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).

March 2019 Courses and Activities

OLLI-UO Hosts the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project: The Middle Class and Other Stories about Wealth, Status, and Power

Tuesday, March 12, 1:00–3:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Join Oregon Humanities Executive Director Adam Davis for a conversation that explores what we think and how we talk about class in Oregon and the nation. What exactly, for example, is the middle class, who does it include and exclude, and why does it get so much attention? When does talking about class turn into class warfare, or pandering, or simple confusion? To what extent can we talk about class without talking about race, ethnicity, and cultural background? Class is clearly related to wealth and money, but it also involves much more than that, from education to dress to the shows we watch, the words we use, and the clothes we wear. What are the measures and markers that help us recognize class, and to what extent is class useful for seeing our state, our neighbors, and ourselves?

Davis is the executive director of Oregon Humanities. His previous roles include directing the Center for Civic Reflection, where he designed and implemented “Justice Talking/The Meaning of Service,” a nationwide discussion program for AmeriCorps, VISTA, and other service organizations, and the United States Forest Service, where he led backcountry trail crews and occasionally fought wildland fire. Davis edited Taking Action and co-edited The Civically Engaged Reader and received his PhD from the University of Chicago.

Lectures

Hangin’ With Microbes

Wednesdays, February 20—April 10, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Anthrax, Ebola, E. Coli, Norovirus. It seems we are bombarded every day with microbiological news, but are you knowledgeable enough to lead a conversation in a social gathering? Can you even follow a conversation? Do you understand the science behind the news? If not, this lecture series is for you. It is designed for non-experts to gain a fuller understanding of everyday microbiology.

OLLI-UO member Jim Novitsky will lead this eight-week series. Topics for each week will include: (1) Introduction to microbiology and the five main groups of microbes; (2) The Bacteria; (3) The Fungi; (4) The Viruses; (5) Microbial growth, the mathematics of geometric growth (no mathematical background required); (6) Microbial metabolism, the biochemistry of microbial life (no chemical or biochemical background required), and aerobic metabolism; (7) Metabolism continued, anaerobic metabolism; (8) Controlling the growth and/or killing microbes. Weeks 2, 3, and 4 will cover what and where bacteria, fungi, and viruses are, their size and shape, habitat, and everyday examples.

Novitsky is a popular OLLI-UO speaker who holds a PhD and an MBA and is a former University lecturer.

OLLI-UO Presents an Insight Seminars Lecture: History of the String Quartet

Monday, March 25, 2:00-3:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

The string quartet has been one of the most celebrated musical genres for nearly 300 years. Presenter Wyatt True will lead an exploration of the history of the genre in this special preview lecture of a two-part UO Insight Seminar offering slated for later this spring. This lecture will focus on Baroque trio sonatas up through Beethoven (part I) and stylistic developments in the string quartet after Beethoven, right up to the present (part II).

Wyatt True is Artistic and Executive Director of the Delgani String Quartet. He has performed in recital throughout the Willamette Valley and as guest artist at the University of Georgia, University of Pittsburgh, Andrew College, and Umpqua Community College.

Courses

Women, Myth, and Culture

Wednesdays, January 23–March 20, Noon–2:00 p.m.

If you missed this popular course last year, you now have another opportunity. This nine-week series will explore how myths and folktales have shaped our assumptions about the roles and “place” of women from ancient time to the present–what some might call “his-story.” Participants will look at how stories about femininity, mothering, sexuality, and appearance still permeate contemporary thought under the guises of advertising, art, and fairy tales, unconsciously influencing attitudes, aspirations, and self-image. The course will look at the connections between past and present representations of women and ways in which some women writers and artists have challenged, revised, and re-mythologized narratives that categorize and limit ideas about the feminine.

Week one will include an introduction and discussion of a sample fairy tale. Weeks two through eight will entail discussion of assigned readings as well as group assignments and discussion. In the final session, groups will present projects. Assignments will cover a selection of fairy tales, myths and contemporary fiction; selected poetry across historical periods; and short selections of non-fiction.

Pesenter Delia Fisher has been an instructor of literature and composition at the University of Oregon and Auburn University, and a professor of English and English Education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. She is now retired.

