OLLI Student in Classroom

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI)

Experience the joy of learning from those who find joy in teaching. 

Ways to Engage with OLLI

OLLI Students Laughing in Classroom

Sign-Up to Attend OLLI Courses this Summer

The 2022 summer session will take place May 16 – June 17, 2022. Please consult the course descriptions for specific scheduling information.

Course Topics

Membership has its privileges! Learn more about the free OLLI member courses and activities planned for Summer 2022. When registering for OLLI, you’ll be able to RSVP to the members-only courses and events that you are interested in attending.

Ta'i Chi Flow 
Mondays | May 16, 23, June 6, 13
11:30am - 12:00pm via Zoom 

Join Professor Mitch Goldfard, author of Ta'i Chi and the Art of Mindfulness, for this Zoom course. Relieve stress and recharge your energy in this playful and easy mini-class. There is nothing to learn or to memorize so join on any date. We just "go with the flow!"

How to Sell Your House in 30 Days
Mondays | May 16, 23, June 6, 13
1:00pm - 2:00pm via Zoom 

Have you been considering a move, but you aren't sure where to start? Hosted by Madeline Dobbs, this course will cover the most popular topics to get you started now or in the future. Each class includes a Q & A session. Workbooks are also provided to create your own case study/notes.

Mindful Meditation for Beginners
Tuesdays | May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14 
10:00am – 11:00am via Zoom

Meditation isn’t one size fits all. There are multiple styles and techniques. Mindfulness itself is its own practice. Join Brooke George and learn to merge both into simple daily routines and find a style that works for you. 

The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Charles Dickens’ Uncompleted Last Novel
Thursdays | May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16 
1:00pm – 2:00pm via Zoom

In this course, students will discuss Charles Dickens' last novel. Dickens died in 1870 while working on The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Led by English teacher John Wickman, participants will try to solve the mystery of how Dickens would have finished his last work. Free versions of the novel are available on the Internet. 

Bird Walk for Beginners
Friday, May 20 at 8:00am 
Newlin Grist Mill

Join Chris Weaver of Wild Birds Unlimited for this guided bird walk for beginners. We'll meet at 8:00am since birds are most active in the early morning. The walking trail is relatively flat with mostly gravel, low grass, or mulch surfaces. Waterproof walking shoes are recommended. Bring binoculars! This leisurely walk is approximately 2 miles round trip, taking no longer than 2 hours. 

Hike into History: Newlin Grist Mill
Friday, June 10 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Newlin Grist Mill

This 2-hour program begins with an illustrated slideshow on the history of the Newlin Grist Mill, including the surrounding 160-acre park that is a place for historical and environmental exploration. Afterwards students will hike along the park’s trails guided by a naturalist, who will stop in several habitat areas to discuss current conservation efforts. The visit will conclude with a tour of the site’s 1704 Grist Mill whose wooden water wheel was rebuilt by hand using 18th century tools and techniques.

The Underground Railroad in Upper Darby
Monday, June 13 from 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Arlington Cemetery, 2900 State Road in Drexel Hill 

Due to space restrictions, this event is limited to 15 OLLI members only. 
Join us for a field trip to Arlington Cemetery, formerly known as the Riverview Farm – a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad and home of the Garrett Family. We’ll visit the small museum of regional Underground Railroad history, with information on the Upper Darby families who served as conductors, and the Black men and women - including William Still and Harriet Tubman - who risked their lives and freedom aiding others. We’ll also meet and hear from Robert Seeley, a descendent of the Garrett Family.   

The Golden Age of Cinema
Instructor: Loretta Wehbe
Tuesdays | May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14
1:00pm – 2:10pm | Widener University
$35

Watch clips from iconic movies and listen to the director’s input and comments, offering uniquely intimate access to the thinking, wisdom, and genius of the cinema’s most talented directors. Frank Capra, Elia Kazan, William Wyler, Frederico Fellini, and more. Movies include East of Eden, On the Waterfront, Arsenic and Old Lace, Ben-Hur, Funny Girl, Roman Holiday, and others.

