Friday, February 16, 2018

The Educated Retiree

     Last year B and I took part in a series of discussions offered by the Foreign Policy Association called "Great Decisions." The eight-week program was offered at the senior center where we were living at the time, in Connecticut, and also where we were vacationing at the time, in Charleston, SC. So while we were away from home, instead of missing some sessions, we caught up with them in South Carolina.

     So this year, when we moved to Pennsylvania, we looked for a place where they offered the course. We didn't find anything near where we lived, so we approached our local Center for Learning in Retirement and . . . long story short, we will be moderating the course this spring at home, starting in March.

     In preparation for that, we are attending the sessions which have already started in Charleston. So far we've learned about Russia and China, and yesterday we talked about Turkey.

     The Great Decisions program is offered every year, all over the country, typically in a local library or senior center, or the community college. I'd encourage anyone who's interested in foreign policy, or learning a bit more about the world, to look into the program in their area.

     As you know, I'm all in favor of using retirement to enrich our lives and advance our education. So I wrote a piece for US News called 4 Ways to Further Your Education in Retirement. Here's how it begins; go check it out if you're interested.

     A couple of years ago I visited my sister in Jacksonville, Florida, as part of my annual snowbird trip. When I arrived she told me she and her husband would be busy one night. They were taking a course called "The 1960s and Vietnam" at the University of North Florida. She went on to explain that the university has a program allowing Florida residents, age 60 and above, to audit regular undergraduate courses with tuition waived.
     I asked to come along. So one weeknight in February we joined 20 or so undergraduates, along with half a dozen retirees, to listen to a lecture and participate in a class discussion about the Kennedys, the Johnsons and the Vietnam War. The 20-year-old students got first-hand reports about the 1960s from people who lived through the events. Two of the retirees in the class were Vietnam veterans who related personal observations about the conflict.

     There are many learning opportunities available to retirees for free or at a low cost. And there’s a bonus: You not only learn something, you also have the chance to socialize with other people who have similar interests. Here are four ways to further your education in retirement . . . 

   

12 comments:

Barbara - said...

Love, love Great Decisions and try to take it once a year. Just FYI, this is a clas that the OLLI program always offers if you have colleges near by that offer the OLLI (senior college). I think you will be a great moderator.

Terra said...

The Great Decisions program you describe sounds great. I used the link and none thus far in my town.

DJan said...

There is one in Gig Harbor, which isn't exactly around the corner, but it sure sounds like it would be worthwhile to find one nearby. Thanks for the tip! :-)

Jono said...

Great Decisions even happens in this tiny town. If I can work it into my schedule I do believe I'll go.

Keep the Faith said...

Great post Tom. I have always believed that learning never ends. I take advantage of many offerings in my area. I had never heard of the Oasis Institute and was pleased to find out when I checked their website, that there is one in Rochester, NY. My son lives there and I am considering a move there down the road. It would be nice to have something like this as a way to meet new people.

marna sag said...

So where will you be? Because I have several friends in that area who might be interested.

Anonymous said...

Well, educating yourself is one way to enjoy retirement. Something to keep in mind.

Meryl Baer said...

This will be our third Great Decisions year. This year's session starts in April. I am moderating the first week. Great course.

Rebecca Olkowski said...

I had never heard of Great Decisions but it sounds fascinating. It's so smart to continue learning throughout your life.

Snowbrush said...

Here in Eugene, the University of Oregon sponsors a "Osher Lifelong Learning Institute" plus it allows retirees to survey classes for free. I would guess that living near a university is a real boon for retirees who want to expand their knowledge.

Juhli said...

I'm in a Great Decisions discussion group right now through my local AAUW as my OLLI doesn't offer it. It is fascinating how totally current the written materials are - they must edit right up until print day.

Jennifer Koshak said...

I love that there are so many opportunities to learn. All libraries offer different lecture programs, some aimed at adults, some at teens.