Osher North Hawaiʻi program expanding

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Date: Friday, September 15, 2006
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program at the North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center (NHERC) is expanding its programming for Fall 2006. NHERC, which officially opened in May, is located in the newly refurbished building that formerly housed the old Honokaʻa Hospital.

“We’re excited about increasing the range of non-credit offerings through OLLI to the North Hawaiʻi region,” said Osher Coordinator Bill Kunstman. “The Center is striving to meet the educational needs and desires of North Hawaiʻi’s communities and OLLI plays an important role in meeting that goal.”

The OLLI program is offering 14 courses taught by community members this fall, beginning September 26, 2006. Artist and Honokaʻa High School teacher Doug McDowell will conduct a printmaking class. Toddy Hagans will teach an introductory computer course covering functions such as word processing, email and the Internet. Nate Chang, past president of the Chinese Civic Association of Hawaiʻi, will teach the basics of the popular Chinese game Mahjong. Pohai Kirkland will offer a basic Hawaiian language course for beginners or anyone who cares to brush up on the basics. And Betty Gene Garman will explore the traditional worldview and teachings of the Seneca Indian Nation of upstate New York.

Other classes will include a pair of genealogy workshops taught by Roree Oehlman: a basic genealogy workshop designed for the beginner as well as a workshop focused on genealogical research for individuals with genealogical research experience. Dr. Susan Caswell is also offering two classes. Her Dream Interpretation class employs a group approach to studying dreams in a cross-cultural fashion. Her second class, “Mindful Meditation,” will examine Vipassana Meditation and teach students the philosophical basis for Tai Chi & Qigong in addition to the exercises and practices proscribed to achieve mindful meditation. And Hugh Montgomery will lead six different hikes exploring the natural history of the Hamakua district along with healthy living choices in a fitness course.

The following OLLI courses offered this fall have a more traditional academic orientation. Don Levi will teach a course devoted to a study of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh). Shantam Esterly will lead a book discussion of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, and explore world history with an emphasis on examining the book’s thesis in the context of contemporary Hawaiʻi Island history. Hugh Montgomery will survey the forces of nature that have converged to create the unique islands that are Hawaiʻi in a natural history class.

Additional OLLI events include a monthly gathering for OLLI members and instructors as well as a monthly public speaker series beginning in October. Tentative speakers include Kat Brady from the Community Alliance on Prisons presenting information on Hawaiʻi’s new “Three Strikes” Law on October 9; Dr. Billy Bergin will discuss the upcoming second volume of his history of the Parker Ranch November 8; and Gerald De Mello will talk about Hawaiʻi’s unique people and cultures on December 4.

For more information about Osher programs in North Hawaiʻi, contact the Center at (808) 775-8890.

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