|Electronic Newsletter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute |
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - August 2011
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with support from the Bernard Osher Foundation, is part of a national network that recognizes learning has no age limits.
Through a rich array of lifelong learning opportunities, members are inspired to take a fresh look at themselves, their world, and the possibilities that await them.
OLLI at Illinois is a member-led community of peers. It provides its members with a number of special perks and offers them exciting courses, a wellness program, and educational trips, as well as small-group discussion opportunities, a meeting place and special events.
OLLI News You Can Use
The Istanbul/Venice trip is scheduled for May 16 - 25, 2012. Please call or stop by the office if you would like an informational brochure.
Ten study groups are currently underway; they will end the week before fall classes start. OLLI members may begin to sign up for fall study groups on September 28, 2011.
Lunch time lecture for August: The OLLI Citizen Scientist Program
Several of your fellow OLLI members were working in research labs during the spring as participants, not subjects, in a program designed for OLLI by Professors Gene Robinson, Director of the Institute for Genomic Biology, and Art Kramer, Director of the Beckman Institute. On August 19 we will see the work of the Citizen Scientists and hear about their experiences. The program will continue in the fall, and some of you may be interested in participating. We'll talk about those possibilities as well. Here is the url http://olli.illinois.edu/lectures/#scientist
Friday, November 19, 2011. Noon - 1:30 pm
Boxed lunches are available for $9.50 (.50 price increase as of September 1, 2011)
Lunch time lecture for November: Fooling Ourselves: Self-Deception in Politics, Religion and Terrorism
Presented by: Harry Triandis
Wednesday, November 9, 2011, Noon - 1:30 pm
Boxed lunches are available for $9.50 (.50 price increase as of September 1, 2011)
Fall Class Highlights
Although spaces remain in several of the fall courses, let me bring two to your attention. If you have questions about these or other OLLI courses, please contact me....Kathleen.
In the comparative science fiction film course, "Monsters from Outer Space and Other Locations," we will view and discuss eight classics spanning almost a century. Film titles are: Aelita (Russian, 1924), Metropolis (German, 1927), Creature from the Black Lagoon (US, 1954), Amphibian Man (Russian, 1962), Solaris (Russian, 1972), Solaris (US, 2002), Starship Troopers (US, 1997), and First on the Moon (Russian, 2005).
Professor Richard Tempest, Director of the Russian, East European and Asian Center, will teach the course, which will be held on Thursdays from 5:15 pm to 8:15 pm, beginning September 15. Bring a picnic dinner, watch the films and then explore what these films have in common, and what it means to be human.
The second course also takes us to what is for many of us unfamiliar territory. In "Playing with Fear: Nineteenth-Century Gothic Fiction," Peter Garrett, Emeritus Professor of English, takes us on a journey through some of the most memorable works of British and American Gothic fiction, including: Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and a selection of tales by Edgar Allan Poe.
Professor Garrett will lead us in an exploration of why these tales have enduring power both to disturb and to please us. The course will be held on Wednesdays from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm, beginning September 14. This and the science fiction film course could be an interesting combination!
OLLI Classes For the Fall Semester
The following classes still have spaces available; please check the Web site or call Brenda (244-9141) to make sure this is still true, and to register.
Mondays: September 12 - October 31:
9:00 - 10:30 am. Music Theory: The Language of Music - Linda Jordan
1:00 - 2:30 pm. Bioethical Dilemmas - Bob Rich
3:30 - 5:00 pm. Victoria and Her Prime Ministers - Walter Arnstein
5:15 - 8:15 pm. Films of the 1970's - Chris Catanzarite
Tuesdays: September 13 - November 1:
6:30 - 7:45 pm. Matter, Energy & the Universe - Michael Weissman & Inga Karliner
Wednesday, September 14 - November 2:
1:30 - 3:00 pm. Animals as Spiritual Guides - Tom Neufer Emswiler
3:30 - 5:00 pm. Playing with Fear: 19th Cent.Gothic Fiction - Peter Garrett
3:30 - 5:00 pm. The Studio Season - Larry Smith
5:15 - 8:15 pm. The Films of Oz: Australian Cinema 1970 - present - Sandy Camargo
Thursday, September 15 - November 3:
10:30 - noon. Papa Haydn: Servant, Leader, Wit, Teacher, Husband and Godfather - Anne Heiles
1:30 - 3:00 pm. Public Persuasion: Presidents, Scandals and the Rhetoric of Self Defense - Craig Cutbirth
5:15 - 8:15 pm. Monsters from Outer Space and Other Locations - Richard Tempest
6:30 - 7:45 pm. Gregorian Chant - Fred Stoltzfus
Friday, September 16 - November 4:
11:00 - 12:30. Viewing Dance - Kate Kuper
1:30 - 3:00 pm. Singing: A Performer's Perspective - Ron Hedlund
OLLI Goes to Alaska!
