Special events

Spring 2019 Semester

Brown Bag Seminar Series [8 Sessions]

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Moss A
Fridays: March 15, 22; April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10 

Brown Bag seminars are open to all Osher Premium and Basic members throughout the academic year. Semester members may attend for the semester in which they enroll. Feel free to bring some food to this “lunch & learn.”

Coordinator: Carolyn Dye

March 15: Growing Up in the Orthodox Jewish Neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York, in the ‘40s and ‘50s 

Be transported back in time and place by touring the Ultra Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1940s and 50s with Joan Luterman, who grew up there. 

Instructor: Joan Luterman is a retired medical social worker from University of Missouri Health Care who is also a charter (and ongoing) member of Congregation Beth Shalom in Columbia. 

March 22: Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Effective Communication Strategies 

Attendees will learn how communication takes place when someone has Alzheimer’s, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages and identify strategies to connect and communicate. 

Instructor: Elyse Murrell, MSW, is a nonprofit manager with more than five years of experience working with older adults and people affected by dementia. She received her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. Elyse began her tenure at the Alzheimer’s Association as a graduate intern, continuing as a volunteer and contractor until being hired as the education and outreach manager in 2016. 

April 5: The Beauty of Sacred Geometry 

Sacred geometry is in us and all around us. Are you aware of it? We will embark on a fascinating journey into the beauty of sacred geometry in nature. Main reference: The Hidden Geometry of Flowers by Keith Critchlow. 

Instructor: Karen R. Onofrio, M.D., EEM-CP, artist and retired pathologist, continues to deepen her knowledge and understanding of the human body and human spirit. She is an Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner, Usui Reiki Master, Free Soul Instructor, HealthRhythms trained facilitator, Level 1 Practitioner of the Art of Raising Frequency and Healing Touch Level 1 student. She takes Wisdom Healing Qigong classes from Master Mingtong Gu. 

April 12: What’s Cooking at the Agriculture Park? 

Learn about the new public-private partnership that is developing the 10-acre Agriculture Park in Columbia. Like a big onion, this project has lots of layers to it. Join in to learn how to get involved in this community effort and see what’s on tap for the opening 2019 season at the Ag Park! 

Instructor: Adam Saunders is co-founder of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and campaign director of the Build This Town: Campaign for the Agriculture Park. Learn more at BuildThisTown.org or contact Adam at: Adam@ColumbiaUrbanAg.org. 

April 19: Our Toxic Burden: Toxins in our Food and Environment and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself 

Given the high levels of toxicity in our environment and food systems, it is important to undertake specific detoxification programs as well as to make detoxing a continual part of our daily, monthly or seasonal regimes in order to live a long and healthy life. In this class you will learn of the impact of toxins on our bodies and current natural medicine protocols to jumpstart a detox and to help restore or maintain your health and vitality. 

Instructor: Caya J. Tanski, ND (CTN), CCH, CHom, CBP, is a nationally-certified naturopathic doctor and classical homeopath who will guide you through up-to-date natural and functional medicine protocols to optimize your gastrointestinal health.

April 26: Refugee Relocation and Acclimation in Missouri 

City of Refuge executive director, Garret Pearson, will give an overview of the Refugee Resettlement Process in Missouri and how community members may work to develop a sense of belonging for them in our community. 

Instructor: Garrett Pearson is the executive director of City of Refuge. Born and raised in Texas, he received an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and studied counseling at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Previously working as an event planner and fundraiser, he joined City of Refuge to oversee operations and advancement. Garrett is passionate about empowering others and desires to develop a sense of belonging for every refugee who is placed in or relocates to mid-Missouri. 

May 3: How to Enhance an Already Healthy Diet and Lifestyle 

Maybe you’ve recently been awakened to the fact that eating well and adding some other healthy practices can be very beneficial to your health. On the other hand, maybe you have recently decided that you really must start taking better care of yourself and enjoy hearing about new ideas that work. Wherever you fit on the continuum of moving from less health to more health and vibrancy, this class could be for you. We’ll look at several practices, all relatively easy to incorporate into your daily regimen, and discuss the benefits and burdens of each of them. The instructor will bring some healthy snacks to sample, as well. 

Instructor: Jane W. Smith has been a student of nutrition and healthy living all of her adult life. She raised seven children and then was a hospital chaplain for more than 20 years. She now owns the business, Abundant Raw Life, where she provides health-coaching programs, webinars and on-line cleanses. 

May 10: Navigating the Medicare System 

This class will provide important information to Medicare recipients and their families. Participants will learn how to access and use “CLAIM,” Missouri’s state health insurance assistance program for Medicare. Trained CLAIM counselors provide free, unbiased advocacy, education and assistance to persons with Medicare and those who help them to make informed decisions about Medicare and related health insurance needs. CLAIM is a federally-funded, volunteer program to help answer your Medicare questions. 

Instructor: Randy Kiser is an AmeriCorps member and a volunteer counselor with CLAIM, the State’s Health Insurance Assistance Program for Medicare. He retired from the AFL-CIO after 35 years, where he held leadership and senior staff positions. He lobbied on both the federal and state levels on numerous subjects, including Medicare. During his career, he also served on the boards of several non-profits. He has a degree in Government and International Studies from the University of South Carolina.

