Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Continuing and Professional Education

Eugene/Springfield 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! Important announcements, like the President's Note and other notifications, will be published as information is available (up to twice per month).

July 2019 Courses and Activities

Featured in July

Classics Book Group

Tuesday, July 23, 1:30–3:30 p.m. Canada Room
Portrait of Nikos Kazantzakis

We meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month to discuss a classic book, usually at least fifty years old, which was important when published and remains significant today. For example, we read a collection of Anton Chekov's short stories which are as fresh today as when written. At times we make exceptions to the fifty-year guideline. Usually the person who nominates a title leads discussion of that book plus gives a brief biography of the author and times when the book was written. We alternate fiction one month with nonfiction the next.


Read and discuss classic fiction and nonfiction.


Book for July: Report to Greco by Nicholas Kazantzakis; nominated by Klaus Galda; discussion led by Beate Galda


The fourth Tuesday of each month at 1:30–3:30 p.m.


Sheila Patterson

(Image attribution: Μουσείο N. Καζαντζάκη / Kazantzakis Museum [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)


Investigating American Presidents

Tuesdays, June 11, 18, and 25, July 2, 9, and 16 Noon-1:30 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

What are the limits, if any, on presidential power? This six-part DVD series from Great Courses will explore this timely question, covering the history of presidential investigations; separation of power; Watergate and special prosecutors; presidential abuse of privilege; pardon power; presidential lies and coverups; and the law and politics of impeachment. Each of the six sessions will include two 30-minute lectures, with time afterward for discussion. These lectures are described as “evenhanded” and “detailed yet accessible” to those with only a basic understanding of how the U.S. government and the justice system work. OLLI-UO members Catherine Koller and Dina Wills will facilitate discussion.

Presenter Paul Rosenzweig has clerked at the U.S. Appellate Court, is a fellow at a public think tank in Washington, D.C., is an advisor to the American Bar Association’s standing committee on Law and National Security and is currently a professor at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

Arctic Governance in a Changing World

Wednesdays, July 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Environmental change strongly affects the Arctic, posing human security problems and opening opportunities in other respects. The region has high levels of cooperation and creative ways of solving problems. Indigenous peoples sit at the table with sovereign states, conflicts over territory are essentially non-existent, and sovereign rights maritime affairs are well structured through the law of the sea. Speaker Mary Durfee will explore the many ways “governance” happens in the Arctic.

Topics to be covered in the four sessions include the following:

  • Environment and a bit of history;
  • Who plays, how and why? (includes material on economics and methods of solving/discussing issues);
  • How secure is security in the Arctic?
  • What causes cooperation?

Durfee, an OLLI-UO member, is a professor emerita of government from Michigan Technological University where she taught international law, US foreign policy and various environmental politics courses. She is co-author of Thinking Theory Thoroughly, a book about international relations, as well as the newly published Arctic Governance in a Changing World. She attended the Summer Academy in Public International Law at the Peace Palace in the Hague. She has lectured at the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta and been a visiting researcher at the Asser Institute for International and European Law in The Hague, Netherlands.

CPR and AED Training

Tuesday, July 16, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Sandra Dunlap will demonstrate how to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an automated external defibrillator (AED), with plenty of time for hands-on experience. The class will cover adult, child and infant CPR, choking and the use of public access defibrillators. Participants will work on table tops with adult and infant feedback manikins and training defibrillators. This will be a great review or first-time experience with lots of practice time on the manikins. The two-hour course follows American Heart Association protocols.

After serving as a volunteer firefighter, Dunlap became an instructor in CPR and emergency first aid. Later she expanded into a paid position at Peace Health instructing hospital personnel in these and other health-related skills. “I am happy to have the opportunity to update OLLI members on CPR skills. You’ll never know when you might have to use this lifesaving skill,” she said.

