Aging Fully

Sessions: 2     Class Time: 1:00-3:00pm, MONDAYS – 2/24 & 3/23     Class Limit: 25            Cost:  $20 member/ $60 non-members

Coping with change is difficult, no matter how old you are. The particular challenge for  older adults is the sheer number of changes and transitions that start to occur—including children moving away, the loss of parents, friends, and other loved ones, changes to or the end of your career,  declining health, and even loss of independence. It’s natural to feel those losses. But if that sense of loss is balanced with positive ingredients, you have a formula for staying healthy as you age.  These sessions will give participants an opportunity to learn up to date strategies for aging fully in the 21st century. 

Carmela A. Geer is by profession, an educator and family    advocate of thirty five years and a consultant and trainer for the past twenty years. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Edward King House Senior Center in Newport, RI. A resident of Middletown, RI, she is connected to her  community by her involvement in various town wide organizations and initiatives.

Boeing B737MAX Crisis

Sessions: 1     Class Time:  12:45-2:45pm, THURSDAY – 2/13     Class Limit:  20     Member $10/ Non-Member $50

Boeing B737 airplanes have been flying since 1967.  It was one of the most safe and reliable airplanes until recently.  On October 29, 2018, B737Max, operated by Lion Air crashed, killing 189 people and on March 10, 2019, the same model airplane operated by Ethiopian Air crashed, killing 157 souls on board.  Since March 2019, B737Max has been grounded by FAA. This class is about what caused these two airplanes to crash and what changes were made on B737Max from the previous models to make it an unsafe airplane.

Jet Vertz is a retired aviation business executive.  Prior to his retirement Jet was a Vice President at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft.  Prior to going into the aviation business Jet was commissioned an Ensign in the USN via the OCS in Newport Naval Station and served during the Vietnam War era as a US Naval Surface Officer. Jet has taught this course at the URI OLLI and it was received with overwhelmingly positive response.

Classic Lit: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

Sessions:  4     Class Time: 10:00-12:00pm, TUESDAYS – 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/3      Class Limit:  20     Member $40/ Non-Member $80

Well, it really was a dark and stormy night when 18-year old Mary Shelley began this amazing English novel of the Romantic period. From the day the book appeared in print to the present moment, Frankenstein has been controversial, symbolically challenging, sensationalistic, heartbreaking, and repeatedly a cultural metaphor. From exposure to Hollywood movies you may think you know the tale of the over-reaching scientist and the monster he creates and sets loose upon the world, but you will be surprised. This is definitely a book that will stimulate our conversation.

Once again, Eileen Warburton will provide background, biography, and historical context while guiding the discussion with questions and themes. You may read any unabbreviated copy of the novel, but read it in its entirety before the class.

Eileen Warburton holds the PhD in English and American Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of many books and articles, including the critically acclaimed 2004 biography of modern English novelist, John Fowles. She has taught literature at URI, BU, and Bryant and specializes locally in researching Newport history.

Consumer Law for Non-Lawyers

Sessions: 4     Class Time:  10:00-12:00pm, FRIDAYS – 2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28     Class Limit:  10     Member $40/ Non-Member $80

This course seeks to explain, in non-technical terms, the major provisions of federal and state law protecting consumers in their disputes with online and brick-and mortar businesses, banks and other financial institutions, public utilities and government agencies. We will also talk about practical ways you can utilize the rights these legal provisions give you as a consumer, without hiring a lawyer, to resolve disputes you may have. The presentation will describe a number of actual consumer disputes and will show how they were settled by the consumer’s own efforts. The classes will be partly lecture and partly discussion, with time for questions and input from class members. Come prepared to discuss your own consumer law problems or come just to listen.

Roland Chase is a lawyer (retired) and retired as Professor Emeritus at Roger Williams University; taught consumer law course at RWU and also taught week-long, non-credit consumer law course to adult Elderhostel students.

Current International Events in Review

Sessions:  8     Class Time:  12:45-2:45pm,  WEDNESDAYS – 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 3/4, 3/11, 3/18, 3/25     Class Limit:  25     Member $80/ Non-Member $120


Currently in its 14th year, this is a workshop-style survey and discussion of current international events. We start with country, region and political organization reviews during the first hour often utilizing guest lecturers from the Naval War College and other sources.  These topics will add to an understanding of the current events being discussed in the second hour of each session when we will be examining the events of the previous week.

