Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UTMB Spring Semester Curriculum

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UTMB Learner-Led, College Level Program of Adult Education

Osher Lifelong LearningCollege-level courses open to all seniors (55 or more) regardless of previous education. No credits, no exams, no grades-just learning for the love of learning. Details on registration are below.

So, Where Do the Jews Come From?--Tuesdays, 10:00 to 11:30 AM, April 6 to June 1. NO CLASS APRIL 20.  Instructor: Rabbi Jimmy Kessler. Jewish people have lived around the globe. Many define themselves as Jewish based on a variety of different characteristics.  Join Rabbi Kessler as he explores the meaning of "Who is a Jew" and identifies where they live in communities around the world including how individual Jewish people and enclaves of Jewish culture interact with their geographic and political surroundings.  Learn how written and oral Jewish history and law define Jews since the beginning of time and how that may or may not be changi! ng in contemporary times and the future.

Migratory Birds of the Texas Gulf Coast--Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1:00 - 3:00 PM, March 30 - April 28; NO CLASS: April 7. Instructor: Respected ornithologist Richard Peake, Ph.D. This class meets twice a week for four weeks.  On Wednesday afternoons learners will join Dr. Peake and other experts on birding field trips. Additional optional birding experiences may be added. To fully participate, learners need binoculars, A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America by Peterson and Peterson, Golden Field Guide by Chandler Robbins or National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Fifth Edition by Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan Alderfer, and adequate mobility for outdoor activities.  All details will be provided upon registration.  Class size is limited, so register early. 

Bridge for Beginners-Thursdays, 10 AM to noon, February 18 to April 8, Instructor ! Dolly Warren. After playing Bridge for over 50 years and achieving the level of Life Master, Dolly Warren still finds Bridge stimulating and challenging.  The game trains you to think, plan ahead, as well as take chances. What a wonderful way to activate new brain cells, improve your memory and make new social connections.  Come join Dolly on an 8 week journey toward learning and playing the basics of bridge. CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED.

Shall We Dance?- Wednesdays, 9:30 to 11:30 AM, February 17 to April 7.  Instructors: Bill & Judy Biggs.  Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York found that those 75 and older who engaged in cognitively stimulating activities including ballroom dancing, demonstrated reduced risk of dementias.  If you have always wanted to ballroom dance, join Bill & Judy as they provide an introduction to the Waltz, Foxtrot and Swing and perhaps a few other steps as well.  Novice or expe! rienced dancer, learning a few new steps could jazz up your routine. Stay fit and flexible, keep alert, and have lots of fun dancing!  Even if you don't already have a partner, we may be able to match you with someone.

SuperHealth!-Mondays, 10 to noon, February 15 to April 5. Instructors: Dr. Julie McKee and Dr. Victor Sierpina and "The Green Team" from UTMB's Family Medicine Department.  If you loved the OLLI course SuperFoods Rx based on Dr. Steven Pratt's book, you'll love this course!  Dr. Pratt's latest book SuperHealth provides a research-based guide to healthy living.  Physicians from "The Green Team" will share scientifically proven insights from the book on:  how to eat right-and sumptuously (including recipes, menus, and meal plans); how food and exercise can turn on "good genes;" which foods and nutrients keep hearing, vision, and other senses sharp; how to reduce the waistline and lower inflammation; and how everyone can ! help to "green up the planet" to add years to life.  The text will be loaned to learners for use during the course.

The Time, the Culture, the Poet, the Poem-Fridays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, March 19 to May 14. NO CLASS APRIL 2. Instructor: John Gorman. I almost want to say, "Don't tell anybody," but we're going to scrutinize nearly 500 years of English-language poetry in 8 weeks.  The point won't be to cover everything. It's to look at the process by which the "spirit" of a time period works on sensitive men and women, leading them to produce poems with the particular sorts of form and content that make Literary History an aspect of History Itself.  Sonnets, blank verse, witty couplets, Romantic effusions, free verse-these The Containers-then the way they shape and are shaped by insight, theme, linguistic music-The Things Contained. Delight followed by Insight followed by Delight.