In mid-July 47 OLLI travelers (including naturalists Susan Post and Michael Jeffords) flew to Vancouver, Canada to start a 12-day adventure in Alaska. Here is a sampling of their thoughts, insights, and images - enjoy! For higher resolution photos see our public album on Facebook.
The OLLI traveler motto?
The following quotation was tacked on a bulletin board at the Toklat River rest stop and shop along the Denali National Park road (no attribution):
Remember this motto to live by: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO what a ride!"
|Bald Eagle with salmon near Juneau by Mike Schlueter|
Margaret Hoffman: A Birder's Paradise
Glaucous Gulls flew over the waterways in Vancouver; Common Murres, Pigeon Guillemots, Long-tailed Jaegers and perhaps a Tufted Puffin and Harlequin Duck were observed from aboard ship; Black Oyster-catchers and Arctic Terns - which have the longest regular migration of any known animal, flying over 44,000 miles to Antarctica and back each year - passed overhead while we were whale watching; Black-legged Kittiwakes flew around the glaciers, and Mew Gulls were abundant as we went further north.
Our first Bald Eagle sightings were just "white golf balls" in distant trees. Then we began to see them everywhere as they searched for fish in the waters below. In the tundra of Denali National Park we saw both Rock and Willow Ptarmigan, the resident birds of the park that change color in the winter to blend in with their snowy surroundings.
At Potter Marsh near Anchorage we were treated to a close fly-over by a mature Bald Eagle and then watched as its family was harassed by Black-billed Magpies. We listened to very vocal Sandhill Cranes and enjoyed the aerobatics of Violet-green Swallows. So many new entries in our birders' lists!
Mary Shobe: Adventure on the Ziprider
|Totem poles in Stanley Park, Vancouver by Jim Caspary|
The highlight of my visit to Icy Straight Point was taking the zip line down the mountain. An expert strapped me into a canvas chair; it was suspended from a cable that ran from the top of the mountain to its base. He told me to stick my legs straight out and to press my feet against the gate. Suddenly the gate popped open, and I was out in the open. My stomach was left at the gate as the cold air whooshed past, and the rain hit my face like ice needles. What a rush.
Instead of facing forward, I started to swing to the right. Remembering the instructions, I put my arm straight out into the wind. This gave me an excellent view of the left side of the mountain, so I put my other arm straight out into the wind. Now I had an excellent view of the right side of the mountain. I soon discovered that little "princess waves" kept me facing forward. I decided it would be a good idea to keep my eyes focused forward on where I was heading - at 60 miles an hour. What fun!
|Moonset near Ketchikan by Susan Haney|
The word we were all asked to use for day 3 was "whimsical." As we sat looking at the harbor, Kathy called me to the window to see two harbor seals playing in the water alongside the cruise ship, as passengers were disembarking. Here's what I wrote.
