George's Story - Lifelong Learning

George's Story - Lifelong Learning

When I retired a few years ago, taking early retirement I decided that I had to do a couple of things to keep healthy. I had to exercise both my body and my mind. When I worked, I walked to and from work almost every day (more than 5 kilometers per day). I decided to keep up walking in my retirement. I admit that I don’t do that every day now, but I do walk to class, almost the same distance, and at least once a week I extend the walk downtown.

I take art appreciation classes partly because my daughter studied art history and my wife and I have gone to art galleries and museums in many countries.

To keep my mind active, I tossed around the idea of getting a part time job, but anything that came to mind was at minimum wage and seemed more trouble than it was worth. Volunteering was considered, and I actually did volunteer part-time at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History for a few years giving tours of the museum to school groups.  Then things changed at the museum, I either had to put in more time or quit. I decided to quit and put more time into classes at the Lifelong Learning Center, studying and reading books on subjects that were of interest to me.

I like science and math, so I take those type of classes, although math classes are very rare. I also take the odd history class. Although I hated history in high school, I find that as I get older and have lived recent history, it is more interesting. I have found classes on religion interesting, but I am at the stage where I would like more advanced religion classes.

I have also taken the occasional philosophy and art appreciation class. I like the idea of philosophy, but find it difficult because I haven’t read the great philosophers of the past. I take art appreciation classes partly because my daughter studied art history and my wife and I have gone to art galleries and museums in many countries.

I do not take the many exercise classes offered at the LLC, choosing instead to walk to class.  I don’t take the computer classes although I could possibly benefit from some of them.

I host the Thursday noon one hour lectures which feature a wide range of topics from current economic issues or city politics to someone’s travel pictures.

I have taught 2 or 3 classes at the LLC. This is when one really learns a subject. Teaching requires many hours of work and preparation, so that the instructor is more knowledgeable than most of the students.  This can be a bit tricky at the LLC because classes are taken by seniors, and one of the students may actually be an expert on the subject that you are teaching. One of the classes that I taught was Quantum Mechanics as an overview course. Most of us understand to a limited view of how the world works, at least at a macroscopic level but once you look at the microscopic or atomic view it becomes very strange, more strange than anything a fiction writer could ever dream up.

One last thing before I finish: we take a break in the middle of the class for coffee and sometimes cookies. This is the time for discussion among students and many friendships have been started during the breaks. I come for the cookies.

George - LLC Student for 10+ years

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