Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Continuing and Professional Education

Central Oregon Courses and Activities

Current Central Oregon course offerings are listed below. Course and activity descriptions for the following month will be published mid-month. Minor edits of topics and facilitators will be updated at the end of the month.

Members will be notified of monthly updates and critical changes via email. We encourage you to check both the course and activity descriptions and the course calendar at the middle and end of the month!

December 2018 Courses and Activities

Featured in December
Tuesday, December 4, 10:00 a.m.–noon

Eric Ballinger is the grandson of Harry Takeshi Morioki, who, during the winter of 1942, was taken with his family from their home in The Dalles, Oregon, and placed in an internment camp on the West Coast. Over the course of the next three years, 127,000 first- and second-generation Japanese immigrants were relocated to camps where they lived behind barbed wire.

In this presentation, Ballinger shares the conditions in the United States—and particularly Central Oregon—that resulted in President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, dated February 19, 1942, that mandated the internment of Japanese citizens on the West coast. Eric also shares the long-term effects on his family and how they reacted to the change in treatment by the American government. Ballinger's presentation is a touching and compelling story of survival in a time when a community's hate toward an ethnic, racial, or immigrant group spirals out of control.

Registration is not required

Wednesday, December 5, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

Come listen to Ginger Dehlinger, Central Oregon novelist, as she shares her insights about “writing what you know” to entice Central Oregon OLLI participants to begin writing. Finding inspiration through family oral stories and preserved documents may spur you to create your own stories as a hobby, become a blogger, or begin a new career.

A University of Oregon graduate and member of the Central Oregon Writer’s Guild, Women Writing the West, and a fastidious critique group, Ginger has included family experiences in her two novels, Brute Heart and Never Done. She continues to write about family in a growing number of short stories. Her interest in nature shows up mostly in poems and essays, and in chapter six of a recently-published coffee table book, Cabin Cruising, A Lakeside History.

Join Ginger on the first Wednesday of December to learn about sources of inspiration; fact, fiction, or creative nonfiction; prose, poetry, or posts; preserving anonymity; self-publishing versus agent/publisher; and perseverance.

Registration is not required.

Wednesday, December 12, 12:15–2:00 p.m.

UO Directors of Development Pete Korstad and Mike Ritchey provide an introduction of what he does for UO, and how his office can work with our OLLI-UO members specifically, as we work towards our financial sustainability goals.

The session will begin with general education on estate planning (including wills, trusts, designating beneficiaries, tax treatment of assets, etc.) and one specific type of estate asset, the IRA. From there, we’ll look at how these two areas can be used to meet the charitable goals you have. Topics will include using required minimum distributions from IRAs to support charitable giving, the charitable IRA rollover (also known as a qualified charitable distribution), characteristics of assets (real estate, stock accounts, IRAs, etc.) to consider when making charitable gifts, and more. There will be plenty of time for questions, so bring yours along!

Our presenter is Mike Ritchey, planned giving officer at the University of Oregon. Mike holds degrees in Finance (BS ’80) and Marketing (MBA ’81) from the UO, and earned the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification in 1991. Prior to joining the UO in 2011, he spent over 20 years working in the personal financial planning profession. Mike was born and raised in Springfield, Oregon, is married to a retired middle school teacher, and represents the middle of three generations of his family to earn UO degrees.

Registration is not required; all members are encouraged to attend. A light lunch will be provided.

Tuesdays, September 18–March 19, 1:45–3:45 p.m.

About This Course

Registration is not required.

Focus: Larry Weinberg and OLLI-UO Central Oregon associates for an in-depth look at how our earth came into being and changed through time. Larry will begin with a look at the very beginnings of the universe and how those events lead to the formation of the earth. The course will introduce the co-evolution of life and minerals in the early earth. The program will be augmented with the Great Courses program “The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence,” taught by Robert M. Hazen, PhD, Professor of Earth Sciences at George Mason University.

Topics will include the unique story of the formation of diamonds and their role in formation of planets. The story will also explore the deposits resulting from the Great Oxidation Event and how plate tectonics play a role in the changing earth as it has for more than 3 billion years. The Cambrian explosion is unique in the history of life on earth in that it allowed life to proliferate once the chemistry of the oceans made life possible.

Minerals are also fundamental to the story of earth. They play major roles in life itself and are useful to us in building modern civilization. The study of mineral evidence for milestones in earth’s history leads to understanding how we have rocks older than earth, the formation of the moon, the first continents, and the first supercontinent.  We will discover that the earth has gone through a series of colors including, green, white, red, gray, blue, and black.


