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Learning in Retirement
Old 04-13-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
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Learning in Retirement

Not sure if this has been posted before, but if it has it's worth a repost. This is a list of Institutes for Learning in Retirement, some associated with Elderhostel and others not.

http://www.eckerd.edu/aspec/ein/ilr_usa.html

I might live my dream of becoming a professional deadbeat student in retirement, something I could never do when I had to leave school to earn a living.

One problem, the links themselves are old and mostly dead, but they are a good reference point for going into the college websites and searching for their programs.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-13-2007, 03:28 PM   #2
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Re: Learning in Retirement

As soon as I find a cure for laziness, I plan to explore this site:

MIT Courseware
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-13-2007, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Learning in Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonToRetire
http://www.eckerd.edu/aspec/ein/ilr_usa.html
I've actually toured that place! St. Petersburg, FL. It was written up in Loren Pope's "Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even If You're Not a Straight-A Student". One of my aunts got her master's there and our kid was interested in their biology program.

Small school, small classes, great access to profs (not just TAs), lots of practical science research projects. Campus life beats the heck outta USNA. It's also one of the few schools that allows you to keep a pet in your dorm room (up to 15 pounds).

Our daughter later read in the Princeton Survey that some Eckerd students had actually seen other students smoke pot. Outraged as only a teen DARE graduate can be, she's dropped the place like hot rock.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-13-2007, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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Originally Posted by Nords
Our daughter later read in the Princeton Survey that some Eckerd students had actually seen other students smoke pot. Outraged as only a teen DARE graduate can be, she's dropped the place like hot rock.
It's interesting that parents of children born since about the mid-70s often have kids who are more socially conservative than the parents. When we were teenagers our parents mostly worried about what kind of crap we would get into. I mostly worried that my kids would enlist in the military.

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It's also one of the few schools that allows you to keep a pet in your dorm room (up to 15 pounds.
That sounds nice. I imagine it might make being away at college a much less brutal experience.

Ha
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-13-2007, 09:25 PM   #5
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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Originally Posted by HaHa
It's interesting that parents of children born since about the mid-70s often have kids who are more socially conservative than the parents. When we were teenagers our parents mostly worried about what kind of crap we would get into. I mostly worried that my kids would enlist in the military.
Born in 77--I definitely am anti-substance(I even get uneasy about having more than the occasional wine with dinner--and never when I'm driving)--but I'm a flaming liberal on most every other social issue. ditto DH (born 1976) and bro (1981). Maybe it comes of being born in one of the reddest states there is, and needing an outlet for rebellion?
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 08:21 AM   #6
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Re: Learning in Retirement

Nord, I suspect USAFA guys might take exception to your comments about USNA campus life, at least right off campus. Glad the DARE program had such an effect on your daughter. I don't know what the scene is today but I bet pot is on most campuses. It's more important that she has the right attitude, since she might not be able to avoid running across it. My own daughter also ran across a lot of drug use in school but, thankfully, she always told me what was happening and aso avoided it like the plague.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 12:01 PM   #7
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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Originally Posted by SoonToRetire
Nord, I suspect USAFA guys might take exception to your comments about USNA campus life, at least right off campus.
For me the challenge was getting off campus (let alone being permitted to get off campus). It was nice to see a college where there was actually some on-campus activity at night (other than studying) and on weekends (other than sports & marching). I spent most of my USNA time trying to get as far away from there as possible, so it was a big surprise to see a campus where you'd actually want to stick around after classes finished for the day.

I've visited USAFA and IMHO those guys are almost as nuts as their VMI/Citadel brethren. Doing it at altidude makes it even harder! But we'll probably visit that place this summer or in the next couple years so that our kid can make fun of it get a rational basis for comparison to the other military academies.

BTW Annapolis may be right outside the gates of USNA, but like all resort areas it caters heavily to visitors (with visitor pricing) and not so much to students. Even in 1978-82 it was tough to find an affordable place for a meal and an evening of drinking socializing... other than Weems Creek Tavern!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonToRetire
Glad the DARE program had such an effect on your daughter. I don't know what the scene is today but I bet pot is on most campuses. It's more important that she has the right attitude, since she might not be able to avoid running across it. My own daughter also ran across a lot of drug use in school but, thankfully, she always told me what was happening and aso avoided it like the plague.
I'm a bit more skeptical of DARE's long-term efficacy. A couple years back there was a study claiming that DARE graduates were more likely to experiment with alcohol & marijuana in high school. I can remember sitting in a golf-course clubhouse with my first draft been (at the age of 15) and thinking "Yeah, I'm not gonna let this control my life".

