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

All classes will be held online, using ZOOM (except for noted otherwise). You will need access to internet connection and ability to connect to ZOOM. Click here for quick tips on accessing ZOOM.

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, or need reasonable accommodations 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. 

Fall Courses

REGISTRATION* IS OPEN!
*Helpful Tips for Registering Online for OLLI Classes

Drawing for the Terrified FULL

Meeting Dates: Tuesdays, September 8-29
Meeting Time: 3-5 pm
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.

  • Week 1: Drawing, shape consciousness, and how we construct the visual world
  • Week 2: Drawing the illusion of light
  • Week 3: Drawing the illusion of depth
  • Week 4: Drawing abstract art, Zentangle and creative doodles

 

Reading Workshop: The 1619 Project FULL

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, September 9-30
Meeting Time: 4-5:30 pm
Instructor: Rebecca Starks
Location: Online
Member: $60 Non-Member: $90

We will read The 1619 Project-a reframing of American political, social, and economic history that places the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of our national narrative-and discuss the public and critical responses to it. Conceived by Pulitzer-Prize winner Nikole Hannah-Jones and published by the New York Times Magazine in 2019 to mark 400 years since American slavery began, the project has continued as a podcast, a high-school curriculum, and an upcoming book series. Essays look at the roots of our current national crises-including a broken health care system, extreme income inequality, and mass incarceration-and cultural indebtedness, while poetry and fiction bring to life key moments in American history. In the last week, we will share ideas on further reading and activism, and reflect on how the project invites us to reframe our own life stories. So that we can make the most of our time together, please allow time for a short reading exercise the week prior to our first meeting.

  • Week 1: Slavery and Democracy
  • Week 2: Labor Camps and Capitalism
  • Week 3: Jim Crow and Criminal Justice
  • Week 4: Economic and Cultural Debts

 

Beginning Yoga I Session 1

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, September 9-30
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Instructor: Amanda McIntire
Location: Online via MS Teams
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

This class serves as an introduction to yoga and is specifically designed for brand new beginners over age 50. Taught in a gentle and light-hearted way, it is easily accessible to any level of fitness. This series introduces participants to the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), the breathing practices (pranayama), and meditation. Participants should wear loose (but fitted) clothes and have their own yoga mat. Yoga blocks and a yoga strap are highly recommended.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Attracting Bees & Butterflies

Meeting Date: Tuesday, September 15
Meeting Time: 1-2:30 pm
Instructor: Charlotte Albers
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Looking to make your gardens more habitat-friendly? Do you have beehives and want to improve honey yield? Come learn how to build biodiversity with cold-hardy plants suitable for Vermont including many shrubs and edible crops that support these pollinators. Charlotte is a landscape designer and curator of the Pollinator Garden at the UVM Horticulture, Education & Research Center in South Burlington, an outdoor classroom and display garden. Her home property is certified as a Backyard Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation and supports two beehives.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Cooking Demo: Intro. to Mezze of the Middle East and Eastern Europe

Meeting Date: Thursday, October 1
Meeting Time: 3-4:30 pm
Instructor: Richard Witting
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Explore the shared meal style known as Mezze (small dishes) found throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In this engaging cooking demo, learn to make the best hummus, homemade labneh, techina and more!

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Drawing du Jour

Meeting Dates: Saturdays, October 3-24
Meeting Time: 10 am – noon
Instructor: Michael Strauss
Location: Online
Member: $60 Non-Member: $90

Drawing du Jour is a themed but partially open studio drawing class with a focus on technique, materials and style. You may work on your own drawing/painting projects and get feedback, or you can join others drawing/painting specific content offered during each class. We will explore different drawing styles (the artist’s “handwriting”), different subjects (still life, figures and landscape) and emulate, interpret and recreate the drawings and paintings of many imaginative and talented artists.

Each class will begin with a brief introduction by the instructor, followed by several short videos elaborating the theme and content for the session. After discussing these, there may be demonstrations of technique, viewing of the work of specific artists, followed by student drawing in graphite, charcoal or ink. During the drawing time, the instructor will talk with each student about their work and at the end of the hour drawings will be shared and discussed.

This class is for beginners or more experienced artists. Some drawing or painting experience is helpful.

Materials: A 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.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER

 

Writing Workshop: Four Poems FULL

Meeting Dates: Mondays, October 5-26
Meeting Time: 12:30-2:30 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 one of these elements: metaphors, turnings, lines, and fragments. 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.

  • Week 1: Metaphor
  • Week 2: Turning
  • Week 3: Line
  • Week 4: Fragment

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Beginner Ukulele-Level 1

Meeting Dates: Mondays, October 5-26
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 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 one of 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.

Materials: A playable ukulele and a clip-on electronic tuner or one on your smartphone (there are many free ones available). This class is geared for adults ages 18+.

