Rutland Lecture Series

Spring 2017

The Rutland Area Osher Lifelong Learning Institute exists to promote continuing education for area residents aged fifty and over. Started in 2003 as an affiliate of the University of Vermont with a startup grant from the Osher Foundation, we are an all–volunteer, nonprofit organization.

We are grateful to the Rutland Recreation and Parks Department and to the volunteers who make this program possible.

Time and Place
Each of the twelve presentations in this Winter 2017 term will be from 1:30 to 3:00 PM on a Friday afternoon at the Godnick Adult Center, 1 Deer Street (off Woodstock Avenue) in Rutland. For directions to the Godnick Center or for program information, call 446-2041 or 492-2300.

What If It Snows?
In the event of a severe winter storm or storm warning, we will follow the lead of the Rutland High School.  If RHS closes for the day (not simply a delayed opening), we will cancel our program for that day.  RHS closings are announced on local radio and TV and

Here’s to Your Health

January 6
GERD: Gastroesopageal Reflux Disease
How do I pronounce it? What is it? Do I have it? Can I take a pill? Will I need surgery? Can I still eat? Dr. Howard Weaver with the Rutland Digestive Services in Rutland will answer these and many other questions. Dr. Weaver and Juanita Morris PA, will explain this common condition and the importance of managing the disease so we will feel better.

January 13
The Aging Eye
Dr. John Coco of Marble Valley Eye Care will address diseases of the eye that can occur in our later years. Macular Degeneration, Cataracts and Glaucoma will be addressed along with other conditions such as Dry Eye. How are they diagnosed and treated and most important of all…can they be avoided.

January 20
Why Tai Chi? Why Not?
Anne Bower has been teaching Tai Chi for ten years. More and more research studies are showing Tai Chi’s health benefits, including improvement in balance and walking, thus preventing falls. People with mild Parkinson’s Disease have also shown improvement after trying Tai Chi for six weeks. This slow, gentle form of exercise is great for mind and body. Come ready to participate.

January 27
Peace and Calm in Chaos: Your Journey-Discover Your Inspiring Story
Bonnie Olson, a Certified Martha Beck Coach, will help us find new perspective on our own life story. Events that have brought about misery can, indeed, become our greatest gift. Then these same events can also become our gateways to learn and grow. Bring pencil and paper and we all will participate together.


The World’s Major Monotheisms

February 3
Evangelicalism in America: Varieties and Contradictions
A prize-winning historian and Emmy Award nominee, as well as a prolific author, Randall Balmer is the John Phillips Professor in Religion and director of the Society of Fellows at Dartmouth College. He will speak about the varieties of evangelicalism in America, including fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, and the holiness movement, as well as the history of evangelical involvement in politics.

February 10
Varieties of Christianity
Dr. Jeffrey Trumbower is Professor of Religious Studies at St. Michael’s College and formerly served as its dean. He is the author of two books and numerous articles in his field. His talk will cover some of the historical roots of the Christian movement, along with what is particularly distinctive about different varieties of Christianity that exist today.

February 17
Three Things on One Foot: Judaism Explained
Judaism, contrary to a widely held view, is not the religion of the Old Testament, but a religion that came into being not long before Christianity. Dr. Robert S. Schine, a Silberman Professor of Jewish Studies at Middlebury College, will introduce some texts of the early teachers of Judaism (“rabbis”) and then fast-forward to the situation of Judaism in our times.

February 24
An Introduction to Islam and American Muslims
Zahra Ayubi is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Dartmouth College, where she teaches courses on Islam and gender in the pre-modern period and contemporary Muslim feminism. Her talk will outline some basics about Muslim beliefs and practices and discuss American Muslim history and experiences.



March 3
Painting A Nation: American Art at the Shelburne Museum
Katie Kirchhoff, Associate Curator at the Museum, will discuss its collection and history, highlighting works by both famous and less well-known artists. The formal relationships between academic and folk art traditions and the methods artists use to tell their stories via the brush will be outlined. Additionally, she will review current curatorial research projects and show the audience the behind-the-scenes workings of Vermont’s leading museum.

March 10
Images of Our Universe
Ronald Anstey has been a stargazer and an amateur astronomy and telescope hobbyist his whole life. He is an active member of the Vermont Astronomical Society. His presentation will show images that reach out to the deep sky to show galaxies millions of light years away. Through these visuals he will convey the size of our solar system, the Milky Way and the Universe.

March 17
Little Bands, Big Voices: Singers Take Center Stage in the 1940s
Erik Nielsen is a composer and a frequent lecturer on musical subjects. His talk will center on some of the great singers who became stars of that era: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, The Andrews Sisters and Nat King Cole. He will play some of the popular music of the time and briefly discuss the big bands and small combos that flourished during this period.

March 24
The Classical Guitar: A Musical Portrait
James Gram, a Burlington -based guitarist, enjoys an active career as a performer and teacher in a broad array of musical styles and settings. His lecture will cover the history and development of the classical guitar, its repertoire and the cultural role this instrument plays today. He will punctuate each segment of his presentation by a performance on his instruments.


Membership Information

Purchase of a $40 membership card entitles you to attend all twelve sessions during the Spring 2017 term.

Members also may attend (at no additional charge) Elder Education Enrichment programs in South Burlington;  Osher programs at any of seven other Vermont sites: Brattleboro, Central Vermont (Montpelier/Barre), Lamoille Valley (Stowe), Newport/Derby/Stanstead,Springfield, St. Albans, and St. Johnsbury; and (at a discounted price) the new Osher programs on the UVM campus.

Non-members may attend individual sessions for $5 at the door. Reservations are NOT required.

Memberships may be purchased at the door or by mail. Please arrive early so our program can start on time.

For membership, complete the form on the site brochure and mail with your $40 check (made out to UVM) to:

     UVM OLLI Registration Office

     460 South Prospect Street

     Burlington, VT 05401

For a complete listing of all programs, see our listing in a pdf format.

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