Discover Historic Galveston, Neighborhood by Neighborhood-Thursdays, 1:30 - 3:30 PM, April 8 - May 27  Instructor: Jan Johnson, author of Walking Historic Galveston.  In the state of Texas, Galveston remains an enigma.  East of 53rd Street, this vulnerable barrier island reflects 160 years of extant architecture, filled with the inside human stories of those they survived, a mythical mystery to study and understand.  Based on her book, this course centers on the city's rich history from its roots in legend and lore to its "wide open" gambling era, neighborhood by neighborhood.  Copies of the text will be loaned to learners during the course, which will culminate in an optional guided walk of one of Galveston's recognized districts for those learners who choose to participate.

Art of the Far East-Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 11 - April 1.  Instructor Malcolm Brodwick. This course will outline the salient features of the high art cultures of China and Japan.  The presentations will be fundamentally historical but will also touch on issues of iconography, technique, style and aesthetic theory.  Learners will discover the primacy of calligraphy and attitudes about representation and the depiction of space in art of the Far East.  The instructor will examine how various Eastern philosophies and the social milieu affected art production in those countries. 

Un Paso Adelante-Mondays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 1 to March 22.  Instructor: Jo Soske. This course will take the student one step further into the wonderful world of Spanish. It will pick up where the first course left off, with a review of verbs in the present indicative. Each week, a new grammar concept will be introduced and much of the class time will be spent practicing the concept. We will engage in short conversations utilizing the concepts. Each student will have the opportunity to give a short talk during the final class session, employing what they have learned. (Pre-requisite: Successful completion of the first course or one semester of college Spanish)

Landscape Design for Your Home- Mondays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 1 to March 22.  Instructor: Karen Lehr. Master Gardener Karen Lehr, whose background includes a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture, invites you to learn the basics of site analysis, design principles, and steps to follow in creating a personalized landscape design for your home.  You'll be introduced to specific plants and other materials best suited for the local climate.  Here's your chance to express your creativity while helping to rebuild and beautify your community. 

 Writing for Publication-Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 18 to April 8 Instructor: Kathryn Eastburn, This will be a critique-centered class in which writers honing their craft for publication will give and receive feedback on their projects. Writers of memoir, essay, and short fiction are welcome. We'll learn about viable markets, submission guidelines, the world of writing contests, crafting book proposals, and other pertinent issues related to writing for publication. Improving craft and creating strong, clean submissions will be our primary focus.  This course is recommended for those who have completed courses previously under Kathryn Eastburn's direction.  Instructor's permission required.  Class size is limited for this course.
A second section of Writing for Publication will be held:  Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, April 15 to June 4 Instructor: Kathryn Eastburn  (Instructor's permission required.) 

Truth and Consequences: Writing and Reading Creative Nonfiction-Mondays, 10 AM to noon, February 15 to April 5. Instructor: Kathryn Eastburn. Public radio producer and host of This American Life, Ira Glass says we are in the midst of a "golden age of nonfiction," referring to the superb outpouring of creative truth-telling in our time. From the meteoric rise of book-length memoir, to heroic feats of literary journalism, to the proliferation of personal essays, creative nonfiction is finding new legions of readers and calling writers to the craft. In this class, we will explore contemporary trends in nonfiction by a) reading and discussing at least one example in each of three sub-genres: memoir, personal essay, and narrative nonfiction (also called literary journalism); and b) completing writing exercises in each form.  Those who have taken this class in the past, may enroll again.  (If there is sufficient interest, a second section of this course will be added beginning April 12.)

