OLLI At UVM

Welcome to OLLI at UVM!

OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at UVM is a community of adult learners who enjoy year-round courses and events that are diverse, interesting, fun, and affordable. Becoming a member of OLLI at UVM gives you a significant discount on courses, access to members-only seminars with engaging speakers, and exclusive benefits. OLLI at UVM is a self-sustaining organization supported by membership and course fees and a volunteer advisory board.

OLLI at UVM joins 124 colleges and universities in the United States that provide life-long learning opportunities to 50+ adults. Go to the Osher Foundation website for more information.

Current OLLI Course Listing

OLLI online courses will be offered over MS Teams via web browser (internet connection); no download required; a link to MS Team meeting will be provided one week prior to start of class, unless otherwise noted.

OLLI at UVM Members enjoy a minimum discount of 30% on all courses, which is reflected in the Member prices.

Should you have any questions please contact Customer Relations at 1-802-656-5817 or uvmolli@uvm.edu. We would be happy to assist you.

OLLI at UVM Course Terms and Conditions
*Please click on Terms/Conditions link for important information*

PLEASE NOTE:  Registration closes two days before the start date. 

Spring Courses

Registration Opens Soon!

Reading Workshop: Supreme Court Matters – Past, Present, and Future

Meeting Dates: Mondays, January 4-25
Meeting Time: 4-5:30 pm
Instructor: Rebecca Starks
Location: Online
Member: $60 Non-Member: $90

Discuss readings centered on the Supreme Court and its role in shaping our society. Look at the court’s origins, its history, and a few of its landmark decisions, especially surrounding civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBTQ rights; address its current makeup; and try to imagine its future. Along the way, discuss originalism, the Federalist Society, progressivism, judicial restraint, types of precedent, court stacking, and the legacy of particular justices. And to understand why the process has become so political, examine other constitutional courts around the world. Besides current articles, the class will read excerpts from works by Jack Rake (Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution), Lee Epstein and Thomas Walker (Constitutional Law for a Changing America), and Erwin Chemerinsky (The Case Against the Supreme Court and We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the 21st Century). It’s a big subject- the goal will be to gain a vantage point from which to engage with the current partisan controversy over the court. Please set aside time for a reading assignment the week before the first class.

 

Beginning Yoga I Session 1

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, January 6-27
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Instructor: Amanda McIntire
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Learn the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation in this introductory course.

 

Staying Healthy With The Seasons

Meeting Dates: Thursday, January 21 & 28
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Ann Ramsay
Location: Online
Member: $30 Non-Member: $45

Based on the theory of the Five Elements in Chinese Medicine and philosophy, this class will help participants understand how humans are connected to the natural world and how health, balance and imbalance are explained using the seasons of the year and the seasons of our lives.

 

Beginner Ukulele-Level 1, Session 1

Meeting Dates: Mondays, January 25 – February 15
Meeting Time: 6:30-7:30 pm
Instructor: Clare Innes
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument? In this light-hearted course, you don’t need any musical experience to have fun learning chords, strums, and techniques to begin your ukulele journey and gain confidence playing with others. No uke? No worries! Get one through these local shops via mail or curbside pickup. This class is designed for ukuleles in the common high-G (“re-entrant”) tuning. Ukes in other tunings (including low-G and baritone ukes ) are welcome but ability to translate chords and tablature for yourself is needed. This class is geared for adults ages 18+.

Materials required: A playable ukulele and a clip-on electronic tuner or one on your smartphone (there are many free ones available). Check here for resources: https://www.ukuleleclare.com/music-stores

 

African American Artists

Meeting Date: Thursday, January 28
Meeting Time: 1-2:30 pm
Presenter: Smithsonian American Art Museum Curator
Location: Online in Zoom
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Learn about the diverse body of artwork created by African American artists and the historical, social, and cultural events, as well as the life experiences, that inspired their work.

 

Reading & Writing Workshop: Very Short Stories

Meeting Dates: Mondays, February 1-22
Meeting Time: 4-5:30 pm
Instructor: Rebecca Starks
Location: Online
Member: $60 Non-Member: $90

Read a selection of very short stories each week, come together to discuss them, and spend 20 minutes writing in response to a prompt, with an option to share out loud what you have written. Participants will come away with four drafts of what could become a story, a prose poem, or the beginnings of a poem. Authors include Aesop, Kafka, Jean Toomer, Grace Paley, Thomas Bernard, Donald Barthelme, Lydia Davis, A.L. Snijders, Robert J. Lennon, Osama Alomar, and Mary Ruefle. Look at choices made surrounding perspective, characters, judgment, temporal scope, realism/surrealism, and above all humor.