Study and Discussion Groups

OLLI-UO Film Series “Ride ‘Em Cowboy: Great Westerns Through the Years”

Mondays, June 17–December 16, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room
JUNE 17: Stagecoach, 1939, Introduced by Craig Starr

Strangers brought together on an Overland Stagecoach ride must deal with their animosities and petty differences, confront their own fears and demons, and face danger from warring Apaches led by Geronimo. A Western classic by John Ford. Cast: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine. Rating: Not Rated Run Time: 96 MINS

JULY 1: Red River, 1948, Introduced by Howard Schuman

A Texas cattleman leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of hard work and struggles, to the market in Missouri. But his stubborn and tyrannical behavior along the way leads to a mutiny, led by his adopted son. Cast: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan, Colleen Gray, Harry Carey, John Ireland. Rating: Passed Run Time: 133 MINS

JULY 15: High Noon, 1952, Introduced by John Attig

Marshal Will Kane learns that Frank Miller, whom he sent to prison years earlier, is arriving on the noon train, together with members of his gang. But as the Marshal prepares for the showdown with Miller, his newlywed wife begs him to just leave town as they had originally planned, and the townspeople whom he has protected for years turn their backs on him and refuse to help. Cast: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Harry Morgan, Lon Chaney, Jr. Rating: PG Run Time: 85 MINS

AUG 5: The Magnificent Seven, 1960, Introduced by Susan Walcott

Poor Mexican farmers whose village has long been plagued by a local bandit seek help from a ragtag collection of American gunmen, each with his own reason for coming to the aid of the villagers. Cast: Yul Brenner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Horst Buchholz, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Brad Dexter. Rating: Approved Run Time: 128 MINS

AUG 19: Blazing Saddles, 1974, Introduced by Meta Maxwell 

Mel Brooks’ raucous parody of Hollywood Western movies. In order to ruin a western town so he can buy up property in the railroad’s right of way, a corrupt white politician appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary. Cast: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Mel Brooks, Slim Pickens, Alex Carras. Rating: R Run Time: 93 MINS

SEPT 16: The Searchers, 1956, introduced by Andy Walcott

A Confederate veteran, already consumed by his hatred of Indians, sets out on a quest to avenge the massacre of his brother’s families by a band of Commanches and to find his niece whom they kidnapped. But as he continues his search over five years, his belief that his niece has been tainted by living among the Indians for so long raises concerns about his motives. Cast: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Mills, Natalie Wood, Ward Bond Rating: Passed Run Time: 119 MINS

OCT 7: My Darling Clementine, 1946, Introduced by Craig Starr

John Ford’s classic telling of the clash between the Earp brothers, Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan, and the vicious Clanton clan, which led to the shoot-out behind the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Cast: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, John Ireland. Rating: Not Rated Run Time: 97 MINS

OCT 21: The Professionals, 1966, Introduced by Howard Schuman

An arrogant Texas millionaire hires four mercenaries to rescue his wife from a notorious Mexican bandit, but as they search, they find reason to question whether the wife was actually kidnapped. Cast: Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Jack Palance, Claudia Cardinale, Ralph Bellamy. Rating: PG-13 Run Time: 117 MINS

NOV 4: Jeremiah Johnson, 1972, Introduced by Meta Maxwell

A former Army scout looks to make a quiet home for himself in the Colorado mountains, but he inadvertently is drawn into a conflict with neighboring Crow Indians that threatens to forever change the peaceful relationship he worked so hard to achieve with his neighbors and the land. Cast: Robert Redford, Will Geer, Delle Bolton. Rating: GP Run Time: 108 MINS

NOV 18: Cat Ballou, 1965, Introduced by John Attig

Balladeers Stubby Kaye and Nat “King” Cole provide musical accompaniment to this tongue-in-cheek ballad of Catherine “Cat” Ballou, who becomes an outlaw and enlists the help of a washed-up, drunk gunslinger and a handsome bandit to get vengeance on the land-development company whose hired gun killed her father. Cast: Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman, Stubby Kaye, John Marley, Nat “King” Cole. Rating: Not Rated Run Time: 97 MINS

DEC 2: Pale Rider, 1985, Introduced by Susan Walcott

A mysterious preacher rides into a gold mining camp in the California foothills, and protects the prospectors and their families from a greedy mining company that is trying to steal their claims. Cast: Clint Eastwood, Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress, Richard Dysart. Rating: R Run Time: 115 MINS

DEC 16: McCabe and Mrs. Miller, 1971, Introduced by Andy Walcott

A gambler, John McCabe, and a prostitute, Mrs. Miller, become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until the town’s mining deposits attract the attention of a large corporation. McCabe’s decision to refuse the corporation’s buy-out offer has major repercussions for him, Mrs. Miller, and the town. Cast:  Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberonoise, William Devane, Shelly Duvall, Keith Carradine. Rating: R Run Time: 120 MINS

Creative Writing Critique

Mondays, July 1, 15, and 29, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room

If you love to write, are a would-be author, or are simply seeking a new outlet for your creativity, you are cordially invited to join OLLI-UO’s Creative Writing group. We are authors, columnists, essayists, poets and non-fiction and fiction writers of all genres. Our levels of experience range from those with multiple publication credits to those just wanting to try their hand. Everyone is welcome.

