What a change! What a pleasure! At another Senior Center today all the chairs were filled and more had to be added. We had an appreciative audience of lively, curious people. We told them about the Academy for Lifelong Learning, and about the new courses being offered for fall. Many wanted the course catalogs. What good salesmen we were! Because, indeed we are all enthusiastic about the organization. I received the catalog yesterday and had to immediately take myself in hand and say, "no, no, no" I cannot spend large parts of every week day taking classes. So many interested me, I am still shifting, sifting, adjusting my thought process. Yes, I know I'll take Chaucer read in Old English ... and I'll feel 19 again as I was when I had such a course in college. And loved it and, of course, have forgetten how to read old English except the first two lines of the Canterbury Tales. But there are at least ten other courses I want to take and I must narrow it down to no more than four, not counting the writing one I will teach. Oh and there's the open to the whole campus free foreign films every Tuesday afternoon that I have enjoyed so much the last couple of years.
Some older people seem to have no curiosity, they quietly become couch potatoes and live a limited life, learning little that's new, worrying about their health and the lives of their families. In fact after one's 60s health and families loom especially large for nearly all of us. But those of us taking continuing education courses -- including all the ones our group offers, for no credit, with no tests, no grades, just intellectual pleasure, good in class conversations, and some new information, and often some new friends -- one woman spoke of learning to love oysters at the grand age of 67 -- are alive in an exciting way that we wish we could share with everyone.
So today's reading event was an opportunity to do just that. I think our enthusiasm sparkled enough to entice a few others to join us in the fall. When the word "share" became a buzz word I hated its indiscriminate use. But the impulse to share pleasure and excitement, to share something that keeps our minds active and makes our lives interesting is the best kind of sharing.
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