Letters to you
From the director
I am looking out on a snow covered terrain as far as the eye can see. It has a pristine look even though it has been in place for at least 10 days — with very occasional sprinkles of additional white. Its ‘untouched’ appearance owes to the fact of below freezing temperatures that have graced us since sometime in January — bringing me to relive weeks of amazement at the snow falls in beautiful Montreal.
Â I begin with a portrait of snow and cold probably because weather featured importantly in uncertainty surrounding the start of the Osher Spring Semester. Only yesterday, were we able to assert that the launch date would be as originally planned, March 10 — and we are perilously close to that date as I write. In short, the catalog will arrive “just in time.” Please make up your mind quickly about the courses in which you wish to enroll.
Telephone the Osher staff, poised to respond at 573-882-8189 or 573-882-2585. On both lines you will find knowledgeable Till and Sarah — and cherished volunteers — answering your questions AND, pen in hand, ready to complete a course enrollment form for you whilst you chat. Please have your credit card ready if you choose to register via telephone.. Mail will work quite well, too, at: Osher at Mizzou, 109 Whitten Hall, Columbia, Mo. 65211. It’s just a bit slower.
You will find the lengthy course catalog in your mail box in the early days of March — and that only by the good graces of University Printing Services and Campus Mail Bulk Mail staff. Kudos to: Susan Washington, Donna Farris at UM Printing and Ron Feilner at MU Bulk Mail. While I am tossing gratitude bouquets, I ask Karen Chandler and Debbie Reschly and their staff to take a bow. They are our collaborators in education in the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Why did it require yeoman’s efforts by many to launch the Spring Semester and everything associated with it? One word: uncertainty — delivered by Mother Nature on the Waters-Moss construction site. Wily woman — she decided to show her magnificent wares in this the winter of 2014.
Volunteer — we need your talents
On with it now: There is much to share. First of all we invite you to come forth and join the effort to make Osher at Mizzou the force destiny intended — at least before the overwhelming reversal of financial fortune hit our nation — and, indeed, the world, September 2008. So many of you, not at all destitute, decided fiscal uncertainty was sufficient to induce a ‘chilling effect’ on discretionary spending. Even if you continue to suppress spending come on out and work with us as volunteers. Please read Assistant Director, Sonya Carney’s letter to you. In it, she conveys multiple ways in which your talents would advance the Osher program. Sonya has been ingenious in laying out the needs of our program and creating ‘people groups’ to take on specific tasks — keeping an old tradition, she has labeled these ‘committees’ but the scene is far more warm and personal. Like the famous Uncle Sam poster declares: We Need YOU! — and Sonya relates the details in her letter, just ahead.
You are offered nineteen fine courses in the pages that follow. If you took out annual membership only classroom size limits the number of courses you may sit this Spring. If you are a semester member only the first course in which you enroll has a fee of $80. The fee for each additional course you select in Spring is $60. In addition, you are welcomed at the Osher Brown Bag Seminars and the Friday Film Festival.
Keep in mind the fact that all of us have attained those wonderful reflective decades of life that require you to spur yourself out of reverie, balancing it with “use it or lose it” quality cognitive stimulation — and that is what Osher at Mizzou provides you. Read on — and sign up! “Your mind is a too good an organ to waste!” A wonderful slogan, herewith partially plagiarized.
Osher curriculum is inevitably ‘bookended’ weekly by the ‘potpourri’ courses: Monday morning’s Potpourri of Critical Issues monitors information frontiers and serves up new issues or new information you should know about ongoing change. Osher, as an arm of MU Extension, promulgates new findings from the work of MU scientists — two such instances are included this semester. Nutrition, health care, City Council activities and innovation in medical education are the issues represented herein. We enjoy, too, the delightful task of introducing you to personalities of note; Meet Amy Wilder as this session’s charmer.
The Brown Bag Seminar Series — a presentation of intramural events offered without cost to all enrolled this Spring — is somewhat akin to critical issues, at least when what’s new on the horizon is represented. Look for that feature in the Spring series as well.
Bookend #2 is given Friday mornings and offers a series of celebrations under the title of A Potpourri of the Arts. Normally, the Arts PP is allocated to the 9:30-11 am time slot. There are times when that early hour does not suit live performances. Look closely, therefore, at the schedule of the Arts and the Brown Bag Seminar Series, please! You will find that at one time they ‘flip-flop’ between the 9:30 a.m. slot and the 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. time slot. Heads Up: Just consider the unanticipated change as a bit more cognitive exercise for you. Challenges have that impact on all of us. They prove to be our opportunity to new cognitive pathways. All the Friday morning events are worth your time, effort and money. They include incredible scholars such as Michael Budds, James ‘Jim’ Madison Miller, V, an updated display of the art of Mariel Stephenson, leaders in the folk tradition of Missouri, Dave and Cathy Barton Para, Sculptor Sabra Tull Meyer, Heather Foote playing bagpipes, and author Carolyn Mulford — not necessarily in that order but each one astounding artists.