  • Week 1: We will learn an easy tune with 3 chords that flow into each other. Using this song, we’ll learn about the mechanics of playing: holding the uke, strumming, getting your fingers to make the chord shapes, and singing.
  • Week 2: We will build on what we learned, answering questions that arose during the week, and introduce more songs that use the same chords to reinforce what we learned in week 1. We’ll introduce 2 more chords.
  • Week 3: We will learn 2 more chords and apply them and previous lessons to one or two new tunes that emphasize new strumming patterns. We’ll also touch upon fingerpicking and other fun ways to add fun texture to your playing. .
  • Week 4: Week 4: We will learn essentials for becoming comfortable playing with others in jams and gatherings, and learn how to read chords from guitars and other ukes. We’ll celebrate what we’ve learned with a fun play/sing-along.
  • **Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER

 

Memoir Writing Toolbox

Meeting Date: Tuesday, October 6
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Greg Bottoms
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

UVM English Professor and acclaimed memoirist Greg Bottoms will offer a one-session tutorial on the popular genre of the literary memoir, including a “toolbox” of theories and techniques to better conceptualize and craft true stories from our own lives meant to engage and enlighten a public audience.

Memoir is a popular literary genre, a truly democratic form with a history of ushering in new and underrepresented voices, and a malleable and often innovative artistic mode of storytelling. The best memoirs are at once documentary and creative, investigative and poetic, personal and of social and cultural import.

In this class, we will define the literary memoir as distinct from autobiography, discuss how to find and frame aspects of our own lives that might make for urgent and compelling memoir subject matter, and go through some important craft and technique considerations to keep in mind when drafting toward a memoir story or book.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER

 

Beginning Yoga I Session 2

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

This class serves as an introduction to yoga and is specifically designed for brand new beginners over age 50. Taught in a gentle and light-hearted way, it is easily accessible to any level of fitness. This series introduces participants to the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), the breathing practices (pranayama), and meditation.

Participants should wear loose (but fitted) clothes and have their own yoga mat. Yoga blocks and a yoga strap are highly recommended.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER

 

Shorebirds in Vermont

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

We tend to think of shorebirds as little birds that race back and forth on ocean beaches like little wind-up toys, daring the waves to catch them. But we can see many kinds of shorebirds right here in Vermont. Many come through the state every fall on their way from wintering grounds to the south to their breeding areas on the Canadian tundra. Others are here all summer! Enjoy great photos of these charismatic beauties and learn about their fascinating life histories.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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How 9/11 Changed the World

Meeting Date: Tuesday, October 13
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Garrett Graff
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Vermont author and historian Garrett Graff’s new book, the New York Times-bestselling Vermont author and historian Garrett Graff’s new book, the New York Times-bestselling The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, explores the attacks of September 11th and how America reacted to an unprecedented and tragic day through the stories of how 480 Americans lived that day, morning to night, coast to coast. Graff will discuss America’s memory of that day, how it changed the country, and what the attacks mean to a new generation coming of age who have no personal memory of the events.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Brooklyn Bridge

Meeting Date: Thursday, October 15
Meeting Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: New York Historical Society
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Opened on May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was hailed as “the eighth wonder of the world.” Well over a century later, it still stands as one of the world’s most recognizable spans. This interactive virtual presentation explores the amazing history of the bridge’s construction and the heroic and sometimes tragic stories of the men and women who made it possible. Discover how the bridge’s construction helped lead to the consolidation of New York and how old world engineering know-how and modern industrial innovation came together to complete the project.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Equal Justice Initiative: Ending Mass Incarceration & Challenging Racial & Economic Injustice

Meeting Date: Tuesday, October 20
Meeting Time: 2:30-3:30 pm
Instructor: Rachel Judge, EJI Staff Attorney*
Location: Online
Member: FREE Non-Member: FREE

Based out of Montgomery, Alabama, the Equal Justice Initiative is a private, nonprofit, legal organization is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Join the staff from EJI to learn more about their mission, challenges, and projects.

*Rachel Judge, EJI Staff Attorney, graduated in 2013 from Harvard Law School, where she represented indigent criminal defendants as a student attorney. She interned for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta. She has a B.A. in Sociology from Brown University and worked on behalf of death row inmates in California before law school.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Writing a Legacy Letter

Meeting Dates: Thursdays, October 22 & 29
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 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.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow

Meeting Date: Tuesday, October 27
Meeting Time: 12:30-1:30 pm
Instructor: New York Historical Society
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Based on the New-York Historical Society’s 2018-19 exhibition, this virtual presentation explores Black Americans’ struggle for equality under the law from 1865 through World War I. Learn about both Southern and Northern roles in this dark chapter of our history as well as Black New Yorkers’ organizing and community-building in the face of discrimination.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Monuments That Erase History

Meeting Date: Wednesday, November 4
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Kelley Di Dio
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

