Senior Seminars Offered by OLLI for April/May 2019

Senior Seminars Offered by OLLI for April/May 2019

Enjoy the warmth and renewal of the Spring season with OLLI by signing up for one of the five new Senior Seminar courses that start in April and May. In courses that explore the 2019 Oklahoma legislature, Buddhism, Impressionist painting, vivid travel locations and killer food, OLLI members will find topics that are just as colorful as Oklahoma in Spring.

OLLI’s Senior Seminar courses meet for four to six weeks, for two hours at a time and offer adult learners a friendly environment in which they can join other participants of a similar age in the exploration of new topics and concepts. Courses are educational, fun and inspiring, and they are led by some of OU’s top professors.

Many OLLI courses have been known to sell out. Please contact OLLI at (405) 325-3488 for information on course availability. Be sure to sign up before classes are full!


April/May Senior Seminars

The 2019 Oklahoma Legislature

Cal Hobson

Mondays – April 1 to 22

1 – 3:30 p.m.

The 2019 Oklahoma LegislatureElections matter, and the 2018 vote reaffirmed the continued demise of the Democratic Party in the Oklahoma Legislature at the state capitol. Here are the numbers: 76 Republicans in the House, 25 Democrats, revealing a net loss of three seats. The math is even worse in the Senate, populated by 39 elephants and only nine donkeys.

This reflects a continuing rejection of the Democratic Party that previously dominated politics in Oklahoma for over 100 years, so our governing trifecta—that being control of the House, Senate and executive branch—remains in place at the capitol, as well as Republican occupancy of every statewide position.

Sounds like cooperation, consensus and harmony will surely reign on 23rd street going forward. But remember, this political power structure is exactly the same that has dominated over the last decade, a period when many lawmakers ran afoul of the law or were turned out of office in record numbers.

So put on your helmet, strap tight a seat belt, maybe even occasionally cover your eyes and ears, but do join Cal Hobson and his special guests for a rollicking good time this spring as they discuss, and sometimes cuss, politics Oklahoma style.


Introduction to Buddhism

Ralph Doty, Professor Emeritus, Classics and Letters

Thursdays – April 4 to 25

10 - 11:30 a.m.

Introduction to BuddhismAlthough it may be the fastest-growing spiritual movement in this country, Buddhism remains a mystery to most Americans. Not entirely a religion, a philosophy or a form of therapy, it is in some sense all three. This course will examine the basic teachings of Buddhism, the differences between the main schools—including a brief look at Zen—and how Buddhism is adapting to America (and vice versa).


Masterpieces of Impressionist Painting

Victor Youritzin

Wednesdays – April 10 to May 1

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Impressionist PaintingJoin OU Art History Professor Emeritus Victor Youritzin in an enriching course to explore “Masterpieces of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Painting.” He will discuss artists such as Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Seurat, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, among others. Professor Youritzin will combine fast-paced lectures and hundreds of slides to help you increase your ability to analyze, evaluate and appreciate individual works of art.

A separate section of this course featuring the same content started in March.


Potpourri of Four Phantastique Locations: Jerusalem, Antarctica, Grand Canyon and Panama Canal

Ken Johnson, Geologist Emeritus

Thursdays – April 18 to May 9

10 - 11:30 a.m.

Fantastic LocationsThese four places are among the most phantastique locations in the world! Come and learn about the history and importance of four places that are (or should be) on most bucket lists.

Discover how the long history of Jerusalem has led to modern conflicts over who controls the city that contains religious sites important for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Antarctica, the most remote, inhospitable and exotic continent on our planet, is also the coldest, windiest, highest and driest of all continents. This talk covers wildlife (mostly penguins), glacial ice, history of exploration and geologic/geographic setting, based upon the speaker’s six trips to the Antarctic Peninsula as an expedition-staff member and lecturer.

The Grand Canyon is one of the geologic wonders of the world, and each year about 15,000 individuals journey through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River on rafts.

Join in a celebration of the 105th Anniversary of the Panama Canal. The Spanish, French and (finally) American efforts at crossing Panama are filled with stories of trials and suffering, including the deaths of about 25,000 workers. This struggle resulted (in 1914) in one of the world’s engineering wonders.

These talks are updates of presentations given for OLLI in 2013-14.


Is Our Food Killing Us?

Celeste Wirsig, Neuroscience

Thursdays – May 9 to 30

3:30 - 5 p.m.

Is Our Food Killing UsThis course will cover:

1) How our bodies digest and utilize food
2) Basic nutrition requirements
3) A review of all the food additives in current food products that are detrimental to our health, what these additives do to our bodies and how to avoid them.

The course will have a workshop for participants to bring in some of their favorite foods for analysis.


Contact OLLI at (405) 325-3488 for information about registering for OLLI courses or becoming an OLLI member, and be sure to check back for more information about courses that will be offered in the coming months.

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Myk Mahaffey

Michael Mahaffey holds degrees in journalism and psychology. He is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience writing for print and digital publications, including award-winning coverage of the rodeo industry. In his spare time, he writes fiction, in addition to tinkering with graphic design and photography.