Introduction to the Arabic Language
Instructor: Ghada Zaharia
Tuesdays | May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14
2:30pm – 3:40pm | Widener University
$35

It’s impossible to learn Arabic in a few short weeks, but this course will cover some of the basics to give you an understanding of the language. Students will begin with the mechanics of writing the alphabet before moving on to simple words and phrases. 

The Joy of Haiku
Instructor: Sharon Nelton
Wednesdays |May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 
10:00am – 11:10am | Exton
$35

You've probably heard of haiku, a traditional form of poetry initiated in Japan hundreds of years ago and practiced still today around the globe. It's famous for its form: 17 syllables spread out over three lines. What can one say in just 17 syllables? Well, plenty, and this course will show you not only what but also how. The goal: to have you turning out your own haiku by the end of the course. Bring paper and pen and prepare to become a poet. It'll be fun!

Reading Dangerously
Instructor: Nancy Rosenberger
Wednesdays |May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 
11:30am – 12:40pm | Exton
$35

What other way is there to read? How else to grow? And there is no time to spare! Before coming to class, please read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The novel will be the spine of this course, but the instructor will also suggest other short readings - all chosen to disturb your week. So be brave. “Screw your courage to the sticking point.” Come and join others who do not fear to read dangerously!

Immigrants As Seen Through the Lens of Hollywood
Instructor: Roberta Matz
Wednesdays |May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 
11:30am – 2:10pm | Exton
$35

Immigrants have been coming to the U.S. forever. Hollywood has used this as a subject in films for just as long. This course will look at immigrants from the turn of the 19th century through today in films including Hester Street, Avalon, Moscow on the Hudson, Brooklyn and The Namesake. Students will explore how these films have influenced our views on immigration.

The Art of Shadows and Reflections
Instructor: Jaan Troltenier
Thursdays | May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16 
10:00am – 11:10am | Exton
$35

This course will look at a range of meanings for shadows and reflections in art history. The artists presented will run the gamut from Rembrandt to Rockwell, and places from ancient Greece to contemporary Chicago. Students will examine magic mirrors, a healing shadow, ancient time-keeping devices, and a secret Japanese mirror that saved the world from darkness. This class is part folklore, part mythology, a little bit of physics, lots of history and all through the lens of art. 

Opera 101: Learning to Love Opera
Instructor: Bill Palmerio
Thursdays | May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16 
1:00pm – 2:10pm | Exton
$35

Opera can be thought of as the supreme art form, telling stories related to the human condition through a sublime combination of music, singing, art, and theater. What is it about a great opera performance that draws in the true fanatic? The opera literature expresses the full range of human emotions: love, hate, revenge, jealousy, lust! If you are new to opera, or perhaps have had a less than enjoyable experience with opera, join us as we try our best to break down some of the stereotypes that continue to be roadblocks for the uninitiated. 

John James Audubon: Illustrator of Birds of America
Instructor: Frances Phaneuf
Thursdays | June 9, 16 
10:00am – 11:10am | Exton
$14

John James Audubon was a self-trained artist, naturalist, and ornithologist. His life and drawings of "all the birds" in America is one of the most interesting and informative lives of early naturalists. This course will explore Audubon’s biography and his journey to complete an artistic record of all bird species in North America.

Exploring and Creating Art History
Instructor: Veronica Batter
Fridays | May 20, 27, June 3, 10, 17 
10:30am – 11:30am | Rockdale Art Center (Aston, PA)
$50 (includes all art supplies)

Each week, learn about a different topic in art history including Medieval Art, Impressionism, Renaissance, and more. Students will further explore these periods and techniques by creating a small work of art using a variety of art materials and mediums such as painting, drawing, paper, and more. Have fun, get creative, and learn something new!
 

The Korean War: Origins and Aftermath
Instructor: Richard Sperry
Mondays | May 16, 23, June 6, 13 
10:00am – 11:00am | Swarthmore
$28

The Korean War is America's “forgotten war.” Learn all about its history from the North Korean invasion to the Pusan Perimeter, MacArthur's victorious landing at Inchon, the Chosin Resevoir, China's momentous invasion and Mathew Rigeway's response. Each session will include a PowerPoint presentation, with opportunities for Q & A discussion. 