 

Beginning Yoga I Session 2

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, February 3-24
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Instructor: Amanda McIntire
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Learn the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation in this introductory course.

 

Latino Art and Culture

Meeting Date: Thursday, February 4
Meeting Time: 1-2:30 pm
Presenter: Smithsonian American Art Museum Curator
Location: Online in Zoom
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

The concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge in the mid-20th century. Explore how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day, often using their work to communicate with a larger public about social justice and themes of diversity, identity, and community.

 

Rethinking Sugar

Meeting Date: Thursday, February 4
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Dr. Andrea Grayson
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Do you have a sweet tooth? Sounds innocent, doesn’t it. Well, you’re not alone. Pretty much everyone has a relationship with sugar. For some people, it is a casual and easy-going affair. But for the vast majority of us, we are in a dependent, manipulative, and often, obsessive relationship with sugar and refined carbohydrates. And, we are largely in denial of it…sugar is a reliable source of pleasure and reward, so why would we want to cut that off? Come to this illuminating talk and learn about the 5 different systems that sugar impacts, which is why quitting is so difficult.

 

Drawing for the Terrified, Session 1

Meeting Dates: Saturdays, February 6-27
Meeting Time: 10am-noon
Instructor: Michael Strauss
Location: Online
Member: $60 Non-Member: $90

With mindfulness and self-compassion, we can regain the creative freedom of our childhood and more freely explore our artistic side! In both representational or imaginative mindful drawing, we can reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. In this class we will explore shape consciousness (how we can see the world without naming things), our memory of past visual experiences, and how drawing reveals both inner and outer parts of our reality. Come prepared to draw, share your work and thoughts with others, and enhance your creativity with mindful drawing. Artist, author, and Emeritus Professor Michael Strauss will lead this four week exploration that includes mindful drawing and many hands-on activities and exercises. The course is valuable for the beginner as well as the more experienced artist.

Materials: Bert Dodson’s “Keys to Drawing”, set of drawing pencils (medium and soft), 9 x 12 drawing tablet, malleable erasers (2), pink erasers (2), package of medium and soft vine charcoal, package of soft and medium stick charcoal, a set of black ink TOMBOW pens (6), watercolor paper, charcoal paper, newsprint tablet, watercolor brush (medium). Students do not need all these materials but should get what they can to get the most out of this class.

 

A Letter From Jail: Martin L. King, Jr. & the Failure of Social Justice in America

Meeting Date: Thursday, February 11
Meeting Time: 6-7:30 pm
Instructor: Christopher Ulloa Chaves
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

This seminar will explore the major themes addressed in one of America’s literary masterpieces titled Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963). In this letter, Martin L. King Jr. exposes the failure of organized religion, civil law, and educational institutions to adequately inoculate against the disease of racial supremacy and its accompanying discriminatory practices in the United States (U.S.). In this letter, King critiques the psychological, social, and economic warfare methods that were being waged against Black-Americans in Alabama and throughout the U.S. This seminar will closely examine specific excerpts from this letter that represent examples of psychological warfare employed by the non-democratic American ruling elites of the time to sustain inequality, if not delay efforts to “form a more perfect union” throughout the U.S. An open mind, a willingness to ask questions, and respect for other’s ideas are required for this seminar.

 

Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the US & American Indian Nations

Meeting Date: Thursday, February 11
Meeting Time: 2:30-3:30 pm
Presenter: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Curator
Location: Online in Zoom
Member: FREE Non-Member: FREE

From a young age, most Americans learn about the Founding Fathers, but are told very little about equally important and influential Native diplomats and leaders of Indian Nations. Treaties lie at the heart of the relationship between Indian Nations and the United States. This presentation is the story of that relationship, including the history and legacy of U.S. – American Indian diplomacy from the colonial period through the present.

 

Neapolitan Pizza: Origins, Culture and Baking Techniques

Meeting Date: Friday, February 12
Meeting Time: 12 noon-1:30 pm
Instructor: Anna Mays
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Join us on a culinary journey to 18th century Naples as we learn about the birthplace of pizza, the craftsmanship of the pizzaiolo (the expert pizza-maker), and the unique geographical and environmental conditions that make the Campania region of Italy world-renown for its pizza. The class will cover the origin, culture and customs surrounding pizza-making (and eating!) in Italy. We will explain the rules set by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana for a “True Neapolitan Pizza.” We will learn techniques for preparing Neapolitan-style dough, including flour types and high-temperature baking methods. We will demo how to make a tomato sauce that concentrates peak tomato flavor and we will discuss cheese selection and application of traditional pizza toppings. Learn about the ancient art of pizza making, with recipes you can prepare in a home kitchen.

