Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a retired person, a wife, a mother and a grandmother — roles that I love — and also a lifetime student. I’m from the East Coast, and moved to California in 1974. I completed my studies at Berkeley and loved every minute of my experience there. It was everything I hoped for, and then some. And then along came OLLI. So, I have a dedication both to Berkeley and to OLLI, which I first joined years ago.
How has the last year been for you?
I think we’ve adapted fairly well. We've been cautious and careful for the most part. One thing that I’ve done to bring a little excitement to our lives is organize concerts for neighbors on our street. I bring in these extremely talented musicians, and they're paid for by generous tips from everyone. We get these amazing musicians who would normally be at Yoshi’s or SF Jazz. Really wonderful talent. At first, our neighbors were just flabbergasted by the whole thing. It’s been a wonderful experience. We sit spaced out in the middle of the street, and the musicians are in my driveway — it brings the excitement of live music to all of us. I couldn’t bear to think of going a whole year without live music. It’s so much a part of my life and a real love.
Have you taken many online OLLI classes?
Oh, yes. I’ve been so thankful to have OLLI. One thing I realized is that I have to have some schedule for myself. I didn’t take classes one term, and found the days were very long and unproductive. The classes keep my brain engaged. They’re a real gift. One difference between the in-person classes and the online ones is that I felt that I wasn’t retaining information as well online. So now I take notes and that really sharpens my focus and keeps me on track.
Here’s one thing that I do, too: Another member and I sign up for the same classes, and then we watch them together. We’re both vaccinated and very careful. We set up some tea and water, sit down to watch, and enjoy being together and learning together. It gives us some of that feeling you have when you learn in person. I can’t wait to be back at The Freight, where I’ll get to see old friends and meet wonderful new people, too. Until then, I'm happy learning online.