We meet to encourage our creativity-in-common and to exchange ideas and information . . . but our main focus is the sharing of our work. This includes both reading our own and listening to other’s projects-of-choice (at any stage from rough draft to completed masterpiece) as well as offering and accepting constructive, objective critiquing, ideas and suggestions.

Since the written word often has a different feel than the spoken word . . . and since some of us just plain have trouble hearing . . . it would be extremely helpful if you’d bring several hard copies of what you plan to read.


Sharing the process of writing and publication of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and memoirs. Writers of all levels of experience and all genres are welcome.


The first, third, and fifth (if applicable) Mondays of each month from 9:30–11:30 a.m.


Livvie Taylor-Young

Meditation and Mindfulness

Mondays, noon-1:00 p.m. Alaska Room

The meditation/mindfulness group meets for one hour once a week. The first half hour is spent listening to a talk given by a meditation teacher from the Internet. The next half hour is spent in silent meditation. There are many different levels of meditation being practiced by the group; some are beginners, some are returning to the practice through this class, some are advanced meditators who are here to experience the benefits of group meditation and a sense of community (sangha.)


This group utilizes what is known as Vipassana or breath or insight meditation, focusing on the sensation of breathing. Insight meditation utilizes the five senses to get us to awareness and being present.


Every Monday from noon-1:00 p.m.


Janice Friend

Beginning Spanish

Mondays, 12:15–1:45 p.m. Belize Room

Beginning Spanish is open to all, whether you know nothing beyond “hola” for “hello” or if you’re quite good at Spanish, but the time slot suits you. We speak in Spanish as much as possible. We use kids’ books to practice reading. Come and check it out.


Beginning level Spanish course; no basic knowledge required


Every Monday from 12:15–1:45 p.m.


Sara Michener

French Language

Mondays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Canada Room

In the first half-hour we have a session of grammar targeting an intermediate level of French. In the second half-hour we have a conversation class with intermediate levels and advanced levels together and in the third half hour we target an advanced level of French where we read an article or discuss ideas or topics of interest to French language and culture.


Learning and improving our French through grammar, conversations, readings and discussions.


Every Monday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.


Elaine De Martin-Webster and Thomas Walker

Understanding Science

Tuesday, July 2, 16, and 30, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Understanding Science began a new lecture series on June 18 titled: Understanding the Quantum World. Class discussions are based on the Great Courses series by Professor Erica W. Carlson, PhD. (c 2109). Quantum mechanics has a reputation for being so complex that the word "quantum" has become popular label for anything mystical or unfathomable. In fact, quantum mechanics is one of the most successful theories of reality yet discovered, explaining everything from the stability of atoms to the glow of neon lights, form the flow of electricity in metals to the workings of the human eye. There are 24 lectures in the series.


To present outstanding introductory college-level DVD science courses, and to enjoy the opportunity to share and discuss related ideas and information among group members. No specialized knowledge is required to appreciate these excellent lectures. The lectures are only mildly cumulative in nature, and if you are occasionally unable to attend, this fact should not impede your enjoyment of the course. Decisions concerning specific course subjects are made by a majority vote of the group. Emphasis is placed on the natural and the formal sciences, but consideration is also given to a broader perspective that includes the philosophy of science, and the social, behavioral, and applied sciences.

  • July 2: Lecture 3–Observers Disturb What They Measure; Lecture 4–Bell’s Theorem and Schrodinger’s Cat
  • July 16: Lecture 5–Quantum Paradoxes and Interpretations; Lecture 6–The Position-Momentum and Uncertainty Relation
  • July 30: Lecture 7–Wave Quantization; Lecture 8–Quantum Wave Shapes and the Periodic Table

The first, third and fifth (if applicable) Tuesdays of each month from 10:00–11:30 a.m.

International Relations

Wednesday, July 3 and 17, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Members learn through presentations and discussions on topics connected with geo-politics, international business, global cultures, trade, the environment, and America’s place in the world. The facilitator maintains an email list for distribution of presenters’ materials, links to websites, videos and readings prior to the sessions.


International affairs, history, current global developments and U.S. foreign policy.