Monday also brings a return of the Anderson’s — Wayne and Carla — with a new conceptualization for their course. This time the focus is on Design. Remember that their efforts brought us interesting insights into comedy, into great minds and their impact on society — and now they peruse “design.” No question you will find their work interesting.
Anna Martin returns with her next series in genealogy offering skill in Researching Your Family History.
Tuesdays: Ah, the romance author, Diane Peterson, too, has a new topic with which to entertain and intrigue you: Jane Austen — too good to miss — specially for her rapidly growing cadre of ‘groupies’. Kit Salter has a gift for ‘reading’ landscapes — and he will demonstrate to you that the art of it may be acquired. Like Diane, Kit’s following will happily go where he leads — and they prove to be impressive communicators — verbally and on the page. Skills are on the Tuesday docket too, in: The Pleasures of Probability with our very fine Mathematician, Dennis Sentilles. Artist Jerry Thompson employs Osher’s technological equipment as a refinement in creative instruction. He introduced its use in his course, Sketch and Watercolor. We are grateful to him for spearheading this innovation in our program. More, Tuesdays conclude with an existential cognitive perusal of lifelong issues facilitated by MU Professor emeritus of Philosophy, Jack Kultgen. Why wonder alone about the deeper significance of life when a professionally informed coach — and your peers — prove interested seekers, too?
Wednesday leads with a different sort of wonderment, UFOs. Bill Wickersham returns to our classroom to bring you close to truth as it is known about this extraordinary phenomenon. Using documentary films, explore with Bill what meaning they hold. This is the aspect of Wickersham’s topic that totally fascinates me — and likely the good doctor, too:
“If the extraterrestrial hypothesis is valid, humankind faces the greatest discovery in history — the existence of nonhuman, intelligent, off-planet Earth life forms with interstellar propulsion capabilities. Thus, this meeting of cosmic cultures will inevitably affect every segment of Civilization, including religion, politics, science, technology, health, agriculture — in short, the complete spectrum of human life will be challenged by the confirmation of a greater reality.”
If you have not recently reviewed the documents that convey to posterity your bequests, distribution of worldly treasures and instructions to your loved ones regarding your end of life preferences, please give real consideration to enrolling in this most comprehensive Estate Planning course. Chris Kespohl is attorney extraordinaire and an experienced, articulate teacher. In each session he will provide you with copies of the actual documents needed to file officially or keep in your lock box. Remember, laws change. This is your opportunity to insure that your important documents conform to current legal requirements.
Ooo la la! Conversational French is back on Wednesday mornings — it’s a course that rings with pleasure all during the acquisition of language skill — and culminates in a gourmet meal that includes adult beverages. Energetic, upbeat, Aline Kultgen leads with her ambitious, pleasurable style.
Osher at Mizzou excels in literary offerings with impressive scholars, Tom Dillingham and Howard Fulweiler — this semester commanding Wednesday afternoons and Thursday mornings, respectively. You are missing out on true quality in every dimension if you have not had the extraordinary pleasure of sitting their courses. Thursday, Karen Onofrio, MD, has kept the Osher program on the cutting edge of techniques in Energy Medicine for at least the past 8 years. Few knew of its self-healing power as Karen first led Osher students in these innovative techniques. Each Spring Semester, Onofrio instructs in a new chapter of Advanced Energy Medicine. That opportunity is offered to you now late on Thursday mornings.
You need not be intimidated any longer by Apple hand-held products such as i-phones and i-pads — well the latter are lightweight, if not exactly handheld. Incredibly competent, the manager of our program, Till Rosenberger, is the knowledgeable, patient instructor who brings technological enlightenment to you early Thursday afternoons.
Welcome a most interesting new member of the Osher faculty, Ben Nelms and a most interesting course which he brings to Osher students: Character and Characters: Fictional Figures Who Live Within Us. You are likely to come away with fascinating new insights into sources of your role models — maybe both positive and negative, and likely just outside of your awareness. How intriguing.
Fridays were touched upon in the “bookends” opening portion of my letter. All that is left to add is to convey that the Friday Film Festival continues — with fresh, hot popcorn at 1:30 p.m. — except on days when the requisite large Room D is otherwise occupied — or we are off on a tour of the magnificent foundry of local but internationally famous sculptor, Larry Young — but that Is an Extramural Special Event. More of those outside-our-walls-occasions follow.
