Fifth Thursday Discussion Group

Fifth Thursday Discussion Group

Sharing our personal life experiences through open discussion.

Once a year, group members suggest topics they would like to discuss with each other.  These topics are voted on by the entire group.  Those with the most votes begin the new year and continue on until completed.  Examples of topics: How travel experiences changed your life?; Growing up in America, what changes have you experienced in how society views male/female roles?; What teacher/mentor had the greatest impact on your life and how?; Are you an extrovert or an introvert and how has that impacted your life both positively and negatively?; As a youth, what were your thoughts about growing old and how do they compare with what you’ve experienced so far?

Music Appreciation Study Group

Each 90 minute session generally consists of 1) a video lecture using instructional material produced by The Great Courses, academic institutions, local libraries or from other sources; 2) listening to and discussing recorded music on CD or videotape. Time is allotted for discussions among those in attendance of current or past musical events in our community.

Food: A Cultural Culinary History 

Food: A Cultural Culinary History

Central Oregon–If you love history and food, you’re in for an exciting adventure! This new study group offers a deeply insightful lens on human history, shedding new light on the evolution of social and political systems, cultural interactions, economic empires, human migrations, and more. In the process, you will discover the stunning richness of world cultures as seen in their distinctive food traditions, and greatly broaden your own enjoyment of fine food.

The scope of this course is global, covering civilizations of Asia, America, Africa, and Europe and how cultures in each of these continents domesticated unique staples that literally enabled these civilizations to expand and flourish. The course also covers marginalized and colonized cultures that were dominated largely to feed or entice the palates of the great.

Eighteen weekly sessions will be built around lectures from a Great Courses DVD series featuring Professor Ken Albala of the University of the Pacific. With this new topic, we’ll travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras—as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today. The result is a compelling inquiry that will change the way you look at both history and food itself.

OLLI-UO member Pat Ackley manages this course, along with other members as facilitators.

Preregistration is required and will be announced through e-mail.

Workshop: The Short Story

The Short Story

Central Oregon–In this busy world, “there is a time for multitasking and a time for losing yourself. The short story offers something else: a chance to pay close attention—and have that attention rewarded because, for once, every little plot twist, every sentence, counts. In my life, I’m happy to report, there is a time for that kind of attention too.” Lorin Hollister Stein, American critic and editor 

In four weekly sessions, beginning September 12, OLLI members explore the elements of the short story with Ann Sargent, currently a writing instructor at Central Oregon Community College, who taught American Literature courses for OLLI at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. We will read various short stories and discuss character, plot, setting, theme, and various other elements that make short stories “work.”

Here’s a look at the first session authors and stories:

Kate Chopin (1850–1904), was an American writer best known for her stories about the inner lives of sensitive, daring women. Chopin frequently takes a surprisingly modern stance as she examines sensitive social and moral issues, often criticizing the mores of her society in a manner that anticipates the feminist and civil rights movements of the latter half of the twentieth century. We’ll read “The Story of an Hour.”

Saki, pen name for Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916), was a British writer whose witty, mischievous, and sometimes macabre stories satirize Edwardian society and culture. In “The Open Window”, Saki dramatizes the conflict between reality and imagination.

O. Henry, pen name for William Sydney Porter (1862–1910), was an American writer whose short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization, and surprise endings. “The Cop and the Anthemwas published over a hundred years ago. Could this story unintentionally contribute to negative stereotypes about homeless people, or people who repeatedly go to jail?

Preregistration is required; watch your e-mail for an announcement. Registered members will receive short stories to read prior to the start of the course.

Understanding Science

Understanding Science

Eugene/Springfield–This study group presents outstanding introductory college-level DVD science courses, and discusses related ideas and information among group members. No specialized knowledge is required to appreciate these excellent lectures.

The lectures are only mildly cumulative in nature, and if you are occasionally unable to attend, this fact should not impede your enjoyment of the course. Decisions concerning specific course subjects are made by a majority vote of the group on a quarterly basis. Emphasis is placed on the natural and the formal sciences, but consideration is also given to a broader perspective that includes the philosophy of science, and the social, behavioral, and applied sciences.

Meets first, third and fifth Tuesdays.

Italian Language

Italian Language Class

Eugene/Springfield–Participants will be active speaking and listening to Italian by doing grammar and vocabulary exercises, watching and listening to expert speakers interact, and practicing short conversations. Cooperative learning with a partner will be important as it maximizes the opportunities to interact in Italian.

Meets weekly on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. This course is suitable for absolute beginners.

Historical Novels and Nonfiction Book Group

Eugene/Springfield–If you would like to brush up on history and enjoy a good story along the way, join us twice a month for some very lively discussions of the books by a group of thoughtful and insightful men and women. Expect diverse opinions—we’ll welcome your insights too!

Titles are selected by group vote every six months and each book (or author) is discussed over two meetings.

Page Turners Fiction Book Group

OLLI CO Page Turners

Central Oregon–Page-turners, our Central Oregon fiction book group meets the second Tuesday of the month. This group usually has about six people participating, and all are welcome.

The book selection is published in The Oregon Sage the month prior to give members time for reading prior to class. This group dedicates one session per book. Participants convene around a table so it is comfortable for discussion and take turns facilitating books of their choice.

Past selections include:

The Martian by Andy Weir
Euphoria by Lily King
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Calico Joe by John Grisham

Classics/Philosophy Book Group

Eugene/Springfield–This group meets once a month for approximately two hours to discuss the book selection of the month. We also briefly review the author’s biography and how he or she came to author the book. We alternate between classic fiction (fifty years old or older) and classic non-fiction (also at least fifty years old). Many of the non-fiction selections have philosophical themes.

All OLLI members are welcome. The group ranges from ten to twenty participants with various levels of expertise and interest. We choose books for the coming year in May and June.

News and Views Discussion Group

Eugene/Springfield–The moderator suggests about a dozen recent news stories for discussion, then group participants decide which of these to discuss. Some participants come ready to share their opinions and evaluations on one or more news stories, while others come expecting primarily to listen and to learn. Participants are diverse in their experiences and interests, and they read and watch a wide range of news sources. No additional preparation is necessary. Long speeches and “lectures” are discouraged. It’s OK to disagree with the views of the other participants—but not to be disagreeable.