Course full: registration closed

Study and Discussion Groups

Creative Writing Critique

Monday, March 4 and 18, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

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.

MEETS

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

FACILITATOR

Livvie Taylor-Young

OLLI-UO Film Series: Lots of Laughs: Great Hollywood Comidies Through the Years

Mondays, January 7–June 3, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room
JANUARY 7: BRINGING UP BABY, 1938, INTRODUCED BY CRAIG STARR

A classic romantic comedy of errors occurs when Cary Grant’s reserved, quiet paleontologist keeps crossing paths with Katherine Hepburn’s zany, flighty, and often irritating heiress. Things come to a head when Hepburn’s pet leopard, Baby, escapes and she ropes Grant into helping with the chase. Cast: Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles

JANUARY 21: NO FILM

UO and OLLI-UO closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

FEBRUARY 4: ANNIE HALL, 1977, INTRODUCED BY SUSAN WALCOTT

A twice-divorced, neurotic, and intellectual Jewish stand-up comic in New York reflects on his on-again, off-again relationship with a ditzy, insecure, Midwest WASP who wants to be a nightclub singer. This is a funny and often endearing reflection on romance, relationships, and pop culture. Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall

FEBRUARY 18: A NIGHT AT THE OPERA, 1935, INTRODUCED BY JOHN ATTIG

Classic comic chaos and tomfoolery ensue when a sly business manager and his two wacky friends try to help two opera singers achieve success while humiliating their stuffy, snobbish adversaries. Cast: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones

MARCH 4: MY FAVORITE YEAR, 1982, INTRODUCED BY HOWARD SCHUMAN

A junior writer on a mid-50’s top-rated variety/comedy show is assigned to baby-sit that week’s guest star – a dissolute, past-his-prime swashbuckling movie actor with a drinking habit – and ensure that he appears for the show. Cast: Peter O’Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Lainie Kazan

MARCH 18: THE 100-YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED, 2013, INTRODUCED BY ANDY WALCOTT

After a long and colorful life, a man escapes on his 100th birthday from the nursing home where he has been stuck, and begins an unexpected, humorous, and heart-warming journey. Cast: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Waklander, David Wiberg

APRIL 1: THE MOUSE THAT ROARED, 1959, INTRODUCED BY CRAIG STARR

In this zany satire, the world’s smallest country–the impoverished Duchy of Grand Fenwick–is in an economic crisis and so declares war on the United States with the intention of surrendering after one day in the hope that the U.S. will provide vast financial aid to rebuild the country. Cast: Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell, Leo McKern

APRIL 15: BEING THERE, 1979, INTRODUCED BY SUSAN WALCOTT

A biting and darkly satiric look at politics and the rich and powerful. A simple-minded, illiterate gardener with little knowledge of the world has a chance encounter with a businessman and his wife, who take his simple homilies for deep insight and wisdom, thereby becoming the businessman’s confidante and advisor and a political insider. Cast: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart

MAY 6: THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT, 1951, INTRODUCED BY JOHN ATTIG

A humble and altruistic chemist develops a fabric which never gets dirty or wears out, to the dismay and horror of the fabric industry, both owners and labor, who try to suppress his discovery. Cast: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker

MAY 20: WOMAN OF THE YEAR, 1942, INTRODUCED BY HOWARD SCHUMAN

The relationship between rival reporters who are married to each other and work on the same newspaper becomes strained when she is elected “woman of the year” in recognition of her feminist activities and advocacy. Cast: Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Fay Bainter, Willilam Bendix

June 3: BEST IN SHOW, 2000, INTRODUCED BY ANDY WALCOTT

A film crew follows around the quirky owners and handlers of five show dogs as they prepare for and arrive at the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. The dog show brings out their all-too-human foibles as we all wait to see who will be Best in Show. Cast: Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Bob Balaban

Meditation and Mindfulness

Mondays, 10:00–11:00 a.m. Alaska Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.)

FOCUS

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.

MEETS

Every Monday from 10:00–11:00 a.m.

FACILITATOR

Janice Friend

Beginning Spanish

Mondays, 12:15–1:45 p.m. Belize Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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. I like to use kids’ books to practice reading. Come and check it out.

FOCUS

Beginning level Spanish course; no basic knowledge required

MEETS

Every Monday from 12:15–1:45 p.m.

