December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays from Continuing Education!

From all of us in Continuing Education, we wish you a happy holiday season!  Our office will be closed from Thursday, December 24 - Friday, January 1, and will re-open on Monday, January 4.  

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
OLLI Winter Classes are So Delightful!

So far, the weather outside is far from frightful, but you can still keep warm with OLLI this January at Winter Classes!

Winter Classes will be held on Tuesday - Friday, January 5 - 8, 2016.  You can take four different classes for $95, which also includes a Kickoff buffet lunch on Tuesday, warm drinks throughout the day every day, and snacks every morning and afternoon during class breaks.  

To view a complete list of classes with their descriptions, time periods, and other details, please click here.

To register for Winter classes, please call 309-677-3900 or sign up online by clicking here.

New Online Registration System-- Sneak Peek!

Registration for Spring 2016 programs will begin on Wednesday, January 13th, and there will be changes to the OLLI registration process as a result of new software in the Continuing Education office.

If you plan on registering by mail, in-person at the open house on January 13, or over the phone after 9:00 a.m. on January 14, the process will remain the same.

If you plan on registering online, you will see a brand new online registration site!  We will provide more details as they become available, but there are a couple of preparatory steps you can take in advance:

1. To use the new online registration system, you will need to have your own individual email address because the system will require you to create a login account with your email as the username.

That means that if you currently use an email address that is shared with another OLLI member (such as a spouse), one of you will need to create a new email account to use as your own.  If you already use your own unique email for OLLI, then you are ready to go!

A new email address can be set up using any email service you prefer.  Our personal favorite is Gmail, and you can set up a new account easily by clicking here and following the instructions. 

2. You can view a sneak peek and instructions on how to use the new system by clicking here.  

During OLLI classes, we will be happy to help you set up your own email account and practice using the online registration system at a laptop near the registration desk.

Check upcoming newsletters for more information.

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Space Still Available on Popular Local Trips

J.K. Williams Distilling (Activity Level 2)
Monday, January 18
11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
On this day, we'll visit J.K. Williams Distilling, a distillery formed to bring craft whiskey- and bourbon-making back to the Peoria area.  During our tour of the facility in East Peoria, we'll learn how J.K. Williams was a man ahead of his time, stubbornly refusing to sacrifice quality when crafting his bootleg whiskey.  We'll also learn (and taste) how the family recipe is being revived four generations later, using local grain to produce whiskey and bourbon.
$29 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, tasting, and shuttle transportation

Wheel Art Pottery (Activity Level 1)
Monday, February 1
8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Back by popular demand, a trip to Wheel Art Pottery is on our February schedule.  We'll meet Jacob Grant, Bradley University alum and owner of two businesses: Wheel Art Pottery Studios, which emphasizes instruction, and Jacob Grand Ceramics, a studio through which he sells his artwork.  Jacob's pottery has been on display at Disney World and The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.  On this trip, we'll get hands-on by doing our own wheel throwing and hand-building.  Be prepared to get messy and have fun!
$37 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, materials and firing fees, and shuttle transportation

Peoria County Coroner's Office (Activity Level 1)
Thursday, February 4
11:30 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.
On this day, we'll meet Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll, an elected official charged with investigating sudden, unusual, and traumatic deaths and assuring those bodies are examined, identified, and if necessary, autopsied.  Our visit is expected to include an observation of a jury inquest, which is held weekly to determine the manner of some deaths in Peoria County.  We may also have an opportunity to see the on-site autopsy room and morgue.
$25 - includes lunch, gratuities, tour, and shuttle transportation

To register online for any of our Winter learning trips, please click here.

I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

Cinema Conversations: I am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
Wednesdays, February 3 - 17, 2016
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Viewing: February 3, at Peoria Public North Branch
Discussions: February 10 and 17 at Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
Cost: $29

This heartwarming doc chronicles the life of Caroll Spinney, the man who has been Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969.

For over 4 decades, Caroll's characters have been cherished by generations of children.  At 81 years old, the tenacious and enthusiastic performer has no intention of slowing down.  I am Big Bird features incredible footage of Spinney's earliest collaborations with Jim Henson as it traces Caroll's journey from bullied child to celebrated performer.  This loving portrait peels away the instances that inspired his creation of Big Bird and as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart. 

The discussion leaders for this event will be Jan Deissler, retired educator and founder of the Child Development Program at Illinois Central College and the Child Care Connection, and Marjorie Getz, Associate Professor at Methodist College and frequent OLLI class instructor and study group facilitator.

To register online for this group, please click here.


Critic's Corner

Amid the hype and hubbub about the Star Wars movie released last week, a couple of higher-quality films for grown-ups are showing in Peoria that may have been lost in the media blitz surrounding the return of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia. These two films, Spotlight and Brooklyn, can both be seen at the Carmike Theater at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie.

Spotlight is a docudrama focused on the story of a group of Boston Globe journalists who were assigned to look into allegations of abuse within the Catholic Church in 2001. Their year-long investigation uncovered a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Featuring a strong ensemble cast, including Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdans, Michael Keaton, and Liev Schreiber, the film has garnered three Golden Globe nominations for Best Drama, Best Director, and Best Screenplay and will certainly receive its share of Academy Award noms as well. Both Time and The Atlantic has named it the best film of 2015. 

The other film, Brooklyn, is a romantic drama set in both the United States and Ireland inthe 1950s. Based on Colm Toibin's book of the same name, it tells the story of a young Irish immigrant who leaves home to seek her future in New York City where she gets a job and meets and falls in love with an Italian plumber named Tony. When she decides to return Ireland for a visit, she and Tony marry without telling family and friends. While back home, she finds herself drawn to her former life which includes a new love interest, Jim. Brooklyn looks and feels like a quality film from the 1950s. It's a must-see, too.  

And, speaking of Academy Awards, Oscar nominations will be announced on January 14, 2016 and the coveted statues given to the winners on February 28. The Cinema Committee will be sponsoring its second annual Oscar Contest. OLLI members can select their choices in ten different categories. Three prizes will be awarded to the winners. Look for more Oscar "buzz" as we move into the New Year.

--Carol May, Cinema Committee Chair
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