Oh those whimsical travelers, to and fro all day long, giggling, gawking, gasping, as if the real sport is in the streets, shops, and salons. If only they knew of the fun we have, my love, frolicking here in the bay while the sun lasts.
|Whale! - drawing by Sarah Wisseman|
Robert Miller: Kayaking in Icy Strait Alaska
Carol and I set off in our kayak about 8 AM in the cold waters of Icy Strait near Hoonah, Alaska. Our young guide, Michael, was born in Texas and raised in Seattle. He now splits his time between working as a kayaking guide in the summer, and working for his father in Seattle during the winter. When we asked him, "Will we see whales?" Michael replied with a smile, "It's not up to us; it is up to them." We learned that the town of Hoonah burned in 1944 and was rebuilt for the Tlinglit natives by the U.S. Army with materials intended for an air base on Guam, with bright, warm Pacific colors for the houses. We spotted a mature eagle that obligingly posed for us near shore, then gathered nesting materials as we watched. We got plenty of exercise and saw a small part of Alaska close up. A great excursion!
|Denali Grizzly by Bob Miller|
Jo Ann Heiser and Guy Murphy: A Day in Denali National Park
Denali National Park is an undisturbed part of wild Alaska. Thirty of us took a nine hour bus ride on Denali's only road. Our guide and bus driver, Bob Tourtelot, is a thirty-year veteran of the park. He knew the park, animals, flowers, and road. We felt safe even as he drove next to unprotected 1,000 foot dropoffs. Although we could only get off the bus at designated spots, Bob encouraged us to yell 'Stop' when we saw something. And see we did, everything from a one inch pygmy red-backed vole to a six hundred pound grizzly bear. But best of all was the scenery, including the aptly named Polychrome Mountain, the Northern boreal forest where tiny trees are centuries old, and the lower altitude tundra. We were among the lucky few who are privileged to have seen most of Mt. Denali. What a great ride!
|Mt. McKinley Flyover by Charles & Sarah Wisseman|
Jan Caspary: Thoughts on the Way Home
Off we flew into the wild blue yonder, riding high into the sky....cruising the whale-filled waters.... visiting the forested shores....riding the rails of the gold miners....magically spellbound by the icy blue glaciers....motoring through bear infested forests....viewing Mt. McKinley where the sheep and caribou play....hiking the trails of flower-filled wonder keeping watch for any sign of wildlife....returning back to OLLI, with a group of new-found friends.
More from our Alaska Travelers
To view a slideshow of these and other photos from the OLLI Alaska trip in higher resolution, visit our public album on Facebook. You do not need a Facebook account in order to view the photos.
Left to right: Dall Sheep and Hubbard Glacier calving by Robert Miller, Ice floating on Mendenhall Lake by Tom Conry.
Left to right: Mendenhall Glacier by Jim Caspary, Fireweed and Dall Sheep by Mike Schlueter
|Left to Right: Mendenhall Glacier by Sharon Conry, Inside Passage drawing by Sarah WIsseman, Coastal Brown Bear by Barbara Meyer.|
|Instructor Spotlight: Jim Kaler
Jim Kaler loves what he does, and he does a lot. Last fall he taught his first OLLI course, Sun and Stars, and enjoyed the experience so much that he agreed to repeat the course this fall. "It was fun. They are there to learn something!" he said of his students. The class is full, certainly a reflection of the fun last fall's students had.
Jim joined the University of Illinois astronomy department in 1964 after receiving his AB from the University of Michigan and his PhD from UCLA. He is now Professor Emeritus, but continues to teach one class a year. During his almost fifty year professional career he has received many honors, but mentions as highlights his Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships, his medals from the University of Liège in Belgium and the University of Mexico, and the American Astronomical Society's Education Prize.
He says his grandmother started him on his career path when he was 8 years old. As he walked with her one night in his hometown of Albany, New York, he informed her that stars have points. "No, look up," she responded. Jim has been looking up ever since.
While Jim has more than 120 research papers to his credit, his career as a science writer for the general public began when he was asked to write an article for a popular science magazine. This, he discovered, was fun. His seventeenth book has just arrived from the publisher. On his extensively developed website [stars.astro.illinois.edu/skylights.html], his Star of the Week feature has had more than three million hits.
Jim and Maxine, who celebrated their fiftieth anniversary last year with an African safari, have four children and six grandchildren. For many years Jim competed in age group track events. He claims to be a pretty fine cook and baker. He is also a dedicated amateur photographer and musician, currently focusing on improving his classical and jazz guitar and trumpet skills. And yes, he is having fun.
|OLLI Travel: Istanbul and Venice |Do you yearn to be a traveler and not merely a tourist?If so, join OLLI members on an unusual trip to Venice and Istanbul in May 2012. Peter and Sharon Michalove will lead a small group to explore two of the Michaloves' favorite cities. These cities competedin trade, politics, religion and war as far back as the days of Constantinople and the declining Roman Empire.During the Fourth Crusade, Venice and its allies sacked Constantinople and carried off its Byzantine treasures, many of which can still be seen in Venice.Later, the Ottoman sultans restored Constantinople's power and wealth.