Right now her anti-drug knowledge consists of a bunch of "facts" intended to scare the hell out of fifth-graders. However she has zero comprehension of the mechanics of addiction and the social networks that can lead to it. While this may work out OK in the classroom in broad daylight, I suspect it's not so good on Saturday night in a dark dorm room (but I have only my own experience to refer to!). "Just say no" ain't gonna cut it. I'd rather she have a more tolerant attitude like "Thanks, dude, but I'm trying to cut back for basketball season."

I'd like her to have a more balanced perspective-- the medical use of marijuana, why the brain responds so enthusiastically to both heroin & cocaine, and why she's especially susceptible to alcohol abuse. Right now she lacks a context. It's hard to explain the strong attraction of intoxication and the concept of the slippery slope to somone whose worst vice is eating too many cookies or working out too hard. Luckily our local classic rock radio station (especially their ads for "Hawaii's Natural High" store) provides plenty of material for a discussion-starter.

I'm not gonna host a beer blast for her and her friends. That was tried at my house when I was 14 and let's just say it didn't work out the way my folks intended it to.

Or maybe she really should just join the military. But it'll leave her unprepared for the cognitive dissonance of attending the military's drug-detection training or having her Sailor of the Year pop positive on urinalysis for marijuana.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: Learning in Retirement

I know what you mean about USAFA. Never went there, but taught there for a while. Had cadets to the house as much as I could, to give them a break from the "campus," especially since the doolies and 3classmen had no cars, but it's not the same as being able to freedom to walk outside the gate when you get the chance.

After retirement moved to the DC area and saw the USNA and Annapolis, a world of difference. You make good points, though, inside the campus it's about the same, water view rather than mtn view, but still squaring corners, etc.

Didn't realize your daugher was so young, yes DARE is good but she still has a long row ahead of her. My experience though, for what it's worth, is that values that children truly integrate into their lives when young tend to remain, even if they have occasional explorations around the boundaries.

About children joining the military, that's such a personal decision. I informed my kids about the military but never encouraged them towards or away from it. As it turned out, none of the three wanted any part of the military, and I was fine with that. Interestingly, my dad was career military, and it was a factor in my own choice, but those were different times, and there was the draft.

Now that I understand better what it takes to retire, if I had to do it over I might give my kids a little more encouragement, or info, about the military and its great benefits. One thing I would never do, and I think you can appreciate it, is to put pressure on a kid to enter a military academy. Those that are there from pressure have a much tougher time and most of them leave after doolie year or earlier -- not sure what you call that year at USNA, plebe?
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 04:21 PM   #9
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Re: Learning in Retirement

I spent a lot of time learning in my career in hi-tech. So much is evolving all the time you have to study a lot of keep up. I really enjoyed that aspect of my work.

Retirement meant I finally had the time to enjoy the luxury of study that wasn't totally focused on work. I was eager to catch up in areas of my education that had been neglected in pursuit of my career.

My traveling pretty much limited my ability to attend regular classes for more that a month or two at a time. But I found out that lots of universities have their syllabi plus lots of courseware on-line. I started reading various course curricula on-line, selecting a text and then working on my own. The textbook publishers also provide on-line tests and simulations, etc. You order top notch textbooks on-line at great discounts, and use the CDs that come with them plus associated on-line materials. With all that you can really get an education without registering for a course or having to step into a classroom! It is just wonderful what is available today via the internet.

I took one correspondence course from Cornell that turned out to be awesome. The rest of my education has been self-directed per above.