FACILITATOR/TEACHER

Sara Michener

French Language

Mondays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

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

MEETS

Every Monday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.

FACILITATORS

Elaine De Martin-Webster and Thomas Walker

Understanding Science

Tuesday, March 5 and 19, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Alaska-Mexico Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

Understanding Science began a new topic this past fall and continues into the winter, called Redefining Reality: The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science. Class discussions are based on The Great Courses series by Professor Steven Gimbel (c)2015 who brings a lifetime of insight to this historical survey of our models of reality seen through the disciplines of the physical, biological, social sciences and technology. His holistic approach often brings fun examples of how the paths of science and math frequently run parallel to what was being explored in the graphic arts, literature, entertainment, and architecture of the times. How has our understanding of what the universe is and is not changed over time? And what definitions of “reality” help us best comprehend the universe around and within us. Re-experience the Enlightenment. Because Gimbel does not demean previous views of reality, he acts as an advocate for how these ideas could have been held by reasonable people. This course has the potential to help us understand how others experience a different reality—even today.

FOCUS

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.

TOPICS
  • March 5: Evolutionary Psychology; The Birth of Sociology
  • March 19: Competition and Cooperation; Race and Reality
MEETS

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

International Relations

Wednesday, March 6 and 20, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Alaska-Mexico Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

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

TOPICS
  • March 6: TBD
  • March 20: TBD
MEETS

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

FACILITATORS

Bill Taliaferro and Randall Donohue

Interpretive Play Reading

Wednesday, March 6 and 20, 3:30–5:30 p.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

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

MEETS

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

FACILITATORS

Jack Bennett and Iona Waller

Poetry on Wheels

Thursday, March 7 and 21, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Patagonia Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

Writing and speaking your inspiration and craft.

MEETS

The first and third Thursdays of each month at 9:30–11:30 a.m.

FACILITATOR

Charles Castle

Thinking Allowed

Thursday, March 7 and 21, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

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

TOPICS
  • March 7: Reducing Military Spending – Audits and Base Closures
  • March 21: Mental Disorders - Depression and Suicides
MEETS

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

CONTACT

Jerry Brule

Short Story Discussions

Thursday, March 7 and 21, 1:30–3:00 p.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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

FOCUS

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

TOPICS
  • March 7: ”The Rats in the Walls” by H.P. Lovecraft
  • March 21: “Blood Burning Moon” by Jean Toomer

All selections, unless otherwise indicated, are from The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, second edition, edited by Joyce Carol Oates.

MEETS

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

FACILITATOR

Shiela Pardee

Culture Italiane

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Alaska Room
ABOUT THIS COURSE

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.

FOCUS

Understanding the cultural diversity of Italy’s regions

TOPICS
  • March 7: Life in rural Calabria
  • March 14: Food, art, infrastructure, and the mafia in Calabria
  • March 21: We'll begin our study of Tuscany by learning about the geography and local products of Tuscany and about the painter Amedeo Modigliani
  • March 28: Etruscan art and culture, and art and architecture of Pisa
MEETS

Every Thursday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.

FACILITATOR

Lee Altschuler

Philosophy Salon

Monday, March 11 and 25, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room
FOCUS

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.

TOPICS

Tentatively scheduled:

  • March 11: Video lectures, Prof. Lawrence Cahoone: "Rise of 20th century philosophy — Pragmatism" and "Rise of 20th century philosophy — Analysis"
  • March 25: Video lectures, Prof. Lawrence Cahoone: "Rise of 20th century philosophy— Phenomenology" and "Physics, positivism, and early Wittgenstein"
MEETS

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

CONTACT

Henry Sholar

FACILITATORS

Byron Chell, Dennis Lawrence, and Lorraine Ironplow

Spanish Conversation

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

Speaking Spanish informally. Basic knowledge.

MEETS

Every Thursday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.

FACILITATOR

Stan Cook and Carolin Keutzer

Solutions

Monday, March 11 and 25, 11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

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.

TOPICS
  • March 11: Reducing Corruption by Dispersing Power
  • March 25: Lack of Empathy Becoming Numb to Suffering
MEETS

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

CONTACT

Jerry Brule

Historical Novels and Nonfiction

Wednesday, March 13, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

The reading and discussion of historical novels and nonfiction.