Cultivating the Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration and Meditation-Thursdays,1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 18 to April 8. Instructor: Kathleen DiNatale.  Learn to master stress, enhance your ability to con! centrate and develop practical skills for relaxation and meditation.  Learners will explore dynamic relaxation techniques; concentration skills to harness and direct the power of the mind; and meditation practices to awaken insight and wisdom.  Poetry, music, yoga, and movement arts in combination with breath awareness allow participants to shrug off the surface layers of everyday tension.  Yoga and meditation teacher Kathleen DiNatale, founder of The Yoga Haven, will guide learners with humor, grace, and compassion on this journey of self-discovery.  The text The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration and Meditation, by Joel and Michelle Levey will be loaned to learners for use during the course. 

Mah Jongg-Course CLOSED but drop in Mah Jongg will be available. Instructor: Antoinette Swinnea. You must register for only one course-morning or afternoon-and attend all sessions in the same time slot (morning or afternoon! ).  Learn about current research demonstrating that this game requiring skill, strategy, intelligence, calculation, and luck engages both hippocampi of the brain.  Other research shows that cognitive activities such as Mah Jongg contribute to healthy aging.  Want to have lots of fun and exercise your brain at the same time?  Come join a group of friends for Mah Jongg, a fascinating, fast paced traditional Chinese tile game.  Tiles and cards are provided.  Both sections fill each semester, so register early to avoid disappointment.
Drop-In Mah Jongg-Beginning Tuesday, April 13, OLLI is open most Tuesday afternoons from 1:30 PM during the remainder of the semester for casual play.  You must sign up in advance, but there is no charge to participate.

Mary Collects: Treasures of a Lifetime-Fridays, 10 AM to noon, March 12 through May 7; NO CLASS APRIL 2. "All of us collect one thing or another.!   Coins, dolls, marbles from our childhoods; spoons, thimbles, souvenirs from long forgotten vacations; paintings, sculptures, artwork acquired for beauty or investment value; books, wines, musical recordings, the things that bring pleasure.  During her lifetime, Mary Moody Northen was no different.  This course is based on Moody Mansion's previous exhibit of the same name.  Learners will hear an overview of the passion of collecting.  Specific collections of Mrs. Northen will be featured with an expert describing each collection.  The endowment staff will explain history and renovation of the Mansion.

That's Another Story--alternate Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3:30 PM, February 9 to May 25. Instructor: Alison Barker. Scientific evidence demonstrates the importance of telling and sharing life stories.  Learners at all levels of writing skill-including novices-will enjoy sharing their memories.  In this course learners will explor! e those narratives when "another story" emerged from their work in previous writing groups.  The course is open to those who have experienced OLLI lifestory groups in previous semesters and to newcomers.  Learners get a chance to develop and share their stories and give feedback on stories they hear.  Only a few openings remain in this course.  This class meets every two weeks.

Lifestory as Legacy--Tuesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 23 to April 13  Instructor: Michelle Sierpina. For those who are not currently participating in a lifestory group in OLLI, this course will offer an opportunity to learn the process of lifestory writing.  Learners at all levels of writing skill-including novices-will enjoy sharing their memories.  The course is open to those who have experienced OLLI lifestory groups in previous semesters and to newcomers.  Learners get a chance to develop and share their stories and give feedback on storie! s they hear.  Class size is limited. 

Science and Strategy of Poker--Thursdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, January 28 to March 18. Instructor: Stan Blazyk turns his scientific, inquiring mind to the topic of cognitive skill required to understand the math and probability theory necessary for success in the complex game of poker.  This game of strategy and chance taxes the memory, expands observational skills, demands use of logic and decision-making capability while challenging interactional abilities.  Both Harry Truman and Winston Churchill credited their success in life to the skills they acquired mastering the game.  See how poker skill enhances mental acuity as you have fun.  CLASS SIZE IS LIMITED.

