Registration is open now for the spring term of the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Marietta College.  The term begins March 16 and ends May 8.  All interested persons of the Mid-Ohio Valley, regardless of age, are encouraged to register for the classes. This term, four of the courses will follow the usual pattern of meeting for two hours, once per week for eight weeks.  Two courses will be the exceptions to the rule and will run for only four weeks.  The cost of registration for the eight-week courses is $50, while each of the two four-week courses is $20. 

There are two ways to register.  Go online at, click on Register to enter the ILR storefront, select the course(s) of your choice, and proceed to checkout.  Or you may print and complete the registration form found online and mail it with payment to: Institute for Learning in Retirement, Marietta College, 215 Fifth Street, Marietta, OH  45750.

The ILR program is organized and operated by volunteers, and all courses are taught by knowledgeable instructors. 

The spring session classes are:

Calligraphy (for beginning & intermediate students).  This course will provide individualized instruction to develop the art of perfect lettering skills and advancing to other letter styles.  The instructor will have ink, pen holders, and nibs available for purchase ($11.45) and will provide a complete list of all needed supplies.  (See ILR website and Facebook for details.)  This class will meet on Mondays, beginning on March 16, from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Thomas Hall, Room 302, on the Marietta College campus.  Class size will be limited to 20 participants.  The instructor will be Sharon Le Hanse, Award-winning calligrapher and founder of TOUCAN DESIGN.  Registration – $30.

Movers and Shakers in the Middle East.  This course will provide glimpses into the lives and contributions of some of the foremost 20th century Middle Eastern politicians (Ataturk, D. Ben-Gurion, G. Meir, G. Nasser), writers (N. Mahfouz, A. Oz, M. Darwish), feminists (H. Shaawari, D. Shafik, N. al-Saadawi), architects (M. Safdie, H. Fathi, Z. Hadid), movie stars (O. Sharif, F. Hamama, Y. Chahine) musicians (D. Barenboim, Fairuz, U. Kulthum) and many others.  Some videos, visuals, and readings will highlight the lives and work of these notable figures.  The instructor will be Janice Terry, Professor Emerita, Eastern Michigan University.  This class will meet on Tuesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., beginning March 17 in Room 124 of Thomas Hall.  Registration – $30

What’s Happening Down on the Farm?  A review of agriculture in the 21st century, this course will look at the history of farming in America and will trace how we have arrived at the current state of agriculture.  Some topics will be food supply production, the importance of fiber production, trends in the dairy industry, the impact of gene splicing on crop yields and pesticide use, the size of the agricultural industry, and the survival of family farms.  The instructor, Jim Moon, BS Chemistry, Iowa State University, will share his personal experience with specialty crop farming.  This class will meet on Wednesdays, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., beginning March 18 in Room 124 of Thomas Hall.  Registration – $30

The Library: Palace of We, the People.  Inspired by The Library Book by Susan Orlean, this course will consider libraries past, present, and future.  A variety of speakers will present on multiple topics, such as ancient and medieval libraries, Andrew Carnegie and the rise of the public library, the role of libraries in a democracy, libraries as community centers, the treasures of special collections, and the impact of technology.  Instructors for this course include Cindy Brown, MSLS, University of Kentucky, Retired Librarian, as well as other librarians.  This class will meet on Thursdays, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., beginning March 19 in Room 209 of Thomas Hall.  Registration – $30

Mov’n & Grooov’n: Physical and Mental Health for Seniors.  This four-week course will introduce gentle physical exercises that can be performed standing or sitting and memory exercises that create new brain cells.   Both types of exercises will keep participants moving and grooving throughout their golden years.  The instructor will provide healthy snacks as well as handouts to guide at-home practice.  Class size will be limited to 30 participants.  Chris Poe is an Aquatic Instructor, Certified Group Exercise Instructor, and Tai Chi (Sun Style) Instructor, associated with the Arthritis Foundation and WV United Health Systems.  This class will meet on Fridays, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., beginning March 20 in Room 302 of Thomas Hall.  Registration – $20

All Hitched to Everything Else: Habitat Conservation in the Mid-Ohio Valley.  Come learn about local ecosystems through the lens of conservation in this four-week course!  Participants will learn about the mission and work of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, while deepening an appreciation of how everything is connected.  They will also discover how, as citizens of the area, they can support efforts to promote healthy local ecosystems.  Topics will include saving monarch butterflies and other pollinators, surveying mussels in the Ohio River, tackling invasive plants, reporting bird sightings, and protecting native wildflowers.  This class will meet on Fridays, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., beginning April 17 in Room 209 of Thomas Hall, and other local sites.  The instructor is Michael Schramm, Visitor Services Manager at Ohio River Islands, National Wildlife Refuge.  Registration – $20