Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech
  Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech

Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech

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Events

Be sure to register early for any of these fun learning opportunities that come as a benefit of LLI membership. Many events are free, but space is limited. Please register for special events using the form in the back of the catalog; or download a PDF (coming soon!). If you are confirmed for an event that requires a fee, you will be notified where to send your check. If you later discover that you cannot attend an event for which you have registered, please contact the LLI Office (lifelonglearning@vt.edu or 540-231-4364) so that someone else can use your place. There will be no refunds for fee-based events; however, you may find a substitute if you are unable to attend.

How to Register for Special Events
Register for special events using the form provided in the catalog or download a PDF (lifelonglearningSpecialEvents.pdf). There is no online registration for special events. LLI volunteers will handle special event registration. You must first register as a member (either online or by paper) to participate in Special Events. Follow the mailing instructions on the form. Many special events are free. If you are confirmed for any of the fee-based events, you will be notified where to send your check. Please do not send or deliver cash to Continuing and Professional Education. Special event payment instructions will follow confirmation of your reservation.

For questions concerning special event registration, please contact the LLI Registrar at 540-231-4364 or email lifelonglearning@vt.edu.

Sneak Peek!


Special Events registration form: lifelonglearningSpecialEvents.pdf


Special Events and Tours

Wednesday, September 27

Who Gets to Vote?

Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Roger E. Hedgepeth Chambers, Blacksburg Municipal Building 300 South Main Street, Blacksburg
Class Limit: 100
Cost: Free

Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Lifelong Learning Institute at Virginia Tech, and the NAACP.

The public is welcome at the co-sponsored event. Advance registration by LLI members is appreciated; others do not need to register.

Changes to the Voting Rights Act in 2013 resulted in a flurry of new state laws that claim to eliminate fraud but ultimately restrict access. Voter registration issues have become hotly contested in a number of states and are the subject of several pending and recently decided court cases. The panel will explore how stricter voter ID laws have affected voter participation overall and among various groups. We'll talk about the wave of other voter registration practices that contribute to voter suppression and public disillusionment with electoral politics. Gerrymandering has also undermined fair elections and remains an important concern in Virginia. Join three panelists who will address these critical issues about one of our most fundamental rights as citizens. Be informed and get answers to your questions about local, state, and national voter rights issues.

PANELISTS

Caitlin Jewitt, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech, studies the rules of elections and their impact on voter behavior and the actions of candidates and elected officials.

Nicholas Goedert, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech, studies congressional politics (including congressional redistricting), electoral institutions, election law, and political theory.

Wornie Reed is Professor of Africana Studies and Sociology and Director of the Race and Social Policy Research Center at Virginia Tech. As a longtime activist, he was involved with voting rights activists in the Black Belt in Alabama in the 1980s, who were battling then U.S. Attorney and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Charles Warren (Moderator) is the retired President of Lynchburg College.

Friday, September 29

Historic McDonalds Mill

Time: Vans depart Blacksburg at 1:00 p.m. Return approximately 4:00 p.m.
Tour Limit: 36
Cost: Free
Van transportation provided on a first-come, firstserved basis for up to 30. Additional participants may carpool or drive themselves. Directions will be provided.

Presented in partnership with the New River Land Trust

Rescheduled event; new registration required.

Join the New River Land Trust on a trip to the scenic Catawba Valley and the privately-owned Yost property. This 289-acre conserved farm contains the historic McDonalds Mill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. It also contains the headwaters of the North Fork of the Roanoke River, a local waterway that is home to two endangered species of fish (the Roanoke Logperch and the Orange Mad Tom Catfish). The farm grazes cows that produce milk for Homestead Creamery Ice Cream. Take a guided tour of the old mill by owner Ned Yost. Join a hands-on demonstration of stream critters and discuss stream restoration on the property with Mike Pinder from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. John Eustis, Executive Director of the New River Land Trust, will give an overview of conservation in the Catawba Valley, a state-designated area for conservation.

This field trip involves walking on uneven ground and standing for an extended period. Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing for an outdoor experience.

