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Published September 11th, 2013
Lifelong Learning This Fall in Lafayette
By Cathy Tyson
Film critic Michael Fox makes a presentation at an open house. Photo provided

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is coming east of the tunnel. Affiliated with UC Berkeley, OLLI is an educational program for lifelong learners who have reached the half century mark and beyond. They are offering two classes starting this fall at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center that while interesting and informative offer brain fitness as a special added bonus to attendees.
"There is growing evidence that activities that provide novelty and challenge build a stronger brain and contribute to longevity," said Satya Levine, communications coordinator for OLLI. For mature students these classes, taught by experts in the subject matter, explore music and movies respectively, but without pesky exams or grades.
"Engaging in the community and challenging ourselves to learn new things - to go beyond our comfort zones - are two pillars of brain health and longevity. OLLI is aims to address both of these factors and to have fun doing it," said OLLI Director Susan Hoffman.
While OLLI has offered classes in Berkeley for some time it is continuing its successful relationship with the Lafayette community. "We are pleased to offer two courses at the Lafayette Library. Film critic Michael Fox will discuss the 2013 Oscar contenders for the best documentary feature and musicologist John Prescott will trace developments in classical music from the Middle Ages to today," said Hoffman.
In "Top docs: 2013 Oscar Nominees," students will watch one of the 2013 documentary film finalists each week and discuss goals, strategy, storytelling and more while considering the filmmaker's point of view. Instructor Fox is a professional film critic and journalist.
"A Listener's Introduction to Classical Music" instructor Prescott, a musicologist who taught at UC Berkeley and at the Crowden School, invites students who like classical music but don't know the difference between a symphony and a sonata to learn more.
An information session discussing both classes will be held at the Lafayette Library's Community Hall from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. The classes will be held on Thursdays, starting Oct. 3. For more information or to register, visit olli.berkeley.edu or call (510) 642-9934.
In addition to the OLLI classes, the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation offers an array of interesting events, that also provide a mental workout; in the next four weeks look for learning and entertainment options including a Commonweath Club event, Hiking Inn to Inn discussion, the Gold Coast Chamber Players, to the San Francisco Opera Guild and more. For more information, visit www.lllcf.org.

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