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K-State Today

January 9, 2019

Registration for spring 2019 Osher Lifelong Learning Program in Manhattan is now open

Submitted by Charlene Brownson

Kansas State University has teamed up with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Kansas to bring to the Manhattan area the diverse content, innovative learning opportunities, and quality faculty that promotes lifelong learning in the community. The program in Manhattan is coordinated by UFM Community Learning Center.

The Osher Institute offers courses for participants age 50 and over that stress the joy of learning. Courses meet weekly for two hours over a three-week period and require no homework, out-of-class preparation, or testing.
To enroll, call KU Osher toll-free 877-404-5823 or 785-864-5823, or visit the website.

Spring 2019 Osher courses in Manhattan: 

  • America's Forgotten Wars, with instructor Robert Smith. Meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, 20 and 27. We'll examine three often-overlooked conflicts in our nation's history. First, we'll focus on the undeclared 1798-1800 Quasi-War with France. This maritime conflict was significant as the fledgling American Navy's baptism of fire against a foreign power, Revolutionary France. Then we'll review the American Navy's second serious conflict — the war against the Barbary States, 1801-1805, when President Thomas Jefferson ordered a naval expedition to the Mediterranean to curb piratical activities. Finally, we'll focus on the Spanish-American War, a four-month war with Spain that launched America as an international power and made national heroes of Theodore Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders."
  • American Regionalism: Art from the Heartland, with instructor Dan Kirchhefer. Meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, March 20, 27 and April 3. The three most noted artists of American Regionalism will be the focus of this class: Thomas Hart Benton from Missouri, John Steuart Curry from Kansas, and Grant Wood from Iowa. How did these artists, with their antimodernist tendencies, take on European abstract art and form a significant, if not major, American art movement? We'll examine their major works and the influences of their home states and region, an area that most in the class call home.
  • Kansas Characters: From the Scandalous to Benevolent, with instructor Tom Luellen. Meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, April 10, 17 and 24. Images of Kansas range from the moral heartland where Superman was raised to Bleeding Kansas where neighbors took up arms against neighbors. This course will examine several notable Kansans within that range of images. First will be the Notorious-John Brown, the abolitionist or terrorist, and Dr. John R. Brinkley, the infamous goat gland doctor. Then we'll review the self-righteous Carrie Nation and the Temperance Movement and Vern Miller, the Kansas attorney general who sought to prohibit airlines from serving drinks while flying over "dry" Kansas. Finally will be the innovators Karl Menninger and his famous psychiatric clinic and Bill James, godfather of a new generation of baseball statistics.
  • Westward Ho, with instructor Russ Hutchins. Meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, April 11, 18 and 25. We will explore the Oregon, California and Santa Fe pioneer trails that made their way westward across Kansas and beyond. We'll examine the Butterfield Overland Stage Line and others that opened Kansas and the western territories to settlement. But expansion was not without hardships, adventures, endeavors and inventions, which helped the pioneers travel west. We'll review those, too, and the conflicts with Native American peoples, the Spanish, Mexican and British governments that also had strong claims and interest in the American West. Join us as we travel to see some of the remains of the old trail via video and photos.
  • Poetry, Sense of Place and the Prairie: Reading and Writing Our Way Home, with instructor Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. Meets from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, May 2, 9 and 16. Kansas poets have long helped us fully see our home in the earth and sky, the tallgrass prairies of the eastern part of our state and rock formations in the West. We'll draw from many Kansas writers, including William Stafford, Denise Low, Harley Elliott, Jonathan Holden, Elizabeth Dodd, Brian Daldorph and Gordon Parks, investigating what these writers show us about where we live. We'll also discuss and write about  — in short, easy exercises — how sense of place informs how we live and who we are. Please bring a journal or notebook.
  • Special event: A Day on the Flying W Ranch in the Flint Hills. We'll mosey out to the Flint Hills to the Hoy family's Flying W Ranch. What could be better on a spring morning than a leisurely horse-drawn wagon ride across the Flint Hills? During the ride, we'll learn about the area's history and its inhabitants. A mouth-watering chuck wagon lunch will await us following the ride and cowboy historian Jim Hoy will sing cowboy tunes and share cowboy culture. This may be your highlight of the spring. At 9 a.m. Friday, May 3, the coach departs the parking lot at I-70 and K -177 near Manhattan and will return by 3 p.m. The $125 fee includes coach transportation, ranch tour, entertainment and lunch. Refund must be requested by April 25, minus a $15 administrative fee.

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