Mondays, October 2, 9, 16

Three-Part Lecture Series on Cognitive Issues with Jane Yakel

Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 75
Cost: Free

These lectures are open to Warm Hearth residents, caregiver families, and the general public (no registration required for non-LLI members).

LLI members, please register separately for each lecture.

October 2. Normal Forgetfulness or Dementia?
This lecture first differentiates Normal Aging from Mild Cognitive Impairments and Dementia. The focus is then on “normal aging,” with an emphasis on evidence-based techniques to keep your mind sharp. Learn how to hone your attention skills, increase your visual imagery abilities, and remember where you placed those familiar objects. Discover how to develop a “Memory Palace” in your mind and use strategies endorsed by contestants of the U.S. Memory Championship competition.

October 9. Degenerative Neurological Diseases and Stages of Dementia
This lecture focuses on “Dementia” and whether it is “reversible” or “irreversible,” including the common causes and methods of intervention for reversible dementia, and specific symptoms of irreversible dementia. The seven major clinical Stages of Dementia are outlined along with specific developmental markers and ages for each stage. We'll spend half of the session talking about purposeful and meaningful activities for your loved ones. Questions and open discussion are welcomed.

October 16. Dementia: Communication Strategies for Caregivers
The class will teach essential communication skills needed to decrease resistance and power struggles, and it will assist you in the design of activities that will increase your loved one's ability to be more independent and participate in purposeful activities. There will be time for hands-on practice.

PRESENTER
Jane Yakel is a Speech-Language Pathologist and is currently a private contractor and consultant. She has taught nationally and internationally on the topics of Cognition, Memory, Dementia, Dysphagia and the Diseases of Neuropathology.

Friday, October 13

Enjoy eBooks and Audio Books with OverDrive

Time: Two sessions:
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Apple Devices
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Android Devices
Location: Blacksburg Library Community Room 200 Miller Street, Blacksburg
Class Limit: 10 per session
Cost: Free

Enjoy eBooks and Audio Books on Apple Devices (10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
Bring your Apple device (such as an iPad, iPhone, iPod) and library experts will teach you how to download free eBooks and Audiobooks from the library. Your device will need to have at least iOS 9.0 to use the OverDrive app. Be sure you know the log-in details for the Apple iTunes store so you can download the app if you don't already have it.

E-books and Audio Books on Android Devices (2:30 - 4:30 p.m.)
Bring your Android phone (such as a Samsung Galaxy, LG, Nexus) or tablet, and library experts will teach you how to download free eBooks and Audiobooks from the library. Your device will need to have at least Android 4.0 to use the OverDrive app. Be sure you know the log-in details for the Google Play store so you can download the app if you don't already have it.

For both sessions: You can pre-load the Overdrive app at http://app.overdrive.com. The library offers ‘book-alibrarian' appointments for one-on-one learning if you need assistance in advance of the class.

Friday, October 13

A Preview of Mozart's Magic Flute with Clarity James

Time: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Location: P. Buckley Moss Gallery 223 Gilbert Street, Blacksburg
Parking available in the North End Center Garage
Event Limit: 35
Cost: Free

Join other opera aficionados and newcomers in a preview discussion of the Metropolitan Opera's HD live performance of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (Magic Flute), which will be shown at the Regal Cinema on Saturday, October 14.

PRESENTER
Clarity James is Professor Emerita of Music at Radford University. She performed many roles in her operatic career in both Europe and the U.S. to great acclaim. Beginning in 1990, she shared her love of opera and voice performance as Professor of Music and Director of Vocal Studies and Opera Workshop at Radford University.