  • December 4: Earth and Mars versus Mercury and the Moon; Gray Earth–Clays and the Rise of Granite. Facilitator: Larry Weinberg
  • December 11:  Earth’s Mineralogy Takes Off–Pegmatites; Moving Continents and the Rock Cycle. Facilitator: Larry Weinberg
  • December 18: Plate Tectonics Changes Everything; Geochemistry to Biochemistry–Raw Materials. Facilitator: Larry Weinberg
  • January 8: Why Reproduction? World Enough and Time; Eons, Eras, and Strategies of Early Life. Facilitator: Larry Weinberg
  • January 15: Red Earth—The Great Oxidation Event; Earliest Microbial and Molecular Fossils? Facilitator: Larry Weinberg
  • January 22: Microbial Mats and Which Minerals Can Form; Earth’s Greatest Mineral Explosion. Facilitator: Larry Weinberg
  • January 29: The Boring Billion? Cratons and Continents; The Supercontinent Cycle. Facilitator: Larry Weinberg

Meets: Tuesdays, September 18–March 19, 1:45–3:45 p.m.

Course Manager: Larry Weinberg

Wednesdays, September 12–February 6, 10:00 a.m.–noon

About This Course

Focus: Need another history fix? History course manager extraordinaire Pat Ackley and fellow OLLI members facilitate sessions about the United Kingdom in the era of Queen Victoria’s reign. This new 18-week course supplements its sessions with the Great Courses program Victorian England,” taught by Dr. Patrick N. Allitt, Professor of American History at Emory University. Professor Allitt examines British society changing from a largely illiterate farming country to a modern great industrial one. Understanding how the British and their institutions managed peacefully to accommodate and manage the currents of change is one of the main themes in this course.

During the classes, we cover Britain's rule over its Empire; the class-bound society; the problems of poverty and crime; Victorian achievements in art, literature, architecture, and music; the lives of Victorian women; the challenges facing working people and the rise of trade unionism; the discoveries of Victorian explorers in Africa; and so much more.


  • December 5: Art and Music; Science. Facilitator: Judy Hurlburt
  • December 12: Medicine and Public Health; Architecture. Facilitator: Maggi Machala
  • December 19: Education; Trade Unions and the Labour Party. Facilitator: Judy Hurlburt
  • January 9: Crime and Punishment; Gladstone and Disraeli 1685-1881. Facilitator: Bruce Sharp
  • January 16: Ireland and Home Rule; Democracy and Its Discontents. Facilitator: Bruce Sharp
  • January 23: The British in Africa 1880-1901; Later Victorian Literature. Facilitator: Bob Harrison
  • January 30: Leisure; Domestic Servants. Facilitator: Pat Ackley
  • February 6: Victoria After Albert 1861-1901; The Victorian Legacy. Facilitator: Pat Ackley

Meets: Wednesdays, September 12–February 6, 10:00 a.m.–noon

Course Manager: Pat Ackley

Wednesdays, November 7, 14, 28, 3:15–5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays, December 12 and 19, 3:15–5:00 p.m.

(Classes continue into January if there is interest)

Smart phones are at the hub of our communication systems for voice, email, and Internet.  Your iPhone has more computing power than a 1960 IBM mainframe computer.  Do you own an iPhone, but feel that you really don’t know how to use all of its many magic bells and whistles? Learn to tap and harness your iPhone’s power so you no longer need to ask others to help you.  Central Oregon OLLI member Gary Whiteaker and others help you learn more about your iPhone, whether you just purchased it, just updated it or have had it a long time.

This is a hands-on series of facilitated workshops, with some topics programmed by the coordinator and other topics determined by those attending the classes. Likely topics will include: how to set up “Find My Phone” and other security issues; using your phone to take pictures and “then what do I do?”; sharing photos; using Apple iCloud; address book tools; iPhone GPS, maps and directions; using “Hey Siri” Apple voice command system to do useful things.  Participants will watch a live iPhone image on a large classroom screen to learn and understand the systems and tools built into iPhones and applications (Apps).

Participants must bring a fully charged iPhone to each workshop session.  Android operating system phone users are welcome, but detailed technical information will not be available for Android phones.

Links to selected reading:

Members are asked to register once for all five sessions. Registration is required so that we can email important information to participants ahead of sessions.

Thursdays, November 1–December 13, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

About This Course

Registration is not required.