July 3: Cyber Security, Intellectual Property and China-Great Decisions Program (with Howard Schuman)

What are the threats to us as individuals and as a nation from cyber warfare?  How can we combat the "stealing" of intellectual property from China and other nations?  Cyber security is a big issue and it’s only getting bigger. As phishing attempts, malware, identity theft, and huge data breaches increase daily, the world is looking at an epidemic that will only be solved with world-wide action.  We'll first review cyber security facts for 2019.  Then using expert analysis from the Foreign Affairs Council's Great Decisions program, we will discuss what are the major cyber security challenges for the US and how can we best address them.

About the Presenter:  Howard Schuman is an international financial consultant who has worked in over 30 countries.  He's a former VP at Citibank and Senior Manager at Price Waterhouse and has had his share of viruses invade his computer.   Most recently he became facilitator (with Susan Walcott) for OLLI's International Relations Discussion Group.

July 17: What Does The Qur’an Really Say? (with Jack Meacham)

Islam is one of the world’s great monotheistic religions and one of the fastest growing religions both globally and in the United States. The Qur’an is the holy text for the religion of Islam. Discovering what The Qur’an actually says can help us to be more knowledgeable about Islam, be more familiar with what Muslims believe and do, and be better able to recognize and reject common stereotypes and misunderstandings. The first half of this session will provide an historic and thematic introduction to The Qur’an and to difficulties in translation from Arabic. In the second half, we will divide into groups and read and discuss selected verses of The Qur’an together.

About the Presenter: Jack Meacham moved to Eugene in 2007 after retiring as SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University at Buffalo--State University of New York, where he taught developmental psychology and world history. He learned about Islam in part by living in Turkey as a Peace Corps volunteer and in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a Fulbright Scholar.


The first and third Wednesdays of each month from 9:30–11:30 a.m.


Howard Schuman and Susan Walcott

Interpretive Play Reading

Does not meet in July, will resume in August.

Members of the group take turns selecting plays to be read. The person making the selection becomes the “director” and casts it from members present. Character changes are made as necessary to make sure that all present get a chance to read.


The interpretive reading of plays, usually accompanied by some discussion of a play’s merits, information about its author, or other related matters.


The first and third Wednesdays of each month from 3:30–5:30 p.m.


Jack Bennett and Iona Waller

Poetry on Wheels

Thursday, July 18, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Patagonia Room; No meeting on July 4

Members share poems they have written, provide each other with supportive feedback, and delve into their own creative process in a like-minded group. All voices and levels of experience welcomed. Come as you are. Prompts are provided if wanted. Opportunities for reading in front of an audience discussed.


Writing and speaking your inspiration and craft.


The first, third, and fifth (if applicable) Thursdays of each month at 9:30–11:30 a.m.


Group Facilitated

Thinking Allowed

Thursday, July 18, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Canada Room; No meeting on July 4

Thinking Allowed is a participatory round table discussion group where all can contribute their knowledge and opinions toward making broad, complex issues more understandable to everyone. The subject areas are selected by the participants, with a write up about the specific topic for each session emailed a few days in advance to permit personal thought and investigation. Visit the website with past and current subject handouts and schedules.


An informal discussion group devoted to the exchange of views on contemporary social issues and problems confronting the nation, state and local community.

  • July 4: No meeting
  • July 18: Election Reform

The first and third Thursdays of each month from 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunches.


Jerry Brule

Short Story Discussions

Thursday, July 18, 1:30–3:00 p.m. Canada Room; No meeting on July 4

Short story anthologies are generally used as a source of each term’s readings; additional selections may be provided by the facilitator.


Reading a variety of short stories and discussing them as a group.

  • July 4: No meeting
  • July 18: “A Distant Epistle” by Paul Bowles and “A Stick of Green Candy” by Jane Bowles (handout)

All selections, unless otherwise indicated, are from The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, 2nd edition, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Stories marked “handout” will be made available at the CPE office in Room 110.


The first and third Thursdays of each month from 1:30–3:00 p.m.


Shiela Pardee and Anne Pacheco

Drop-in Meditation Time

Thursdays, 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Belize Room; No meeting on July 4

A shared period of silence with a bit of social connection and sharing on both sides. There is no right or wrong way to do it.


Becoming comfortable with resting in the presence of others with awareness and acceptance.


Every Thursday from 11:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Note: period of shared silence between 12:10 and 12:50 p.m.




Jean Novitsky

Culture Italiane

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Alaska Room; No meeting on July 4

Culture Italiane (“Italian cultures”) explores the diverse geography, economies, history, cultures and products of Italy’s 20 regions. English-language videos and the Geografia d’Italia per Stranieri textbook are used to learn about each region.

