Spring 2018 OLLI Series at SAM

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes offer new opportunities for serving the intellectual needs of Vermont’s older citizens through non-credit courses and programs offered at an affordable cost in communities throughout the state. The Spring 2018 St. Albans series has been announced:

FEBRUARY 7, 2018
Presenter: Fred Wiseman, Ph.D.
Title: “Swanton’s Explosive History”
Description: “At the turn of the 20th century, Swanton, VT was heavily involved in ammunition and gunpowder manufacture, specializing in the then new smokeless powder. The Robin Hood Powder Co., International Explosives and Remington/UMC employed hundreds of Vermonters and contributed to both the development of modern weapons and the American, French and Russian efforts in the First World War. Dr. Wiseman will share stories of these manufactories with an illustrated slide show and examples of their products.”

FEBRUARY 14, 2018
Presenter: Bill Mares, Writer, Teacher & Legislator
Title: “I could Hardly Keep From Laughing, Vermont Humor from Coolidge to Trump”
Description: Vermont humor began in hardscrabble times as farmers made light of heavy and odious work. Visitors and immigrants (‘Flatlanders’) brought new recruits for gentle derision, and politicians were always fair game for the public and each other. Bill Mares takes you on a guided tour of Vermont humor from the era of Calvin Coolidge to that of Donald Trump.”

FEBRUARY 21, 2018
Presenter: Shelley Facos, Consumer Services Analyst
Title: “We are DFR!”
Description: “How can the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, Banking Division help you? With an overview of financial institutions we regulate and our outreach/education efforts. We will share tips for Avoiding Scams and Identity Theft and review common scams and frauds and discuss Cybersecurity: Keeping Yourself Safe Online.”

FEBRUARY 28, 2018
Presenter: Steve Hagenbuch, Audubon Vermont Conservation Biologist
Title: “Bird Friendly Maple Project”
Description: “Vermont is well-known for maple syrup, however fewer people are familiar with the global importance of our state to bird conservation. Audubon Vermont’s Bird-Friendly Maple Project partners with the maple industry to help insure that sugarbush management integrates migratory songbird habitat with sap production. Learn how maple producers are making their forests “bird-friendly” and how this market based approach to bird conservation is a win-win-win for maple producers, songbirds, and the forest.”

MARCH 7, 2018
Presenter: Tyrone Shaw, Associate Professor, Johnson State
Title: “Bastard Republic”
Description: “Bastard Republics is a tour of the post-Soviet frozen conflict zones of the Prindnestrovian Moldavian Republic, the Republic of Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh, three unrecognized breakaway nations borne of the civil wars following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Each lives under the weight yet-to-be resolved wars, each surviving as illegitimate states in the eyes of international law. Each could well be a future flashpoint on the eastern flanks of Europe.”

MARCH 14, 2018
Presenter: Melissa Ewell, Educator (Retired)
Title: “Shamrocks & Thistles: Music and Myth from Ireland and Scotland”
Description: “Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this program will explore the music and folklore of the Emerald Isle with a side trip to neighboring Scotland. Featuring harp, mountain dulcimer, Gaelic songs and stories, ‘Shamrocks & Thistles’ is a musical journey through Celtic culture.”

MARCH 21, 2018
Presenter: Kurt Valenta, Educator – Naturalist
Title: “The Black Bear – Nature’s Voracious Omnivore”
Description: “The smallest of three bear species found in North America, the Black Bear lives in a wide variety of habitats. They move with a lumbering grace and stealth that belies their size. Part of many children’s tales, the fiercely protective female and the belligerent solitary male are anything but cuddly ‘Teddy Bears’. Join us as we explore the secretive world of the Black Bear.”

MARCH 28, 2018
Presenter: Dr. Kristi Dumont, Audiologist
Title: “Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about hearing loss”
Description: “Learn about the different types of hearing loss, why we get hearing loss and who is at greater risk. Discover treatment options as well as who can provide treatment. We will also talk about prevention and tinnitus.”

APRIL 4, 2018
Presenter: Professor William (“Bill”) Cotte, Lyndon State College
Title: “Great ‘Unfinished’ Masterpieces – Part I”
Description: “Professor William (‘Bill’) Cotte, professor of music at Lyndon State College (soon to be part of Northern Vermont University) since 1990, comes to St. Albans to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for music. Today he will explore, in sight and sound, some of the great music masterworks from Beethoven to Mahler, which, though ‘unfinished’, seem whole and complete. These works have become a mainstay of the concert repertoire.”

APRIL 11, 2018
Presenter: Professor William (“Bill”) Cotte, Northern Vermont University
Title: “Great ‘Unfinished’ Masterpieces – Part II”
Description:“Professor Bill Cotte of Lyndon State College continues his two-lecture presentation of some of the most beloved ‘unfinished’ masterpieces. Some of the truly great composers (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, and many others) have left us with a mysterious legacy of masterpieces left unfinished for various and unusual reasons. Many of these works are now the standard repertoire of classical music performance.”

APRIL 18, 2018
Presenter: Bridget Butler, educator and the ‘Bird Diva’
Title: “The Wonders of Wood Warblers”
Description: “Who are the Wood Warblers and why do birders lose their minds over them each spring? These small songbirds are not only incredibly colorful with necklaces and eye-rings, but beautiful songsters as well. And, they’re maddening! They’re quick, sometimes elusive and everyone’s in a rush to get a glimpse of a little warbler eye-candy before all the trees leaf out for the summer. With forty-one species documented in Vermont, there’s a lot to be on the lookout for! Join Bird Diva Bridget Butler to learn more about warblers in Vermont, how to find them and some tips on how to look and listen for these winged jewels.”

APRIL 25, 2018
Presenter: Peggy Pearl, Historian and Educator – Volunteer Director of St. Johnsbury History & Heritage Center
Title: “The Fairbanks Come to St. Johnsbury”
Description: “This will be a power point program illustrating the Joseph and Phebe Fairbanks family arrival in St. Johnsbury in 1815, what their sons did to put St. Johnsbury on the map and, in doing so, how St. Johnsbury benefited from their generosity – then and now.”

Lectures in St. Albans will held be on Wednesdays at 11 am at SAM, in the Bliss Room on the third floor, at the corner of Church and Bishop Streets in St. Albans. The lecture site is handicap accessible with parking available behind the Museum.

Payment of membership dues entitles subscribers to attend all sessions of the current semester. Lectures are also open to non-members for a fee of $5 per lecture. Semester membership fees are $40 per individual, or $70 per couple. You can find more information here. Learn more about OLLI St. Albans here.