TOPICS

Book for March: Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne [nonfiction]

MEETS

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

FACILITATOR

Joyce Churchill

News and Views

Thursday, March 14 and 28, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

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.

FOCUS

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

MEETS

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

MODERATOR

Rotated among a team of volunteers

Classics/Philosophy

Tuesday, March 26, 1:30–3:30 p.m. Canada Room
ABOUT THIS GROUP

This group meets once a month for approximately two hours to discuss the book selection of the month. We also briefly review the author’s biography and how he or she came to author the book. We alternate between classic fiction (fifty years old or older) and classic non-fiction (also at least fifty years old). Many of the non-fiction selections have philosophical themes. We choose books for the coming year in May and June.

FOCUS

The reading and discussion of classic novels and works of philosophy, political theory, religion or sociology.

TOPICS

Book for March: Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes, and Values by Yi-fu Tuan

MEETS

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

CONTACT

Sheila Patterson

Tours, Field Trips, and Special Events

Fourth Friday OLLI-UO Meet and Greet

Friday, March 22, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Give yourself a break today! Relax and join in the conversation and fun of being together at our monthly OLLI-UO Meet and Greet at the Downtown Athletic Club. The Ax Billy Grill & Sports Bar at the DAC is available to us the fourth Friday of every month, between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and just enjoy! Order a beverage and a bite to eat if you wish. Check out the menu for this no host social. We recently overheard one of our attendees rave about her Truffle Fries…

If you plan to attend, please register for this month with Linda Rockey. There is no charge for the room, but due to seating, attendance will be limited to 30. Your RSVP helps us and the DAC plan and staff the event. Don’t miss out, sign up today!


February 2019 Courses and Activities

Hangin’ With Microbes

Wednesdays, February 20—April 10, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Anthrax, Ebola, E. Coli, Norovirus. It seems we are bombarded every day with microbiological news, but are you knowledgeable enough to lead a conversation in a social gathering? Can you even follow a conversation? Do you understand the science behind the news? If not, this lecture series is for you. It is designed for non-experts to gain a fuller understanding of everyday microbiology.

OLLI-UO member Jim Novitsky will lead this eight-week series. Topics for each week will include: (1) Introduction to microbiology and the five main groups of microbes; (2) The Bacteria; (3) The Fungi; (4) The Viruses; (5) Microbial growth, the mathematics of geometric growth (no mathematical background required); (6) Microbial metabolism, the biochemistry of microbial life (no chemical or biochemical background required), and aerobic metabolism; (7) Metabolism continued, anaerobic metabolism; (8) Controlling the growth and/or killing microbes. Weeks 2, 3, and 4 will cover what and where bacteria, fungi, and viruses are, their size and shape, habitat, and everyday examples.

Novitsky is a popular OLLI-UO speaker who holds a PhD and an MBA and is a former University lecturer.

Lectures

Pets, People, and Livestock: Human Interaction with Other Animals

Tuesday, February 12, 2:00–4:00 p.m.  Alaska-Mexico Room

We all live with other animals, and our choices about how we live impacts the lives and deaths of other animals. Speaker Erin McKenna will explore the ways that our relationships with “pets” both improve our lives and implicate us in a host of ethical dilemmas.

Living with cats and dogs improves our physical and emotional well-being, but may harm the health of the cats and dogs themselves. Similarly, we are all connected to the use of animals for meat, dairy and eggs—whether we directly consume those products or not. How should we think about what it means to be human in the midst of these relationships with other than human animals? “As a pragmatist ecofeminist I suggest that we cannot and should not try to separate our lives from those of other animals, but that we must adjust to their needs and desire as much as they adjust to ours,” McKenna said.

Professor McKenna received her PhD from Purdue University, West Lafayette, in 1992, after receiving her MA and BA from that university. She taught at Pacific Lutheran University from 1992-2015. She does research in the areas of social and political philosophy, American pragmatism, feminist theory, and animals and the environment. She has written four books, including Pets, People, and Pragmatism and The Task of Utopia: A Pragmatist and Feminist Perspective.

