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Participants in the Seniors' Alumni Learning for Life Program-Fall 2017

Wrapping up a fascinating fall series

The autumn Seniors’ Alumni Learning for Life program draws accolades from participants

November 15, 2017 — 

University of Manitoba alumni and friends continue to find the Seniors’ Alumni Learning for Life Program fascinating.

Delving into a wide range of ideas and topics continues to be a key piece in the programming of the Seniors’ Alumni Program, which just wrapped up its fifth season. The fall 2017 season featured sessions on the history of the University of Manitoba, why people cry at movies, flood protection, conservation of grassland birds, architecture, LBGTTQ healthcare and resistance training for older adults.

Seniors' Alumni Learning for Life Program-Fall 2017_0051-Margaret and Alan Amyot

Margaret and Alan Amyot

This was the first season Margaret [BA/74] and Alan Amyot [BSc(Hons)/74] attended.

“I was very surprised and quite impressed. The diversity was really interesting and how very arcane and specialized topics were made interesting by the presenters,” Alan said.

Alan pointed to the session on flood mitigation [Engineering aspects of temporary and permanent flood protection works in Manitoba by Dr. James Blatz] as an example. Every spring the topic draws attention across the province but he was unsure how a lecture would provide relevance and context. However, with the use of videos and an overall engaging presentation, the lecture did just that.

His wife Margaret agrees, adding, “I liked that each session that we came to were on a totally different topic and some were surprisingly really good, even if I didn’t think they were going to be. The speakers all have been very good. That’s been part of the appeal of it.”

Seniors' Alumni Learning for Life Program-Fall 2017_0070-William and Naomi Stoez

William and Naomi Stoez

Naomi and William Stoesz are another couple who took part in this season—their fourth—and are looking forward to more ahead. They found lectures, such as the one on architecture [Architects and the Paradox of Acting (a history) by Dr. Lisa Landrum] to expand their world-view and way of thinking.

“I didn’t go to university so these sessions are a little bit like my university experience now,” Naomi said. “I can keep on learning about things that are important in life. I think the speakers are excellent and it’s such a wide range of topics. Some of them I wouldn’t have come to but they’ve been so interesting that I wouldn’t miss them now.”

Naomi’s husband William graduated with a bachelor of science in agriculture in 1971.

“I like that this is continued learning,” William said. “It’s the idea of exploring areas that I haven’t studied myself or only know small amounts of and to get these experts who go deep into these topics it’s mind-broadening.”

William says he thinks it’s refreshing to learn and discover new things and appreciates the new perspectives that are presented, from experts who are deeply knowledgeable and passionate about the subjects they study.

“Some of the topics come up and you ask yourself why I would be interested in that and suddenly you realize it is meaningful. It’s part of life,” William said. “The architecture session is a perfect example of this. I’ve never been particularly involved or thought about architecture that much and suddenly you realize, yes, it does influence how you live and interact. It’s more than just a physical activity. It’s a social activity too, relating with people in society. Designing for people, including how people live in their creations. I found that very fascinating.”

The spring 2018 session kicks off on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

You can register for the Spring series here.

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