Bradley University Continuing Education

ANC.1Contents for December 2, 2014

Register Today for a New Winter Class on Education 



"Why do I have to Take That!?"--Why Liberal Education Matters to All of Us
Join us for this Winter course that is part of our overall Winter Curriculum! This is one of the many classes you might enjoy if you have not yet registered for Winter Classes.

This course will be instructed by long-time OLLI instructor Majorie A. Getz, Associate Professor at Methodist College.
"Why do I have to Take That!?" --Why Liberal Education Matters to All of Us

In June, President Obama, while delivering a speech on education was quoted saying, "A great liberal arts/humanities education is still critically important because of today's economy, one of the most important skills you have is your ability to work with people and communicate clearly and effectively." Students often lament, "why do I need to know this STUFF. I'm going to be an_______. You fill in the blank. This new OLLI course will help remind all participants about the great "stuff" they learned as they pursued an education focused on the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, the sciences, fine arts and communication sciences, and why it still maters.  

Click here to utilize our online registration system.
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Join the Party at the Fourth Annual OLLI Spelling Bee!
Enjoy the excitement of a school spelling bee once again, but this time with your OLLI friends and cocktails.  For those who never liked spelling bees in school, join us for brunch and to cheer on the spellers.  Trophies will go to the top three spellers.

DATE:  Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014 

TIME:  10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

LOCATION: Kickapoo Creek Winery, Edwards, IL

$29 includes brunch, plus a Bloody Mary or Mimosa.  Transportation not provided-- meet us there!

To register click here to utilize OLLI's registration system.
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Anch.3OLLI is Alive with the Sound of Music
If you attend the upcoming production of The Sound of Music at Peoria Players Theatre, you may recognize a familiar face. Bryan Blanks, the new Program Coordinator for Continuing Education, will be playing the role of Max Detweiler in the Rogers and Hammerstein Classic musical production. The Sound of Music runs December 5-14. You can even see OLLI mentioned in the program. "Bryan would like to dedicate this production to all of his new friends at OLLI."

Bryan Blanks has played countless leading roles and directed numerous musical productions in the Peoria area. In addition to working with OLLI and Continuing Education at Bradley, Bryan serves as the Theatre Program Director at St. Vincent DePaul School. You can also catch Bryan performing in two upcoming fundraisers: Home for the Holiday's at Peoria Players Theatre on December 20, and a musical review at Corn Stock Winter Playhouse on January 10.

To purchase tickets please call (309) 688-4473 or click here.
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Anch.4Register for the Study Group: Great Decisions
Tuesdays, February 3- March 24
Peoria Next Innovation Center
Registration Starts on January 14, 2014

Great Decisions is America's largest discussion program on world affairs. It is administered and produced by the Foreign Policy Association. The program highlights eight of the most thought-provoking foreign policy challenges facing America each year. It provides background information, current data, and policy options for each topic and serves as the focal text for discussion groups. The topics for 2015 include: Privacy in the Digital Age, India Changes Course, and Syria's Refuge Crisis. Click here to view the Foreign Policy website for a full list of topics.  Participants are expected to purchase the Great Decisions 2015 briefing book from the website. We will be utilizing film, guest speakers, and other materials as well. Each participant will be expected to read the assignment from the briefing book before each discussion.
*The Registration Link is now available.
Please click here to utilize our online registration system.

Facilitators: Marge Semmens and Angela Weck
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Anch.5Critic's Corner: Oscar Race 2014
After the pumpkins have all been smashed and the turkeys all lined up for the guillotine, it's time for Hollywood to retire the turkeys it's been sending to the multiplexes the previous nine months and trot out their most prestigious films. Yes, it's Oscar preview time again, when the film industry unleashes a wealth of generally exciting and compelling films right during the two busiest months of the year for most of us. Since I have to limit my screening time, here are the top films I am prioritizing to watch on the big screen this Oscar season.

