Sun shining through the trees on east campus.

All Life is Learning - June 2022

Events & In this Issue


Important News – Registration is open now!

Join us for A Taste of OLLI 2022 – A Feast for Your Brain!
June 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – check-in and continental breakfast begins at 8 a.m.

  • A Taste of OLLI will take place at the Fetzer Center, 2251 Business Ct, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, on the campus of Western Michigan University.
  • The entire event, including parking, is free!
  • Please register by June 7 at (269) 387-4157 or on our website. If this is your first time registering on our website, you will need to create an account after adding the event to your cart.
  • Meet fall instructors and learn about their courses.
  • Attend mini breakout sessions or “tastes” of courses lead by our OLLI instructors.
  • Learn about OLLI committees and volunteer opportunities. 
  • Bring nonmember friends for an introduction to OLLI at WMU. Help them register or register for them!
  • Become an OLLI member or renew your membership (credit card or check, no cash).
  • Socialize with old friends and meet new ones!
  • Bring your donations for Kalamazoo Literacy Council, one of OLLI’s community outreach partners.

A Taste of OLLI is the perfect chance to experience that one-time volunteer opportunity you have been thinking about. Please contact the office using the linked form or by phone (269) 387-4157 to let us know if you are interested in helping support this wonderful event!  


June courses with openings still available:

  • Islamic Mysticism: History of Sufism in Michigan – Tasleem Firdausee, Thurs. 6/2 and 6/16, 10 a.m. to noon, College of Health and Human Services, Room #1073
  • Taking Better Pictures with your iPhone – Lynne Hall, Thurs. 6/2, 6/9 and 6/16, 1 to 3 p.m., College of Health and Human Services, Room #1035
  • Gentle Hatha Yoga – Shawn Hinga, Fri. 6/3 and 6/10, 1 to 3 p.m., Westwood United Methodist Church, Basement, 538 Nichols Rd, 49006
  • Ergonomically Designed, a Truth or Myth? – Enas Aref, Mon. 6/6 and 6/13, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., College of Health and Human Services, Room #1073
  • Only Hope: My Mother and the Holocaust Brought to Light – Irving Lubliner, Tues. 6/7, 1 to 2:30 p.m. online via Webex
  • Petanque: A French Outdoor Game you Might Enjoy, Come try it – Stanley Sackett Tues. 6/7, 2 to 4 p.m., 6th Street Park, 6321 6th St, 49009, between O and OP Ave.
  • Marriage Proposal Remix: Film Analysis Using Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice – Carrie Hess, Wed. 6/8 and 6/15, 9 to 11 a.m., online via Webex
  • Wet and Wild: Managing Habitat for Herpetofauna – Adam Austin, Thurs. 6/9 and 6/16, 10 a.m. to noon, College of Health and Human Services, Room #1035
  • The Wild World of Prairies – Ellen Badger Hanson, Fri. 6/10, 9 to 11 a.m., College of Health and Human Services, Room #1035
  • Comics and Justice: How Graphic Novels Depict Nonviolent Resistance – Krista Turner, Tues. 6/14, 6/21 and 6/28, 10 a.m. to noon, online via Webex
  • Strategies to Retain Driving Independence – Diane Andert and Sarah Rider, Mon. 6/20, Wed. 6/22 and Fri. 6/24, 10 a.m. to noon, Rider home, 2622 Winchell Ave. 49008
  • A Historic Gem on Westnedge Hill: The Past and Present Narrative of Crane Park – Natalie Patchell, Wed. 6/22, 10 a.m. to noon, Crane Park, 2099 S Park St, 49008, enter the Westnedge Hill neighborhood at Inkster and then park on Grandview

Register on our website or by phone at (269) 387-4157.



Mark your calendars for our next OLLI Travel adventure this September 14, 2022!

DISCOVERING NEW WINDOWS ON ARTS and CRAFTS – Mathias Alten and Frank Lloyd Wright

Spend the day exploring some unique examples of art and design located directly up the highway in Grand Rapids, Michigan! We will be treated to a private, docent-led tour of the George and Barbara Gordon Gallery on the downtown campus of GVSU. There, we will explore the paintings of Michigan artist Mathias Alten, often referred to as the “Dean of Michigan painters.” The Gordon Gallery is home to dozens of the over 3,800 paintings Alten created documenting the life, times, and landscapes throughout the turn of the century before his death in 1938. He always returned to Michigan to capture our state’s beauty – before the digital photographic world prevailed! The Gordon Gallery is a true gem, and these works offer a unique historic window into the past. We will also view the works of five other Michigan artists who had associations with Alten or connections to Grand Rapids. Lunch will be provided in the President’s Dining Room on campus.

  • September 14 2022

After lunch, we’ll venture to the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood to tour an excellent example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style architecture, the Meyer May House, which was Wright’s first major commission in Michigan. Mr. May was a prominent Grand Rapids clothier, and the house was commissioned in 1908. Fortunately, the preservation of this Michigan Prairie-style masterpiece was adopted by the Steelcase international furniture company in 1985. A brief history and the restoration project are summarized in a documentary movie, then we will be ushered into one of the finest examples of Wright’s work, including over 100 windows and Arts and Crafts style furnishings. We are bound to be amazed by the ingenuity and creativity of Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright as our docent explains the exact theories and logic of this architectural jewel.

