The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) now provides classes in Santa Barbara County! Based at CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo, OLLI offers classes for adults 50 and older in locations all over Ventura County. The aim is to provide high quality academic classes to adults who enjoy learning – even though school may be a few years behind them. While these are stimulating college level courses in topics of interest to mature adults, there are no grades, tests or homework – it’s learning for the enjoyment of learning! All courses run for 8 weeks, with one 2 hour meeting per week.

UC Santa Barbara had an OLLI program that closed its doors about a year ago leaving many adults without access to challenging classes. OLLI at CSUCI has changed that.

Beginning January 10, 2011, OLLI will offer Monday classes and at the Women’s Club of Carpinteria, 1059 Vallecito Road and Thursday classes at the Bronfman Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, 524 Chapala St., Classes are quite diverse, appealing to a wide range of mature adults. At the Santa Barbara location, “Therapeutic Music to Harmonize the Human Psyche” explores the connection between music and mental processes through ancient and modern-day uses of the basic qualities of music: sound vibration, tone, and rhythm. Students will learn how these qualities are connected to memory, self-esteem, relaxation and creativity. The instructor, Jeanne Martin, Ph.D., is both musician and frequent lecturer at colleges and universities on the role of music for psychological well-being and as a reflection of society.

The afternoon class at the Center is quite different. “Out of Africa, The Evolution of Homo Sapiens and the Peopling of the Earth” studies anthropological evidence for the evolution of modern humans and subsequent movement from Africa to Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas. Comparisons are made with other, non-modern species such as Neanderthals, using fossil evidence , archaeology, genetics, and environmental data. Matthew Curtis, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the Department of anthropology at UC Santa Barbara.

In Carpinteria on Monday evenings, OLLI offers a course on “James Joyce’s Ulysses and Irish Culture.” Students read this classic novel under the guidance of the instructor. The relationship of the novel to the Irish history and culture of the times is fully explored, and students will gain new insight into Irish culture and understanding of one of the greatest novels of the modern era. The guide for this quest is Enda Duffy, Ph.D., of the English Department of the University of California Santa Barbara. He has specialized in modern literature, and authored a book on Ulysses.

OLLI also offers courses throughout Ventura County, including a full slate at the CSUCI campus in Camarillo. For more information on the Santa Barbara and Ventura County courses which begin the week of January 10 consult the website. To enroll in classes, call 805-437-2748. The fee for one course is $85. For only $170, students may enroll in an unlimited number of courses at all locations. Considering the level of the instructors and courses, these are bargain rates.


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