 

The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire

Meeting Date: Thursday, February 18
Meeting Time: 2:30-3:30 pm
Instructor: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Curator
Location: Online in Zoom
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Explore why and to what end the Inka Road was built more than 500 years ago, and how its construction, without the use of metal or iron, the wheel or stock animals to pull heavy loads, stands as one of the greatest engineering feats.

 

Mindful Organizing

Meeting Date: Monday, February 22
Meeting Time: 1-2:30 pm
Instructor: Suzanne Lourie
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Join Professional Organizer Suzanne Lourie, owner of Get It Done, LLC and explore how mindfulness can be a powerful tool to create a more peaceful, efficient and organized space. Learn practical steps to transform your clutter into calm by choosing what to keep and how to let go of stuff that is no longer serving you and how to maintain your mindfully organized space.

 

Women March

Meeting Date: Tuesday, February 23
Meeting Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: New York Historical Society Curator
Location: Online in Zoom
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Discover 200 years of women’s activism and celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment with exhibition highlights from Women March. Led by curators from New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History, this interactive virtual presentation uses photographs, campaign posters, and historic footage to uncover the stories of women throughout the centuries who organized and marched to end slavery, win the vote, and protect reproductive rights, among other crucial causes.

 

Birding Hotspots of Vermont

Meeting Date: Thursday, February 25
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Maeve Kim
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Learn where the Birding hotspots are in Chittenden County and what wonderful birds you can find in each place. This class will be a good follow-up for people who took the beginning birding class in November 2020!

 

Lincoln & New York: The City That Made Him President

Meeting Date: Tuesday, March 2
Meeting Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: New York Historical Society Curator
Location: Online in Zoom
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln took the stage at Cooper Union and delivered an address before a crowd of 1,500 people. This speech catapulted Lincoln onto the national stage and helped propel him to the White House just one year later. In this interactive virtual presentation, learn about New York during this era and why the city was instrumental in creating and sustaining the evolving image of Lincoln as a partisan politician, statesman, wartime commander-in-chief, emancipator, and ultimately, a martyr to union.

 

Beginning Yoga I Session 3

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, March 3-24
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Instructor: Amanda McIntire
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Learn the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation in this introductory course.

 

Drawing for the Terrified, Session 2

Meeting Dates: Saturdays, March 6-27
Meeting Time: 10am-noon
Instructor: Michael Strauss
Location: Online
Member: $60 Non-Member: $90

With mindfulness and self-compassion, we can regain the creative freedom of our childhood and more freely explore our artistic side! In both representational or imaginative mindful drawing, we can reconnect with ourselves and the world around us. In this class we will explore shape consciousness (how we can see the world without naming things), our memory of past visual experiences, and how drawing reveals both inner and outer parts of our reality. Come prepared to draw, share your work and thoughts with others, and enhance your creativity with mindful drawing. Artist, author, and Emeritus Professor Michael Strauss will lead this four week exploration that includes mindful drawing and many hands-on activities and exercises. The course is valuable for the beginner as well as the more experienced artist.

Materials: Bert Dodson’s “Keys to Drawing”, set of drawing pencils (medium and soft), 9 x 12 drawing tablet, malleable erasers (2), pink erasers (2), package of medium and soft vine charcoal, package of soft and medium stick charcoal, a set of black ink TOMBOW pens (6), watercolor paper, charcoal paper, newsprint tablet, watercolor brush (medium). Students do not need all these materials but should get what they can to get the most out of this class.

 

Writing Workshop:

Four Poems
Meeting Dates: Mondays, March 8-29
Meeting Time: 4-6 pm
Instructor: Rebecca Starks
Location: Online
Member: $80 Non-Member: $120

Through the course of four weeks, participants will write four poems. Each week we will focus on a pair of contrasting impulses, and how they might serve as a counterpoint in our poems: nature/human society, narrative/lyric, rhetoric/conversation, public/private. Students will bring their poems to each session, read them aloud, and give and receive constructive feedback that focuses on the sites of energy in the poem and its further possibilities. A selection of 10-12 poems will be provided a week in advance as possible models or inspiration for each poem. Optional formal “scaffolding” suggestions will also be provided each week for those interested in exploring form. All levels welcome. So that we can make the most of our time together, please allow time for a short writing exercise the week prior to our first meeting.