As Black Lives Matter protestors toppled or defaced Confederate monuments, and governments at the local level began taking more seriously the idea of their removal, immediately, there were cries of “erasing history,” or “dishonoring truly honorable men,” or that these men, despite their flaws, were just “men of their times,” and should still be celebrated for their achievements. But do monuments truly contain history, and their destruction cause history’s erasure? Why are monuments erected? What is their function? Why are they placed on public lands? Who is their audience? Is their placement or the values assigned to them unchangeable? In my talk, I will examine the history of these monuments–the Confederate ones around the south (including my hometown), the ones in the U.S. Capital Building, the monuments in California of Junípero Serra, as well as ones in Europe, one of which is considered a master work by a major Baroque sculptor. I dig into why they were made, what the messages were that they sent and why, and then the issues of keeping them in their original sites. Discover how monuments do not contain history and instead contain mythologies propagated by a particular group, in a particular moment, for a particular reason.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Beginning Yoga I Session 3

Meeting Dates: Wednesdays, November 4-25
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Instructor: Amanda McIntire
Location: Online via MS Teams
Member: $40 Non-Member: $60

This class serves as an introduction to yoga and is specifically designed for brand new beginners over age 50. Taught in a gentle and light-hearted way, it is easily accessible to any level of fitness. This series introduces participants to the basics of yoga, including the physical practice (asana), the breathing practices (pranayama), and meditation.

Participants should wear loose (but fitted) clothes and have their own yoga mat. Yoga blocks and a yoga strap are highly recommended.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER

 

Beginner Ukulele-Level 2

Meeting Dates: Mondays, November 9-30
Meeting Time: 5:30-6:30 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. Being comfortable with these chords is not required but will help tremendously: G, G7, C, C7, D, F, A minor. Limited to musicians 18 and older.

Materials: A playable ukulele and a clip-on electronic or smart phone tuner.

  • Week 1: We will learn an easy tune with 4 chords that flow into each other. Using this song, we’ll learn about the mechanics of playing: holding the uke, strumming, getting your fingers to make the chord shapes, and singing.
  • Week 2: We will build on what we learned, answering questions that arose during the week, and introduce more songs that use the same chords to reinforce what we learned in week 1. We’ll introduce 2 more chords.
  • Week 3: We will learn 2 more chords and apply them and previous lessons to one or two new tunes that emphasize new strumming patterns. We’ll also touch upon fingerpicking and other fun things ways to play the ukulele.
  • Week 4: We will learn essentials for becoming comfortable playing with others in jams and gatherings, and learn how to read chords from guitars and other ukes. We’ll celebrate what we’ve learned with a fun play/sing-along.
  • **Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER

 

Compassionate Care for Grief and Loss

Meeting Date: Tuesday, November 10
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Francesca Arnoldy
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

When we offer support from a place of sympathy or empathy, we often deplete our reserves and take on the suffering of others. Practicing compassionate approaches to care is mutually generative and healthy. During this gathering, we’ll cover strategies of holding space for others as they work through times of intensity, including loss and grief, as well as self-care practices and mortality awareness work.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson: His Ode to Our Beautiful Nature FULL

Meeting Date: Tuesday, November 10
Meeting Time: 12:30-2 pm
Instructor: Christopher Ulloa Chaves
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Emerson writes “the sky, the mountain, the tree, the animal, give us a delight in and for themselves.” What does this mean for our experience when appreciating and protecting the natural beauty surrounding us? This seminar is an invitation to closely read and dialogue with others about one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s greatest essays titled Nature, specifically the section on Beauty. Emerson seems to have written a love letter in this essay about his personal experience with nature to, in essence, initiate in us a deeper love, appreciation, and will to protect nature’s delicate balance. Thus, in this seminar, we and Emerson will explore Nature’s beauty in terms of its aesthetic, spiritual, and intellectual dimensions which contribute to a deeper flourishing in life. Please read the following essay prior to class: https://emersoncentral.com/texts/nature-addresses-lectures/nature2/beauty/

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Victory Gardens: Then and Now

Meeting Date: Wednesday, November 11
Meeting Time: 3-4:30 pm
Instructor: Gordon Clark
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Learn about the history of the Victory Garden movement, starting with its origins in 1890s progressive education, through World Wars I and II, and to the present day. Special focus will be paid to its current iteration in the state, Vermont Victory Gardens, a UVM Extension Master Gardener project started this spring to confront food insecurity created by the coronavirus pandemic.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

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Introduction to Backyard Birding

Meeting Date: Thursday, November 12
Meeting Time: 5:30-7 pm
Instructor: Maeve Kim
Location: Online
Member: $15 Non-Member: $25

Birdwatching can lower stress and blood pressure, increase focus, and improve overall health. Learn the basics of birdwatching: how to get started, how to choose your equipment, and where to go birdwatching in Vermont.

**Registration closes two days before the start date. 

REGISTER