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 Spring

The 2024 spring session will take place February 12th – March 15th and March 18th – April 19th. 

Course Topics

Membership has its privileges! Learn more about the free OLLI member courses and activities planned for Spring 24. When registering for OLLI, you’ll be able to RSVP to the members-only courses and events that you are interested in attending.  

Current Events
Thursday’s |February 15, 22, 29, March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18 
Instructor: Tony Melusky
1:30pm via Zoom

This course will provide a moderator-led open forum to discuss current topics of interest to the class.  The moderator will propose topics, and the class will suggest topics. The topics are typically national politics, international events, and diplomacy. The discussions are always lively and informative.

Preserve and Improve Your Memory
Friday | February 16, 23, March 1, 8, 15 
Instructor: Dave Beruh
10am – 11am via Zoom 

Students will learn a range of Mnemonic techniques to improve their memory for names and faces, Pin Number, Passwords and lists. In addition, we will explore the latest science on brain health in the 5 key areas of health: Diet, Exercise, Stress, Sleep and Detoxification.


Tech Talk 2024
Friday | February 16, 23, March 1, 8, 15 
Instructor: Ed Goll
12pm – 1pm via Zoom

This course will be an interactive discussion and exploration of current and emerging new technology topics. 

See the link below to the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2023 according to the World Economic Forum
https://www.weforum.org/publications/top-10-emerging-technologies-of-2023/digest/

We will examine and discuss how these technologies may impact you (or your grandchildren). Including: 
•    Artificial Intelligence with its Smartphone Chatbots for "Googling," shopping, writing, doctoring, creating music lyrics, art, detecting deep fakes/spam, and more (bring your smartphones to class to try things out), 
•    New healthcare technologies for improving aging, creating new drugs, monitoring health Industrial revolutions for addressing climate change and improving lives and others at the choice of the class!

Note: this class is specifically designed to be a Zoom class in the middle of February, so all you shut-ins, snowbirds, and other wintertime/ cold weather-averse techies and curious non-techies are invited to join us. There may even be guest lecturers. 
AND IT IS FREE TO OLLI MEMBERS- still requires online registration.

DuMont: The Forgotten Network: Pioneer in Television Broadcasting  
Friday | February 16, 23, March 1, 8, 15
Instructor: John Wickman
2pm – 3pm via Zoom 

From 1946 to 1956 the innovative network rival of CBS and NBC television, broadcast the first TV situation comedy, introduced Jackie Gleason, Ernie Kovacs and Bishop Fulton J. Sheen to television audiences, and broadcast pioneering programs such as The Hazel Scott Show.

Remember Captain Video and His Video Rangers? Arthur Murray Dance Party? We will discuss - and where we can- view these programs.

Is There a Scientific Case for God? 
Friday | March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19
Instructor: Dave Beruh
10am – 11am via Zoom 

This course will discuss the latest developments in science over the past 70 years that point to a creator. These include the discoveries primarily in biology and cosmology but also in archaeology, paleontology, and geology. We will explore the works of Stephen Meyer (PhD Philosophy of Science Cambridge University), Michael Behe (PhD Biochemistry, Penn) and William Dembski (PhD Mathematics, University of Chicago).

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens  
Friday | March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19
Instructor: John Wickman
12pm – 1pm via Zoom 

We will read and discuss a tale of two cities which is one of Charles Dickens' most popular novels and discuss its connection to Dickens' visit to Philadelphia.

All lectures are free to members and take place at noon at Immaculata University in East Whiteland Township. 

  • February 14- Charles Lindbergh, presented by Jerry McNeff             
  • February 21- The Mystery Of Roseto, Pa., presented by Jerry D. Simotas                        
  • February 28- How to Refute Any Unsound Argument, presented by Joseph Healey 
  • March 6- John Dewey on Democracy, presented by Joseph Romano
  • March 13- Modern Understanding of Bhagvat Gita, presented by Raman Patel
  • March 20- Welcome to the Library - Chester County Library & District Center, presented by Craig Miller and Rebecca Manuel
  • March 27- Scan and Preserve Photographs, presented by Nancy White
  • April 3- The Last Bat Mitzvah Trip, presented by Roberta Matz
  • April 10-  The Art of the Book Review, presented by Michael Rodriguez
  • April 17- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, presented by David Hudiak

 

Remember When:  Rock and Roll 1954-1962
Instructor: Robert Collins
Monday | Feb 12, 19, 26, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15
1pm – 2pm | Exton
$35 (1 session) | $70 (2 sessions)

This ten-week course will feature the most popular hit songs from the earliest years of the Rock and Roll era between 1954 and 1962, before the onset of the British Invasion. All the songs are original recordings from the original artists. Each song is accompanied by information about the song and the artist. A visual salute to the 1950's will also be included at the end of the course. Each week, a handout will include a list of the songs for that week.  