Focus: Focus: Join us in an investigation of the daily lives of "the 99% of ordinary people whose names don't make it into the history books" (Great Courses). Don't let the “ordinary people” description fool you. Through this unique 24-week course, we examine dissimilar individuals making a living, escaping a volcanic eruption on an island, and socializing at a drinking party, to name a few. OLLI-UO member facilitators, led by course manager and history buff Pat Ackley, provide authentic information about these people's circumstances, while the Great Courses DVD topics from "The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World" complete the picture.

Award-winning Professor Robert Garland, PhD from Colgate University, describes what it was like to live in ancient times exploring what people did for a living, their home life, what they ate and wore, and their beliefs about life, marriage, religion, death and the afterlife.

The past comes alive when you put yourself in the shoes of the imaginary lives of ordinary people.

This course has been divided up into four units; Unit Four lasts six weeks and focuses on medieval lives. Registration is not required for the fourth and final unit. All members are welcome to attend!


  • December 6: Being a Crusader; Being a Pilgrim. Facilitator: Thom Larson
  • December 13: Relaxing Medieval Style; Daily Life Matters. Facilitator: Pat Ackley

This course is divided into four units:

  • Unit One: Egyptian Lives (4 weeks) June 7–June 28
  • Unit Two: Greek Lives (7 weeks) July 12–August 30
  • Unit Three: Roman Lives (7 weeks) September 6–October 18
  • Unit Four: Medieval Lives (6 weeks) November 1–December 13

Meets: Thursdays, June 7–December 13, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Course Manager: Pat Ackley

Thursdays, September 13–December 13, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

About This Course

Registration is not required.

Focus: Course managers Suzanne Butterfield and Burt Litman lead us through a sweeping survey of the brilliant paintings of American homegrown masters in 24 lectures over 12 separate sessions. These extraordinary artists document the birth of our nation from its colonial roots up to the brink of World War I and the birth of Modernism. As we examine this vital artistic tradition in its historical, cultural, and political contexts, we discover how the appreciation of the legacy of American art is crucial to understanding the story of our great nation.

A nation's identity is expressed through its art. Great painters capture the essence of a culture's brightest hopes, deepest anxieties, and most profound aspirations.

Our journey is supplemented by the lectures of Professor William Kloss, noted art historian revealing the vital and vibrant tradition of American art, with the educational DVD series titled “Masterworks of American Art.” Witness the birth, growth, and development of our great nation as it was painted by some of the greatest artists the world has known. (The Great Courses)

Suzanne or Burt lead the class sessions, unless otherwise noted below.


  • December 6: The Last Years—"And Who Is Eakins?”; Winslow Homer in England and New England
  • December 13: Winslow Homer—The Last Years; Ourselves and Our Posterity

Meets: Thursdays, September 13–December 13, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Course Managers: Suzanne Butterfield and Burt Litman

Study and Discussion Groups
Mondays, December 3 and 17, 10:15–11:45 a.m.

Focus: The nonfiction book group meets twice per month to discuss a nonfiction book that the group has selected. The books range from political history to the history of science, to biography, exploration, and natural history. We learn a lot about different topics and have a good conversation.

Selection: The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election by Malcolm Nance

For December, the group examines The Plot to Hack America by Malcolm Nance. Published a month before the 2016 presidential election, Nance examines Russian interference in that election as the CIA is drafting their own report.

In April 2016, computer technicians at the Democratic National Committee discover that someone has accessed the organization’s computer servers and has helped themselves to sensitive documents, emails, donor information, even voicemails. Soon after, the remainder of the Democratic Party machine, the congressional campaign, the Clinton campaign, and their friends and allies in the media are also hacked. Western intelligence agencies track the hack to Russian spy agencies and dub them the “Cyber Bears.” The media is soon flooded with the stolen information channeled through Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. It is a massive attack on America, but the Russian hacks appear to have a singular goal: elect Donald J. Trump as president of the United States.

The Plot to Hack America is the story of how Putin’s spy agency, run by the Russian billionaire class, use the promise of power and influence to cultivate Trump, as well as his closest aides, to become unwitting assets of the Russian government. (some info from Goodreads)

Facilitator: Kathryn Cullen

Meets: first and third Mondays of the month, 10:15–11:45 a.m.

Course Manager: Joyce Pickersgill

January’s selection: In the Shadow of Statues by Mitch Landrieu, facilitated by Susan Groscziewicz

Monday, December 10, 10:15 a.m.–noon

About This Group

Preregistration is not required.

