Osher Spring Preview
Senior citizens enrolled in the Osher Lifelong Learning Program this spring can partake in new courses, special events and field trips to sites both near and far.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers non-credit classes to retired and semi-retired adults, starts its spring semester with 36 courses and approximately 700 students at the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus. The program fosters a stimulating learning environment, lively discussions, rewarding cultural experiences and social opportunities within a university setting. Course disciplines include history, music, politics, literature, current events and art.
Classes are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Osher spring semester kicks off with a special event on Feb. 14. Members can learn about Japanese culture by watching the film Our Little Sister. Gail Forman, a food writer and emerita professor at Montgomery College, will provide background on the film and Japanese cuisine. Members then can eat a lunch of Japanese foods, such as sushi, spring rolls and seaweed salad.
Classes start on Feb. 19.
Of the 36 course offerings, 23 are brand new. New classes include: The English Country House; Virus Discoveries from Vaccination to Biotechnology; Connections Between Fashion and Art; Making the News Then and Now; Television and the Broadway Musical; and Short Stories of Updike and Cheever.
Kris Obom, director of the Center for Biotechnology for Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs, will teach a course called Six Infectious Diseases that Changed the World. She will discuss smallpox, cholera, Ebola, HIV, influenza and the plague.
Responding to demand from members, Osher will offer two courses during the spring semester focusing on technology. In Computer Topics, students will learn about using online services through a public library’s website, working with podcasts, managing passwords and more. In Living in the Digital Life, students will learn about streaming media, converting videos and photos to a digital format, and how the world became digital.
Popular courses will return, including Traditional Criminal Law and Procedure with Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy, and Great Books courses that delve into literature.
In a new partnership, Osher is offering a course called Behind the Scenes of Olney Theatre Center. Students will examine the administrative and artistic sides of theater through conversations with artists as well as with members of the theater’s leadership team. Students will learn what it takes to operate a theater and what goes into putting together a lineup of performances for a theater’s season.
Osher members can elect to go on a field trip to the BlackRock Center for the Arts; they also can elect to go on a trip to Santa Fe, Taos and Albuquerque. (Before going, members can take the course called Traditional Arts and the Southwest, taught by Robert Forloney, an adjunct professor for the Hopkins Museum Studies program.)
Osher also is launching a new program with Five Star Premier Residences of Chevy Chase. Journalist Eleanor Clift will teach a six-week current events course to residents of the senior living community.
The semester ends May 9.