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OLLI Poets Create Memories


Dr. Linda Carr’s MEMORY INTO POETRY class is back this winter,
with 26 poets—both new and returning. In these opening weeks, Dr. Carr suggested writing about an experience with a parent or an observation of parents that revealed their character or relationship to the writer. An alternative suggestion was to describe an article of clothing in the back of the
closet, long disregarded but why is it too meaningful to discard? Always another option is to write from any inspiration gained from the class.
Here is only a sample of the outstanding talent (and memories) that our OLLI folks have stirring in their hearts and minds:
Star Light by Julie Heckman
Outside, the sound of my neighbors
night-talking sinks into the air, and
I am thinking about long ago when
my father, my brothers and I go
streaming through a thousand
pennies from a sack on the rug,
searching for a valuable date, a
1955 double-dye, worth a fortune—
only ten in circulation. There
under a desert crackle lamp my
brothers and I in our flannel
pajamas, and even my father too
are on our knees looking
at dates for our coin collections.
I can feel the warmth of the
flannel there on the rug, all of us
looking and looking, the pursuit of a
penny of greater value than its worth.
Starlight drizzled down onto the floor
through the window.

Afterwards my father worked
wrapping the pennies in 50 cent
bank rolls. He threw the
rolled pennies back into the sack and
off to the bank they went.

Work Ethic by Bernice Hogan
It’s a longago morning after a gentle snowfall -
a glistening white sheet drapes our yard in stillness
except the occasional swish swash of a boot treading the packed snow.
Suddenly the silence is broken. A metal shovel hits its target,
scraping, scrubbing and scratching the concrete sidewalk with
determined strokes, steady rhythm. My mother is clearing a path for us to enter the world beyond.
She does not stop until the job is done.
She was firstborn in a family of ten children, never went
beyond grade school, not uncommon in those times.
I have no memory of my mother relaxing at home in those pre-TV days—
not when chores needed doing—cooking, cleaning, washing clothes.
When she finished those tasks she would sit above her wooden frame
and bead garments for her job away from home.
Now I am mother of three children. Seldom have I had helpers
in my home if I could do what needed to be done.
Now I close my eyes and watch my aging mother cutting and
chopping away at the self-directing fuschia bougainvillea twisting about my patio roof.
My pleas to stop go unheard.
She does not stop until the job is done

Home by Erwin Anisman
Mom cleans
Dad coughs, coughs…
Mom cooks
Dad gasps, wheezes…
Mom prays
Dad spits phlegm
We try to sleep

China's Cultural Heritage

by Judy Mednick

We have China to thank for
paper, printing, gunpowder,
and the compass. But it is in China’s resplendent past that we find the most enduring and precious of her gifts. No wonder China has been called
the “paradise of historians.”

It is the oldest continuous, homogeneous
major culture in the world today. From at least 3,000 B.C., it has had historiographers
who recorded everything that happened.
Besides its storied past, China is a rising star on the world stage. The world is watching as it grows in military power, cultural influence, diplomatic activity, and involvement in global governance instrtutions. Anyone wanting to understand China today needs knowledge of its cultural heritage.
In an unprecedented debut course, CHINA’S CULTURAL & HISTORIC HERITAGE, Dr. Teresa Sun will present a wide-ranging and in-depth view of China’s intellectual legacy. Dr. Sun is a professor and published author who has enjoyed a 50+ year career teaching the Chinese language and literature(classical and modern), cultural traditions, and theatre and drama at CSULB and UCI. She is one of the
few educators in California with a Doctorate in higher education and human service from Seton Hall University, an M.A. in East Asian
Languages and Literature from UCLA and extensive graduate work in education at Claremont.
Much of her professional activity outside of the classroom has been working to strengthen
bilingual and international education. In this role, she has worked on numerous bilingual education councils, including one that met at the White House.
Some topics Dr. Sun will consider in CHINA’S CULTURAL AND HISTORIC HERITAGE: development of the Chinese language and literature (classical and modern); major
philosophical systems (Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism); famous art collections; theatre and drama; calligraphy art; Chinese symbols; and a taste of Chinese opera. She will use PowerPoint presentations, lecture and discussion to bring to life China’s rich intellectual legacy. Many OLLI students have been in classes when Dr. Sun has presented
and know her dynamic style and scholarly erudition. You can expect nothing less in this course. Don’t miss the chance to get an insider’s view of a great civilization.