Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Continuing and Professional Education

Central Oregon Courses and Activities

Current Eugene/Springfield 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!

October 2018 Courses and Activities

Featured In October
Monday, October 1, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Longtime Bend resident Les Joslin shares the stories of a fascinating mix of local legends who could be characterized as “the right people, in the right place, at the right time” who arrived in Central Oregon during the past century and a half to make Bend the fascinating town it has become. Some of these people, like John Charles Fremont and Ashton Eaton, gained national prominence and even global stature. Others were and are more ordinary people who have done and continue to do extraordinary things in an extraordinary place.

Les Joslin is a retired US Navy commander; former US Forest Service firefighter, wilderness ranger, and staff officer; and former Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University instructor. He has been a resident of Bend for three decades, has served as president of the board of directors for the Deschutes County Historical Society, and is a fellow of the High Desert Museum. He is the author of several books and articles, including Legendary Locals of Bend.

Preregistration is not required.

Wednesdays, October 3 and 10, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Art historian Erin W. Anderson returns with two lectures drawing from Linda Nochlin’s essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” She presents the old-world view of the “Great Masters” of art, which has largely excluded women, and explores what have historically been the roles of women in art. The series begins with little known Renaissance artists and subjects and ends with some contemporary women artists and how they use the female body in an effort to reveal the unique roles of women in art.

Anderson worked as an art historian at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, the Pace galleries in New York, and Montana State University as an adjunct instructor. She worked and studied in southern Italy at the Villas of Oplontis from 2010–2014 with the Oplontis Project, conducting a systematic, multidisciplinary study. Anderson has an upcoming article in the third volume of the Oplontis Project publication.

Please choose the button above to register. The assigned reading may be accessed within the course description as well.

Monday, October 22, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Join Central Oregon OLLI-UO member and Vietnam combat veteran Craig Jorgensen, along with two other combat veterans and PTSD professionals, for a timely examination of the very unique history, social impacts, symptoms, and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans.

You probably know someone whose life is affected by post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a condition that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, frightening, or dangerous event.

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response protects a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. In moderate to severe trauma, the symptoms can be many, varied, and even cause permanent change to the brain itself. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD.

For many veterans, the return from military service can include coping with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. There are 24,000 veterans in Central Oregon, including approximately 2,000 combat veterans, but the number of people affected by PTSD is multiplied many times by the family and friends of those veterans suffering from the condition. There is a VA regional hospital in Portland, a Veterans Administration clinic in Bend, and—since 2010—a “Vet Center,” also in Bend that provides treatment to 250 combat veterans and veterans of sexual trauma through individual and group therapy.

Panel members include our own Craig Jorgensen, retired psychotherapist, Lutheran pastor, and USMC Vietnam combat veteran; Amanda Juza-Hamrick, Director of the Vet Center, Licensed Clinical Social worker, Army veteran, and veteran of the war in Iraq; and Roger Riolo, Master Trainer with the National Association for Interpretation, retired airline pilot, Air Force AC47 gunship pilot and Vietnam veteran.

Registration is not required.

Monday October 29, 10:00 a.m.–noon

Fifty years ago this fall, Oregon State University’s Dick Fosbury revolutionized the world of high-jumping when he won a gold medal in Mexico City as the first backward-over the bar competitor. Now, every jumper in the world uses the "Fosbury Flop." What are the four life lessons we can learn from Fosbury? What part did former University of Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman play in the Fosbury Story?

Bob Welch, former adjunct professor of journalism at the UO, columnist at The Register-Guard, and author of the just released The Wizard of Foz: Dick Fosbury's One-Man High-Jump Revolution, answers these questions and more in an enlightening look at an athlete like no other.

Welch, the author of over 20 books, has been called "the most eclectic writer in America,"" having written trail books, WWII books, and children’s books. A 1972 graduate of the University of Oregon, he began his career as sports editor of The Bulletin in Bend. He’s twice won first place in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists contest and twice won the Oregon Newspaper Publisher Association’s "best writing" award. His book American Nightingale, about the first nurse to die after the landings at Normandy, was an Oregon Book Award finalist featured on ABC’s Good Morning America.

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

About This Course

Preregistration 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.