Join us as we all discover yet another example of special treasures right on our doorstep. Bring a friend, sit back, relax and have a great day with OLLI travel! Pricing and sign-up information is coming soon. 

Talons Out Honor Flight Welcome Home Celebration

Join us on June 18 at Wings Stadium for the opportunity to shake the hand of a hero and say, "thank you for your service."  

Our 2020 OLLI Annual Membership Meeting was in honor of our veterans. Dave Heyduck from Talons Out was the speaker at the meeting and told us about this wonderful veteran's organization where over 1,500 veterans have been honored with one last mission. Ginny Spenner, an OLLI member, volunteer on the Events Committee, and core volunteer for Talons Out Honor Flight, Inc. has informed us that there is an honor flight scheduled for June 18.

You are invited to support our veterans by attending our welcome home reception that evening at Wings Stadium. The reception opens to the public at 7 p.m. Please bring a lawn chair. The veterans will return around 9 p.m. with a surprise escort from the airport. There will be tables set up with supplies for making posters and cards for these heroes. For more information about this great organization for WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans, please visit their website.


Calling all volunteers! We need 30 volunteers to have fun while assisting with the Taste of OLLI 2022. If you have some time, send Toni an email or call and leave a message (269) 387-4206 indicating you are available to assist. Thank you in advance!

Wellness Moment

Tyler Norman, Ph.D.
Manager of Corporate Outreach
ACSM Exercise Physiologist
NCFI Corporate Fitness Specialist
West Hills Athletic Club, WMU

Learnable Superpowers part 2 – Radical Acceptance

To continue on the learnable superpower theme, we pay homage to “Radical Acceptance.” Radical Acceptance is a little deeper in the weeds than mindfulness but is often described as “life-changing” – it definitely was for me. Radical Acceptance is a component of a cognitive behavior therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which focuses on creating a positive to offset a negative. To “radically accept” something is to stop fighting reality with bitterness and resentment. It is the ability to accept situations that are outside of your control without judging them, which as a result reduces the suffering that they cause. This is a hard one for the control freaks out there, but it can be achieved with practice. 

Example 1: Rather than focusing on the injustice of a death or why it should not have happened the way that it did, Radical Acceptance allows you to focus on your grief, knowing it is out of your control, and focus on the best way to handle it. What is the point of focusing on the past when you cannot change it? It is a waste of energy and can cause severe stress and anxiety. Example 2: Some people can retire from a profession and be completely at peace with both their decision and their abrupt irrelevance in the workforce (at West Hills, we call them PIP’s which stands for “previously important person”), while others struggle to find relevance after retirement. By radically accepting that your career is behind you, you can focus on enrichment and personal development. Here is an article that discusses Radical Acceptance through the lens of grief and loss.  

 I have conjured the mantra of Radical Acceptance on a regular basis with my 17-year-old and the nightmare of no socialization during Covid. Example 3: My daughter announces that she is no longer a vegetarian and would like ranch-marinated chicken on the grill for dinner. With my wife out of town, I stepped up my game and went all out. Au gratin potatoes, steamed broccoli, tossed salad, ranch-marinated chicken, and apple pie (store-bought) were prepared and on the table at the agreed-upon dinnertime of 7 p.m. At 7:15, she and her boyfriend were not home yet, so I shot her a text letting her know that dinner was on the table. They arrived about 15 minutes later with two large bags of Chick-Fil-A, announcing they had just decided they would rather have that. I felt anger as my first response for about three seconds before I conjured my superpower – radical acceptance. Then I laughed and laughed and our 10-pound poodle ate like a queen for the week. 

I will leave you with a quote from the prophet Buddha: “If the problem can be solved, why worry? If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good.”

Now You Know

In 2021, Juneteenth officially became a federally recognized holiday. For those who don’t know, Juneteenth is a holiday that African-Americans have celebrated since U.S. troops ensured that all slaves were finally freed in 1865. This month celebrates Black people as a whole and how much they have accomplished despite all of their suffering and the injustices they have faced. Often called America’s “Second Independence Day,” Juneteenth is observed every year on June 19. To learn more about this incredibly significant holiday, please visit:

There is another holiday that we haven’t paid much attention to, due to it being a Canadian holiday, but it matters all the same. Canada’s National Indigenous People’s Day, formerly known as National Aboriginals Day, celebrates the native people of Canada on June 21. This celebrates the culture and traditions held by native Canadians, including the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. To learn more about their wondrous history and culture, please visit:

What is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute?

The program was initiated under the auspices of the WMU Emeriti Council and WMUx. OLLI offers intellectually lively and culturally appealing learning experiences. We accomplish this by focusing on intellectual stimulation, personal growth, social engagement and enrichment.  Read more


What do we do?

We offer short courses for one to four weeks. Sessions are usually two hours long. Travel programs are also a part of our offerings. There are no tests and no required homework, just exploring lots of interesting topics.

In the near future we will offer courses in different formats -- noon hour discussions, several sessions in one week, and more evening courses. OLLI courses and activities are developed and produced by its members with the support of the staff of WMUx.

We need your ideas for course topics and instructors. Let us know your suggestions. Call the OLLI office at (269) 387-4157 or send an email. The curriculum committee will review all suggestions.