Poker for Pros-Thursdays March 25, April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6 and two Tuesdays, April 27 and May 4 from 1:30 to 3:30 NO CLASS APRIL 1. Instructor: Stan Blazyk.    Learners who have c! ompleted one or two previous Science and Strategy of Poker classes may enroll in this more advanced class with the permission of the instructor.  Class size is limited.

Tai Chi-Wednesdays, 10 to 11 AM, February 10 through March 31. Join certified Instructor Julia Barragan as she demonstrates the Yang style of Tai-Chi. Sessions will concentrate on balance, flexibility, and slow movement along with breath control.  Research has shown Tai-Chi to increase balance and decrease likelihood of falls.  You'll gain an appreciation of the practical value in your ability to moderate extremes of behavior and attitude at both mental and physical levels.

Tai Chi - Section II-Wednesdays, 10 to 11 AM, April 7 to May 26.   Join certified Instructor Julia Barragan as she demonstrates the Yang style of Tai-Chi. Sessions will concentrate on balance, flexibility, and slow movement along with breath control.  Research has sh! own Tai-Chi to increase balance and decrease likelihood of falls.  You'll gain an appreciation of the practical value in your ability to moderate extremes of behavior and attitude at both mental and physical levels.

Fitness Medley-Mondays and Fridays, 10 AM to 11 AM, February 8 to March 5. Certified instructor Julia Barragan will guide and encourage learners through this full body workout that can increase stamina, improve flexibility, and enhance balance, coordination, and strength.  Come and experience this unique combination of Tai-Chi, stretching, cardio and strength training in a class that meets twice a week for 4 weeks.
Fitness Medley-Section II: Mondays & Fridays, March 8 to April 2
Fitness Medley-Section III: Mondays only, April 8 to May 24

Gentle Yoga-Instructor: Jim Turner. Come and experience the energy of Yoga.  Join registered Hatha Yoga teacher Jim Turner as he ex! plores the relationship between physical postures and the movement of the breath.  Learn breath control techniques for deeper relaxation.  This class involves mild to moderate physical exertion.  Learners should be able to move without assistance from lying on the floor to standing.  Class size is limited, so register early for the time(s) of your choice. You may sign up for the Tuesday sessions or the Thursday sessions or all classes but each course requires a separate tuition fee.  Each class is the same "level" of experience and skill.  
Gentle Yoga I-Tuesdays, 10:30 to 11:30 AM, February 9 to March 30
Gentle Yoga II-Thursdays, 10:30 to 11:30 AM, February 11 to April 1
Gentle Yoga III-Tuesdays, 10:30 to 11:30 AM, April 6 to May 25
Gentle Yoga IV-Thursdays, 10:30 to 11:30 AM, April 8 to May 27

Advanced Writer's Workshop-second and fourth Wednesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February, 10 through May 26. Instructor: Michelle Sierpina. This course is open by permission of instructor to those who have participated in multiple lifestory writing groups in OLLI at UTMB.  Only a limited number of spaces are available and participants are asked to attend a minimum of 6 of the 8 sessions.  Call for more information if you have an interest in advancing your lifestory skills. 
The following OLLI Courses are offered in League City at the League City Center 450 W. Walker Road.

Truth and Consequences: Writing and Reading Creative Nonfiction-Tuesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 16 to April 6. Instructor: Kathryn Eastburn.  Public radio producer and host of This American Life, Ira Glass says we are in the midst of a "golden age of nonfiction," referring to the superb outpouring of creative truth-telling in our time. From the meteoric rise of book-length memoir, to heroic feats of literary journalism, to the proliferation of personal essays, creative nonfiction is finding new legions of readers and calling writers to the craft. In this class, we will explore contemporary trends in nonfiction by a) reading and discussing at least one example in each of three sub-genres: memoir, personal essay, and narrative nonfiction (also called literary journalism); and b) completing writing exercises in each form.  Those who have taken this class in the past may enroll again. (If there is sufficient interest, a second section of this course will be added beginning April 13.)

