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K-State Today

August 28, 2019

Osher Lifelong Learning courses begin Sept. 10

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 promote 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 three weeks. To enroll for courses or for more information visit the website or call 913-897-8530.

Fall 2019 Manhattan Osher courses:

• The Chisholm Trail — meets 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 and Thursdays, Sept. 19 and 26, at Meadowlark Hills Community Room, 2121 Meadowlark Road. One hundred fifty years ago, the McCoy brothers of Springfield, Ill., bet their fortunes on Abilene, Kansas, then just a slapdash way station. Instead of an endless horizon of prairie grasses, they saw a bustling outlet for hundreds of thousands of Texas Longhorns coming up the Chisholm Trail — and the youngest brother, Joseph, saw how a middleman could become wealthy in the process. This is the story of how that gamble paid off, transforming the cattle trade and, with it, the American landscape and diet.

Instructor: Jim Sherow, university distinguished professor of history at Kansas State University. He actively participates in historic preservation at both the local and state levels and served 10 years as the Kansas historian on the Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review.

• World War II: The Pacific Theater — meets 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 11, 18 and 25 at Meadowlark Hills Community Room, 2121 Meadowlark Road. This in-depth examination of World War II in the Pacific and Asia will first review the origins of the war beginning with Japan’s 1931 aggressive policies in China with subsequent European and American responses to them. We’ll also examine events leading up to Japan’s attack on American, Dutch and British military forces in Asia and the Pacific in December 1941. Then we’ll review Japanese military operations in 1942 and the beginning of America, Britain and Australia’s struggle to take the offensive in 1942-1943. Finally, we will examine the major 1944-1945 campaigns in the southwest and central Pacific culminating in the August 1945 surrender of Japan.

Instructor: Robert Smith, director of the Fort Riley Museum. He has a doctorate in history from K-state and has published numerous articles on military history.

• The First World War: Understanding the Present by Studying Our Past — meets 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 2, 9 and 16 at Meadowlark Hills Community Room, 2121 Meadowlark Road. This course will trace current global issues back to their common source, World War One. The world experienced radical changes between 1914 and 1918 and their impact is still felt today in the fields of politics, economics, science and culture. This course seeks to explain how our current world is still shaped by events that occurred more than a century ago. We will include the stories of K-State’s 48 Fallen, the students and faculty from the Kansas State Agricultural College who gave their lives to the war, adding context to understanding our modern world.

Instructor: Jed Dunham, a 1996 graduate of Kansas State University and a current member of the K-State Office of Military Affairs. He works as a freelance writer and historian. He is currently writing a book on the American experience of the First World War called "48 Fallen 48 Found."

• From Spurs to Silver Screen: Kansas Cowboy History and Poetry — meets 2-4 p.m. Thursdays, Oct. 10, 17 and 24 at Meadowlark Hills Community Room, 2121 Meadowlark Road. "If there hadn't been a Kansas, there would not have been a cowboy." That statement by a respected scholar provides a basis for this class, which will cover our state’s role in creating this legendary icon. We will describe the history of the cowboy and the role of the state of Kansas in this legacy using PowerPoint slides and original cowboy poetry. We’ll discuss how the cowboy has been portrayed in literature, movies, radio and television, and examine the development and portrayal of the Kansas cowboy in three eras through the decades.

Instructor: Ron Wilson,  director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at K-State. As a cowboy poet, he was proclaimed "Poet Lariat" by then-Gov. Bill Graves and was named an ambassador for the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

• More Kansas Characters, from the Real McCoy to the Sage of Emporia — meets 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and 13 at Meadowlark Hills Community Room, 2121 Meadowlark Road. Kansas has been influenced by a variety of unique, colorful and important individuals. First will be Joseph G. McCoy, the entrepreneur who brought cattle from the fields of Texas to the railroads at Abilene, creating the iconic cowboy image. Next will be Tom Pendergast, whose political machine ran Kansas City for almost 30 years. William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette, was an advisor to eight U.S. presidents. Finally, we'll focus on Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, and his years at the University of Kansas, including mentoring Hall of Famer John McLendon, who could not play at Kansas because he was African American.

Instructor: Thomas Luellen, who retired after 31 years in hospital administration and 14 years as an adjunct instructor at Washburn University. He has a master's degree in geography from the University of Kansas.