Knowledge of Italian is not necessary for participating in the study group, which is conducted in English. Textbook passages are translated to English to make them accessible to everyone. For those interested in Italian, the course is also an opportunity to share or improve their Italian language knowledge.


Understanding the cultural diversity of Italy’s regions

  • July 4: No Meeting
  • July 11: Begin study of Piedmont by learning about Turin, the region's geography, and Arturo Toscanini
  • July 18: Economy and local products of Piedmont; the history of Italian unification; Puccini’s Tosca
  • July 25: FIAT, Olivetti and industry in Piedmont; Rita Levi-Montalcini

Every Thursday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.


Lee Altschuler

Philosophy Salon

Monday, July 8 and 22, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room

A peer-led exploration of philosophers and philosophy. Each session features either a presentation by a group member, or a recorded lecture, followed by discussion.

July 8: The Big Hermeneutic Experiment–Session 1 of 3

The goal of this workshop is to experience how easy it is to produce readings of “scriptural” texts, and the difficulty of deciding among conflicting interpretations, with David Kolb.

July 22: The Big Hermeneutic Experiment–Session 2 of 3

Experiencing how easy it is to produce readings of “scriptural” texts and how difficult it is to decide among conflicting interpretations, with David Kolb and Jorge Luis Borges.


The second and fourth Mondays of each month from 9:30–11:30 a.m.


Henry Sholar


Byron Chell, Dennis Lawrence, and Lorraine Ironplow

Spanish Conversation

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Canada Room; No meeting on July 4

Someone volunteers to facilitate the meeting, and everyone contributes readings or topics for conversation in Español. Some of us speak Español rather well and want to practice it weekly. Others are very rusty but get more fluent as they keep trying.


Speaking Spanish informally. Basic knowledge.


Every Thursday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.


Stan Cook and Carolin Keutzer


Monday, July 8 and 22, 11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m. Canada Room

Generally, each session begins with 15–20 minutes of Internet videos introducing the topic while generating questions and talking points for discussion. The topic for each session is emailed a few days in advance of that meeting so participants can familiarize themselves with the topic. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunches. Visit the website with past and current subject handouts and schedules.


Focusing on some of the most critical problems in the world, this group takes the next step through study and discussion to identify and propose possible solutions to the problems.

  • July 8: TBD
  • July 22: TBD

The second and fourth Mondays of each month from 11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m.


Jerry Brule

Historical Novels and Nonfiction

Wednesday, July 10, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Canada Room

If you would like to brush up on history and enjoy a good story along the way, join us twice a month for some very lively discussions of the books by a group of thoughtful and insightful men and women. Expect diverse opinions—we'll welcome your insights too!

Titles are selected by group vote every six months and each book (or author) is discussed over two meetings.


The reading and discussion of historical novels and nonfiction.


Book for July: TBD


The second Wednesday of each month from 10:00–11:30 a.m.


Joyce Churchill

News and Views

Thursday, July 11 and 25, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room

A team of volunteers suggest about dozen recent news stories for discussion, in the areas of international, domestic and local. The group and moderators work together to determine what will be discussed. Participants are diverse in their experiences and interests, and they read and watch a wide range of news sources. No additional preparation is necessary. It's OK to disagree with the views of the other participants—but not to be disagreeable.


Learning through a lively exchange of views on recent local, national, and world news.


The second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 9:30–11:30 a.m.


Rotated among a team of volunteers

Tours, Field Trips, and Special Events

Fourth Friday OLLI-UO Meet and Greet

Friday, July 26, 2:00 p.m. Ax Billy Sports Bar and Grill, Downtown Athletic Club

“Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this sun of York . . . (WS)” Bask in the warmth of the sun and meet up with some friends at our monthly OLLI-UO M&G at the DAC! The Sports Bar of the Downtown Athletic Club is available to us the fourth Friday of every month, between 2:00 and 4:00pm. Get together with old friends or bring some new ones, and just enjoy! Order a beverage and a bite to eat if you wish, and visit a while. Check out the Ax Billy Grill and Sports Bar Happy Hour Menu for this no host social.

Please stop in and visit for a while–we always have a nice, fun group of people who enjoy a strictly social OLLI-UO event! Remember, making friends and building community is essential for our mental health!


An archive of previous courses and activities is available.

2018 courses and activities archive

2019 courses and activities archive


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon