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SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- With more than 25 classes, a series of one-day-trips, workshops, plus a lunch and lecture series and a luncheon out group, Slippery Rock University's Institute for Learning in Retirement has again expanded its course offerings as it prepares its fourth semester of programming.

The institute's fall 2002 course catalog is now available by calling 724-738-2633 or by e-mailing a request to The non-profit ILR is a member-run, learning community intended to meet the educational interests of the area's growing number of retired people. Sessions are designed to provide ongoing educational and cultural opportunities with no tests or grades involved. There are no age requirements or prerequisites and prior SRU affiliation is not necessary.

The fall semester kick off is set for 3 p.m. Sept. 14 in the Pennsylvania Room of SRU's North Hall and will give participants the opportunity to meet instructors and fellow learners and renew last year's friendships. Fall session starting dates are staggered through October, with most classes completed by Thanksgiving.

A new venture for fall for those with or without grandchildren will be "Make a Jack-O-Lantern and Eat the Seeds" taught by Tim Walters. Children's literature expert Fran Walsh will offer "Reading to Your Grandchildren."

Fall term sessions encompass other broad topics, including skills -- advertising and public relations, ballroom dancing, computer basics, introduction to oral history, becoming a mystery shopper, and making holiday bows and wreaths; art -- fine art print collecting and framing, introduction to drawing, a tour of the Charles "Teenie" Harris exhibition, and courses titled "Let's Go to the Theater" and "Let's Plan a Murder"; humanities -- "Mark Twain: Exploring His Genius," "Poetry Appreciation" and a book discussion group; and science and the environment classes, including "Introduction to Fall Wild Mushrooms" and "A-B-C's of Birding."

Those facing retirement issues will find "Changing Roles in Retirement," "Who Gets Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate," "Oops! How You Can Prevent Falls," "Prosperous Retirement Financial Planning" and an investing seminar for women. Social sciences courses include "Foundations of Western Culture," "Hot Issues: Current Events" and "Everyday Life in a Coal Mining Town." Those interested in travel may consider "Here in Our Own Backyard," "Italian for Travelers" and "Let's Go Abroad."

In addition, one-day activities will include "A Day in Franklin," a tour of the Air Heritage Museum, a lecture and slide show on the ancient city of Petra, trips to the Butler Institute of American Art, the International Rooms of the Cathedral of Learning, Kerr Memorial Museum, and Pittsburgh's Strip District. This fall's murder mystery is titled "'R' is for Reunion, Rancor and Revenge." The IRL's lunch and lecture series, dining out group and gala semester-ending social on Nov. 23 are open to all institute members.

The institute, which is affiliated with Slippery Rock University, its Alumni Association and the Elderhostel Institute Network, is self-supporting. Annual membership dues of $100 ($60 for half year) enable members to take as many classes as desired. Members also enjoy library privileges and parking permits. ILR instructors/-facilitators are volunteers and institute members, including retired SRU faculty and staff. Those interested in serving as future instructors should contact Dr. Constance Smith, ILR president, at 724-738-4543.

There are more than 250 similar institutes nationwide.

Contact: K.E. Schwab -- 724-738-2199; e-mail:



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