Seniors and adult learning

n Philadelphia recently someone has come up with a new idea - why not open the world of university to seniors? I know it is open to seniors for evening classes, etc but what they did was scout around college campuses to find the very best professors -not always the most celebrated or the most brilliant but the ones whose classes are hard to get into -the kind that teach as well as entertain and then find the seniors who would enjoy reliving their college days.

By Dorothy Weismiller

Senior Demeanor

In Philadelphia recently someone has come up with a new idea – why not open the world of university to seniors? I know it is open to seniors for evening classes, etc but what they did was scout around college campuses to find the very best professors -not always the most celebrated or the most brilliant but the ones whose classes are hard to get into -the kind that teach as well as entertain and then find the seniors who would enjoy reliving their college days.

It occurred to me that in small town Ponoka, we have many teachers, brilliant teachers who have retired and might want to spend a few hours a month having fun lecturing on a variety of subjects: history, art, music, theatre, psychology, etc.

In Philadelphia, they called it one-day university and the professors each gave 55 minute talks with l5 minutes for questions. One Day U fit in with the school’s mission of “reaching out to people and giving them the notion that education is a lifelong process” , says J.Doody, one of the overseers of their continuing education program.

This idea might fit in well with our local adult learning program. I much admire the programs available in Ponoka and feel we might widen our circle of interests… especially for seniors.

It is almost June already, we have a whole long summer ahead of us, camping, traveling, visiting our families, gardening. When winter comes again, perhaps we would be ready for something more cerebral. Some of the classes I have enjoyed were on gardening, cooking, first aid, home nursing, as well as on a variety of crafts, etc. But, as I see it, we would be challenged by some of the subjects taught in high school today.

In Philadelphia, according to the story taken from McClatchy News Service, “ Gourmet Canoeing is the ultimate boomer course.” Perhaps, Ponoka is not quite ready for that.