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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 04:39 PM   #10
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Re: Learning in Retirement

Is there a rating system for the various courseware out there? The quality and completeness seems to vary considerably. I listened to a lecture in psychology on the MIT courseware website, and it wasn't too bad. I'll probably dig deeper into that site, but I'd still love to see some student feedback.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 05:28 PM   #11
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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With all that you can really get an education without registering for a course or having to step into a classroom! It is just wonderful what is available today via the internet.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Audrey, that encourages me. I wonder, though, what is your experience with doing the course by yourself without the advantage of classroom interaction with other students? What if you don't quite understand something, or want to discuss one or another aspect of a theory. I found that to be one of the richest part of a learning environment, and wonder if I would keep sufficiently interested to complete an online course. You say your coursework is primarily technical, so perhaps direct interaction is not as critical.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 05:55 PM   #12
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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Originally Posted by SoonToRetire
I found that to be one of the richest part of a learning environment, and wonder if I would keep sufficiently interested to complete an online course.
I agree somewhat, but I think I could get both that student-student and student-teacher interaction from an oline forum. Going to classes will always be better for making friends and scoping out the hot babes, though.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-14-2007, 09:31 PM   #13
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Re: Learning in Retirement

Helping online students is a big part of my job, and I also did about half of my classes for my masters online. There are benefits and drawbacks to online learning--I don't think it's harder, per se, but you do have to be self-motivated to make it work. Most online course systems have a discussion board or chat area where interaction can take place. And yes, it's a lot harder to pick up a date.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-15-2007, 01:21 PM   #14
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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As soon as I find a cure for laziness, I plan to explore this site:

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Hey Wab, thanks!!!

I have heard about this but never found it.

Now, if they only had classes in something practical.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-15-2007, 07:06 PM   #15
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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Now, if they only had classes in something practical.
Philip Greenspun's an MIT alumnus and he teaches a few courses each year.

I'm signing up for his photography course's independent study on the unclothed female form. Lotta "home"work, though.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-15-2007, 07:38 PM   #16
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Re: Learning in Retirement

Answering the OP's question -- there are many universities that allow oldsters to take classes free for no credit. The university near me only requires that you are at least 55 and you pay an annual fee of $35. Then you sign up and ask the professor if you can sit in. You can do everything the students do.
I plan to take art classes at some point in the future, maybe also higher math, which is a weak point in my education.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-16-2007, 04:09 AM   #17
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Re: Learning in Retirement

You know... I thought I was done with school after my masters... But my education was all work related stuff. I was motivated and interested at the time... But now...YUK! :P

I was in a thinking rut when I first heard about this... But my mind was oriented around what I do. I had not thought about courses in art, music, or the vast number of other areas.

WOW... just need to pry open my mind a little and think outside of the box... er my office... er my jail. Oh well, you get the picture.


THinking about this. I wonder what the university systems have up thier sleeves. I know they are extending services to the retirement community. But when there are 70mm baby boomers out there... I wonder what kind of pay programs are going to pop up. The universities cannot handle all of us!
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-16-2007, 01:22 PM   #18
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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Originally Posted by chinaco

THinking about this. I wonder what the university systems have up thier sleeves. I know they are extending services to the retirement community. But when there are 70mm baby boomers out there... I wonder what kind of pay programs are going to pop up. The universities cannot handle all of us!
Not all that many boomers think it'd be fun to sit in a classroom full of twentysomethings. The program at the nearby U is not overrun with seniors, not be a long shot. I doubt the Universities will have to set out the barricades to keep us all away.
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Re: Learning in Retirement
Old 04-16-2007, 07:00 PM   #19
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Re: Learning in Retirement

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Audrey, that encourages me. I wonder, though, what is your experience with doing the course by yourself without the advantage of classroom interaction with other students?
Well, I'm pretty self-directed, so interacting with other students wasn't that important. And I am usually able to answer any additional questions I have by searching on the internet.

However, I have on occasion emailed an expert in the field when I really needed help. And by golly if I do not almost always get a generous reply!!!! That's always a thrill.

Here is a pretty estoric example, but it's typical. I found a wonderful website on lichens which helped me identify many of the amazing things I was seeing in the field, and decided to order a the book the site authors had produced on North American lichens. It's an amazing work, exceeding my expectations. After taking some field photographs of lichens myself, I emailed the book photographer and the author (a professor) some of my photos of lichens asking for help in identification. They both were generous with their help. I then sent the author the best photograph my husband had taken of a lichen decorated bird nest. He asked to use it in his lectures! So voila!

By the way - my studies are no longer "technical" in the sense they were when I was in the computer engineering field. My interests are in the areas of natural history and the natural sciences now. And "artsy" computer skills such as graphic design/web authoring/photo editing/video editing (as opposed to the "non-artsy" computer skills of hardware and software design and development).

By the way - there is always a "forum" for any topic. You can get all the educational interaction you want via the internet. There are a lot of people out there who love to help others learn - a truly wonderful thing.

Audrey
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