Learning in retirement gears up for spring

  • Attending last month’s “Preview” event to learn about the Five College Learning in Retirement program offerings next spring, are, from left, Marybeth Bridegam, Sandy Sladen and Sheila Klem. Bridegam is president-elect and Klem was president last year. Katy van Geel

  • Dozens of people who attended last month’s “Preview” event to learn about the Five College Learning in Retirement program offerings next spring. Katy van Geel

For the Gazette
Published: 12/5/2016 12:31:47 AM

Five College Learning in Retirement members look forward to the “Previews,” where they can pick up catalogues listing seminars and workshops to be offered in the coming semester, as well as Winter/Summer programs which are part of the membership package.

Attending a preview is recommended for nonmembers interested in joining 5CLIR, a program that began 28 years ago and now serves as a place where people can take peer-led classes in a variety of subjects.

The preview events give people a chance to get the catalogue, sample light refreshments, and speak with moderators and current members. The public is always invited.

Although the Spring 2017 Preview is over, newcomers can still join. Pertinent information is on the organization‘s website: www.5clir.org.

Courses this spring range from literature, art and music to economics and history; drawing, watercolor and memory writing are also offered. Free Winter programs include a tech series for seniors and the annual Legislators’ Forum at Forbes Library.

As Katy van Geel said, “I sensed a lot of excitement at this Preview. But then it’s always exciting, learning about what topics are being offered, talking to the people moderating the seminars and workshops, having a bite to eat, sitting at a table to browse the catalog’s offerings, enjoying the company of friends. I was especially happy to make the acquaintance of several prospective members, to answer their questions and make them feel at home.”

Gail Gaustad echoed this thought: “I was struck when looking at the Preview crowd by how many good folks I have become acquainted with through 5CLIR, and how both these new friends and the seminars have enriched my life.”

New members such as former attorney Linda Morley are equally enthusiastic.

“During my 40-plus years of working, I often felt in the middle of a daily pitched battle — between fighting to grab the knowledge I needed for the job and fighting for the time to actually do the job,” she said. “I took a six-month deep breath after retiring, and then joined 5CLIR. I suspected my brain didn’t really want a rest; it just wanted a sane, engaging and supportive learning environment. 5CLIR has certainly provided that. I am now luxuriating in the chance to select what I want to learn about and to spend weeks in the peer-led learning process.”

Newcomer Richard Parrish agreed: “With this program, we never need to stop learning.”

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