August 15, 2005 — This fall, mature learners at the University of Utah will study whether Robert Browning’s words “Grow old with me! The best is yet to be,” are really true. The “Love in Later Life” students will explore falling in love, beliefs about romantic love, normal age-related changes and the love experience, mature love and desire, marriage in later life, love in poetry and literature, betrayal, Internet dating and the emotional, cognitive and sexual aspects of romance. The course, taught by Amanda Barusch, a U professor of social work and a researcher on aging, is not a how-to class, Barusch notes, but one that will explore the personal relevance of current research and theory relating to love in later life.
The weekly course is just one of 20 classes being offered, beginning in September, through the U’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, now in its second year.
Those age 50 and older who seek lifelong learning and enriching educational experiences can preview these and other courses to be offered this fall at an open house, Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the Commander’s House in Fort Douglas, 1965 de Trobriand Street. (Directions: Enter through the gates of Fort Douglas from South Campus Drive. Turn left at the first stop sign, then left on the one-way street immediately before the Officers Club, where reserved parking is available.) Reservations to attend are being accepted by the Osher Institute at 801-585-5442.
Other autumn course topics include public art; racism and sexism; the development of nuclear weapons; beginning conversational Spanish; learning about computer programs, the Internet and digital photography; and aspects of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Classes are offered during the day and are held in the U’s Fort Douglas for easy access.
The Osher Institute offers three, six-week sessions annually, with courses held weekdays, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at historic Fort Douglas on the University campus. Curriculum is specifically developed for older learners and centers on five areas: health and well being, effective asset management, social interaction and community and civic engagement, intellectual explorations and the tools of technology.
Distinguished emeritus faculty and scholars teach the courses, which will begin Sept. 26 and run through Nov. 3. They include “Women Growing into Wisdom,” “A Study in Change at the Wild/Urban Interface-The Natural History of Emigration Canyon” and “Examining the Legal Process: The United States Supreme Court.”
Jeannine Gregoire, an account executive with a group of local radio stations and an Osher student over the past academic year, notes, “I have learned many, many things about myself through the classes, but mostly that I am passionately, avidly interested in continuing to learn, and Osher is an excellent avenue for doing this.” Last year, Gregoire, a voracious reader, attended a variety of Osher special events and classes-“Making the Most of Your Nest Egg,” “Creation Stories of the Middle East,” “Tapping Into Your Unlimited Creativity,” which included haiku and quantum physics, “Personal Resilience,” “Law, Society & Aging” and “Demystifying the Middle East.” She plans to enroll in three more classes this fall.
George S. Nicolatus, another Osher member, says, “The program ignited and opened my mind to greater enjoyment and understanding of the expansive information offered by knowing the computer world and becoming a part of it.”
Osher students join a yearly membership program and pay $400 to take up to three non-credit classes per session (for a total of nine per year) and enjoy other University benefits, including library and campus recreation privileges. (U of U Alumni Association members pay $375 for membership.) Annual membership also entitles Institute members to discounts at Kingsbury Hall and free entrance to the Museums of Fine Arts, Natural History and Red Butte Garden. In addition, members and their guests can participate in various special events, University lectures, films and tours. Gift certificates can be purchased for membership in the program. More information may be obtained by calling 801-585-5442.
Funded by an initial grant of $100,000 from the Bernard Osher Foundation, located in San
Francisco, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University joins 73 other campuses, primarily in the University of California and California State University systems, in providing education outreach to older community members. The U’s Institute is also sponsored by University Health Care, the I.J. and Jeanné Wagner Jewish Community Center, the Utah Museum of Natural History, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Red Butte Garden and the U Alumni Association.
The Institute’s winter session will begin Jan. 2, 2006 and run through March 2; next spring’s session will be April 18 and through May 26, 2006. For more information on the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Utah, call 801-585-5442 or visit www.continue.utah.edu/osher.