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Carleton University offers free and cheap courses for general public—registration begins 09.01.20

By Barbara Popel on August 25, 2020

In my recent Apt613 article, you read how Carleton University will deliver its long-running Learning in Retirement (LinR) program entirely online this fall. I checked in with Daphne Uras, the Life-Long Learning Program Coordinator at Carleton’s Centre for Initiatives in Education, to find out about the contents of LinR’s Fall session. So far, there are 15 lectures and six-week lecture series scheduled, with more to come. Ms. Uras said the lecturers are “super keen on providing a great experience” and they want to “bring the same kind of participation (to these online lectures) as in a live classroom.”

Despite the name, Learning in Retirement courses are open to everyone, not only retirees.

In honour of LinR’s 20th anniversary (yes, Carleton has now offered exciting learning experiences to adult learners for 20 years!), two of these lectures will be free. The first, on September 10, will be given by Renaissance man Adrian Cho. Titled “How to Learn, Practice, and Adapt as if Your Life Depends on It,” its participants will learn how to “apply Adrian’s insights to learning new topics, hobbies, and technologies, as well as absorbing the news.”

The second free lecture, on October 1, will be given by Dr. Susan Bradley and Dr. Renate Ysseldyk, who will report on their 2019 study on aging in Ottawa. The lecture is titled “Age-Friendly? A Research Discussion on Getting Older in Ottawa.” Participants will also learn about a new study on the effects of COVID-19 on Ottawa seniors. Online registration for these two-hour lectures will begin at 10am on Tuesday, September 1. As with all the rest of LinR’s fall session, they’ll be delivered live via the Zoom meeting app.

Photo: Andrew Power/Apt613 Flickr pool.

As Ms. Uras explained in my previous article, LinR will have a “rolling schedule” of registrations and lecture series this fall. Each batch will contain three to five lecture series, individual lectures, and workshops. The next batch of registrations will begin at 10am on Wednesday, September 2, and lectures in this batch will start on Monday, September 14. And what exciting things this batch contains!

LinR will have a “rolling schedule” of batches of registrations and lecture series this fall. Each batch will contain three to five lecture series, individual lectures, and workshops.

A perennial favourite for current affairs aficionados will be back: Political scientist and media commentator Dr. Elliot Tepper will present “Behind the Headlines: Current News and World Events.” Its description reads: “Hot topics of the week will be explored in depth, providing context and background for stories in the headlines. We will also be exploring some topics that did not make the headlines, but should have. The content will be determined weekly by emerging issues of importance to Canadians that affect our lives and our world.” Dr. Tepper will also give three single lectures titled “Power in America: Election 2020” leading up to the November U.S. election.

Another intriguing lecture series, “Capturing Unique Photographs of Wildlife and Nature,” will be presented by Adrian Cho. Besides being a professional jazz musician, an experienced technology leader (most recently at Shopify), and a creativity coach, Cho is also a professional photographer. Participants will learn how to take interesting nature photos with any camera – even a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera.

Rounding out this batch is a new poetry workshop, “Poetry: The Open Mind,” led by award-winning author Mark Frutkin. Enrolment will be limited to a small group, and participants will not only study poetry, they’ll also write their own poems.

The following batch of registrations will begin at 10am on Wednesday, September 23, with lectures beginning on October 5. There’s lots of variety in this batch – conflict resolution, art history, and jazz. “The Art of Jazz Singing” will be given by the multi-talented, multilingual jazz singer and songwriter Dr. Diane Nalini. Daphne Uras tells me this lecture is one of her favourite LinR offerings.

Personally, I’m excited about the art history lecture series “Art Against the Academy: 1798 to 1914” because it’s being given by one of my favourite lecturers, Dr. Eric Weichel. He’ll discuss artists from subversive movements such as the Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionism, and Art Nouveau. Dr. Weichel has a gift for inspiring his audience to explore the world of art beyond “the usual suspects.” I’m sure participants will be surprised and delighted by this lecture series.

What’s that – you’ve never thought of the ukulele as a proper musical instrument? Let Dr. Diane Nalini change your mind!

The last batch of fall registrations will begin at 10am on Wednesday, October 14, with lectures beginning on October 26. Again, lots of variety – politics (the last two of Dr. Tepper’s lectures about the U.S. election), the always popular memoir-writing workshop led by Dr. Anna Rumin, and a single lecture and series about music. The lecture series, given by Adrian Cho (this guy gets around!), is his very popular “A Brief History of Jazz: Miles, Monk, Mingus, and More.” Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or just curious about this unique musical form, you’ll have a blast if you sign up for this series. Finally, Dr. Diane Nalini will present the single lecture “The Fascinating Ukulele: A Musical History and Travelogue.” What’s that – you’ve never thought of the ukulele as a proper musical instrument? Let her change your mind!


You can register for LinR’s emails at Learning in Retirement’s website as of September 1, 2020, and can find more information about the entire fall session here.