Special events

Spring 2018 Semester

Osher Saturday Morning Book Talks

Coffee and cakes at 9:30 a.m.; Book Talk 10 a.m.; Hillcrest D
Book selling and signing will follow the Book Talks

Your participation is welcome on the first Saturday of the month. Osher members at any level may attend at no additional charge. For all others, admission is $3, or you can purchase a 10-event punch card for $20. Please thank the sponsors for their support of Saturday Morning Book Talks.

April 7
Celestial Mechanics (2017) by William Least Heat-Moon
Lyanne Riley

Forty years ago, local author William Trogdon was faced with an array of bad news, just about this season. In the third paragraph of the book that grew from these sorrows he wrote: “A man who couldn’t make things go right, could at least go.” Trogdon did go more than 13,000 miles in 90 days and from that odyssey came his new name, William Least Heat-Moon, and a new life. He wrote Blue Highways: Journey into America (1982) – a book that spent 42 weeks on the NYT Best Seller List and has never been out of print! In the four decades since that trip, Heat- Moon has been authoring powerful books on people, places and the connections between the two with him as the observer and the questioner. Now, he has left creative non-fiction and engaged the medium of fiction for his 2017 debut novel Celestial Mechanics. In this innovative blending of fiction, near-fantasy and the protagonist’s continual search for ‘being harmoniously alive’ comes a new view of Heat-Moon. To create a special venue for the presentation of his novel, the Osher Saturday Morning Book Talk has organized an hour-long interview and audience discussion. Geography professor Dr. David Nemeth from the University of Toledo (and author of a very comprehensive review of Celestial Mechanics) will interview author Heat-Moon. Be sure to come to this first-ever formally interactive presentation of an Osher Saturday Morning Book Talk.

May 7
Falconry Basics: A Handbook for Beginners (2003, 2017) by Steve Heying
Beverly Smull

In our continuing effort to bring new ideas and new authors to the program, this Osher Saturday Morning Book Talk will present a very different ‘speaker.’ Author, editor and falconer, Steve Heying has been a part of the Osher Book Talks since they began. On May 7 he will play his first role as formal book presenter. He first experimented with falconry in 1964 and, since 1968, has been deeply involved in all aspects of falconry – both in Missouri and all across the U.S. In his detailed editing and updating of the basics of falconry, Heying has taken English falconer Tony Hall’s 2003 volume, and made it both up-to-date, and germane to American regulations and environments for falconry. Assisting him in his presentation will be “Big Bird, aka Moose,” a bird Steve has worked with – and lived with – since 2010. Know that this Book Talk has not come about because of a continuing call from Osher members asking more about falconry, but rather because Steve’s emotional and intellectual commitment to falconry is a phenomenon to witness and learn from. Steve has reassured me that all will be completely safe in the presence of Big Bird. If she gets bored with Steve’s words, he tells me, she will let him know to speed it up and feed her. I welcome you all for this new spin on the Osher Saturday Morning Book Talks.

June 2
Have Fun in Burma (2017) by Rosalie Metro
Judy Metro

Rosalie Metro’s first novel comes to our Spring Book Talks because of a dream her heroine had about an unknown locale in Burma (known as Myanmar since 1989). In the novel, Metro’s lead character imagines herself in a Burmese world, and encountering landscapes and peoples she had never known—or even thought much about. Then, Adela Frost, just days away from high school graduation, encounters a Burmese man in the cafeteria food line who is rolling sushi but also voicing a faint but strong chant. The girl, captured by his low and guttural voice that seemed to radiate the words rather than actually chant them, began a very sketchy conversation with him. This led to him saying a few more words in Burmese and then – oh, these lines that can so powerfully open so many novels and travel chronicles – he asked if Adela would like to have him teach her some Burmese. “Sure,” she said. And this launches a fascinating novel with themes of ethnic tensions, religious conflicts, threats of ethnic cleansing, awkward American involvement in local political unrest, Rohingya persecution… and add to that, this is the setting George Orwell used for his 1949 novel, Nineteen Eighty Four.

Special events - Intramural

Want to take full advantage of your Osher membership? Then join a club this spring! Clubs are open, at no charge, to all current members, including premium, semester and basic.