World Myths
Instructor: Joseph Romano
Monday | Feb 12, 19, 26, March 4, 11
10am – 11am | Exton
$35

Stories (Myths) of our origin, heroes, life, death, and after-life have had a significant meaning throughout history. We will analyze this meaning and its impact on history, psychology, science, religion, and philosophy.

Opera 101: Learning to Love Opera, Breaking Down the Roadblocks
Instructor: Bill Palmerio
Thursday| Feb 15, 22, 29, March 7, 14
10am – 11pm | 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? Opera literature expresses the full range of human emotions: love, hate, revenge, jealousy, lust! If you are new to opera or 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.

FEAR NO ART: Create with Matisse
Instructor: Deborah Hodies
Monday | March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15 
10am – 11am | Exton
$35 | Additional $10 material fee per student

Introduction to class offering: Have you ever looked at a piece of art and thought, I wish I could do that? Fear NO Art is an adult class designed to offer the hidden joys of: encouraging your inner child loosening creative blocks and enjoying the experience developing new skills playing with new ideas and materials
It isn’t necessary to be an artist to enjoy creative expression. The only real thing you need is a willingness to experiment. Let go of preconceived notions; of what you can and cannot do,     
and the magic will unfold! Henri Matisse said, There are always flowers for those who want to see them. Come join us as we experience an introduction to the art of Henri Matisse. Participants will experiment with clay, oil pastels, tempera paint, cut paper and glue to create works of art in the style of this famous artist.

Just iPhone Basics For Seniors 
Instructor: Elaine Lazorwitz
Tuesday | March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16
11:30am – 12:30pm | Media
$35 

Learn how to use your iPhone to its' potential. Understand how finger touches work, and what is available when using the phone and messaging application. Learn how to audio text, set up the lock and home screen, understand what wallpaper is, and how to change to one of your favorite photographs. Learn how to adjust the volume, and text size and download applications used frequently such as supermarket applications. How to set up and edit contacts. What Siri can do for you. Keyboard use.

The Art of Cats
Instructor: Jaan Troltenier
Thursday| March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
10am – 11am | Exton
$35

This is a class for everyone interested in history and art; it’s not for cat lovers only. Cats have played an integral role in human life for many thousands of years, from the Stone Age to the Digital Age. Given their important place in our lives, people have been depicting cats in art since the dawn of humankind.   In art, cats have embodied a panoply of properties, sometimes contradictory:   the innocence of childhood versus sexuality, evil incarnate versus sanctity, majesty versus humility, romantic exoticism versus domestic coziness.  In this class we will explore a range of felines in art, from a cat-like mouth of hell to a gentle loving companion, from a fierce cat goddess (She Who Slaughters) to an affectionate tiger mother, along with Impressionist cats, Expressionist cats, Renaissance cats, Pop Art cats, even the patron saint of cats. You’ll see cats portrayed by artists you know and by artists you don’t.   The class is interwoven with all the fascinating lore, history, culture, anthropology, stories, and linguistic tidbits your instructor is known for. No art background is necessary. Each class session is designed to be independent of the others.

The Ever-Changing World of Sports
Instructor: Bill Werndl
Thursdays | Feb 15, 22, 29, March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
11:30pm – 12:30pm | Exton
$35 (1 session) | $70 (2 sessions)

This course will examine some of the hot button issues in
sports. It will look at how the sports landscape has
changed through the years and its impact on fans. Famous
local sports personalities will be special guests during the
course. Previous guests include Pete Rose, Vince Papale,
Merrill Reese, Dick Vermeil, and others.

Opera 101: Learning to Love Opera, Breaking Down the Roadblocks
Instructor: Bill Palmerio
Thursday| Feb 15, 22, 29, March 7, 14
10am – 11am | 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 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.

