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by Vena Garrett, ALL Board Member & Chair of the ALL Membership & Sustainability Committee
Vena Garrett

Is it my imagination or are the little things in life getting more difficult with each passing day? It took me at least a half hour to remove the packaging from a new battery-driven can opener that opens the can without me having to hardly use my arthritic hands. I then spent another half hour figuring out how to attach the gadget to the can’s lip so that with the press of a button it starts its trip around the lid and stops when the lid can safely be removed from the can. Also, medications sealed at the factory that can only be opened by the patient are annoying on so many levels.

Then, there’s the remodel. As I approach my 80th year with a goal of staying at home until my demise, making the kitchen more accessible and replacing some carpeting with a harder surface seemed like a reasonable approach to achieving this goal. Supply chain snarls resulting from this ever-changing, never-leaving new medical threat we now must live with made what should have been a fairly easy job anything but.

Thankfully, while many things change many more stay constant. Take the Academy of Lifelong Learning (ALL) at Lincoln Land Community College, for example. ALL is about to enter its 29th year. At the time of writing this article, ALL’s membership is once again nearing 400, back to where it was in 2020 before the shelter-in-place changed everything, and most of us learned how to use Zoom. We members of the Silent Generation changed our typical acceptance personalities to speaking up about what we wanted from ALL, and that was to be able to see and talk to each other although locked down. So even the somewhat reluctant-to-change amongst us turned to the Tech Talk group and participated in the free Zoom training offered by ALL. By the end of the first month of lockdown, ALL was offering programs online.

When the lockdown was lifted, ALL changed once again and started offering hybrid programs where people who need people can find them at the Trutter Center on LLCC’s main campus, watching a program live while it is simultaneously being streamed to the people who prefer to remain at home. Our members have the option of participating in person or from home.

If you would like to experience what ALL is all about and join a record number of new members, a New Member Reception is scheduled for Feb. 24, 2022 at 10 a.m. We’d love to see and chat with you. A half-year membership is now available for $35 and entitles new members to receive the monthly newsletter, attend all the scheduled monthly programs as well as the on-going social pop-ups, and the new Science and Arts series of programs. Give us a call at 217-786-2432 for more information.

Speaking of changes … have you noticed the changes in Illinois’s climate? ALL’s new four-part Climate Change series starts Jan. 19 via Zoom. In this introductory program, Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford, Ph.D. will present an overview of climate change in Illinois and what it means to all of us who live and work here. The series continues Feb. 16 (Earth), March 16 (Wind), and April 20 (Water). For more information visit the ALL website.