Sharon, a retired historian, and Peter, a composer and musician, have developed their love for these cities on many prior trips, including an extended stay in Venice when Sharon received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The two have led student groups to Turkey, but this is the first trip that will combine the two cities.
Many of those signing up for the trip have already had an introduction to Turkish history as participants in the Michaloves' class on Turkey last spring. This fall will feature an OLLI course on Venice. Neither class, however, is a prerequisite for joining the trip. The Michaloves' approach to travel is hardly dry or strictly academic. Trip members can look forward to conducting their own research, for instance comparing Turkish ice cream and Italian gelato; (Sharon says the former has a delicious elasticity of texture).
Bill Owen of TourGroupPro, who has organized previous OLLI trips, is arranging accommodations and transportation for the trip. Additional information is available at the OLLI office and on OLLI's website.
A Song for Kathleen
Sung ("to a familiar Irish tune) at the annual meeting following the announcement that our director will be retiring at the end of the year, with words by Bruno Nettl.
Oh please don't leave us, dear Kathleen,
Your OLLI friends are teary-eyed
Since you'll no longer be our dean,
But soon, instead, you'll be a blushing bride.
Some feel our future's looking bleak
We surely hate to say good-bye
Our hands are chill, our knees are weak
We feel like having a good cry.
Oh, visit us, at least, Kathleen,
Your labors here were not in vain,
In this Research Park, midst the green
Here in the prairies of Champaign.
We sing your praises: lend an ear,
We toast your health with wine or brew,
Or, if you're not inclined to beer,
Then cider, juice, LaCroix will do.
For seniors to improve their minds
You've made these rooms our second home,
With arts and science intertwined,
Without exams or textbook tomes.
Come back and see us, dear Kathleen,
Your labors here were not in vain,
Near I-Hotel where grass is green,
At 1800 Oak, Champaign.
You kept those OLLI profs in line,
To start and finish on the dot.
And rarely did they carp or whine
In this, a scholar's Camelot.
We see good movies, sing, discuss,
In our rare grove of academe.
Without formalities or fuss,
You've realized Mr. Osher's dream.
And so we thank you dear Kathleen
For sure your labors weren't in vain.
Here where the lawns are velveteen,
We hope to see you soon again.
E-Reviews: The Complete List of Local "Tourist Attractions"
We asked OLLI members to tell us where they take their guests when showing off our community. The response was overwhelming. I tried to list all of the locations, because many of you were eager to see the "complete list." So here they are in alphabetical order with some of your edited comments added for color. Hope you enjoy each others' thoughts. Thank you for your participation. Traci Nally
"We live in a unique and very special community. All the amenities of an urban environment without the un-pleasantries of crowds, delays, and endless car rides. What isn't special about home?" - Pat Donze Shae
Abraham Lincoln Home in Springfield
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield (I have
been at least 5 times with visiting friends! Priscilla Christians)
Abraham Lincoln sites at New Salem
Abraham Lincoln statue by Loredo Taft across from Urbana High School, Race Street,
Allerton Park and House, Monticello (Fu Dogs are unique. Ron Dolgin) (Treks, explore gardens, fantasize about estate/manor house, statuary, plantings. Pat Donze Shae) (Very special for Central Illinois.Chifan Cheng) (Generous gift to the public and remnant example of what this area was once like.Jack Paxton)
Amish sites in Douglas County (Amish stores out in the country (Beachy's) (the discount stores, the Health Food Store, and especially Yoder's yummy restaurant!!! Bari Arnote)
Arboretum, Urbana (We used to go there on dates. I proposed to my wife at that location. Larry Lowe.)
