ILR offers exciting trips, programs

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 20, 2008

Institute for Learning in Retirement? What in the world is that? ILR is a wonderful program for men and women who are at least 50 years old and who are working or retired. The program is affiliated with the Elderhostel Institute Network, an internationally known program that offers quality educational experiences for mature adults. The institute supports the philosophy that older adults are eager, self-motivated learners who are capable of directing their education.

What does this mean to us in Natchez and the surrounding area? In the past, the Co-Lin ILR group has gone to Mobile to see the Dead Sea Scrolls; traveled to the Gulf Coast to hear Placido Domingo; traveled to Jackson to see the exhibition of the Palaces of St. Petersburg, and on and on. A major trip was the New England Fall Foliage Tour that was a delight and a memory maker for the 28 people who made the bus trip.

So much for the traveling, what have we done locally?

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The exciting concert series at the Wesson Campus of Copiah-Lincoln has been well attended by the Natchez members. And that does not involve long travel. Usually a van from Co-Lin Natchez makes the trip to Wesson with a qualified licensed driver for the event. The series for the current season includes, but is not limited to, Philippe Bianconi, Van Cliburn Silver Medalist; the Ailey II Dance company, performing timeless classics; and the Wayne Page and Tom Ross Art Exhibit, featuring sculpture and paintings.

On the Natchez campus, the classes in Tai Chi, Windows XP, Internet, quilting, cooking with small appliances and lectures on topics of interest have been well received.

How are the choices made? The membership is responsible for planning activities. The curriculum committee plans activities. The choices are based on recommendations by members. It is very important that members give their recommendations and their opinions to the curriculum committee.

Other member benefits include discounts at the Co-Lin Bookstore, library privileges at the Co-Lin Library, low-cost dining in the Co-Lin cafeteria and the privilege of using the Co-Lin computer facilities — and are they up-to-date!

The very next meeting is today in the Activities Room (room 410) in the Reed Academic Building at the Natchez Campus. Well-known local singers Julie and Rex will serenade the group, and lunch will be served. The membership fee is $50 for an individual and $75 for husband and wife. Co-Lin is the place to be and ILR gives the opportunity for making new friends and expanding horizons.

I hope to see you at 11:30 a.m.

Joan McLemore is a member of the Institute for Learning in Retirement.