Focus: A lively and very welcoming group of fiction lovers who choose a novel to read and critique as a group every month. Each member selects and facilitates the spirited discussion of a contemporary or classic novel of less than 400 pages. We have a great time!

Selection: The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

In December, Page-Turner participants discussAlice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and on the "best fiction of 2017" lists of numerous publications.

In early twentieth century Brooklyn, in a neighborhood of Irish Catholics, a young man opens the gas taps in his dilapidated tenement, committing suicide and leaving a young pregnant wife.  In the aftermath of the ensuing fire, Sister St Savior, an aging nun, provides the young widow and her baby, Sally, with emotional support and work in the convent basement laundry.  Sally, who is raised with the help of the good “Little Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor, Congregation of Mary Before the Cross,” becomes the center of the story.  “The characters we meet, from Sally . . . to the nuns whose personalities we come to know and love, to the neighborhood families with whose lives they are entwined, are all rendered with extraordinary sympathy and McDermott’s trademark lucidity and intelligence.” (some info from Goodreads)

Facilitator: Deb Hollens

Meets: second Mondays of the month, 10:15–11:45 a.m.

Course Manager: Deb Hollens

January’s selection: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather, facilitated by Robin Robinson

Monday, December 17, 1:30–4:00 p.m.

About This Group

Preregistration is not required.

Focus: Viewing films from a variety of genre selected by the group. Prior to the showing interesting trivia regarding the actors and the film production is presented, followed by lively discussions afterwards.

Topic: The Birdcage (1996) 2 hours

Cast: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne West

This thoroughly enjoyable film based on the 1978 Franco-Italian film La Cage Aux Folles is the story of gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion whose straight son wants them to meet his fiancée's parents. Comic chaos ensues, as her right-wing father is a US Senator and co-founder of the Committee for Moral Order. What could possibly go wrong?

Facilitator: Bonnie Campbell

Meets: third Mondays of the month*, 1:30–4:00 p.m.

Course Manager: Bonnie Campbell

Tuesdays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

About This Group

Registration is not required.

Focus: A casual gathering for writers at all levels to share in a supportive environment. Creative experimentation with styles and genres encouraged.

Please note: There are scheduling changes for this month, as follows:

Meets: Every Tuesday, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Course Manager: Carolyn Hammond

Tours, Field Trips, and Special Events
Wednesday, December 5, 12:15–1:15 p.m.

Join us for our annual joint OLLI-UO videoconference meeting with UO Vice-President Roger Thompson and our Eugene/Springfield members. Vice-President Thompson will provide an update from the office of Student Services and Enrollment Management (the department under which Continuing and Professional Education is housed). Mr. Thompson’s opening remarks will address the value of lifelong learning and community engagement programs in the division’s goal of sustaining campus and community connections in Oregon. He will take questions from members from both program sites during the second part of his presentation.

Friday, December 14, noon–2:00 p.m.

The holiday season is once again upon us and that means it will soon be time for the Annual Holiday Party! Get ready to join your fellow OLLI-UO members in recapping our wonderful 2018 programming, discussing goals and activities for 2019, and getting to know our newly-elected Council members.

In the coming weeks, we will be asking for your help in putting the party together. We will need volunteers to bring food and drinks, and help with a trivia quiz, decorations, and set up. If you have any questions about the party, or know already that you want to volunteer, contact Terry Schwab. Registration will be announced via email and members are asked to contribute $5.00 per person to help cover facility and refreshment costs. Guests and/or partners of members are welcome. This year, members get to decide what to bring rather than be assigned a type of dish by last name. Please let us know what you plan to bring by contacting Margie deLeon.  Season’s Greetings!

Shared Interest Groups

Shared Interest Groups (SIGs) are a great way for OLLI-UO Central Oregon members to continue lifelong learning beyond the classroom! These groups provide new opportunities to form friendships with other members around shared interests. They are independent and self-directed, with members deciding where and when to meet and how the group will function.

As an OLLI member, you may be interested in forming a SIG that meets for a weekly lunch, plays pickleball, shares gardening tips, enjoys nature walks or foreign movies. Other examples: Genealogy, Conversational Spanish, Archeology, Day Hikes, Science Fiction Movies, Beginning Bridge, Photography, Plant-based Living, Culinary Adventures . . . and more.