  • October 2: Presolar Dust Grains—Chemistry Begins; Coming to Grips with Deep Time
    Facilitator: Larry Weinberg
  • October 9: The Birth of the Solar System; The Early Solar System—Terrestrial Planets
    Facilitator: John Rhetts
  • October 16: Hints from the Gas Giants and Their Moons; Meteorites—The Oldest Objects You Can Hold Facilitator: Norman Frater
  • October 23: Mineral Evolution, Go! Chondrite Meteorites; Meteorite Types and Planetesimals
    Facilitator: Russ Hopper
  • October 30: Achondrites and Geochemical Affinities; The Accretion and Differentiation of Earth
    Facilitator: John Dulzo
  • November 6: How Did the Moon Form?; The Big Thwack! Facilitator: Alexa Dellinger
  • November 13: The “Big Six” Elements of Early Earth; The Black Earth—Peridotite to Basalt; Origins of the Oceans Facilitator: Russ Hopper
  • November 20: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Break)

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

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.


  • October 3: Parliamentary Reform and Chartism; The Upper- and Middle-Class Woman.
    Facilitator: Pat Ackley
  • October 10: The Working-Class Woman; The State Church and Evangelical Revival.
    Facilitator: Pat Ackley
  • October 17: The Oxford Movement and Catholicism; Work and Working-Class Life.
    Facilitator: Joe Stevens
  • October 24: Poverty and the “Hungry Forties”; Ireland, Famine, and Robert Peel.
    Facilitator: Joe Stevens
  • October 31: Scotland and Wales; Progress and Optimism.
    Facilitator: Joe Stevens
  • November 7: China and the Opium War; The Crimean War 1854–1856.
    Facilitator: Bonnie Campbell
  • November 14: The Indian Mutiny 1857; Victorian Britain and American Civil War.
    Facilitator: Bob Harrison

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

Thursdays, October 4, 11, and 18, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

About This Course

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.

Unit 3 Topics:

  • September 6: Being Roman; Being a Roman Slave.
    Facilitator: Craig Jorgensen
  • September 13: Being a Roman Soldier; Being a Roman Woman.
    Facilitator: Joe Stevens
  • September 20: Being a Poor Roman; Being a Rich Roman.
    Facilitator: Joe Stevens
  • September 27: Being a Roman Celebrity; Being a Roman Criminal.
    Facilitator: David Costello
  • October 4: Relaxing Roman Style; Practicing Roman Religion.
    Facilitator: TBD
  • October 11: Being Jewish Under Roman Rule; Being Christian Under Roman Rule.
    Facilitator: Thom Larson
  • October 18: Being a Celt in Ancient Britain; Being a Roman Briton.
    Facilitator: Maggi Machala

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 20

Pre-registration will be required for each unit.

Meets: Thursdays, June 7 through December 20, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Course Manager: Pat Ackley

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

About This Course

Preregistration 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. 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)


  • October 4: 1820s–Art in the Era of Good Feelings; Thomas Cole and the American Landscape
  • October 11: Thomas Cole–The Late Years; Other Views, Other Visions
  • October 18: American Genre Painting; Native Americans and Westward Expansion
  • November 1: The Civil War in Art; The Glow of Peace
  • November 8: Art–The Mirror of Social Change; 1876–1893—The Civic Revival of the Nation
  • November 15: 1885–1900—Contrasts of Dark and Light; Americans Abroad—Expatriate Painters

Meets: Thursdays, September 13–December 20, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Study and Discussion Groups
Tuesdays, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

About This Group

Preregistration 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.

Meets: Every Tuesday, 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Course Manager: Carolyn Hammond. Gerry Sharp will be facilitating the group for the month of October.

Mondays, October 1 and 15, 10:15–11:45 a.m.

About This Group

Preregistration is not required.

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.

This month, the group discusses The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan.

Beginning with Nobel Prize winners Kenneth Arrow and Michael Spence in the 1970s, economists proposed that people with more years of education earn more not merely because of the skills and knowledge they accumulated during their time in school (“human capital”) but largely as a function of the information their degree signals to employers. The Case Against Education by George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan looks at a synthesis of the research in favor of the signaling model of education. Caplan makes the empirical claim that only a fraction of the extra wages that graduates earn can be explained by skills and knowledge as in the human capital model of education. He argues that much of what we observe about educational behavior and earnings is consistent with signaling our intelligence, hard work, and persistence rather than particular skills used in our job.

(from the review by Noam Stein in Quillette)

Facilitator: Joyce Pickersgill

Course Manager: Joyce Pickersgill

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

November's selection: Why Does The World Exist? by Jim Holt

Monday, October 8, 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!

