September 8, 2015


Join a Class, Save a Class

Take a Learning Trip This Fall

Examine Our Impact on the Environment

Critic's Corner

Reader's Report

Life Satisfaction Survey

Keep Up with OLLI

Join a Class, Save a Class
We have several popular classes this Fall that are filling up, but the following classes are in need of participants!  If any of them strike your interest, please sign up soon!

Peoria Housing Authority: A Brief Introduction
Class 15, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Professionals from PHA will provide a general overview of public housing and Section 8 programs, discuss the modernization and development processes, and describe the PHA social service programs.

Zentangle Advanced
Class 31, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Advance your skills from the introductory class.  Make more complex tangles, deconstruct designs, and develop your own designs.
*Please note this class does not meet on October 7; class meets Wednesdays October 14 - November 4

Playing Recorder
Class 41, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Learn to play folk songs on the recorder.  All levels of musical ability welcome.

Urban Ecology
Class 43, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Learn how to create a balanced and beneficial ecosystem on your property and encourage your community to manage the urban ecosystem in a way that provides the maximum benefit.

An Expectation of Trust - Understanding Elder Abuse
Class 48, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
This class will focus on abuse directed to seniors and adults with disabilities. Through lecture, discussion, and video clips, we will discuss the types of abuse,
identify typical abusers, and learn about the role of Adult Protective Services. We will also investigate the role of the ombudsman in long term care facilities, self-neglect and self-determination, and practice a hands-on Aging Awareness experience.

For a complete listing of Fall Classes, please click here.

To register online, please click here.

For more information, please call Bonnie at 309-677-2523.

Take a Learning Trip This Fall
There are still seats available on these upcoming Learning Trips-- grab your spot today!

University of Illinois: Behind the Scenes  (Activity Level 3)
Thursday, September 24
7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

We'll spend the day exploring the campus of The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, experience behind-the-scenes tours in several departments, and learn fascinating historical information from OLLI's favorite Champaign-area step-on docent, Dick McGuire. 

During the day, we'll visit Blue Waters, one of the largest supercomputers used by scientists and engineers across the world to study Alzheimer's disease, tornadoes, earthquakes, and colliding galaxies. We will also tour Memorial Stadium, built in 1923 in honor of those who gave their lives for their country during World War I. The tour will include various areas of the stadium, press box, and premium seating areas. We will also get a behind-the-scenes tour of the football field (including the player weight room and locker room if available). Throughout the day, Dick will accompany us to provide insight about changes and updates to the campus and area historical landmarks. 

$89 - includes tours, presentations, lunch, gratuities, snacks, and charter coach transportation

Pekin Community High School's Career & Technical Education Department
Friday, September 25
10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 

The vocational training available at Pekin Community High School is a well-kept secret that the staff wants more people to know about.  The program offers students over 60 different courses in a variety of fields, internship opportunities, and invaluable learning experiences they will need to be successful in their future careers.  

During our visit, we'll tour the classrooms, listen to a short presentation, see student working in hands-on, state-of-the-art labs, and dine on lunch prepared by students in the Culinary Arts program.

$25 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, and shuttle transportation

To register online for Fall Learning Trips, please click here.
Examine Our Impact on the Environment 
Exploring the Natural World and Our Impact
Mondays, September 28 - October 19
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Peoria NEXT Innovation Center

More and more clearly we see the results of our use and abuse of natural resources. The ways we understand and respond to our environment, wilderness management, wildlife protection, and ecological restoration determine not only the quality of our own lives, but the condition of the world we leave for our children. 

In this study group, we will base our discussions on the book A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, one of the early leaders of the national wilderness system. Using Leopold's book, available in both paperback and e-book formats from local and online booksellers or local libraries, participants will explore ways we relate to our natural surroundings. Participants may also contact the facilitator, who will have copies available for purchase at cost.

$45 - facilitated by Lee Maki, University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist and OLLI Curriculum Category Coordinator.

To register online for this Study Group, please click here.

For more information, call Bonnie at 309-677-2523.

Critic's Corner
By the time John Ford directed his classic film, The Searchers, he had been working in the film industry for 42 years. He had already directed almost 50 feature films, not including a substantial number of silent films and the many WWII documentaries he directed while serving in the U.S Navy from 1941 to 1945. He was considered one of Hollywood's greatest directors, earning four Best Director Oscars, a record unmatched by any other Director to date.