Ron Becker, a graduate of Reed College, is a retired actuary with over 35 years of technical and administrative experience in the life insurance industry with a life-long interest in history and politics.

John Del Negro is a retired attorney who is a graduate of George Washington University and the Cornell Law School.  He has become a self-taught student of the Renaissance, and taught NCOS courses on “Florence, the Cradle of the Renaissance,” “The Lives of Four Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance,” and “Four Important Woman of the Italian Renaissance:  1471- 1539:  Two Sisters  and Their Sisters-in-Law.”

Ben Riggs, is a retired business executive who has served as chief executive of U.S. divisions of several foreign-owned conglomerates. His knowledge and interest in international affairs arose from both his military career as well as numerous business dealings in Europe, Japan and the Middle East.  

Purpose Driven Retirement Bucket List

Sessions: 5     Class Time: 12:45-2:45pm, TUESDAYS – 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24, 3/31     Class Limit:  25    Member $50/ Non-Member $90

How is your retirement going? Are you somewhat bored? Are you restless? Do you feel that you could be doing things in your retirement that could be more meaningful and have a sense of purpose? If your answer to any of the above questions is “yes”, then this class is for you. During the class we will work together to define your purpose and meaning to live out the remainder of your life. We will do this through plotting your lifeline to reflect your life to date, redefine who you are by developing your personal calling card and generating a purpose driven, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results oriented, Time bounded) retirement bucket list.

Jet Vertz is a retired aviation business executive.  Prior to his retirement Jet was a Vice President at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft.  Prior to going into the aviation business Jet was commissioned an Ensign in the USN via the OCS in Newport Naval Station and served during the Vietnam War era as a US Naval Surface Officer. Jet has taught this course once at NCOS and numerous times at the URI OLLI.

Wagner: Der Filegende Hollander

Sessions:  3     Class Time:  12:45-2:45pm,  FRIDAYS – 2/28, 3/6, 3/13     Class Limit:  25     Member $30/ Non-Member $70

In 1840, after fleeing creditors in Riga and enduring artistic defeat in Paris, Wagner began an opera based on a Heinrich Heine story, “The Flying Dutchman”.  Having defied God, the Dutchman is condemned to roam the sea with the proviso that every seven years he will be cast ashore to seek redemption through the love of a faithful woman.  Senta, already betrothed, but fascinated by the Dutchman’s legend, agrees to marry him.  Unjustifiably feeling betrayed by Senta, the Dutchman sets sail, once again, on his ghostly ship in the quest of redemption.  Senta, desperately in love with the Dutchman, throws herself into the sea thus saving the Dutchman’s soul.

The course is being offered in preparation for the Met Opera’s HD transmission of “Der Fliegende Hollander” on March 14th.

Louis Mainelli has taught opera classes on Poulenc, Tchaikovsky, and  Wagner at the URI and UMASS-Boston OLLI programs as well at the Edward King House and Salve Regina “Circle of Scholars” programs.

What Happens When You Die

Sessions: 3     Class Time:  5:00-6:30pm,  THURSDAYS – 1/16, 2/20, 3/19     Cost: Donations Accepted

This program began in March 2016, and is conducted as the Rhode Island Chapter of the International Association for Near Death Studies (“IANDS”at The aim of the group is to explore and deepen our understanding of what has been learned about human consciousness from people who have had near-death experiences (“NDEs”) and have reported an amazing journey after they have been revived, along with the lessons they learned.  We will review and discuss actual documented experiences along with the findings of various researchers and scientists, all of whom have various theories about how this happens and what it can tell us about the transition from life as we know it, and what lies beyond. Some videos and guest speakers are utilized. This is not connected with any organized religion or religious belief. Some of the group’s current members include persons who have had NDEs, “after death” communications with loved ones, and related experiences of their own.

Ben Riggs is a retired Naval Aviator and later business executive who has served as chief executive of several manufacturing companies. His knowledge and interest in NDEs evolved from the experiences of friends and family and subsequent participation with IANDS, which has included numerous national conferences, workshops, extensive study, and close collaboration with leading experts in the field.




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