Friday, October 20

Bobwhites on the Brink, Film and Field Trip

Time: Meet at 1:00 p.m. at Warm Hearth Village Center for film
Return to Warm Hearth approximately 4:30 p.m.
Tour Limit: 20
Cost: Free
(van transportation provided for field trip)

Presented in partnership with the New River Land Trust

Start at the Warm Hearth Village Center to screen the short video, Bobwhites on the Brink, an inspiring national documentary from the syndicated This American Land series. This film sets the scene for the plight of the Northern Bobwhite quail and efforts to restore its habitat. Then travel by van to a conserved privately owned property undergoing significant restoration of quail habitat. Local expert Andy Rosenberger from the Southwest Virginia Conservation Office will discuss the state of the Bobwhite in Virginia, what can be done to bring the species back to the area, and how to manage the same habitat for pollinators, songbirds, and game. Take a short bird walk, looking for migrating warblers and other birds.

This field trip involves walking on uneven ground and standing for an extended period. Please wear appropriate shoes and clothing for an outdoor experience. Bring your binoculars for the bird walk.

Thursday, October 26

Wine Tasting and Social at Whitebarrel Winery

Time: 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Whitebarrel Winery 4025 Childress Road, Christiansburg
Class Limit: 75
Cost: $25 (payment to Whitebarrel Winery)

Co-sponsored by AARP Blacksburg Chapter

Join LLI and AARP members for a fun time at Whitebarrel Winery. The winery will provide either a wine tasting or a glass of wine, and three hot appetizers and a salad. Connect with LLI classmates and get to know them better and make new friends too.

Please pay through the Whitebarrel Winery website: http://whitebarrel.com/product/aarp-blacksburgchapter- life-long-learning-social/

Wednesday, November 1

Healthy Aging Routines

Time: 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 75
Cost: Free

Routine activities play an essential part in determining quality of life and general health for mature adults. What you routinely do in the areas of nutrition, productive pursuits, physical activity, interaction with others, and for yourself affect your day-to-day living and long term prospects. This session will provide the opportunity to assess what you are currently doing and help you plan for a healthy future.

PRESENTER
William Zuti trained as an Exercise Physiologist. He specializes in adult physical fitness, wellness, and health promotion. He has written books and articles and has made countless presentations across the U.S. and in other countries over his career. Dr. Zuti retired from Radford University and is now teaching Aging and Exercise at Virginia Tech.

Friday, November 3

Virginia's Forested Ecosystems, with Alumni Distinguished Professor, John Seiler

Time: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 75
Cost: Free

Virginia's forests are a rich mix of numerous tree species, which results in high ecosystem biodiversity, productivity, and aesthetic value. A broad overview of the species found in Virginia's forests will be covered. We will examine ecological factors that result in this high biodiversity and examine environmental pressures and pests that impact Virginia's forests. Participants will gain a better appreciation of what they see while out enjoying Virginia's amazing forests! An interactive format will make this presentation engaging and informative.

PRESENTER
John Seiler is Alumni Distinguished Professor in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. His online alias is much simpler: “Dr. Dendro.” As Dr. Dendro he answers hundreds of tree questions submitted by the public every year. He has been at Virginia Tech for over 35 years and teaches numerous classes and conducts research with his graduate students on how environmental stress impacts tree growth and health.

Wednesday, November 8

Know Your Community: TimeBanking

Time: 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Warm Hearth Village Center
Class Limit: 50
Cost: Free

A TimeBank helps to connect people to exchange skills and services, using time rather than dollars. When members provide one hour of service for someone, they earn one Time Credit. They can then spend this Time Credit by receiving an hour of service from someone else. The possibilities for exchange are endless and may include home repair, animal care, yard work, cooking lessons, computer instruction, etc. All services are valued equally, and all members are respected for what they have to offer. It is an old idea made new—the idea that our community is stronger when neighbors make a practice of helping each other.

The New River Valley TimeBank was started in 2016 with support from the NRV HOME Consortium, the Town of Blacksburg, the Community Foundation of the NRV, and the Blacksburg Chapter of AARP. It anticipates having over 150 members by the end of this year. In this orientation session, participants will learn how the TimeBank works and the ins and outs of setting up a personal account to exchange skills and services.

PRESENTER
Ellen Stewart is the Project Coordinator of the New River Valley TimeBank. She is also the Grants Coordinator for the New River Valley HOME Consortium and the Town of Blacksburg Department of Housing and Neighborhood Services.

