Communities have souls. Spend enough time with a group, a community, or even an organization and you eventually get a sense of what makes them tick. The community can be a family, neighborhood, social group, school, or business.
Over the past two years I have been looking at how OLLI works. I have attended committee meetings, hung around the office, helped with paperwork and schedules, taught a few classes, answered questions. I have begun to get a sense that the heart and soul of OLLI is in its volunteers.
Most members see and appreciate the work of our volunteer office staff, instructors, coaches and class assistants. Largely unseen are the volunteers who work on committees that keep OLLI going. These committees put together our curriculum, produce our publications, reach out to our local media, secure our financial future through support from our members and community, keep our archives current, maintain and upgrade our computer lab, organize special events, and help recruit new members.
These volunteers are members just like you. Most of us never see them in action. I get to see them because they invite me to their meetings. And they need your help.
Would you like to help spread the word about OLLI, help select future courses and instructors, help write our newsletters and brochures, share your computer skills as an instructor or coach, teach a class? You are the heart and soul of OLLI. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these, please leave a note for me at the office or email me at email@example.com. OLLI needs you!
In June of 2012 the curriculum committee invited our OLLI instructors to a meeting, both to share information and to generate discussion on ways that we could better support our faculty and students in the classroom. One of the major outcomes of this meeting was a request by our instructors to upgrade the media in our large classroom (HS&D 101) to better meet their needs and yours.
If you have attended a class on campus this winter session, you have, no doubt, noticed improvements in our audiovisual equipment. We now have a larger, ceiling mounted video screen, so that subtitles and the bottom of the screen are more clearly visible – especially for members of short stature! You may also have noticed that the overhead lights no longer need to be dimmed when there is a display on the screen – the new projector provides better visibility in a lighted room, and you can actually see to take notes while watching the screen!
We also have a new BluRay player that allows us to screen videos in both US and foreign formats. Our DVD player now accommodates differing formats, the VCR player remains available to play videotapes; and CDs can be played on the DVD player, on MP3 players and iPods, or on other personal computing devices.
We thank the curriculum committee for their leadership in planning and conducting the instructor forum. (Another is in the works for this June!) We are grateful to our instructors whose professionalism encouraged them to advocate for upgraded classroom equipment. We also thank Carl Curtis for shepherding us through the installation process and writing a users’ manual to guide us through the processes of using the new equipment. And we thank you, our members and friends, for continuing to contribute and support our mission to provide educational, social, and personal renewal opportunities to our members.
Let us continue to “Learn More ~ Age Less.”