1) Imitation Game. Directed by Norwegian Morton Tyldum, in his first English-language feature. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly. This is just my kind of film: A true-life story about an unsung hero set in WWII. The trifecta. Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, an English mathematician who helps solve the Enigma code. The film won the Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice Award and was a clear favorite at Telluride. My one concern is Cumberbatch, who is reportedly a cinch for a Best Actor Nomination. I know, I know. He has a big fan base and he is often cited as one of our sexiest film stars. But to me, he has the slightly creepy look of someone who would fall in love with his first cousin. Wait a minute. He played the exact same role in August: Osage County: (A film featuring the most grating and irritating performance in Meryl Streep's career) and he played it to eerie perfection. O.K., Benedict, prove me wrong. Make the Imitation Game this year's The King's Speech.

2.) Fox Catcher. Directed by Bennett Miller (Capote and Moneyball). Starring Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. This is another true-life story about Gold Medal wrestlers Dave and Mark Schultz and their unlikely benefactor, eccentric millionaire, John Du Pont. The cast uniformly outstanding by all accounts and "Rolling Stone" movie reviewer, Peter Travers, notes that director Bennett Miller "Takes a scalpel to the privileged words of Olympic sports and inherited wealth." Miller won "Best Director" at the Cannes Film Festival and a friend of mine, who attendss the Telluride fest ever year, said this one is "must see." I trust her judgment. Therefore it's a must see.

3) Theory of Everything. Directed by James Marsh, in his second non-documentary feature. Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. This is another true-life story about the brilliant British physicist, Hawking (Redmayne), who wrote "A Brief History of Time," and his first wife (Jones). Hawking is one of my intellectual heroes, even though I don't understand half of what he writes. Or, Maybe because I don't understand half of what he writes. Anyway, Redmayne is reportedly as brilliant in this performance as Hawking is in his field of research. I figure Redmayne is also a cinch to lock up a best actor nomination. Consider the film this year's My Left Foot. Will Redmayne match Daniel Day-Lewis' Oscar? I can't wait to see.

4) Intersteller. Directed by Christopher Nolan (Dark Night, Memento, The Prestige). Starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. A special-effects, popcorn extravaganza with a deep plot, consider this film this year's Gravity, with more...umm gravity and hopefully better performances. (I'm sorry, but Gravity, just featured George Clooney and Sandra Bullock playing George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in astronaut suits.) At three hours in length, I'll have to schedule this one very carefully. But, Nolan has such a great track record that I bet it's worth the time.

5)Wild. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club). Starring Reese Witherspoon. O.K. here's yet another true-life story based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir, "Wild," about her 1,100 mile solo hike across the Pacific Crest Trail, following heroin addiction and a failed marriage. Renee has displayed some spoiled-brat behavior in public lately, but she is a good actress and this should be worth a few hours of time.

6) Mr. Turner. Directed by Mike Leigh (Another Year, Happy-Go-Lucky and Vera Drake). Starring Timothy Sprall. I love Leigh's delicate character sketches of British lower-and middle-classes, so it will be interesting to see how he handles a biopic about the great British watercolorist J.M.W. Turner.

7) Unbroken. Directed by Angelina Jolie (in her debut effort). Starring Jack O'Connell as Olympic runner, Louis Zamperini, who is taken prisoner by Japanese forces during WWII and subjected to extreme torture. The film is based on the bestselling non-fiction book by Laura Hillenbrand, which everybody tells me is a "must-read." Well it looks like I probably won't get to it by the movie's December 25 release date, so I just might have to see the movie first.  Wait a minute. It has "intense sequences of brutality?" Hmmm. Not exactly my idea of a holiday picture. So, maybe I'll wait for the DVD release. I'm also reserving judgment on the film, because Jolie is an untried directorial commodity. But I wouldn't bet against her.

8) And finally, Dumb and Dumber To: Just Kidding.

Have a great Oscar season.
                                                      -Written by Randy Wilson-
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Anch.6Keep up with OLLI!
Stay up-to-date with the latest in OLLI news on any of our social media platforms. 

Find out what OLLI members are up to--follow us on our learning trips, and stay informed on class information.

Like us on Facebook Like us on Facebook  
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Visit our blog Visit our Blog
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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)
 is an organization at Bradley University whose members share a common goal:  to remain vital and active in their late career and post-career lives.

Consisting of more than 1,000 people ages 50+, OLLI members come from all backgrounds and educational levels.  Together they enjoy a diverse collection of year-round programs including non-credit classes, educational travel, study groups, cinema, and lectures.

To learn more about OLLI, please visit