Friday, November 10

St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall

Time: 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Location: St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall 203 Gilbert St, Blacksburg
Event Limit: 22
Cost: Free

Presented In partnership with the Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation

Once the center of a vibrant African-American community, the St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall is the last remaining structure of what was called New Town. Built in 1905, the St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall served as a community center during segregation. Today, the Hall serves as a museum and regularly hosts events to preserve its important history. Meet and talk with former residents who share their personal and family stories of growing up in New Town during the era of segregation in Blacksburg.

Sunday, November 19

Holiday Wreath Making at Historic Smithfield

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Smithfield Plantation
Event Limit: 20
Cost: $20
NOTES:
Register with LLI using the Special Event registration form in catalog; follow instructions for submission. Then mail your check to:

Smithfield Plantation
1000 Smithfield Plantation Road
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Include a notation on your check that it is for LLI Holiday Wreath Making, November 19. Questions about payment should be addressed to April Danner, adanner@smithfieldplantation.org, or 231-3947

Presented in partnership with Historic Smithfield

Historic Smithfield and the local garden club will provide the supplies --- you supply the imagination—to make a beautiful holiday wreath. Grapevine and other natural items collected from Smithfield that reflect the decorating traditions of Early America will be provided.

Thursday, November 30

A Conversation with Awadagin Pratt, Pianist

Time: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: The Cube, Moss Arts Center
Tour Limit: 30 LLI members
Cost: Pre-performance event free; beverages available for purchase

Presented in Partnership with the Moss Arts Center, Intimate Voices Giving Circle, and Office for Inclusion and Diversity

Mingle with guests, then engage with Awadagin Pratt during this informal discussion just before Pratt performs in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre at the Moss Arts Center.

Pianist Awadagin Pratt has achieved high acclaim for his musical insight and performances. At the Peabody Conservatory of Music, he became the first student in the school's history to receive diplomas in three performance areas—piano, violin, and conducting. Pratt won the 1992 Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later received an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then he has played numerous recitals and orchestral performances across the U.S. He has recorded with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Zuill Bailey, and the Harlem Quartet, in addition to solo recording projects. Pratt is professor of piano at the College- Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati, artistic director of the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, and artistic director of the Art of the Piano Festival at CCM.

Tickets for the 7:30 performance should be purchased from the Moss Arts Center, https:///www.artscenter.vt. edu/Online/

Monday, December 4

Holiday Tea at Historic Smithfield

Time: 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Smithfield Plantation 1000 Smithfield Plantation Road, Blacksburg
Event Limit: 24
Cost: $20 payable to Smithfield Plantation
NOTES:
Register with LLI using the Special Event registration form in catalog; follow instructions for submission. Then mail your check to:

Smithfield Plantation
1000 Smithfield Plantation Road
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Include a notation on your check that it is for the LLI Holiday Tea, December 4. Questions about payment should be addressed to April Danner, adanner@smithfieldplantation.org, or 231-3947.

Presented in partnership with Historic Smithfield

Enjoy a private Holiday Tea and music as you relax in Colonel William Preston's home. Smell the evergreens, absorb the history, shop in the museum store, and celebrate with your friends. This was a great event last year, so if you missed it, be sure to sign up!

Thursday, December 7

Aging in Place: Update and Workshop

Time: 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Corporate Research Center, 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2018
Class Limit: 25
Cost: Free

This event will introduce participants to the Aging in Place initiative and to the issues and questions that all NRV residents should consider as they plan for aging in their homes and communities. After an overview, participants will complete a short workbook to help them think about future care and service needs as well as needed home modifications for ease of mobility. Participants will have the chance to share their own questions, comments, and challenges with their peers and Aging in Place team members, and to learn about resources in the area to effectively plan for the future.

PRESENTERS
The Aging in Place team, with representatives from ten area organizations, has taken the lead in implementing the vision for regional housing and services for seniors that emerged from the NRV Livability Initiative. The update and workshop will be presented by Jessica Wirgau and Kim Thurlow of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) and other team members.


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