every day because resources are scare. This course examined the costs and benefits resulting from their decision making, with emphasis on the economic problems in our market economy.

Members of the Mankato Area Lifelong Learners at Minnesota State University recently learned all about the Deer of Minnesota. They were given an overview of pre-settlement and present populations of various members of the deer family by a wildlife research biologist.

Abraham Lincoln’s Illegal Acts: Implications for Our Times, was the title of a course given this past summer at the McGill ILR at McGill University in Montreal. Participants studied Lincoln’s less well known illegal acts - acts he felt obliged to resort to at a time of mortal peril to his government. These measures and his reasons for taking them hold significant implications for today.

Thoughts of a Wise Man: Plato’s Dialogues was the title of a course given this past spring at the OLLI program in New Hampshire. Participants discussed Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and Phaedo – primary sources for a study of Plato’s philosophy and looked at the questions of ethics, metaphysics and the nature of knowledge.

Members of the Rose Institute for Lifelong Learning at the Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, Ohio took a course entitled Do You Have the Time? Time, Clocks and You. A huge effort has been put into making devices to measure time with ever increasing accuracy from the beginning of recorded history to the present day. What is time? How is time measured? What does time mean? Participants considered these questions and more in this thought-provoking course.




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