El Club de Español

Tuesdays, 2:00–4:30 p.m., Hillcrest C

Habla español? Osher’s Spanish club is for participants who have studied the present and thepreterite tenses in Spanish. Beginners will meet from 2 to 3 p.m., and advanced speakers from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Please call club organizer Judy Elliott at 573-424-4244 if you plan to participate in El Club de Español.

Diversity Book Club

Every third Thursday, 3:30–4:30 p.m., Hillcrest C

During each month of the Osher semester, Nancy Browning, Professor Emeritus of Cultural Diversity at Lincoln University, will facilitate a book discussion centered on diversity issues. Please plan to have read the book in advance and come to the monthly meetings ready for discussion, with questions, comments, and quotes to share. February’s book is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond. Future books are decided by the group and will be announced via Osher’s e-newsletter.

Osher Sings Club

Mondays, 3:30–4:30 p.m., Moss A

The ‘Osher Sings Chorus’ launched in Fall 2017, and now makes its debut as an official Osher club. Come and sing along just for the sheer joy of singing – no experience necessary. The group is led and accompanied by two enthusiastic MU music students, and Osher member Michael Porter remains as the group’s founder and head ‘lounge lizard.’ Join in on the fun!

Travel Club

Every second Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.,
Hillcrest D

The Travel Club, originally an Osher@Mizzou class, is an open forum and agenda for sharing travel tips, tales, opportunities, photos, destinations, and deals. We’ve had presentations on extended living in a foreign country, purchasing the right camera, and the merits of traveling alone or in a group. If any of this sounds enticing, join the Travel Club at their monthly meetings. Please share your email address with sharonkinden@yahoo.com and she’ll add you to the mailing list for reminders and minutes of the topics and web resources discussed.

Brown Bag Seminar Series

11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m., Moss A
Fridays: March 16, 23; April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11 [8 SESSIONS]

Brown Bag seminars are open to all Osher premium, semester and basic members throughout the academic year. Feel free to bring some food to this “lunch & learn.”

Coordinator: Carolyn Dye

March 16: An African American History of Columbia

Bill Thompson will share personal experiences and stories about living in Columbia from an African American male perspective. He also will talk about his contributions in helping to create a plethora of diverse and engaging community programs here in town.

Instructor: Bill Thompson recently retired from Columbia Parks and Recreation and was the winner of the 2017 Columbia Values Diversity award. Bill helped to create many local organizations and programs including, among others, the CARE program for kids; “Moonlight Hoops” at Douglass Park; the Douglass Athletic Association for kids learning about baseball; STARS to help kids grow up; Boys & Girls Club; the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial; and the original Blind Boone dancers, which became the Mid-Missouri High Steppers. He also was one of the original members of the Blind Boone Home Foundation. Bill plays music for Log Providence Baptist and Russell Chapel Methodist churches and has his own music ensemble, ‘Jam Session.’

March 23: Now That My Eyes Are Open: Tales from a College Diversity Classroom

For 16 years, Dr. Nancy Browning taught the general education course “CD200: Cultural Diversity in Modern America” at Lincoln University of Missouri, an HBCU (historically black college or university), to thousands of students. She will share stories about the racism, sexism, classism and heterosexism that students encountered and wrote about in their class papers as well as inspiring stories of change.

Instructor: Nancy F. Browning is an emeritus professor of cultural diversity at Lincoln University of Missouri. Nancy has a wide-ranging interest in social justice. She is the secretary for Mid- Missourians for Justice in Palestine (MJP). In her retirement, she takes and teaches Osher classes, edits freelance and writes children’s books.

April 6: The Amazing Instant Pot

Have you heard of the Instant Pot—the amazing electric pressure cooker that is an Amazon bestselling phenomenon? Should you join the Instant Pot cooking revolution? This do-all small appliance makes delicious food at super speeds. Diane has been an Instant Pot owner and advocate since 2012. We will cook a roast in class while examining the different models, features and accessories.

Instructor: Diane Peterson is a retired school library media specialist who promotes the romance novel industry as an analyst, speaker, reviewer and writer. Diane is very active on Goodreads, tracking her own extensive library of romance books, writing reviews and following many authors and groups.

April 13: What Happens at Waters-Moss When You’re Not in Class?