While many of his best films, such as The Grapes of Wrath, How Green was My Valley, The Quiet Man and My Darling Clementine are considered timeless American film classics, The Searchers is probably his most acclaimed film of all time. It is currently ranked Number 7 in Sight and Sound's most recent Top 250 international films ranking. This prestigious list polls over 1,000 film critics worldwide. And, it is ranked Number 12 in the American Film Industry's Top 100 American films of all-time list.

The Searchers is an epic film that deserves to be viewed on the big screen, where it can resonate in glorious, larger than life, widescreen Technicolor VistaVision. In the simplest terms, The Searchers involves the heroic, but flawed, quest of Ford's most complex screen character, Ethan Edwards to rescue his niece, who has been captured by a renegade band of Comanche, and avenge the deaths of his brother and family at their hands. The film's themes explore the destructive force of racism; the danger inherent in obsessive, all-consuming revenge; the importance of the ties that bind family and community together; the meaning of honor and duty; and the role of the outcast loner in society (one outcast longs for inclusion in the community, the other can never fit in); and much, much more.

The film stars John Wayne in perhaps his best acting performance, although I think he is just as good in Ford's Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.  Except for one or two films he made with Howard Hawks (eg. Red River), Wayne's best performances came under the tutelage of Ford. He displays a subtle and perceptive emotional range in this role that is missing from many of his one-dimensional performances, although I expect  that die-hard  Wayne fans will insist he's never made a bad film. I'm particularly impressed with his first and final scenes, although part of the dazed hesitancy he displays in the last scene may be attributed to a ferocious hangover.

As usual, many notable members of the Ford Stock Company contribute their vital "character" roles to the film, including Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Olive Carey, Harry Carey Jr., Hank Worden, Ken Curtis, John Qualen, Patrick Wayne, and Ford newcomers Jeffrey Hunter and Natalie Wood.

Although ostensibly set in Texas, Monument Valley in Arizona was the canvas against which Ford filmed The Searchers, as well as many of his Western masterpieces. Winston Hoch's cinematography is superb and is worth a look even for non-Western fans. Add a great script by Frank Nugent and atmospheric musical score by Max Steiner and you have a film for the ages.

Please join the Cinema Committee for the OLLI premier screening of The Searchers on Tuesday evening, September 22 starting at 6:30 p.m. A moderated discussion will follow the screening.

Randy Wilson

To register online for our Free Flick screening of The Searchers, please click here.
Reader's Report
One of our wonderful OLLI volunteers, Greg Peine, has been keeping a running list of books that OLLI members have suggested as being of interest to other members.  

In this new weekly article, we will spotlight one of these book suggestions in hopes that you will discover new, interesting titles.  This week the featured book is 
My Thoughts Be Bloody by Nora Titone.

Nora Titone has written a thought provoking description about how the bitter sibling rivalry between John Wilkes Booth and his older brother, Edwin, may have been contributed to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.   If I made a list of my top ten dysfunctional families in history, I would have included the Booths.  It's 386 pages in paper and the basis for a repeat of the Brothers Booth study group in January of 2016.

-- submission by Carol May, OLLI Cinema Committee Chair.

If you have a book to add to the list, send your suggestion via email to Greg Peine at
Life Satisfaction Survey
Last spring, one OLLI course was focused on life satisfaction.  The instructor, Marjorie Getz, used an article from the Atlantic as the basis of the course.   She also invited researchers in this area of study to be Skyped into the classroom.  The course was well received by participants.  In follow-up communication after the end of the course, one researcher, Jonathan Rauch, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution expressed an interest in gaining some more information about this topic from other OLLI members. 

Earlier this summer, an email message was sent to OLLI participants to invite them to provide information about this topic and possibly be interviewed by Jonathan Rauch for a book he is preparing on the topic of life satisfaction.  Response rates have been good, and we would like to invite more OLLI Program participants to be involved with this project. 

This is an anonymous, voluntary project.  Any reporting of responses to Mr. Rauch and used in his book will be done in the aggregate.  If you are interested, you can be connected with a survey form by clicking on the link below.

Thanks for your input!

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

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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 nearly 1,100 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