 

Beginner Ukulele Level 2, Session 1

Meeting Dates: Mondays, March 8 – March 29
Meeting Time: 6:30-7:30 pm
Instructor: Clare Innes
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Do you have a little ukulele know-how at your fingertips? Want to take your abilities to the next level? Geared for adults who are comfortable switching among basic chords and keeping a steady strum, learn more strums and chords, gain skills for tackling unfamiliar songs with increased confidence, and become even more comfortable playing with others. If you have taken the beginner uke class, this is the perfect next step. This class is designed for ukuleles in the common high-G (“re-entrant”) tuning. Ukes in other tunings (including low-G and baritone ukes ) are welcome but ability to translate chords and tablature for yourself is needed. We will start with the assumption that you are relatively comfortable switching among these chords: G, G7, C, C7, D, F, A minor. This class is geared for adults ages 18+.

Materials: A playable ukulele and a clip-on electronic tuner or one on your smartphone (there are many free ones available). Check here for resources: https://www.ukuleleclare.com/music-stores

 

Writing a Legacy Letter

Meeting Dates: Mondays, March 9 & 16
Meeting Time: 1:30-3 pm
Instructor: Jay Sherwin
Location: Online
Member: $30 Non-Member: $45

A legacy letter is a written document that allows you to share your life lessons, express your values and transmit your blessings to future generations. Writing a legacy letter is a rewarding experience that creates an enduring gift for your children, grandchildren and other loved ones. This encore program has been expanded to two sessions to allow more time for sharing, discussion and brief writing exercises.

 

History of Burlington, Vermont – An Interactive Virtual Tour

Meeting Date: Thursday, March 11
Meeting Time: 1-2:30 pm
Instructor: Gary De Carolis
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

This charming little city of Burlington, Vermont has a big history. Tour guide Gary De Carolis will take you back in time when the Algonquin and Iroquois Nations were vibrant. Time marches on and Gary will bring you forward to Champlain’s visit to the area in 1609, the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and founding of Burlington. Through stories and pictures you will witness the progression of this area to where it is today.

Throughout the tour Gary will share some of the City’s treasured buildings and institutions. He will talk about many of the distinguished personalities that have graced the Queen City. One thing is for certain whether you are a visitor or long time resident you are bound to learn something new about the great City of Burlington.

 

Cooking Demo: An Introduction to Irish Food History

Meeting Date: Thursday, March 11
Meeting Time: 5:30-7pm
Instructor: Richard Witting
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Learn the history of some of Ireland’s classic dishes, as well as explore the under appreciated diversity of flavors and ingredients to be found in Ireland. We’ll also look at some classic Irish Myths where food is a central theme and talk about how Irish food has changed over time and what it’s culinary contributions and influences are. We’ll also demo and discuss how to cure your own corned beef at home.

 

Practicing Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in the Real World

Meeting Date: Thursday, March 18
Meeting Time: 6-7:30 pm
Instructor: Christopher Ulloa Chaves
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Truth, beauty, and goodness: what do they mean, and how can we experience them in the world we live in? Often, we come to understand that truth, beauty, and goodness are too esoteric, philosophic, or abstract to understand or apply in our own real worlds. This class will simplify these three universal concepts by exploring how they manifest or materialize themselves in our personal, professional, and communal worlds. Specifically, we will see how the need to apply critical thinking (truth), creativity (beauty), and goodness (ethics) to personal and professional opportunities and challenges can create greater wellbeing and justice in our world. Prerequisites for this class include an open mind, a love for discussion, and the intellectual humility to learn something new to apply in our world. A peer-reviewed article published by the facilitator titled Artes Liberalis: Philosophia Advancing Humanitas will serve as our common and discussion base.

 

Sustainable Kitchen: Plant-based Eating as a Response to Climate Change

Meeting Date: Tuesday, March 23
Meeting Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: Heather Wolfe
Location: Online
Member: $10 Non-Member: $15

Your dietary choices are one of the most powerful actions you can take when it comes to impacting climate change. Individual decisions to eat plant-based diets have been shown essential to addressing the crisis of global warming. Whether you are contemplating how to incorporate more meatless meals into your diet or are an experienced plant-based eater, there are things that each of us can do to decrease our personal carbon footprint based on our food choices and increase our sustainability in the kitchen. This interactive discussion with dietitian Heather Wolfe brings years of experience in holistic nutrition, health coaching, homesteading, and scratch cooking to her new cookbook Sustainable Kitchen: Recipes and Inspiration for Plant-Based, Planet-Conscious Meals (Herald Press, September 2020).