American Exceptionalism

Wednesdays, January 16–February 13, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

Beginning in January OLLI-UO member David Kolb will offer a series of five lectures examining the contrast between modern and traditional selves and societies, and what that might mean for our identities as Americans, our politics, and our arts.

What does it mean to be a modern American today? Just how different is American from other cultural identities? We’ve thought of ourselves as the revolutionary nation, the specially modern nation, spreading the revolutionary gospel of freedom from traditional restrictions. Some condemn “American exceptionalism,” while others celebrate it. Don’t take sides too quickly–there are deep issues here. What does it mean to be an American? Are we the people of freedom? Individualism? The new start? The first and final truly modern people? What does it mean to be “modern” and how is that different from being “traditional”? Are we really that different from our ancestors? Should we update the Enlightenment?

OLLI-UO member David Kolb received his PhD in philosophy from Yale University, taught at Fordham University, the University of Chicago, Nanzan University in Japan, and at Bates College in Maine, as the Charles A. Dana Professor of Philosophy. Since 2002 he has devoted himself full-time to writing and lecturing.

Four Times to Iran: A Visitor’s Guide to the History and Culture of a Misunderstood Country

Tuesday, February 19, 2:00–4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room

During the course of his work with a Eugene non-profit, Archaeological Legacy Institute (ALI), speaker Richard Pettigrew has been to Iran four times, most recently as leader of ALI’s tour program. These experiences have caused preconceptions and stereotypes about this largely misunderstood country to tumble. This evolution in understanding of Iran, its culture and its history prompted the institute to share the story with the public as part of its non-profit mission. The talk will touch on ALI and its mission, history, and activities; describe the visits to Iran with lessons learned; and emphasize the value of first-hand knowledge of distant lands, “especially those burdened by rumor and innuendo,” Pettigrew said.

Pettigrew is executive director of ALI, holds a PhD, and is a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists.

OLLI-UO Presents a UO Insight Seminars Lecture: Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Monday, February 25, 2:00–3:00 p.m.  Alaska-Mexico Room

This magisterial book—Ovid's Metamorphoses—is at the root of all our stories, helping us understand human nature, the divine, the arts, the natural world—all in delicious tales about shape-shifting.

Speaker Gina Psaki is Professor Emerita of Italian and Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon. She earned a PhD in Medieval Studies and divides her research equally between Italian and French literature of the Middle Ages with a focus on Dante and Boccaccio.  This presentation is a preview of a course offered by UO Insight Seminars.

This lecture is an introduction to a series Prof. Psaki will present for UO Insight Seminars in March.

Courses

The Anti-Christ: Reading and Discussing Nietzsche as a Friend

Tuesdays, January 22–February 26, Noon–1:45 p.m. Mexico Room

Presenter Lou Caton entreats participants to join in a cooperative effort to understand one of the most influential, far-reaching, and revolutionary thinkers of the past 150 years, someone who is also notorious, badly understood, and unfairly maligned.

Nietzsche presents himself in an extremely informal, idiosyncratic manner, often tackling complex issues in polemical and offensive ways.

Caton asks that we read Nietzsche as a friend, not as a subject to be dissected. He will encourage everyone to select passages for the group that you think you understand, don’t understand, or something in-between. Participants are certainly free to listen, speak about what goes on in class, and never read a word outside class, should they choose. The first four sessions of this six-part series will cover Beyond Good and Evil, and the last two sessions will consider The Twilight of the Idols. Caton will use the Penguin Classic editions, but he says any publisher or translation is fine. Please bring a copy of Beyond Good and Evil with you to the course.

Caton has a PhD in literature from UO and has taught in the literature departments at Oregon, Auburn, and Westfield State University. He has published two books and about 50 articles and papers. He does not have any degrees in philosophy or Nietzsche.

Course full: registration closed

Women, Myth, and Culture

Wednesdays, January 23–March 20, Noon–2:00 p.m. Canada Room

If you missed this popular course last year, you now have another opportunity. This nine-week series will explore how myths and folktales have shaped our assumptions about the roles and “place” of women from ancient time to the present–what some might call “his-story.” Participants will look at how stories about femininity, mothering, sexuality, and appearance still permeate contemporary thought under the guises of advertising, art, and fairy tales, unconsciously influencing attitudes, aspirations, and self-image. The course will look at the connections between past and present representations of women and ways in which some women writers and artists have challenged, revised, and re-mythologized narratives that categorize and limit ideas about the feminine.

