Springfield OLLI announces its spring 2019 semester programs

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – OLLI-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute winter/spring 2019 semester begins Tuesday, Jan. 29 with an exciting story from a local community member Kelly Arrison about his “Life in the Fast Lane,” and his professional auto racing career.

This local educational group is pleased that its membership has steadily increased as people have become familiar with the engaging style of the speakers and the topics offered. Members have commented that “the excellent programs get better and better!”

Sponsored by the University of Vermont, OLLI is run by local volunteer members and is geared mainly towards seniors who are 50 years of age and over who enjoy learning for the fun of it! Anyone who would be interested in this type of program, regardless of their age, is welcome.

There are many interesting programs planned by the local committee to inform and interest participants such as local and Vermont history, nature, health, science, literature, art, music, world and current event subjects.

The programs are held Tuesday afternoons at 2 p.m. and last about an hour and a half. The meeting location is the Nolin Murray Center on Pleasant Street, next to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Springfield, Vt.

Memberships for each semester includes entrance to all nine programs in the semester as well as admittance to the seven other OLLI programs throughout Vermont such as in Brattleboro, Rutland, and St. Johnsbury. Nonmembers are welcome and encouraged to attend individual programs for a single program fee.

To facilitate registration, please send memberships to UVM OLLI Registration Office, 460 South Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05401. Include a paper with your name, address, phone number, and email address. Checks should be made payable to “The University of Vermont.” Indicate that it is for the “Springfield OLLI.” Memberships and day fees may also be paid at the program.

The latest brochures have been printed and distributed throughout the area at public locations such as local libraries, town halls, community and senior centers, and Chamber of Commerce offices. Requests for a brochure can be made by calling 802-885-3094. The program listing can be viewed online at www.learn.uvm.edu/olli. Choose statewide sites and scroll to Springfield.

For weather-related changes to the schedule, you may check the above mentioned website or SAPA TV 802-885-6248, or call 802-885-3094.

Thanks go out to our local benefactor Barbara Sanderson and also to the Springfield Garden Club and the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society who are co-sponsoring programs.

Following is the listing of programs for the winter/spring 2019 semester.

Jan. 29, “Life In the Fast Lane” with Kelly Arrison.

Hear Kelly Arrison’s stories of decades of world travel during his professional auto-racing career. Starting as a winning driver at regional speedways, he worked his way up the racing ladder to drive some of the most powerful and dangerous racecars in the country. Though he continues to occasionally drive racecars, he transitioned to become a crew chief and team manager in many of the world’s most prestigious professional series and iconic events including the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR series, Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, and the World Rally Race from Hong Kong to Beijing, winning that event on his second try. Learn how he’s turned his Heads Up Motorsports facility in Chester to the restoration and maintenance of interesting classic and streetcars.

  Feb. 12, “Do Plants Think?” with Lincoln Earle-Centers. Co-sponsored by Springfield Garden Club.

What is happening in plant research to precipitate a mainstream fascination with plant ”behavior” or even ”neurobiology?” It turns out that plants are doing a lot more than most of us would ever consider. Hear from a lifelong student and observer who spends his days in the trees. Share his thoughts, research, and observations about the kingdom of the plants that we live among.

  Feb. 26, “Let Us Have Faith That Right Makes Might: Proverbial Rhetoric in Decisive Moments of American Politics” with Wolfgang Mieder.

Wolfgang Mieder is a distinguished professor of German and folklore at the University of Vermont. Learn about effective uses of proverbs in the political fray over the past three centuries. Some truly remarkable proverbial utterances by Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Harry S. Truman, and Barack Obama will serve to illustrate that proverbs can obtain incredible importance in political rhetoric that goes far beyond the almost subconscious use of seemingly mundane proverbs.

  March 12, “J.S. Bach, Genius and Pop Star” with Erik Nielsen

Whenever lists of great composers are compiled, the name Johann Sebastian Bach almost always comes at the top. Why Bach? Is it because he wrote so much music? Is it because he was a great innovator? Perhaps it’s because of the intense spiritual content of Bach’s music. Navigate the profundity, sadness, power, and beauty of this great genius and also discuss some of the modern adaptations of Bach’s music that have occurred in the past 40 years.

  March 26, “Andrew Wyeth’s World” with Katie Wood Kirchhoff

Katie Wood Kirchhoff is the associate curator at the Shelburne Museum. Join her for an exploration of 12 paintings by Andrew Wyeth, chosen for the United States Postal Service’s 2017 Forever Stamp series. Selected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the painter’s birth, these iconic scenes from Pennsylvania and Maine include favorites like “Wind from the Sea (1947),” “Christina’s World (1948),” and Shelburne Museum’s “Soaring (1942-50).”

April 9, “Etiquette in the 21st Century” with Daniel Post Senning.

Etiquette is, and always has been, about building relationships. Discover from the great-great grandson of Emily Post what that looks like in today’s fast changing world.

April 23, “The Chase: Lake Champlain’s Rum Runners & Boat Patrol” with Scott McLaughlin.

Scott McLaughlin is executive director Vermont Granite Museum of Barre. During Prohibition, rather than risk being caught along the roads that crisscrossed the United States-Canadian border in New York and Vermont, many professional smugglers and others avoided lawmen altogether by using the open waters of Lake Champlain. Learn how these outlaws smuggled alcohol into the United States from Canada and how the U.S. Customs officers tried their best to stop the seemingly never-ending flow of booze between 1920 and 1933.

April 30, “Connecticut River Log Drives” with Helen Pike.

Take a tour of the early log drives down the Connecticut River and explore the physical perils and economic hardships men faced as they built a new nation in the 19th century. Meet such colorful characters as woodsman Jigger Johnson, dam builder Win Schoppe, cookee Tom Cozzie, lady logger Ruth Park, and the lumber king George Van Dyke.

May 7, “The Wonders of Woodland Warblers” with Bird Diva Bridget Butler. Co-sponsored by Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society.

Who are the Wood Warblers and why do birders lose their minds over them each spring? Discover that these small songbirds are not only incredibly colorful with necklaces and eye-rings, but beautiful songsters as well. And, they’re maddening! They’re quick, sometimes elusive and everyone’s in a rush to get a glimpse of a little warbler eye-candy before all the trees leaf out for the summer. There’s a lot to be on the lookout for! Join the Bird Diva to learn more about the 41 documented species of warblers in Vermont, how to find them, and get tips on how to look and listen for these winged jewels.

Come join this exciting educational OLLI group to learn about interesting details on a variety of topics.

Back To Top