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OLLI previews spring course offerings

By March 4, 2011

What do stem cells, Marxism and psychedelics have in common? They are topics of some of the courses being offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program at UC Davis Extension.

OLLI will kick off its spring and summer quarters with a reception featuring instructors from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 12, at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St. Those who arrive at 12:30 p.m. will enjoy live music and refreshments.

During this event, which is free and open to the public, the instructors will speak briefly about their classes. Besides the intriguing topics mentioned above, the program will present many more stimulating, informative courses for senior citizens in Davis and surrounding areas.

A literary highlight for this quarter will be noted Hemingway scholar Peter Hays offering a four-week class on his favorite author. Another favorite OLLI instructor, Germaine Hupe, will continue her popular course in “Leading Ladies in History.”

James Goss will discuss the influential ethics philosopher, Reinhold Niebuhr. Those interested in history and religion will want to hear this provocative lecture series over the course of five weeks starting April 7.

New this quarter will be courses on black musical traditions from Carl Jorgensen, and the art of crafting wood guitars from Harrison Phipps, who owns a music shop in Davis. OLLI registrants also will hear from Bob Seyfried, who taught a classical music class last year. This quarter, he’ll recount his adventures on a 177-mile trek in Wales to see Offa’s Dyke. This class is free to OLLI members.

In science Jo Cowan from the California Raptor Center at UC Davis will explain how to identify  local raptors in the field in a one-day class on April 28. Her husband Richard will teach a four-week class in “Adaptation and Evolution” in the animal world. Marvin Goldman will bring us more science in his popular three-part course, “Science Grand Rounds.” This quarter he’ll be talking about climate change, energy and global sustainability.

Women will be featured this quarter in two courses. On May 18, OLLI will present a class, free to members, on “Abuse Against Women Across Cultures.” Earlier, in April, a four-week film series titled “Wonderful Women” will highlight the courage and resilience women have demonstrated throughout history.

Films are always popular with OLLI audiences. Complex and emotionally violent films are Rachel Edelson’s specialty, and she has four more selected for close analysis. Rene Viargues is another film buff who combines his short story class with movies adapted from the stories in “Twice Told Tales, the Sequel: Short Stories and Their Film Versions.” Viargues is also a silent-movie fan who will present a course on “The Film Director You Didn’t Know You Could Love: Erich von Stroheim.”

Photography Club of Davis members will share their expertise in the fields of portrait, macro and action photography. The fourth session in their class will consist of constructive critiques of students’ photographs.

For writers, the OLLI memoirs class provides a lively, supportive atmosphere for reading personal stories and receiving constructive comments on them. The teacher, Marcy Lorfing, also will hold a two-day class for those who want to “Write a Letter to the Editor,” especially after taking part in one of OLLI’s group discussion classes, “Reading the New Yorker,” Whither America” or “The Atlantic at the Pacific.”

Always aware of the importance of good health and nutrition, the OLLI curriculum committee has scheduled Gopal Kapur to show how to “Stop Killing Yourself.” His one-day class will last five hours and will include a lunch break full of nutritional delicacies.

Paul Goldstene, a venerable history professor, will teach a course on Marxism. Jan Nolte will bring students up to date on stem cell research, and Brian Hanley will discuss the latest research going on with psychedelic drugs. OLLI’s favorite “tech” person, Michael Wall, will tell students “”How to Cut the Cable,” and watch TV through the Internet.

And who doesn’t like to sing? Martha Teeter and her friends led a successful class in “Songs of the People” last quarter, and she’s back to do it again.

The kickoff on Saturday will feature a brief preview of all the courses. Spring catalogs will be available and registration will be accepted.

For more information or to enroll, call (530) 757-8777 or visit http://www.extension.ucdavis.edu/olli.

Enterprise staff

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