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January 14, 2013

Discover Greek Myths and More at the Academy of Lifelong Learning

For Jim, it’'s always been about the classics. The former Oberlin College Professor has dedicated his life to the study of ancient Greek and Latin language, literature, culture and history and their role in the formation of the modern West.

“I went into classics in part because of my great interest in the field,” Jim said. “I always liked teaching ‘Beginning Greek’ the most [at Oberlin College]. Greek was probably the third or fourth language I studied, but I probably liked it best.”

The Academy for Lifelong Learning

Now, thanks to Kendal Northern Ohio and Oberlin College, Jim is sharing his Greek language and other ancient knowledge he’'s acquired throughout the years with older adults enrolled in the Academy for Lifelong Learning, a program affiliated with Lorain County Community College and Oberlin College that offers non-credit courses for adults at least 50 years old and/or retired.

The Academy for Lifelong Learning offers learning opportunities in just about everything from computers and estate planning to fitness and recreation and creative writing. Various committees, including the Kendal Lifelong Learning Committee at Kendal at Oberlin, work to select topics and presenters for the classes and programming. Jim has taught at the Academy of Lifelong Learning since 2011.

“The first [course] I taught was on functions of myth,” Jim said. “I went into various ideas about why myth is of interest and of importance.” Jim said a crowd of about 50 Kendal at Oberlin residents and adults from the surrounding area attended the course, so committee leaders asked if he’'d teach again.

His latest course was called “Three Greek Inventions,” the inventions being alphabet, democracy and philosophy. “These are three areas that are fundamental to our contemporary life,” Jim said. “Certainly in writing and in which the way we govern ourselves,” he added.

The course was comprised of three lectures with 15 to 30-minute question and answer periods at the close of each lecture. Jim said his favorite part about teaching with the Academy for Lifelong Learning was the question and answer period. “You never quite know which direction that is going to go,” he said. “It’s a measure of how interested people were in the lecture.”

Though Jim is not yet scheduled to teach a course in 2013, he said he would like to teach with the Academy of Lifelong Learning again. “I think [a lifelong learning course] is a way for people to keep their minds active,” he said. “People at Kendal have broad interests and like to pursue them.”

If you’'re interested in pursuing your lifelong learning interests, check out the Academy of Lifelong Learning’s current course offerings here.

Photo credit: Xavier Baldovin via photopin cc

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