by John Dee, 1st Vice President, Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL)
Our column in this issue is dedicated to telling you more about the fun of learning that you can have as a senior. I’ve been a member of the Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL) for three years and have enjoyed participating in a number of programs such as “Chautauqua,” “Tech Talk” and taken a number of “W.O.W.” bus trips to various parts of Illinois. I have served on several committees and am now 1st Vice President. You can keep learning and, at the same time, meet a lot of people. ALL is designed for citizens ages 50 plus and is an extension of Lincoln Land Community College’s Community Education Department. ALL’s operational year is from July 1 through June 30 and membership dues are $60 for the year.
Our new president for this year is Judy Wagenblast. She has extensive experience with ALL, having worked for the College as liaison to ALL before becoming a very active volunteer. Her goals include getting members involved in the many programs we offer and helping people realize the fun of and satisfaction in learning together as seniors.
To get the ball rolling this year, the annual kickoff will be held in the Trutter Center on the LLCC campus on Aug. 8. Our kickoff theme is “Ice Escapades” to reflect that ALL is cool and members will stay cool indoors on what will undoubtedly be a hot August day. It’s free and open to everyone, members and non-members. It’s always a fun time with food, entertainment and decorations and an opportunity to learn what happens in the various programs we offer. We’ve asked each of our program leaders to each develop an ice sculpture that somehow relates to their activity as presented at the annual kickoff. You are welcome to join us and enjoy some of our “Escapades” in learning. Just call the number listed at the end of this column.
As for our programs, depending on your interests, you can participate in educational activities such as “Breakfast Roundtable,” “Chautauqua,” “Tech Talk” and “Today’s Topic.” You could become involved in activities such as “Book Lovers,” “Games” or “Scribes.” If you are athletically inclined, we have “Bowling,” “Pedal Pushers (biking)” or “Swinging Seniors (Golf).” For the social touch, we offer “Meet, Greet & Eat” and “Flicks on Friday,” and we travel locally “Around Town” and regionally in motor coach daytrips through our “W.O.W.” program. In general, most of the programs involve a one to two hour commitment each month and you are free to attend any one of the sessions or all of them during the year. I found the ones that I participated in to be well developed and a good way for me to stay in touch with the world around me.
During 2018, ALL is offering a free Bicentennial Speakers Series in recognition of Illinois’ 200th year anniversary. The “Culture and Heritage of Illinoisans” sessions are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month at 2 p.m. at the Illinois State Museum. Aug. 19 brings us Don Meyer speaking about our state’s leadership in agriculture, “Farming in the Great Corn Belt: 200 years of Challenges, Choices and Changes.” Sept. 16 is a special program by Laura Mueller, “Illinois in Art and Literature, 1818 to 2017” which features many of the nation’s great writers, painters and sculptors who have Illinois roots. Oct. 21 is our final session with a musical performance by Phil Passen on a hammered dulcimer and commentary about many songs you and your ancestors might have sung, “From Prairie to Farm to City: Music to Commemorate Illinois’ Bicentennial.” Mark your calendar and plan to attend one of these sessions (or all of them).
We welcome you to attend the annual Kickoff on Aug. 8 or one of our many programs as a guest to sample an ALL activity, and bring along a friend too. Find out more by calling the office at LLCC at (217) 786-2477.