Week one will include an introduction and discussion of a sample fairy tale. Weeks two through eight will entail discussion of assigned readings as well as group assignments and discussion. In the final session, groups will present projects. Assignments will cover a selection of fairy tales, myths and contemporary fiction; selected poetry across historical periods; and short selections of non-fiction.

Presenter Delia Fisher has been an instructor of literature and composition at the University of Oregon and Auburn University, and a professor of English and English Education at Westfield State University in Massachusetts.  She is now retired.

Course full: registration closed

Study and Discussion Groups

Creative Writing Critique

Monday, February 4 and 18 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

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.

Meets

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

Facilitator

Livvie Taylor-Young

OLLI-UO Film Series: Lots of Laughs: Great Hollywood Comedies Through the Years

Mondays, January 7–June 3 2:00-4:00 p.m. Alaska-Mexico Room
January 7: Bringing Up Baby, 1938, introduced by Craig Starr

A classic romantic comedy of errors occurs when Cary Grant’s reserved, quiet paleontologist keeps crossing paths with Katherine Hepburn’s zany, flighty, and often irritating heiress. Things come to a head when Hepburn’s pet leopard, Baby, escapes and she ropes Grant into helping with the chase. Cast: Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles

January 21: No film

UO and OLLI-UO closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February 4: Annie Hall, 1977, introduced by Susan Walcott

A twice-divorced, neurotic, and intellectual Jewish stand-up comic in New York reflects on his on-again, off-again relationship with a ditzy, insecure, Midwest WASP who wants to be a nightclub singer. This is a funny and often endearing reflection on romance, relationships, and pop culture. Cast: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall

February 18: A Night at the Opera, 1935, introduced by John Attig

Classic comic chaos and tomfoolery ensue when a sly business manager and his two wacky friends try to help two opera singers achieve success while humiliating their stuffy, snobbish adversaries. Cast: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones

March 4: My Favorite Year, 1982, introduced by Howard Schuman

A junior writer on a mid-50’s top-rated variety/comedy show is assigned to baby-sit that week’s guest star – a dissolute, past-his-prime swashbuckling movie actor with a drinking habit – and ensure that he appears for the show. Cast: Peter O’Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna, Lainie Kazan

March 18: The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, 2013, introduced by Andy Walcott

After a long and colorful life, a man escapes on his 100th birthday from the nursing home where he has been stuck, and begins an unexpected, humorous, and heart-warming journey. Cast: Robert Gustafsson, Iwar Waklander, David Wiberg

April 1: The Mouse That Roared, 1959, introduced by Craig Starr

In this zany satire, the world’s smallest country–the impoverished Duchy of Grand Fenwick–is in an economic crisis and so declares war on the United States with the intention of surrendering after one day in the hope that the U.S. will provide vast financial aid to rebuild the country. Cast: Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell, Leo McKern

April 15: Being There, 1979, introduced by Susan Walcott

A biting and darkly satiric look at politics and the rich and powerful. A simple-minded, illiterate gardener with little knowledge of the world has a chance encounter with a businessman and his wife, who take his simple homilies for deep insight and wisdom, thereby becoming the businessman’s confidante and advisor and a political insider. Cast: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart

May 6: The Man In the White Suit, 1951, introduced by John Attig

A humble and altruistic chemist develops a fabric which never gets dirty or wears out, to the dismay and horror of the fabric industry, both owners and labor, who try to suppress his discovery. Cast: Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood, Cecil Parker

May 20: Woman of the Year, 1942, introduced by Howard Schuman

The relationship between rival reporters who are married to each other and work on the same newspaper becomes strained when she is elected “woman of the year” in recognition of her feminist activities and advocacy. Cast: Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Fay Bainter, Willilam Bendix

June 3: Best In Show, 2000, introduced by Andy Walcott

A film crew follows around the quirky owners and handlers of five show dogs as they prepare for and arrive at the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show.  The dog show brings out their all-too-human foibles as we all wait to see who will be Best in Show. Cast: Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Bob Balaban

Meditation and Mindfulness

Mondays, 10:00–11:00 a.m. Alaska Room
About This Group

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.)