Opera 101: Voice Types - Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, Bass, which voice do we most appreciate?
Instructor: Bill Palmerio
Thursday| March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
11:30am – 12:30pm | Exton
$35

In opera fandom circles, there is a saying that goes around. What are the three most important things in opera? Answer: Voice!, Voice!!, and Voice!!!. In today's modern opera houses you will often find great singers who are also fine stage actors, resulting in more realistic theatrical operatic performances. However, singing will always be the essence of opera - people pay hundreds of dollars for an orchestra seat to hear their favorite singers, not necessarily see them! In this class we will listen to some of the great singers past and present performing some of opera great standard “Hits”, and hopefully advance our appreciation of singing as a storytelling art form.

Create Your Family History 
Instructor: Loretta Wehbe 
Wednesday | February 14, 21, 28, March 6, 13 
2pm – 3pm | Widener 
$35 

Document joyful and sad events that happened in your life for your family. We will create a lifetime of memories that will be displayed in one journal.

American Musical Theatre
Instructor: Loretta Wehbe
Wednesday | March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17
1pm – 2pm | Widener
$35

Watch musical scenes from The King & I, The Sound of Music, Guys & Dolls, Chicago, The Wizard of Oz. Explore how the different musical styles change over the years!

On Sports and Society
Instructor: Jerry Lakoff
Monday |  February 12, 19, 26, March 4, 11
11:30m – 12:30pm | Exton
$35
 
Why do we root for the home team? What is it about sports that so many people are caught up with it? What elements go in to making certain franchises consistently great? To what degree are women's sports evolving? How can we compare past generations of athletes with those up to today? Do you think you know? Let's discuss these things and more.

1861--THE CIVIL WAR BEGINS
Instructor: David Hudiak
Monday | February 12, 19, 26, March 4, 11
10am – 11:15am | Exton
$35

This course is the first in a series of courses covering, year by year, one of the most significant events in our nation's history--The American Civil War. This course will address the many causes of the war--economic, cultural, political and, of course, slavery. Besides examining these issues, the course will highlight the lives of some of the major political and cultural figures of this turbulent and significant era.
**Please note this will be a four-week course**

EARLY CHINA: THE FOUNDATIONS OF CHINESE CIVILIZATION
Instructor: Paul Walsh
Monday | February 12, 19, 26, March 4, 11
1pm – 2pm | Exton
$35

China is home to the world's oldest continuous civilization and its complex roots continue to play a role in the todays People's Republic. This course will examine the beginnings of Chinese civilization from the Shang to the Song Dynasties (1400 B.C. - 1279 A.D.), including religious and philosophical concepts, political structure, technological advancements, and the relations between the Heavenly Kingdom and its neighbors.

Science Goes to War
Instructor: Lee Bettenhausen
Tuesday | February 13, 20, 27, March 5, 12
10am – 11am | Media
$35

The enormous works that contributed to war efforts by US and British scientists will be discussed. Some will surprise you. The scope and results are wide-reaching and long-lasting.

Africans in Washington’s Army
Instructor: Noah Lewis
Tuesday | February 13, 20, 27, March 5, 12, 
11:30am – 12:30pm | Media
$35 

Why are colonial Black People presently significant to me? How did Black People affect the Revolutionary War? Where Black People only slaves, poor people, or manual labor during the American Revolution? What was Washington's and the colonial's attitude towards Black People? Where all Black People the same? What side were they on?

1863-THE TURNING POINT OF THE CIVIL WAR
Instructor: David Hudiak
Wednesday | February 14, 21, 28, March 6, 13
10am – 11:15am |Widener
$35

This course will cover the first year of the Civil War--when the fighting began amid dreams of military glory and quick victory for both the North and the South. A chronology of the major events of the year from January to December will be covered, and thumbnail biographies of major figures of the era will be presented. While this course was preceded by a course covering the causes of the war, and will be followed by courses covering the later years of the war as well as Reconstruction
**Please note this will be a four-week course**

The Underground Railroad in Southeastern Pennsylvania
Instructor: Robert Collins
Wednesday | February 14, 21, 28, March 6, 13
12pm – 1pm |Widener
$35

The Underground Railroad referred to a network of persons and places that provided shelter and assistance to runaway slaves traveling North to escape bondage in the South leading up to the Civil War. One of the main routes of the Underground Railroad was across the Mason- Dixon Line into Southern Pennsylvania. In this course, we will learn about persons and places that played a prominent role in the Underground Railroad, especially in Southeastern Pennsylvania. This course will also describe the most noteworthy and daring escapes made by fugitive slaves with help from the Underground Railroad.