Columbia Parks and Recreation programs activities throughout the year from early morning to 11 p.m. Get a snapshot of the people here, what they do and how you can join in the activities. Daytime programs, Monday through Friday, are geared to adults 50 and better. You will get a good sense of how Osher fits in the whole picture of what is happening at Waters-Moss.

Instructor: Debbie Reschly is a graduate of Goshen College and worked as a travel agent at Canterbury Travel for 18 years. The last 23+ years have been at Columbia Parks and Recreation as tour manager/recreation specialist overseeing OAK Tours (now 50+ Tours) and 50+ programing.

April 20: The Golden Age of Pop Entertainment

This course will provide a nostalgic reflection on entertainers from the Golden Age of film, music and television.

Instructor: Terry Farmer is retired from a 30- year career teaching American History with the Columbia Public Schools. His wife is also a CPS retiree and former history and geography teacher. Their hobbies are international travel, raquetball, gardening, reading and watching very old black and white movies in the film noir genre. Pathetic as it may be, he’s the guy who still reads all the credits at the beginning and ending of every film, even if he’s seeing it for the twentieth time.

April 27: Annie Fisher, the Biscuit Lady

Reenacting the life of Annie Fisher is a volunteer effort for presenter Verna Laboy. She takes time off from her work as a city health educator and community activist, and puts in a significant amount of preparatory time for each presentation she’s done since 1996. Yet she still hopes more classroom teachers and community organizations will call on her to put on the apron and haul her turn-of-the-century biscuit machine out of her closet to appear as Annie Fisher. Verna’s goal is to make sure Fisher’s story – a story of the black community’s success in Columbia – “won’t die with me.”

“The resilience [of Annie Fisher], the beating the odds, rising above the perception of others and capitalizing on it to a point where she grew to be very successful,” is her main message, Laboy says. “And it didn’t really matter to her what other people thought of her. She was so good at what she did, and she loved it.” Verna hopes that students, by hearing the stories of Fisher and other figures in Columbia’s history who overcame considerable obstacles, will be encouraged to not let anything stand in their way of their dreams, their goals, their success.

Instructor: Verna Laboy is a health educator with Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, overseeing the ‘Live Well by Faith’ program, a wellness initiative for historically black churches aimed at reducing disparities in Boone County by decreasing the prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes among African Americans.

May 4: Conservation of the Genetic Diversity of Crop Plants: A Pressing Need for Future Food Security

Over the last few decades, there has been a significant decline in the genetic diversity within crops and in the number of plant species commonly grown for food or feed. What does that mean for a growing world population? Come and hear our presenters describe existing methods of crop cultivation and how the application of new genetic resources by plant breeders may combat diseases and pests, breed plants that can be productive in drought conditions and in soils with increased salinity and improve the nutritional value of crop plants. They’ll also discuss ex situ conservation (seed and germplasm banks) and in situ conservation (land races and heirloom varieties) of plant species and how they play essential roles in helping to preserve crop diversity, among other related topics.

Instructors: G. Michael Chippendale grew up in England where his interest in biology began. He moved to the U.S. and received his Ph.D. degree in entomology, spending his career at MU. His area of teaching and research was insect physiology, focusing on the relationship between insects and their host plants. His research led him to an understanding of the importance of maintaining the genetic diversity of crop plants to help keep them resistant to attack by pests and diseases. Elizabeth D. Owens grew up on an experiment station in Idaho, where she worked as a student summer tech for plant breeders and entomologists. She completed a Ph.D. in crop protection entomology. In her career, she conducted research on control of insect pests, especially proud of the work she did in the regulation of products from biotechnology. In retirement, she serves as a docent for the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines.

May 11: Kenya: Safari and Mobility Worldwide Mission

Mobility Worldwide makes 3-wheeled, handoperated carts that are a substitute for wheel chairs. These are given to people with mobility issues in more than 100 developing countries around the world. Last April, presenter Jeff Moran traveled to Kenya to participate in a distribution of these carts. A three-day safari was included as a part of this trip. This class will be a combination of pictures of that safari and the cart distribution.

Instructor: Jeff Moran has been volunteering with Mobility Worldwide for several years. He assembles the carts in the Columbia shop, and has participated in several cart distribution trips in Guatemala, as well as his recent trip to Kenya.