- The Osher Saturday Morning Book Talks — created by the virtuosi Salters, Cathy and Kit, and offered on the first Saturday of every month. You will be introduced to the writers in our town who present the latest manifestations of their artistic abilities: a newly published book. You are offered the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy, as well. You need to know that the Salters are well-acquainted with the art of seduction: each session opens with extraordinarily luscious pastries created by Ashland’s Flour Girl Bake Shop---it all happens in the Hillcrest facility, albeit labeled “Extramural”.
- Every one of our age has the wanderlust — evidence the popularity of the Osher Travel Club, launched and led by Sharon Kinden. But there is more: Debbie Reschly, one of our Parks and Recreation colleagues, creates wonderful adventures, some brief, some with one overnight and some for many overnights — but all fascinating, informed and affordable. See the list provided in this catalog — and then see Debbie for details and reservations at Hillcrest.
We lost at least two of our wonderful colleagues who were bound for glory for their impressive contributions to the quality of all our lives, Gail Hubbell and Frank Graham. There has not been quite enough time to pen a special honor to education pioneer Win Horner we feel the loss of our memoirs professor. We pay tribute to those moments all three were with us and to the pleasure of their company in our time. There will always be sad losses yet our focus is upon the magnificence emanating from the inspiring lives they lived.
Finally, our quest this year is to grow the membership of the Osher program. Please spread the word about our courses, films and the fact that this organization of age-seasoned peers is genuinely welcoming, supportive — and has the effect of quieting aches of loneliness, illness, aloneness. We are walking the road of change together and in style, asserting the value of our lives and the gifts we contribute to each other daily. It’s our “hang tough” and compassionate Academy of the Willing — and it needs and values every one.
It wouldn’t hurt to drop your extra nickels into our coffers. There’s now a line for such giving on the Osher enrollment form. Sorry for the crass turn in our communication but your help is needed fiscally, too.
Please note the generosity Osher at Mizzou is experiencing from the Commerce Trust Company — under the leadership of Teresa Maledy and her colleagues — true friends and supporters of our program.
Incidentally, let your outstate family, friends and relatives know that they may one day soon be sitting the same courses in which you are enrolled — waving to you from their “distant learning classroom,” far from our town but electronically just a fiber optic millisecond away. It’s in the works with the efforts of MU Extension Field Leaders, Linda Morgan and Melissa Bess, Transition Leader, Max Summers, and the MU Extension Executive Leadership Team, Michael Ouart, Beverly Coberly and Joy Millard. Ponder our promising future with pride!
You are a cherished member of Osher at Mizzou — and greatly valued.
Lucille Salerno, PhD, Director
109G Whitten Hall
Commerce Bank supports Osher at Mizzou
“Commerce Bank has been meeting the financial services needs of individuals and businesses for more than 145 years. The Commerce Trust Company has been a leading source of tailored asset management, creative private banking and comprehensive trust services for individuals, families, corporate executives and business owners since 1906. In addition, Commerce Trust serves a variety of nonprofit organizations with customized investment programs.
Commerce also invests dollars back into community and charitable programs. Commerce strives to be a good corporate citizen and our commitment to the community is evident in a variety of ways including corporate social responsibility, community involvement, charitable giving, and employee volunteer efforts. Giving back to the community is ingrained in our culture and we are very excited about our new partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at MU. Osher provides a wonderful variety of intellectually stimulating courses to what we consider a very special demographic. We are thrilled to be your partner in lifelong learning!”
President and CEO
Commerce Bank-Central Missouri Region
Osher at Mizzou from left to right: Sarah Ginter-Novinger, administrative assistant; Till Rosenberger, administrative assistant; Sonya Carney, assistant director.
From the OLLI assistant director
As we wrap up the winter intersession and look forward to the spring semester, Osher at Mizzou finds itself on the brink of an exciting new time. Spring conjures up images of renewal and growth, which is exactly where we are as a program: ready to spring ahead toward change.
For the past several months, the Osher at Mizzou Advisory Council and staff have engaged in a planning process that will guide the program into the future. This planning process has organized and channeled our work toward goals and objectives that will lead to growth — specifically, an increase in members as well as greater involvement among our membership.
How will we do that? The great news is that other Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes across the country already have models in place on which we can draw. Our OLLI network is creative, ingenious, and generous. We are fortunate to have these existing resources that we can tap.
Research of other OLLIs has shown that the most successful programs have an active and vibrant membership that drives program planning and operation. The Osher Foundation has confirmed this, too. With that in mind, we begin this spring with a shift toward a membership-driven operation. What this means for you is more opportunities to participate in the direction of Osher at Mizzou. Your voices and your efforts will take center stage.