Opportunities are endless, but keep these guidelines in mind:

  • SIGs are open to all interested current OLLI-UO members, with a minimum of four participants required to establish a SIG.
  • All SIGs are held off-site, as space in the Bend classroom is limited due to regular use by program courses and activities.  Options include members’ homes or venues related to the SIG’s activity (movie theaters, restaurants, libraries, recreational facilities, etc.).
  • SIGs do not take the place of OLLI courses. They complement and enhance classes and other programs offered by OLLI-UO Central Oregon; they are not to compete with or duplicate them.
  • Proposed SIG activity is consistent with UO and OLLI-UO policies, and participants agree to adhere to the UO Code of Conduct

How to Start a New Shared Interest Group

Have an idea for a SIG? Talk with other OLLI members about creating a SIG around your particular interest or post a sign-up sheet in the classroom. When you have four or more members expressing interest in joining, submit a SIG Proposal Form to SIG Coordinator, Pat Ackley. She will provide you with a copy of the guidelines.

  • Begin by reading the guidelines completely so that you understand the purpose, structure, and operation of the SIGs and the entire process for establishing one.
  • Complete a Proposal Form online or pick up a paper form in the office and submit to the SIG Coordinator or to the OLLI-UO staff.  The proposal should include a description suitable for inclusion on the OLLI-UO website. For questions about the program, contact Pat Ackley, SIG Coordinator.
Coming in January
Thursdays, January 10–May 30, 10:00 a.m.–noon

About This Course

Registration is not required.

Focus: The Vikings were a people whose history stretched from the Vinland settlements in Newfoundland to Baghdad. Be prepared to challenge stereotypical images of the Vikings that have long obscured the Vikings' importance in European history. This new 18-week course supplements its sessions with the Great Courses program “The Vikings,” taught by Dr. Kenneth W. Harl, Professor of Classical and Byzantine History at Tulane University in New Orleans. Course Manager, Pat Ackley and fellow OLLI members will facilitate this course.

As explorers and traders, the Vikings played a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom, and particularly of Western Europe. In this course, we study the Vikings not only as warriors, but also in other roles for which they were equally extraordinary: merchants, artists, kings, raiders, seafarers, shipbuilders, and creators of a remarkable literature of myths and sagas.

Among the topics we explore in depth are the profound influence of the Norse gods and heroes on Viking culture, and the Vikings' extraordinary accomplishments as explorers and settlers in Iceland, Greenland, and Vinland. With the help of archeological findings, we learn to analyze Viking ship burials, runestones and runic inscriptions, Viking woodcarving, jewelry, sculpture, and metalwork.

Who were the Vikings? Much more, perhaps, than you may think: raiders, seafarers, kings, and writers, a people who truly define the history of Europe, and whose brave, adventurous, and creative spirit still survives today.


  • January 10: The Vikings in Medieval History; Land and People of Medieval Scandinavia
  • January 17: Scandinavian Society in the Bronze Age; Scandinavia in the Celtic & Roman Ages
  • January 24: The Age of Migrations; The Norse Gods
  • January 31: NO CLASS
  • February 7: Runes, Poetry, and Visual Arts; Legendary Kings and Heroes
  • February 14: A Revolution in Shipbuilding; Warfare and Society in the Viking Age
  • February 21: NO CLAA
  • February 28: Merchants and Commerce in the Viking Age; Christendom on the Eve of the Viking Age

Meets: Thursdays, January 10–May 30, 10:00 a.m.–noon

Course Manager: Pat Ackley

Thursdays, January 10–February 29, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

About This Course

Registration is not required.

Focus: OLLI-UO Central Oregon member Roger Aikin, PhD, is a retired professor of art history from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He has hand selected seven topics to present to our members. Details will follow when the January updates have been made, but mark your calendars now and plan to attend the following sessions:

  • January 10: Jan Vermeer and Han Van Meegeren:  The Master and the Forger
  • January 17: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: the Ceiling and the Last Judgement
  • January 24: Andrea del Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ and the Idea of “Sprezzatura”
  • January 31: Paintings of the Great Migration in American Art 
  • February 7: North and South in Gothic Architecture
  • February 14: A Sunday Walk in Rome
  • February 21: NO CLASS
  • February 28: The Unfashionable Human Body through the Ages in Art, Fashion, and Pop Culture

All of these talks are live lectures with Dr. Aikin. Each session considers an issue or aspect of art history with interesting artworks and issues that relate to the present day. There will be plenty of time for discussion during and after each presentation. No particular preparation or reading is required, although Roger will have suggestions for further reading and research if members so choose.

Meets: Thursdays, January 10–February 28, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Course Manager: Roger Aikin

An archive of previous courses and activities is available.