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People? The Biblical Answers of Job and Ecclesiastes-Thursdays, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 15, 22, 29, and May 6, 10:00 to 11:45 AM, Instructor: Rabbi Stuart Federow. We will read the Biblical Books of Job and Ecclesiastes in their entirety, two books in the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Scriptures, to understand their answers to the question, 'Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?' We will learn the history of the texts, and see how the theology reflected in these books can help us understand.

Knit/Purl/Knit/Purl-Thursdays, March 4 to April 22, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, Instructor: Paula Levine.  Knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, and before you know it you'll have made a lovely scarf.  Under Paula's careful direction (and lively humor) learners will learn the basics of knitting:  how to knit, purl, cast on, bind off, increase, decrease, and more.  Paula will guide you through a pre-selected pattern as each week you work toward completing your own knitting project.  Tuition for this course is $25 and a $10 supply fee will cover your pattern, yarn, and knitting needles for use in completing your scarf by the end of the course.

The following OLLI Courses are offered in Houston at OLLI's "North Campus" at 2000 Holly Hall Street (across from Reliant Stadium)

Job and Ecclesiastes-Wednesdays, March 3, 10, 17, 24, April 14, 21, 28, and May 5 10:00 to 11:45 AM, Instructor: Rabbi Stuart Federow. See description above.

That's Another Story--first and third Wednesdays, 1:30 to 3:30 PM, February 3 to May 19. Instructor: Michelle Sierpina. Scientific evidence demonstrates the importance of telling and sharing life stories.  Learners at all levels of writing skill-including novices-will enjoy sharing their memories.  The course is open to those who have experienced OLLI lifestory groups in previous semesters and to newcomers.  Learners get a chance to develop and share their stories and give feedback on stories they hear.  Only a few openings remain in this course.  This class meets first and third Wednesday of every month.

SuperHealth!-Fridays,10 AM to noon, March 5 to April 30. NO CLASS APRIL 2. Instructor: Dr. Jamey Summerfield.  Learners in Galveston loved the OLLI course SuperHealth! based on Dr. Steven Pratt's latest book of the same name, so we're bringing it to Houston.  In this course learners will study this research-based guide to healthy living.  Dr. Summerfield will share scientifically proven insights from the book on:  how to eat right-and sumptuously (including recipes, menus, and meal plans); how food and exercise can turn on "good genes;" how to reduce the waistline and lower inflammation; which foods and nutrients keep hearing, vision, and other senses sharp; and how everyone can help to "green up the planet" to add years to life.  The text will be provided to learners for use during the course.

RPO Lifestory Writing Group-first and third Wednesdays, 10AM to 1PM, January 6 to May 19.  Instructor:  Michelle Sierpina.  This specialized writing group has continued to meet for over a decade writing and sharing lifestories.  Offered in collaboration with the Harris County Medical Society's RPO, learners must be members of OLLI and the RPO.  Contact the instructor for information about availability of space in the group.


Tuition for each course is $25 until February12. After February 15 tuition is $30. Call OLLI (409) 763-5604 or (409) 763-5833 or stop by the Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway, Suite B101 in Galveston (Monday through Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm) to register!

CHECK, CASH, MONEY ORDER, OR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED. Do not send cash in the mail and do not send credit card information via email. Please make checks payable to UTMB with "OLLI" on the notation in the lower left corner.

You may call in your credit card information or mail membership and tuition to: 
OLLI at UTMB, 301 University Blvd. Galveston, TX 77555-0972 (must include 0972 in zip)

YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF OLLI TO ENROLL IN COURSES. Membership is $25.  Join now and your membership extends through August 31, 2010.

Email: Michelle Sierpina, Ph.D., Founding Director: msierpin@utmb.edu or
Julia Barragan, Business Coordinator:  jdbarrag@utmb.edu

Most Galveston classes meet in Suite B101, Galveston Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway. After registration, learners receive confirmation letters detailing course locations and other information

 

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