Focus

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.

Meets

Every Monday from 10:00–11:00 a.m.

Facilitator

Janice Friend

Beginning Spanish

Mondays, 12:15–1:45 p.m. Belize Room
About This Group

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. I like to use kids’ books to practice reading. Come and check it out.

Focus

Beginning level Spanish course; no basic knowledge required

Meets

Every Monday from 12:15–1:45 p.m.

Facilitator/Teacher

Sara Michener

French Language

Mondays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

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

Meets

Every Monday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.

Facilitators

Elaine De Martin-Webster and Thomas Walker

Understanding Science

Tuesday, February 5 and 19, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Alaska-Mexico Room
About This Group

The class on Understanding Science began a new topic this past fall, and continuing into the winter, called Redefining Reality: The Intellectual Implications of Modern Science. Class discussions are based on The Great Courses series by Professor Steven Gimbel (c)2015 who brings a lifetime of insight to this historical survey of our models of reality seen through the disciplines of the physical, biological, social sciences and technology. His holistic approach often brings fun examples of how the paths of science and math frequently run parallel to what was being explored in the graphic arts, literature, entertainment, and architecture of the times. How has our understanding of what the universe is and is not changed over time? And what definitions of "reality" help us best comprehend the universe around and within us. Re-experience the Enlightenment. Because Gimbel does not demean previous views of reality, he acts as an advocate for how these ideas could have been held by reasonable people. This course has the potential to help us understand how others experience a different reality—even today.

Focus

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.

Topics
  • February 5: Jung and the Behaviorists; The Rediscovery of the Mind
  • February 19: The Caring Brain; Brain and Self
Meets

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

Facilitators

Barbara Nagai and Mike Rose

International Relations

Wednesday, February 6 and 20, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Alaska-Mexico Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

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

Topics
February 6: Arctic Lessons for Governing in the Face of Environmental Change with Mary Durfee

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Villages need to be moved, new animals and plants are arriving while others struggle. The warming is already changing weather further south and it may be too late to stop it. In the Arctic, however, we find considerable cooperation, a search for more strategies to increase the resiliency of social systems to cope with change. Indigenous knowledge informs ways of knowing.  Meanwhile, the coast guards of the Arctic states cooperate with information sharing and joint exercises. The governance that is emerging tends to be more ‘bottom up’ than “top down.” Human security might become more important than national security.

About the presenter: Mary Durfee is professor emerita at Michigan Technological University. She is a past Fulbright and Annenberg Scholar and has co-authored an international relations theory book with James N. Rosenau, Thinking Theory Thoroughly, 2nd ed. (2000). Her newest book, Arctic Governance in a Changing World (2019) is co-authored with professor of law Rachael Lorna Johnstone.

February 20: India Updated: A Return to the Village with Randall Donohue

Inspired by his recent return to visit friends in village India, Randall updates his “country profile”, focusing on Indian society today, its economy, environment, current politics and predominant issues – both domestic and international. Using photos and video clips from his recent village visit, we will consider how India has changed, and how it remains the same. What is the future for this amazingly diverse and hugely important nation of 1.34 billion people, this ancient and dynamic land, this largest democracy in the world?

About the Presenter:  Randall is a retired professor of International Business. In Singapore he taught at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and in the US at California Lutheran University (Thousand Oaks) and at Concordia University (Portland). Randall is a former Council President at OLLI-UO and serves as co-facilitator of the International Relations discussion group. In 1970, Randall and Virginia went to India for two years where they served as US Peace Corps volunteers in a horticulture and nutrition program. They lived and worked in “Hudgi”, a rural village on the Deccan plateau of south-central Karnataka.

Meets

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

Facilitators

Bill Taliaferro and Randall Donohue

Interpretive Play Reading

Wednesday, February 6 and 20; 3:30–5:30 p.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

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

Meets

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

Facilitator

Jack Bennett and Iona Waller

Poetry on Wheels

Thursday, February 7 and 21, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Patagonia Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

Writing and speaking your inspiration and craft.

Meets

The first and third Thursdays of each month at 9:30–11:30 a.m.