Friday Afternoon Film Festival [Each Friday during the semester]

Films begin at 1:30 p.m., Moss A
Fridays: March 15, 22; April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3, 10

Quality films are followed by genuinely interesting discussions. Films will be announced weekly via email and on the Facebook page for Osher@Mizzou. The Friday Afternoon Film Festival is open to all Osher members and guests of premium members.


Take full advantage of your Osher membership and join a club, open to all current members, including Premium, Semester and Basic.

El Club de Español

Tuesdays, 2:00–4:30 p.m., Hillcrest C 

Habla español? Osher’s Spanish club is for participants who have studied the present and the preterite tenses in Spanish. Beginners meet from 2 to 3 p.m. and advanced speakers from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Call club organizer Judy Elliott at (573) 424-4244 if you plan to participate. 

Diversity Book Club

Every third Thursday, 4:00–5:00 p.m., Hillcrest C

Nancy Browning, professor emeritus of cultural diversity at Lincoln University, facilitates this monthly book discussion centered on diversity issues. Plan to have read the book in advance and come ready for discussion. Books are decided by the group and will be announced via Osher’s e-newsletter. The club will not meet in March 2019.  

Osher Sings Club

Mondays, 3:30–4:30 p.m., Moss A

Come and sing along just for the sheer joy of singing — no experience necessary. The group is led and accompanied by two enthusiastic MU music students, and Osher member Michael Porter remains as the group’s founder and head ‘lounge lizard.’ Join in on the fun! 

Travel Club

Every second Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.,  Hillcrest D

Travel Club is an open forum and agenda for sharing travel tips, tales, opportunities, photos, destinations and deals. If interested, please email coordinator Sharon Kinden at sharonkinden@yahoo.com. 

Osher Saturday Morning Book Talks

Coffee and cakes at 9:30 a.m.; Book Talk 10 a.m.; Hillcrest D
Book selling and signing will follow the Book Talks

Join us on the first Saturday of each month. Free for current Osher members; all others, $3 per session or $20 for 10-event punch card. 

March 2 

The Bad Break (2018) by Jill Orr 

Sponsor: Prospect Park Books 

Author Jill Orr has originated a mystery series featuring Ms. Riley Ellison. Orr has been very effective in creating a lead female not too sure of herself, inclined toward awkward questions and observations … but who seems to pull out of near interviewing crashes at the last moment… and appear as though everything went just as Riley had planned. In The Bad Break Riley is bothered again by an uncertain future as a reporter/ journalist with the Tuttle Times in Tuttle, Virginia. She has given up the security of her earlier job with the local library to try to make it at the Times. This is dangerous territory for Riley because Times editor Kay Jackson seems more inclined to have Riley do education and communication and obits, rather than crime stories. The Bad Break is absent Jill’s interesting character Holman (doing undercover work for the paper) but there are new personas and new developments in Tuttleland for the reader to ponder and explore. This second novel (and Jill has just finished her third in this series!) has been good for another next step toward literary independence. The Osher Saturday Morning Book Talks are glad to welcome her back and learn more about this local author’s development and success. 

April 6 

Amah and the Silk-Winged Pigeons (2017) by Jocelyn Cullity 

Sponsor: Inanna Publications, Toronto, Canada 

Author Jocelyn Cullity has written a truly poetic cultural vision of the very significant Indian Rebellion of 1857. Her novel is set primarily in the major city of Lucknow (Lakhnau) which has long been a cultural and educational center of north-central India in Uttar Pradesh state. Her narrative is woven around the tensions between strong caste and economic traditions in the region and the ever-growing demands made by the British East India Company in the mid-19th century. Ever more profitable returns on tea and the spice trade made this region and its capital city (current population nearly 3,000,000) highly important to the British. Amah (a female royal bodyguard of Ethiopian Muslim descent) is central to the voices that call for resistance to continual British demands. At one point (p. 104), she sits atop a hill with the divorced wife of the earlier king of the region overlooking the city “where kingfishers swoop, [seeing] the stables that are now English offices, the empty Imambarah College, the new post office, and the silent meadows where no animals roam…” This is a very personal novel addressing the powerful rush of power and pain so often associated with colonialism. 

May 4 

Dickinson Unbound: Paper, Process, Poetics (2012) by Alexandra Socarides 

Sponsor: MU College of Arts and Science 

Join us for an unprecedented exploration into the dynamics of the creation of the poems of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). Author Alexandra Socarides has not only parsed sentences in looking for the heart of meaning in Miss Dickinson’s poetry, she has played intellectual detective in determining—and presenting to her readership—the unique accumulation of writing sites, visionary sights and the actual flow of paper and paper pieces to move this reclusive author’s poems toward a potential for publication. Dickinson saw almost nothing of her poetry published before she died at age of 55 in 1886, but her poetry has seen extraordinary popularity posthumously in anthologies, New England collections and academic works on American poetry. Textbooks looking for regional signatures of place find much from this author whose world was seen more in her mind than in her own travel through physical space. Come to this late spring Osher Saturday Morning Book Talk to spark your own engagement of seasonal change and watch the power of poetic imagery stretch your minds.