Osher at Mizzou Advisory Council Committees
The strongest OLLI programs have a support structure of committees that plan and guide program operation. From outreach and member recruitment to member relations and course planning, this is a great opportunity to use your skills, share your interests, and engage with other Osher at Mizzou members. Following are six new committees that are ready and waiting for your input:
- Coordinates public relations and promotional activities for Osher at Mizzou.
- Coordinates media relations activities to promote awareness of Osher at Mizzou
- Conducts outreach efforts to grow Osher at Mizzou membership via community presentations and events
- Establishes and maintains a speakers bureau to support community presentations
- Develops print and electronic promotional material for use by the media and for presentations, events, mailings, and social media.
- Recruits and retains members and coordinates special events
- Conducts member relations, including welcoming new members and encouraging their active involvement in Osher at Mizzou
- Conducts semi-annual membership meetings
- Coordinates member volunteers for participation on committees and to assist daily program operation
- Coordinates special events and social activities (e.g., the Silvers Seminar)
- Distributes This Week at Osher -- a weekly email newsletter for members.
- Develops course catalogs and recruits faculty.
- Conducts surveys of members and other stakeholders for input about program course offerings and potential faculty recruitment
- Plans, develops, and schedules courses for the four terms in conjunction with program staff
- Schedules courses for the four terms
- Solicits course proposalsfrom existing faculty, community members, and Osher at Mizzou members
- Coordinates semi-annual faculty tribute dinner
- Identifies potential Advisory Council members
- Engages with Osher at Mizzou members to develop and identify potential leaders
- Identifies and recommends potential Advisory Council members from within the community at large
- Oversees financial operations
- Reviews the Osher at Mizzou budget at least quarterly
- Makes recommendations to the Advisory Council regarding budgetary issues
- Oversees Osher at Mizzou facility operations
- Coordinates installation and maintains operation of computer and audio-visual equipment in classrooms
- Trains instructors in the use of classroom equipment
- Provides current training manuals for equipment in each classroom
- Monitors on-going operations and identifies issues related to facilities or equipment, and recommends solutions to the Advisory Council
- Explores other facilities to increase classroom capacity
With a lifetime of experience, Osher at Mizzou members have valuable input to share. We hope the addition of these committees will add to your enjoyment of Osher at Mizzou and help to make the program yours. If you’re ready to join a committee and get started, contact me at carneysatmissouri.edu or 882-8189 and I will add you to the list. If you would like more information before you jump in, please feel free to contact me.
In addition to the new committees and more volunteer opportunities for members, the winter intersession brought Osher at Mizzou’s move to the new location at the Waters-Moss property. Initially, the plan was to hold winter classes in the Moss building; however, construction couldn’t be completed in time. In the interim, Parks and Recreation granted us the use of two classrooms in the new Hillcrest Community Center next to the Moss building where we held the winter classes.
At the time of this writing, winter classes were in session for one week. Staff saw the completion of construction at the Hillcrest building and the final touches over the weekend before classes started. With the help of advisory council members Jack Meinzenbach, Laura Perez-Mesa, and volunteers Bob Hibbs, Bill Carney, and Cole Galbraith, we made a tremendous effort to clean, organize, and ready equipment in the two classrooms for classes to begin Tuesday, Jan. 21. These efforts paid off, and classes began on schedule.
The Hillcrest Community Center provides a comfortable classroom environment for members. Parks and Recreation staff did a wonderful job with planning the space. It’s an attractive and impressive facility. We look forward to seeing what’s in store as the Moss building is completed. The setting at the Waters-Moss property will be lovely as spring begins to bloom. The wooded landscape and wildlife in the area will add to members’ experiences with Osher at Mizzou for years to come.
Join us on our journey of growth and change in 2014. We have great expectations for what the year will bring, and we welcome your energy and enthusiasm!
Best wishes for 2014,
Sonya Carney, MAHS
Osher at Mizzou
109 Whitten Hall
Columbia, Mo. 65211
573-882-8189 (Moss building)
573-882-8326 (Whitten Hall office)
A note from the Osher operations’ manager regarding parking
Dear members, colleagues and friends,
We are happy in our new location, the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department’s Hillcrest Community Center. Although we greatly value the end product and the quality of the workmanship of the venue, winter played havoc with the Waters-Moss construction schedule. Parks and Recreation have, again, kindly given us access to the Hillcrest Center for Osher Spring classes. However, parking is limited. We urge you make this temporary shortage an opportunity to develop a carpool system. Invite your colleagues to ride with you — and suggest they take a turn at the wheel. This will alleviate congestion in the parking lot, providing greater access for construction workers’ vehicles during completion of the Moss building. With the onset of spring weather, the city will effect improvements in the parking areas. We are grateful to you for your understanding and cooperation. I welcome everyone to this wonderful facility provided for us all by the City of Columbia.