Our dedicated group of fiction lovers meets the second Monday of the month, this time to examine Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man—Salim, an Indian Muslim, an outsider, who has come to live in an unnamed, newly-independent central African country in a settlement at the bend of a river. Naipaul gives us a dark and disturbing vision of postcolonial Africa, a place caught up in the modern world, yet threatened by violence and chaos as the new president consolidates power. Bend in the River has a place on several lists of the best fiction of the 20th Century, including those of the Guardian, Modern Library, and The New York Times.

Meets: second Monday of the month, 10:15 a.m.–noon

Facilitator: Joyce Pickersgill

Course Manager: Deb Hollens

November's selection: Eventide by Kent Haruf

Monday, October 15, 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: Our Man in Havana (1959) 2 hours 51 minutes

Cast: Alec Guiness, Noel Coward, Burl Ives, Ernie Kovacs

Directed by Carol Reed adapted from a spy comedy written by Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana was filmed in Cuba with Castro’s permission just prior to Cuba’s relationship with Russia. Jim Wormold is an English vacuum cleaner salesman in Cuba right before the revolution. British intelligence recruits him as a spy, but Jim knows nothing about espionage. He invents reports on a Cuban revolution from public documents, hires imaginary agents, and “discovers” blueprints of secret weapons that are actually vacuum cleaners.

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

Facilitators: Bonnie Campbell and Robb Reavill

Course Manager: Bonnie Campbell

Tours, Field Trips, and Special Events
Wednesday, October 17, 12:15 p.m.

With the departure of two of our current, terrific Governing Council members, Steve Hussey and Pat Ackley, the Central Oregon Governing Council is looking to add a few more dedicated individuals.

There is no experience required to serve on Council, but we ask that nominees possess a love of OLLI-UO and have a collaborative personality. The next two years will be a pivotal point for our OLLI-UO program, and we are seeking action-oriented members to help tackle our ambitious Financial Sustainability Plan targets.

Serving on Governing Council consists of attending one two-hour meeting every month for a term of two years. If interested at all, we encourage you to attend our Governing Council Forum on Wednesday, October 17, at 12:15 p.m. at the UO Bend Center. The deadline for nominees to submit their names is Friday, October 19. A 200-word bio is due Monday, October 29. Please speak to one of our current Council members at the forum, or contact Governing Council President Suzanne Butterfield directly. We look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, October 26, 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Join OLLI-UO friends for a fun day trip to two interesting stops: The Museum at Warm Springs and Central Oregon Seeds in Madras. A no-host lunch at the Cottonwood Restaurant in the Indian Head Casino follows the museum tour. Who wants to have an Indian fry bread taco salad?

The Museum at Warms Springs is having a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view six original pages of the 1855 treaty document—on loan from the National Archives in Washington. A unique piece of Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs history! We will also experience firsthand the sounds of ancient songs and languages, the mastery of traditional craftsmen and the sights of rich and colorful cultures that make up the Confederated Tribes of The Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.

Following lunch, we travel to Madras to visit Central Oregon Seed, one of the major contractors of hybrid carrot seed for the world markets. They subcontract with growers in Central Oregon, in early spring each year, transplant young carrot roots (called steklings, small carrots roots that have been refrigerated to simulate winter), the root flowers—pollinated by honey bees—and make seed that is harvest in late summer. We will tour their seed conditioning (processing) plant to view many steps in hybrid carrot seed cleaning. Hybrid carrot seed production is a high risk-high reward crop for everyone involved. Hale storm can destroy the crop in moments and if the seed does not meet contract specifications for quality- no money is made.

We depart, via carpool, from the UO Bend Center parking lot at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, October 26, and return about 4:00 p.m. Expect to have some walking and standing for periods of time. Museum group entry fee for seniors is $4.50, which is due at the time of registration. Other costs include lunch and driver contribution. Gary Whiteaker is the trip organizer.

Wednesday, October 31, 12:15–1:30 p.m.

Join us for a light lunch provided by our Hospitality Committee and participate in an all-member meeting with our Governing Council. President Suzanne Butterfield speaks about our steps towards financial sustainability for OLLI-UO at both sites, Central Oregon and Eugene/Springfield. Learn about our membership growth and intriguing efforts for fundraising.

An archive of previous courses and activities is available.