Monday, April 17, 2006

Omnilore Your Mind



I attended a meeting today of a learning group called Omnilore at the invitation of my friend Dick Johnson, who happens to be President of the 250 member organization. Omnilore is focused on Learning in Retirement founded on the belief that education is a lifelong process. The Omnilore learning community organizes Study and Discussion Groups that are conceived, planned and directed by the members. There are no tests, no grades (Hooray!) and membership is open to all who seek intellectual stimulation and the challenge of shared inquiry.

A Study/Discussion Group consists of between eight and sixteen members who gather informally at meeting rooms at the Franklin Center in Redondo Beach (click here for map) to discuss a given subject. There is no instructor, but members act as coordinators.

The Omnilore Program consists of three trimesters a year, each four months long. Study/Discussion groups meet for two hours twice each month for four months. Annual dues of only $90 entitle a member to any number of courses. Listening to the organizers at the meeting today and studying the curriculum convinced me that this is one of the very best bargains around.

A sampling of the Winter 2006 Course Offerings include the following (Click on a course title to get a detailed description)

THE ARTS AS A MIRROR OF HISTORY
ARCHAEOLOGY
JAZZ FOR THE CLASSICAL MUSIC LOVER
NOBEL PRIZE WINNING WOMEN
MORAL DILEMMAS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
THE SUPREME COURT
OPERA 101: LEARNING AND LOVING OPERA

The Winter session ends this month and the Summer session begins in May. A sampling of the Summer courses include:

The Americas Before Columbus

Great Decisions 2006

Were the Dark Ages Really Dark?

Contemporary International Short Stories

Get Over Getting Older

Sculpture – Wielding the Chisel

Simon Weisenthal

The Writing Mind

Origins of Life

I’ve already signed up for Great Decisions – 2006 and Origins of Life and I’m on the waiting list for Were the Dark Ages really Dark?

In addition to the courses, there are "Special Interest Groups" such as Computer Talks, Brown Bag Science, Stock Market and Hiking in Palos Verdes. There are also Quarterly Forums, usually at the Los Verdes Country Club in Palos Verdes, to enjoy a special luncheon followed by a stimulating lecture presentation. Past forums have featured college professors, scientists, researchers, newspaper editors, musicians.

If you are retired or nearing retirement and your mind is turning to mush (or not) take a look at Omnilore. We could car pool.

4 Comments:

Blogger fetching jen said...

Bill, thank you for posting this information. My Dad is a retired public school teacher and reitred Naval Officer (instructor at academy). He currently is teaching at Juvenille Hall and formerly at Folsom Prison (it intrigues him). These groups would definitely intrigue him - he's a thinker and a historian. I think you'd like each other - by the way. I'll even pay the $90 - maybe for Father's Day. fj

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