Art Coop Gallery, Lincoln Square, Urbana (Where I have a painting on display. Judy Jones)
Art Mart in Lincoln Square, Urbana (Sister-in-law bought some lovely Polish pottery. Judy Jones)
Busey Woods, Urbana
Champaign County Historical Museum, Champaign (Take in the exhibits and gift shop. It provides a connection to what's behind what we see. Jeanette McCollum)
Chanute Air Museum, Rantoul (Learn about Octave Chanute teaching the Wright Brothers about flight, the history of 99th Pursuit Squadron, Col. Yeager breaking the sound barrier, underground minute man missile silo.Michelle Clayton) (Greatly overlooked attraction.Exhibits are terrific. Jack Waaler.)
Cinema Gallery, downtown Urbana (A good place to see the work of many fine local artists. Julian & Arlene Rappaport)
Clinton Lake (Sailboating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, camping, picnicking, bird watching, hunting, shooting, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, biking, swimming, water skiing, horseback riding, and the skies are quite clear at night. Joe Thompson)
Crystal Lake Park, Urbana
Curtis Orchard, Champaign (We take families with little ones in the months they are open. Food, animals, things to play on, a little bit for everyone.Good place to slow down, spend time with family. Bonnie Hudson)
Ebertfest, Champaign (My particular favorite C-U attraction. Jean Paley)
Farmland, (I love looking at the symmetry of the fields in the summer with the wild flowers growing in the foreground. Appreciating the flatness of the terrain and the rich, black, newly tilled soil in the spring. Watching the harvest in the autumn and realizing where these products go and what they do is incredibly interesting. Finally, gazing at the vastness of the farmland during the winter and seeing the snow drifting across it is so beautiful. Pat Porter.)
(The drive along State Highway 10 to Clinton Lake shows off some of the finest agricultural land in the world. Joe Thompson)
(We take our guests to see real corn and bean fields, and some of the UI experimental plots of grasses. Heading south off of Windsor on Philo Road is easy access to an entrance to good locations. Alethea Taylor)
Farm stores (My out of town visitors always enjoy excursions to farm stores like Farm and Fleet or Rural King. Items like chick waterers, grain testers, rolls of baling twine, electric fence supplies and udder balm give city dwellers a glimpse into the world of modern agriculture and they find it fascinating. Barbara Meyer)
Hardy's Reindeer Ranch, Rantoul (Reindeer tour, gift shop, banquet hall, corn maze in fall, paint ball gallery, pedal cars. Pat Donze Shae)
Idea Garden, Urbana (Showcases borders, ornamentals, vegetables, and a special garden for children; a visually exquisite, contemplative, and educational oasis. Barbara Orden)
Japan House and Japanese Gardens (A real treasure. The gardens, the lovely building, and the nearby pond and grounds are peaceful and beautiful.Just to be there walking around is inspiring. Carol Ordal.)
Lake of the Woods, Mahomet
Kennekuk Cove, Vermilion County
Knight's Action Water Park, Springfield (An easy day trip for children. Dave & Kathy Kinser)
Krannert Art Museum, UI campus (See exhibits and have lunch at the Palette. Sandra Batzli)
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, UI Campus (We are so fortunate! Maxine Kaler) (Guided tour offered 3pm daily when university is in session. In addition to information about the Center's history, architectural details, and acoustical properties, the tour may include visits to the theaters, backstage, and perhaps the rehearsal areas, costume and prop shops - depending on what is going on that day.Yoline Chandler) (Little known fact: KCPA is one of the top four CPAs in the entire country. Dave & Kathy Kinser)
Meadowbrook Park, Urbana (The space there is great for brisk walking, for exploring nature more closely, outdoor sculptures add lots of interest to the venue, and the great playground is perfect for children.Kathy Bowersox) (Some of my favorite sculptures are "Tango." two gracefully entwined dancers by Larry Young, the giantess "Marker" by Peter Fagan which I have nicknamed "Our Lady of the Prairie," and "El-abrairah," the oversized bunny, atop of which I always have to resist the urge of climbing. Sybelle Timberlake.)