WORLD WAR II Part 1: THE STRATEGIES OF THE MAJOR POWERS, 1939-1942
Instructor: Paul Walsh
Thursday | February 15, 22, 29, 7, 14
1pm – 2pm | Exton
$35

Why did the Allied Powers achieve complete victory and, conversely, why did the Axis Powers suffer total defeat in the Second World War?  This course will seek to answer these questions by examining the strategic decisions made by Fascist Italy, France, Great Britain, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States, showing how these choices guided the course of events between 1939 and 1942.

President John F Kennedy
Instructor: Jerry McNeff
Monday | March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15 
10am – 11am | Exton
$35 | Additional $10 material fee per student

We will examine President Kennedy's early years, his wartime experiences, and his presidential years.  From the Bay of Pigs to Camelot, we will review the highs and lows of his fascinating life.

WORLD WAR II Part 2: THE STRATEGIES OF THE MAJOR POWERS, 1943-1945.
Instructor: Paul Walsh
Monday | March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15
11:30am – 12:30pm | Exton
$35

Why did the Allied Powers achieve complete victory and, conversely, why did the Axis Powers suffer total defeat in the Second World War? This course will seek to answer these questions by examining the strategic decisions made by Fascist Italy, France, Great Britain, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the United States, showing how these choices guided the course of events between 1943 and 1945.

Ted Talks and Other Provocations
Instructor: Jerry Lakoff
Monday | March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15
11:30am – 12:30pm | Exton
$35

This will be a discussion class; all may participate. Short videos or readings may be assigned for each week. 

Topics include:

  • Wall St. vs. Main St.
  • Identity Politics
  • Gain of Function in Science and Technology
  • Society and Religion
  • The Fallout from Modern Warfare

Personalities of the American Revolution
Instructor: John Ebenreiter
Tuesday | March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16
10am – 11am | Media
$35

Instead of covering battles and their commanders during the American Revolution, this course looks at the people who were involved in the war, militarily, politically, or just common citizens. We will look at folks from George Washington to European kings to ladies who played important roles to a drummer boy from Haiti. What happened in their lives before the war? What did they go on to do after the war? What happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence? We’ll explore the lives of others beyond the Founding Fathers.

The Arab/Israeli Dilemma Part I
Instructor: Jeff Heim
Thursday | March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
1pm – 2pm | Exton
$35 

The Arab/Israeli Dilemma: PART I - No issue has dominated the world's continuous attention over the past seventy-five years more than the Arab/Israeli dilemma.  Since the founding of Israel in 1948 there have been multiple wars, conferences, and refugees.  This course will look at the historic background behind the Arab and Israeli claims for the land known as Palestine up to World War II.  The intention is to clarify the impact of WWI which turned a dispute based on factual realities into one dominated by partisan fears and passion.

Lessons of the Holocaust- Righteous Gentiles.
Instructor: Roberta Matz
Thursday | March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
1pm – 2pm | Exton
$35 

There was more than 28,000 Righteous Gentiles recognized by the State of Israel. We will learn about many of these individuals who risked their lived to save Jewish loves, with no reward for themselves during the Holocaust (1933-1945). They represent 51 counties and they are drawn from all walks of life: peasants, clergy, diplomats, neighbors, and royalty. This little known story of the Holocaust reminds us that there are good people in this world. 

Roberta Matz was a classroom teacher for 30 yeats, teaching French and Hebrew languages and Judaic studies in public and private schools. Additionally, Roberta worked for the Jewish Federations of Greater Philadelphia and Delaware, where she worked on Jewish Life and learning community development and outreach. 

Teddy Roosevelt
Instructor: Gerald McNeff
Monday | October 16, 23, 30, 6, 13
11:30am – 12:30pm | Exton
$35

Teddy Roosevelt became President at age 42, the youngest person to become President. He was a politician, statesman, soldier, conservationist, naturalist, and historian. He is still regarded as one of our greatest Presidents. Let’s find out why.

Silver Age Yoga
Instructor: Roberta Matz
Thursday | March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
10am – 11am | Exton
$35

Yoga is a healthy discipline perfect for improving flexibility, balance and posture. This class will use seated chair and chair supported postures to improve your mental and physical well-being.  Men and women can benefit from improving their mind-body connection through this exercise form. 

Learn to Play Mah Jongg
Instructor: Roberta Matz
Thursday | March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
11:30am -12:30pm | Exton
$35 

Mah Jongg is an ancient Chinese game using tiles instead of cards.  Very popular in the US, I will teach "American" style, using a card that is issued every year.  A fun game for all ages. 

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