All classes for the Fall 2020 Term of The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) of Marietta College will be offered on Zoom. Program Director Martha McGovern says, “We are pleased that Zoom delivery enables us to offer challenging courses while protecting our community’s health.”

The Institute for Learning in Retirement is a community-based organization of retirement age people who share a love of learning. At its heart is an academic program designed by its members to suit their interests and taught by knowledgeable instructors. Dave Cress is the ILR Director.

The ILR Board made the firm decision to go virtual in order to provide planning certainty for instructors and participants and to comply with the campus and community safety precautions required by the pandemic.

The Fall Term 2020 will run from September 14 through November 6, and classes will be held 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Zoom. Cost will be $20 or $30 per course. In response to the COVID-19 situation, registration and payment cannot be made in person at the Marietta College cashier’s office or with the office staff.    

To register for courses, visit the IRL webpage. Click on Register to enter the ILR storefront, select the course(s) of your choice, and proceed to checkout. Pay by using your VISA, Mastercard, or Discover card. To participate, enrollees in ILR will need to click on the Zoom link emailed to them by the instructor. The connection to Zoom is free. Please register by September 4 to give instructors time to mail/email information before the first class meeting. 

Fall Courses:

Mondays: Movies That Expand Our Compassion

To expand our understanding of diversity and our capacity for compassion, we will view short films and engage in reflective, small-group discussions. Each week, in preparation for class discussion, participants will view a designated movie on their own and will identify three scenes/images that resonated with them and why. Then, in a Zoom small-group discussion with a facilitator, they will share their reactions. All films are available on Amazon Prime and will include Dancing in Jaffa, Far from the Tree, Millions, On the Way to School, Right Footed, Sin Nombre, The Farewell, and The Hate U Give.

Instructor George Banziger explains:  “There are many compassion-inducing stories to be told.  We’ve tried to select some of the most compelling in these films. Some, such as “Dancing in Jaffa,” are stories about courageous people who have struggled against challenging odds and brought together people of different social backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. Imagine a prize-winning ballroom dancer bringing together Muslim and Jewish schoolchildren to dance waltzes. We will have enriching discussions on these films – in 3-4 time and other cadences.” Cost: $20

Tuesdays: Movers & Shakers in the Middle East 

Instructor Janice Terry, Professor Emerita, Eastern Michigan University, comments: “Contrary to popular media coverage in the U.S., the Middle East does not produce only power-hungry politicians and brutal military dictators.  While these exist, there are also outstanding figures of rich cultural and artistic traditions.  In this course we will explore the lives and contributions of, yes, a few political leaders (Ataturk, D. Ben-Gurion, G. Meir, G. Nasser), but also architects (M. Safdie, H. Fathi, Z. Hadid), feminists (H. Shaawari, D. Shafik, N. al-Saadawi), poets, writers (N. Mahfouz, A. Oz, M. Darwish), musicians (D. Barenboim, Fairuz, U. Kulthum), as well as movie stars (O. Sharif, F. Hamama, Y. Chahine), belly dancers, singers, and other Movers and Shakers.”  Cost: $30

Wednesdays: Mov’n & Groov’n: Physical and Mental Health for Seniors

Chris Poe is Instructor of Aquatics, Group Exercise, Tai Chi (Sun Style), and is also associated with the Arthritis Foundation and WV United Health Systems. This 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 healthful snack ideas and handouts to guide at-home practice. Cost: $30

Thursdays: Nightingales and New Women: True Women and Warriors 

Instructor Rebecca Phillips, Professor Emerita, WVU Parkersburg; PH.D. in English from WVU, says: “We will explore the writings of US women (mostly poets) between 1830 and 1945, a period that saw “true womanhood” colliding with the antislavery movement, the push for female suffrage, economic changes, and two world wars. We will begin with what critic Cheryl Walker calls ‘the nightingale tradition’ and look at what changed and what continued as American women made their voices heard. Some of the women you will meet in this course are Edgar Allen Poe’s (self-reported) fiancée, ‘the little lady who started this big war,’ the African-American schoolteacher who became an abolitionist, a feminist, and a bestselling writer, and the mystic who was briefly engaged to Ezra Pound.” Readings and discussion topics will be posted online.  Cost: $30

Fridays: The Climate Change Debate 

Instructors are Ben Ebenhack, Benedum Professor and Industry Partners Chair, Dept. of Petroleum Engineering, Geology, and Environmental Engineering, Marietta College; and Juan Carlos Ramirez, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering, Marietta College Ben Ebenhack states: “Climate Change is one of the most polarized debates in modern times. There are those who argue that it is a hoax, those that argue that it is a real threat to the very survival of the Earth as we know it, and those who argue that it may be real, but is not primarily anthropogenic.  The climate is an enormous system with complexities and interactions with other systems, sufficient to baffle the greatest minds. There is much we don’t know, indeed, much we cannot know, but there is still much that we do know. This course will explore what we do know, what principal human activities impact the climate, and what steps might make the greatest impact in the shortest time. It will offer some guidance for how to take action in the midst of uncertainty.”  Cost: $30