Facilitator

Charles Castle

Thinking Allowed

Thursday, February 7 and 21, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

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

Topics
  • February 7: National Debt and the Deficit
  • February 21: Education Reform, Common Core, and Free College
Meets

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

Contact

Jerry Brule

Short Story Discussions

Thursday, February 7 and 21, 1:30–3:00 p.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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

Focus

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

Topics
  • February 7: "In a Far Country" and "To Build a Fire" [handout] by Jack London
  • February 21: "The Girl with a Pimply Face" and "The Use of Force" [handout] by William Carlos Williams

All selections, unless otherwise indicated, are from The Oxford Book of American Short Stories, second edition, edited by Joyce Carol Oates.

Meets

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

Facilitator

Shiela Pardee

Culture Italiane

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Alaska Room
About This Course

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.

Focus

Understanding the cultural diversity of Italy’s regions

Topics
  • February 7: We'll begin our study of Friuli-Venezia Giulia by learning about Trieste and about the region's geography, languages and economy.
  • February 14: History of Friuli-Venezia Giulia: focus on the ancient period as reflected in the ruins of Roman Aquileia and on the Lombards of the medieval period.
  • February 21: History of Friuli-Venezia Giulia: focus on World War 1. We'll also learn about the region's food.
  • February 28: We'll begin our study of Calabria by learning about Tropea and the region's geography, languages, minority communities, and economy.
Meets

Every Thursday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.

Facilitator

Lee Altschuler

Philosophy Salon

Monday, February 11 and 25, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room
Focus

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.

Topics
  • February 11:  reading Aristotle selections that pertain to Plato's Philebus with David Kolb
  • February 25: Prof. Lawrence Cahoone, "Nietzsche's critique of morality and truth"; followed by "Freud, Weber, and the Mind of Modernity"
Meets

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

Contact

Henry Sholar

Facilitators

Byron Chell, Dennis Lawrence, and Lorraine Ironplow

Spanish Conversation

Thursdays, 3:15–4:45 p.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

Speaking Spanish informally. Basic knowledge.

Meets

Every Thursday from 3:15–4:45 p.m.

Facilitator

Stan Cook and Carolin Keutzer

Solutions

Monday, February 11 and 25, 11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

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.

Topics
  • February 11: Housing and Architecture
  • February 25: Overpopulation vs. Declining Birthrates
Meets

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

Contact

Jerry Brule

Historical Novels and Nonfiction

Wednesday, February 13, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Canada Room
About This Group

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.

Focus

The reading and discussion of historical novels and nonfiction.

Topics

Book for February: Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen [nonfiction]

Meets

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

Facilitator

Joyce Churchill

News and Views

Thursday, February 14 and 28, 9:30–11:30 a.m. Canada Room;
About This Group

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.

Focus

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

Meets

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

Moderator

Rotated among a team of volunteers

Classics/Philosophy

Thursday, February 26, 1:30–3:30 p.m. Canada Room
About This Group

This group meets once a month for approximately two hours to discuss the book selection of the month. We also briefly review the author’s biography and how he or she came to author the book. We alternate between classic fiction (fifty years old or older) and classic non-fiction (also at least fifty years old). Many of the non-fiction selections have philosophical themes. We choose books for the coming year in May and June.

Focus

The reading and discussion of classic novels and works of philosophy, political theory, religion or sociology.

Topics

Book for February: The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner

Meets

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

Contact

Sheila Patterson

Tours, Field Trips, and Special Events

Fourth Friday OLLI-UO Meet and Greet

Friday, February 22, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

If you haven’t tried it, you’ve missed a special treat! Join your OLLI-UO friends or make new ones, for our monthly Meet and Greet at the Sports Bar of the Downtown Athletic Club, between 2:00 and 4:00pm. Order a beverage and a bite to eat if you wish, or just relax and join in the conversation and fun of being together.

If you plan to attend, please register for this month with Linda Rockey. There is no charge for the room, but due to seating, attendance will be limited to 30. Your RSVP helps us and the DAC plan and staff the event. Check out the Ax Billy Grill and Sports Bar Happy Hour Menu for this no host social. Don’t miss out, sign up today!


Archive

An archive of previous courses and activities is available.

2018 courses and activities archive

2019 courses and activities archive