It’s August and you know what that means: It’s almost Back-to-School time!
The great thing about classes as the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Towson University is that there are no tests and no homework! And, just like any other respectable center of education, Osher has its own set of extracurricular activities—so that lifelong learners can get involved outside of the classroom too.
Don’t be a wallflower! Here are some of the ways lifelong learners can get involved with Osher.
Osher has a great selection of book clubs that you can take advantage of as a regular or when the mood strikes. You don’t have to pre-register to attend and the meetings are free to all Osher members. Book groups meet in Room 113B in the 7400 Building (the Popular Fiction Book Club meets in 113A) and schedules are sent out via the Osher email list and placed on the information table in 113B. The Mystery Book Club follows a theme each season and each of the books will leave the reader intrigued and ready for discussion. The Literary Fiction Book Club explores novels by critically acclaimed contemporary authors. Similarly, the Popular Fiction Book Club allows for some great discussion of novels that have traversed some best seller lists. Then, there is the Non-Fiction Book Group with non-fiction options that cover a range of interesting topics. Members of each book club share in picking out the upcoming book selections.
Special Interest Groups
Every Tuesday at 1 p.m. in room 113B, The World We Live In group meets to discuss current events and news of the day. So far, they haven’t been at a loss for topics to discuss. The facilitator makes sure that everyone feels comfortable expressing his or her perspective in this respectful environment for discourse. For those who would prefer to express themselves in a different forum, there is the Writing Our Lives group. During each session, a prompt is provided to help spark individual writing and then there is time for sharing and feedback for those who would like to participate in those aspects.
That’s right—day trips are a great extracurricular activity! There are a number of day trips planned throughout the year. The next one is to the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory in Washington, D.C. There will be a trip in October to the Harriet Tubman Museum on the Eastern Shore. Pricing varies per trip and it is possible to bring a non-member guest. These trips book up quickly and are first-come, first-served—so keep your eyes and ears open for announcements.
Osher’s small staff is extremely grateful for the work that the members of the various Osher committees do on behalf of the organization. Without the commitment of volunteers who participate on these committees, Osher simply wouldn’t be the wonderful organization that it is.
- The Coordinating Council is an advisory board of members comprised of the chair, John Dahne, the secretary, Ann Dahl, the chairs of the main Osher committees, and six At-large members. Through bi-monthly meetings, the Council meets with staff and division leadership on topics that affect Osher. There are often opportunities for members to participate on the various committees at Osher depending on their interests.
- The Hospitality/Social Committee greets our members during the semester with coffee and treats in the morning. They also arrange great luncheons at area restaurants and provide the pastries that everyone enjoys so much at the Preview.
- The Facilities Committee members assist instructors with the computers and other equipment during class. They also communicate important announcements at the start of each class.
- The Fundraising Committee has been working closely with the Towson University Office of Development on fundraising initiatives for Osher. The guidance of the Bernard Osher Foundation plays a part in our fundraising activities as well.
- The Curriculum Committee meets regularly to provide input and guidance in the formation of the Osher curriculum.
- The Membership Committee is thinking about the issues that surround our growing membership—building, retaining, and accommodating members in a community of learning.
- The Art Exhibition Committee organizes the art on display in the classrooms each semester at Osher.
- The Book Exchange Committee keeps readers happy with a place to give a book and take a book in room 113B.
- The Mailing Committee gets together to make sure that catalogs go out on time in an orderly fashion.
- The Day Trips Committee enables Osher members to go on fantastic day trips several times each semester.
The book clubs, special interest groups, and committees are led by Osher members who enrich the program by facilitating, organizing, and lending their expertise. Thank you to all who are doing so! If you are interested in learning more about a particular area, please contact Tracy Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected to one of the facilitators of a group or committee. Thanks for getting involved at Osher!