For immediate release: Jan. 12, 2007

GALVESTON, Texas — The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston will hold registration for spring classes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29, in Room 301 at the Open Gates Conference Center, 2419 Sealy St., in Galveston. Pre-registration is available by phone on Jan. 22 and 23 at (409) 747-4657.

Classes are open to anyone 55 and older. Tuition is $25 per course until Jan. 31 and $30 thereafter. A buffet luncheon is available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to those who register in person on Jan. 29. The cost is $5 per person, payable at registration. To make a reservation for the buffet, call (409) 747-4657 by Jan. 24. Payment for classes and the buffet may be made by check, cash or credit card.

Participants who plan to pay by mail, please make checks payable to UTMB with the notation “OLLI” in the memo area. Mail checks to Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UTMB, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-0972. Please include the ZIP+4 code.

For more information, please contact Michelle Sierpina, OLLI founding director, or Julia Barragan, OLLI coordinator, at (409) 747-4657; or send e-mail to or

OLLI offers college-level courses to seniors 55 or older regardless of previous education. There are no prerequisites for most classes and no grades or tests are given. However, registration is required. OLLI is on the Web at

OLLI Spring 2007 Classes

Here is the current list of available classes. Other classes may be added at any time. Please check the OLLI Web site for updated listings.

Become a Hurricane Expert — Thursdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., March 22-May 10
Instructor Stan Blazyk is the author of “Weather: People and the Elements on a Barrier Island.” Hurricanes and tropical storms are the most fearsome and fascinating weather events facing Gulf Coast residents. Using new material, this course will explore most features of these storms, from the basic meteorological factors behind tropical weather patterns to the latest information and theories on hurricane frequency, intensity and tracking patterns. The course will introduce tropical weather facts, including information on the most intense hurricanes and cyclones. The class may include a field trip to the National Weather Service and a visit from a hurricane expert. Learners who have enjoyed this instructor in the past will want to sign up again. This is a new course.

Artful Expressions — Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Feb. 13-April 3
Galveston artist and gallery owner Sallie Anderson returns to OLLI to introduce basic art principles in this experiential leap into creativity. Learners will also get practice in origami and other paper crafts. Art is in the doing. For instance, if you think you cannot draw at all, there will be a skills building class on drawing when you’ll discover the basics and surprise yourself with your talent. No art experience is necessary. At the conclusion of each class session, each learner will have created a personally designed greeting card. Supplies are provided for an additional fee of $10. Class size is limited.

Artful Lives Illustrated — Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., April 10-May 29
Instructor Sallie Anderson will help you to exercise your creativity using two media at once. Using a story you have already written, illustrate it with a handmade artist’s book that you will complete during the course. Artful Expressions is a prerequisite for participating in this class. Supplies are provided for an additional fee of $10. Class size is limited.

Once Upon a Time: A Journey through Jewish Folklore — Wednesdays, 9:30-11 a.m., Feb 21-April 11
Rabbi Jimmy Kessler will help you to become acquainted with the history, traditions, lore, legends, scholarship, wisdom, mysticism, courage, humor and stories, stories, stories that shape Jewish Folklore. From the Macabees to the Holocaust, from Genesis to genocide and into modern day Judaism, you will take an incredible journey into fascinating folklore that has helped to shape our world today.

Composers of Note(s) – Lyrics, Musicals, and Movies — Tuesdays, 10 a.m.–noon, Feb. 27-April 17
Join popular local entertainer Bonnye Karger in examining the creative processes and lives of a select number of gifted composers of music and lyrics for stage, screen and the pop charts. Learners will reflect on how these composers’ music has affected and influenced lives and memories. They will also explore the elements involved in creating compositions and in the development of a stage production. This is an exciting opportunity to witness first-hand the initial stages of a local composer’s process of developing a new musical show. No musical talent or experience is required for this course. Composers not included in the previous course will be introduced, so the course is open to those who have taken it before.

That’s Another Story I — Mondays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Feb. 12-April 2
Scientific evidence demonstrates the importance of telling and sharing life stories. Learners at all levels of writing skill – including novices – will enjoy sharing their memories. In this course, learners will explore those narratives when “another story” emerged from their work in previous writing groups. The course is open to those who have not experienced OLLI Lifestory groups in previous semesters. Learners get a chance to develop and share their stories and give feedback on stories they hear. Instructor Alison Barker brings this experience to life for each learner with sensitivity and insightfulness. Class size is limited.

In order for more learners to participate, this course will be repeated at the following times (learners may participate in one, two or all three of the course offerings):
That’s Another Story II — Thursdays, 10 a.m. – noon, Feb. 22-April 12
That’s Another Story III — Thursdays, 1:30 – 3:30 .pm., April 19-June 7
Class size is limited in all three courses.

Intro to Acting — Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., March 21-May 16 (no class on May 9)
Actor and columnist Victor Lang, a member of the speech communications faculty at Texas A&M University at Galveston, offers learners the opportunity for personal growth through drama. Utilizing basic theater techniques, learners will explore personal expression under the direction of this experienced actor and discover the fun of acting. Learners of all skill levels will enjoy the personal connection of exploring themes of life in drama.

Theatrical Characterizations with Galveston Historical Foundation  — Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., March 20-May 8
Co-instructors Mary Margaret and Donald Buss developed this course as a collaboration between OLLI and the Galveston Historical Foundation. This will be an advanced experience in characterization development. Enrollment is by permission of the instructors and requires some previous experience. Success in the course will require a serious commitment to accurately developing historic characters based on research provided by the GHF.

Migratory Birds of the Texas Gulf Coast — Tuesday and Thursday, 1-3 p.m., March 20-April 19 (no class on March 29)
On Thursday afternoons, learners will accompany instructor Richard Peake, Ph.D., and other experts on birding field trips. Optional birding experiences may be added during the course. To participate, learners need binoculars, and either “A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America” by Peterson and Peterson or “Golden Field Guide” by Chandler Robbins, as well as adequate mobility for outdoor activities. All details will be provided upon registration.

The Brothers Karamazov — Fridays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Feb. 23-April 20 (no class on April 6)
Join instructor John Gorman, Ph.D., in exploring one of the Great Russian novels. It is a bit like Shakespeare, a bit like “All My Children” — a subtle predictor of the ways 20th and 21st century people will try to sort through their lives. Gorman recommends “The Brothers Karamazov: A Novel in Four Parts with Epilogue,” published in 2002 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Your Dreams are a Gift –– Mondays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., April 9-June 4 (no class on Memorial Day, May 28)
Each dream is a gift, but what will you do with it? Vasiliki Eckley, M. Div., an adult educator for 40 years, works with individuals on issues of relationship and lifestyle. An expert in dream work, she designed this course to foster appreciation of dreams and to make them available as a useful resource for waking life. Learners will discuss how to remember dreams, keeping a dream journal, how to become more deeply and consciously related to the material of the dream and why this is desirable. By the conclusion of the course, all will experience ways to do personal and shared dream work.

On Being Human — Mondays, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Feb. 12-April 2
Building on her own research of over three decades, Vasiliki Eckley will invite learners to consider how human beings experience wholeness by understanding the maleness and femaleness within each person. Learners will investigate archetypal examples throughout time and discover ways to utilize male and female aspects of humanness as a resource in becoming a more complete human being.

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
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301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144