 

Birds of Vermont’s Forests and Mountains

Meeting Date: Thursday, March 25
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Maeve Kim
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Scarlet Tanagers glow in red, thrushes sing like flutes and oboes, warblers flit in and out of the foliage like flying jewels. Learn about some of the wonderful birds that hide out in our state’s highest and most heavily wooded areas, and learn about some of the conservation challenges these birds present.

 

Beginner Ukulele-Level 1, Session 2

Meeting Dates: Mondays, April 5-26
Meeting Time: 6:30-7:30 pm
Instructor: Clare Innes
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Ever wanted to learn how to play an instrument? In this light-hearted course, you don’t need any musical experience to have fun learning chords, strums, and techniques to begin your ukulele journey and gain confidence playing with others. No uke? No worries! Get one through these local shops via mail or curbside pickup. This class is designed for ukuleles in the common high-G (“re-entrant”) tuning. Ukes in other tunings (including low-G and baritone ukes ) are welcome but ability to translate chords and tablature for yourself is needed. This class is geared for adults ages 18+.

Materials: A playable ukulele and a clip-on electronic tuner or one on your smartphone (there are many free ones available). Check here for resources: https://www.ukuleleclare.com/music-stores

 

Four of America’s Greatest Poets: Two Different Approaches to Reality

Meeting Dates: Tuesdays, April 6-27
Meeting Time: 11am-12:30 pm
Instructor: Huck Gutman
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

This is an introduction to four of the greatest of American poets. In weeks one and two we will read poems by Walt Whitman and William Carlos Williams, both of whom wrote about America, about the world outside themselves. In weeks three and four we will read poems by Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens, both of whom wrote about their inner lives.

 

Beginning Yoga I Session 4

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, April 7-28
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Instructor: Amanda McIntire
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Learn the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation in this introductory course.

 

Stress Relief & Guided Meditation

Meeting Dates: Thursdays, April 8-29
Meeting Time: 6-7 pm
Instructor: Katherine Robinson
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Have you been feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed during these uncertain times? Join Katherine Robinson to learn techniques to move out of the stress response and into the relaxation response. This class includes stretching, deep breathing, tapping, meridian tracing, and guided imagery. We will be moving from our left brain, where stress and overthinking live, into the right brain of imagery and relaxation.

 

Beginner Ukulele Level 2, Session 2

Meeting Dates: Mondays, May 3-24
Meeting Time: 6:30-7:30 pm
Instructor: Clare Innes
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Do you have a little ukulele know-how at your fingertips? Want to take your abilities to the next level? Geared for adults who are comfortable switching among basic chords and keeping a steady strum, learn more strums and chords, gain skills for tackling unfamiliar songs with increased confidence, and become even more comfortable playing with others. If you have taken the beginner uke class, this is the perfect next step. This class is designed for ukuleles in the common high-G (“re-entrant”) tuning. Ukes in other tunings (including low-G and baritone ukes ) are welcome but ability to translate chords and tablature for yourself is needed. We will start with the assumption that you are relatively comfortable switching among these chords: G, G7, C, C7, D, F, A minor. This class is geared for adults ages 18+.

Materials: A playable ukulele and a clip-on electronic tuner or one on your smartphone (there are many free ones available). Check here for resources: https://www.ukuleleclare.com/music-stores

 

Beginning Yoga I Session 5

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, May 5-26
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Instructor: Amanda McIntire
Location: Online
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

Learn the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation in this introductory course.

 

Befriending Yourself

Meeting Dates: Saturdays, May 8 & 15
Meeting Time: 10-11:30 am
Instructor: Katherine Robinson
Location: Online
Member: $30 Non-Member: $45
Do you find that you are in a battle with yourself that involves self-criticism, judgment and inner angst? These inner struggles caused by the mind can lead to anxiety, depression and relationship challenges. There is a way out that involves going within yourself and forming a deep bond. What if you could be your own best friend and feel more fulfilled on your journey? In this course, you will learn techniques to anchor and ground yourself in the present moment and learn how to create a positive inner environment.