Memorial Stadium, UI Campus (50 yard line - talk about Red Grange. Steve Shoemaker)
Middle Fork of the Vermilion River (When I need a quiet retreat.It's not far and not hard to find if you know where to look. Fall and spring are the best times to go, but there are days when you might like to wade in the river, hunt fossils on the shore or just sit and enjoy the water and woods. I love it because it answers my need for moving water and quiet beauty. Tauby Shimkin.)
Mississippi River - Mark Twain and French cities sites
Morrow Plots, UI Campus (Unique. June Szirotny)
National Museum of Ship Models and Sea History, Sadorus (Great collection, each with a story. Call first as it is sort of a hobby museum and the hours are a bit irregular.Worth the trip and the collection keeps changing. Jeff Kirby)
North Fork of the Vermilion River
Olympic Monument at Dodds Park on N. Mattis Ave, Champaign, IL
Orpheum Children's Museum, Champaign (Got a family membership which is good in Chicago and Michigan Children's Museums. Ron Dolgin)
Parkland College's Staerkel Planetarium, Champaign
Pollinatarium, Urbana (A science center devoted to research and education about pollinators and pollination. Colorful, attractive, interactive exhibits readily engage visitors of all ages.This unique museum packs an amazing amount of fascinating important information into a modest space. Barbara Orden)
Prairie Fruits Farm, north of Urbana (Grand kids like the goats. Ron Dolgin)
St. Patrick's Catholic Church "Rising Christ" by Nick Britsky (Crucifixion rendering over altar.If locked get key from office next door. Steve Shoemaker)
Salt Fork River Preserve and Middle Fork River Preserve (In the spring there are beautiful wild flowers, in the fall the trees are colorful. Sandy Bales)
Shared Space Art Coop in downtown Urbana (A delightful, warm, and welcoming place where local artists and craftspeople offer classes and display and sell their work. Barbara Meyer)
Spurlock Museum, UI Campus (My favorite display is of ancient Mesopotamian cylinder seals which were used by merchants to sign a clay tablet by rolling the carved round cylinder over the wet clay. Elizabeth Felts) (The children and I play the Bingo games which the museum has put together. These have photos of objects located in different areas and our job is to find them all. Marsha Clinard) (There is something there for any age and it's always special. Judith Braunfeld) (It is special because the artifacts help bring to life cultures otherwise lost to history. Willa Abelson)
Turkey Run State Park, Indiana
University of Illinois - Tour of campus and quad
University of Illinois - Natural History Museum
University of Illinois - Engineering Open House (Always a big hit. Jean Paley)
University of Illinois - Varsity Sports (So much excitement and color and entertainment. Andrea Beller)
Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center
Urbana Dog Park (My daughter says it is the best place she has ever found, and she has looked all over the Maryland/DC area for something comparable. Mary Kinney)
Urbana's Farmer's Market (Wonderful image of our community, very lively, great food, knowledgable and interesting vendors. Dave & Nancy Morse)
Wilber Mansion and the homes on University Ave, Champaign
Mentoring Illinois Promise Freshmen - Testimonial from an OLLI member:
"This past year was my first experience with the I-Promise program, and it will not be my last. Since I am not a wealthy person, I feel fortunate that the University has provided me with this opportunity to give back, or in the case of I-Promise, "pay it forward." The only requirements are time and being a good listener. To paraphrase a popular commercial: Coffee at Espresso Royal -- $5.00. Lunch at Bevier Cafe -- $8.00. Time spent with an I-Promise student -- priceless." Linda Sims.
The Illinois Promise program was created to ease college transition and improve retention rates for a special group of freshmen. I-Promise students, most of whom are high-achieving, very low-income, first-generation college students, receive assistance through a one-on-one mentoring relationship with either a peer or an adult. Adult mentors are current or retired faculty, academic professionals, and community leaders who make a one-year commitment for a minimum of one hour every month during the academic year.
For more information on how to become a mentor, schedule a 20-minute interview with Susan Gershenfeld, Director Illinois Promise Student Services - email@example.com. To learn more about the program, visit http://www.osfa.uiuc.edu/aid/promise.html
If you would like to share a meaningful volunteer opportunity with other OLLI members, send a note to the OLLI Volunteerism Committee, c/o Barbara Meyer, to firstname.lastname@example.org
OLLI Funnies are created by David Zell.