Bradley Brings Virtual Learning Opportunities to Those Ages 50 and Up

September 30, 2020

Despite not being able to meet in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bradley's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is coming up with creative ways to keep their participants active and engaged in the community. Throughout the month of October, OLLI is offering a number of online classes every Wednesday. The cost is $20 per class and registration is due by Tuesday, October 6, at noon.

OLLI is open to anyone who wants to stay vital and active as they reach and enjoy retirement. Only two requirements apply: they must be at least 50 years old and have a love of learning.

The Seeds of a New Nation: English Colonization of North America
Time: 9 a.m. | Instructor: Tim Bailey (OLLI’s Winter Curriculum Committee chair, history buff and retired apprentice training instructor)
In this class, participants will learn why English settlers came to North America, discuss some of the difficulties they experienced in getting here, explore the hardships they faced in settling lands already occupied by others, and find out how these seeds of colonies grew and eventually prospered. This class will primarily focus on Jamestown Colony in Virginia and Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies in Massachusetts.

What is Autoethnography?
Time: 9 a.m. | Instructor: Dr. Tony Adams (Chairperson of the Department of Communication and a professor at Bradley University)
Autoethnographers believe personal experience is infused with cultural norms, and they engage in self-reflection in order to identify the meanings of the self and social life. In this interactive workshop, participants will discuss key characteristics and practices of autoethnography. Specifically, this class will discuss what autoethnography is, how it developed and the ways you can use/do it in your life.

Mythology Through Art: Every Picture Tells a Story
Time: 11 a.m. | Instructor: Janene Mattingly (Retired Latin teacher at East Peoria Community High School and avid Italy traveler)
Artists from ancient to modern times have used Greek and Roman mythology as the theme for their art. This class will take a look at some of these masterpieces and discuss the myths behind them, and how the artists chose to depict them. If you love art and have always wondered about the stories, or you love mythology and want to hear the stories again, then this class is for you!

Social Media, Big Tech, and You
Time: 11 a.m. | Instructor: Dr. Cory Barker (Assistant professor of communication at Bradley University)
This class expands on Cory Barker’s Fall 2019 class, Media Literacy in the Age of Social Media and Fake News. The impact of tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google goes far beyond news production and consumption. This class will address their increasing influence over our everyday lives – from data collection and privacy to entertainment and shopping. It will also introduce participants to emergent platforms like Netflix and TikTok that have significance on a global scale. Participants will learn how to use these platforms smartly and why they matter to the future of pop culture and society.

Healthcare 2020 What Now?
Time: 1 p.m. | Instructor: Dr. Bill Albers (Retired pediatric cardiologist and former chairman of the UICOMP Department of Pediatrics)
In this election year, health care and health reform are major issues for a majority of citizens. The recent pandemic, socio-economic disparities among segments of the population and protests concerning racial discrimination have exposed important weaknesses in our system. This class will discuss the status of the current delivery system, rationale for reform, problems with access and reasons for the high cost of healthcare. This class will also look at “Medicare for all” vs. repair and revision of the current system as well as have a discussion of comparative systems used in other developed countries.

Use and Misuse of Statistics
Time: 1 p.m. | Instructor: Dr. Fred Fry (Retired professor of entrepreneurship at Bradley University)
Statistics can be very useful if done right. However, statistics can also be used to misinform us, and we need to know how to be cautious about interpreting the data. This class will focus on how to become healthy skeptics of statistics as well as how to learn more about surveys and polling. The class will discuss a selection of the massive amount of government-collected data, focusing on life expectancy, the census, unemployment etc. Lastly, the class will wrap up by discussing how good statistics can be used to explain things the way we want them to.

Health and the Media
Time: 3 p.m. | Instructor: Dr. Rachelle Pavelko (Assistant professor of communication at Bradley University)
This class will lead a discussion on the field of health communication research, theory and practice. It will focus on both organizational structures within the healthcare landscape and the role of mass media in defining health and wellness, with various contexts to analyze health communication. Media portrayals of illnesses and disorders across traditional and new media will be discussed as well as the resulting effects these portrayals have on the audience.

Look What I Did
Time: 3 p.m. | Instructor: (Varies week to week)
October 7 - Changing Lives and Community... With Art, Action, and Audaciousness
October 14 - Construct, Repair, Salvage, Rescue, and Demolish... All In a Day’s Work... Underwater!
October 21 - Mother Nature’s Partner... A 20-Year Journey to Restore Land and Water
October 28 - Inspired by a House With a Garden... And the Learning Journey that Led to Success

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