Headlines of the Second World War
Instructor: David Hudiak
Tuesdays | May 31, June 7, 14 
10:00am – 11:10am | Swarthmore
$21

This course will study in chronological order major headlines of the Second World War from Pearl Harbor to the surrender of Japan. Students will learn the stories behind these headlines through supplementary materials and lectures provided by the instructor. 

The Underground Railroad in Southeastern PA
Instructor: Robert Collins
Wednesdays | May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 
10:00am – 11:10am | Exton
$35

In the decades prior to the Civil War, many slaves who escaped from slavery and crossed the Mason-Dixon Line were assisted by a network of persons and places referred to as the Underground Railroad. It was not a railroad at all, but a secret collection of people who opposed slavery and provided food, shelter, clothing, and assistance to fugitive slaves to avoid their recapture and return to slavery. This course will identify prominent persons and places involved in the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and some of the most successful escapes from slavery made by means of the Underground Railroad.

Freedom of Speech: How Much Should We Allow?
Instructor: William DeVry
Wednesdays | May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 
1:00pm – 2:10pm | Exton
$35

This course will explore the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, its background and reasons for its inclusion in the Bill of Rights. Topics which involve freedom of speech, such as hate speech and protest; fake news in written publications, on internet, social media; the right to know versus right to privacy; and obscenity will be reviewed. 

Where Does Climate Change Stand Today?
Instructor: Richard Whiteford
Thursdays | May 19, 26, June 2
10:00am – 11:10am | Exton
$21

What causes climate change? How does climate change affect the weather? What are its ecological and economical impacts? Students will explore these questions and learn what climate summits like the COP-21 conference in Paris promised and what it actually delivered. This course will also discuss the accomplishments being made by the private sector and the governments, as well as what it will really take to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Ted Talks and Other Provocations
Instructor: Jerry Lakoff
Thursdays | May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16 
11:30am – 12:40pm | Exton 

Join your classmates in watching one topical presentation each week for discussion. Together we will foster democracy in action! 

Week #1: Surveillance Capitalism and Democracy 
Week #2: Malignant Narcissism & Our Undoing as a Species 
Week #3: Glenn Loury’s Journey from Chicago’s South Side to The Ivy League and Beyond 
Week #4: Should Billionaires Exist? 
Week #5: Identity Politics

Almost Presidents
Instructor: David Hudiak
Thursdays | May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16 
1:00pm – 2:10pm | Exton
$35

This course studies individuals who came close to becoming President and who, despite never achieving their goal, nonetheless impacted American history. The class will cover both candidates who lost their bid for the White House and Vice Presidents who almost made it to the Oval Office. In each instance, students will learn how the individual failed to attain the Presidency and then learn more about their post-campaign life. 
 

Tea 101
Instructor: Karen Donnelly
Tuesdays | May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14 
10:00am – 11:00am | Swarthmore
$35 (includes tea tastings)

Following water, tea is the most consumed beverage on earth. Like to know more about this amazing, delicious, and healthy beverage? Each week, a different style of tea will be explored. Learn about tea's history, growing regions, and production styles while tasting different regions producing a specific tea. Food pairings and health or culinary uses will also be discussed. 

Mindfulness-Based Habit Change
Instructor: Laurie Shertz Robinson
Thursdays | May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16 
11:30am – 12:40pm | Exton
$35

In the chaos of our everyday lives, we often function on auto-pilot finding ourselves caught in unhealthy habit patterns. These habits rob us of happiness, health, sleep, and connections with family, friends, and even ourselves. While mindfulness has been around for thousands of years, recent research has helped us to understand how it works in the brain and the neural pathways that make the practice of mindfulness effective in habit change. Integrating both ancient wisdom and new learnings from neuroscience, we’ll explore a step-by-step approach to habit change that has been demonstrated to be effective with smoking cessation, stress eating, and anxiety.
 

Support the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Thanks to the generosity of friends, neighbors, and current members, OLLI can make powerful programming and compelling courses available to hundreds of lifelong learners. These supporters ensure that adults in nearby communities never stop learning. Will you join them? Find out how your gift will extend OLLI offerings for years to come. 

Get in Touch

Questions about the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute? We're glad to connect with you.