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Richard’s Shelter Island almanac: life-long learning

So do you think that you would like to engage in academic discussions with other seniors? But you do not really feel like traveling to various adult education classes.

Well, I just learned about a program called “DOROT” that offers a University Without Walls for older adults who want to experience “the joys and benefits of community and lifelong learning — all over the telephone.”

DOROT is a Hebrew word meaning generation. And the programs bring generations together “in a mutually beneficial partnership of older adults, volunteers and professionals.”

Seniors are able to discuss art and culture and current events from home on the phone. Those out there who are still computer-phobic now have no excuses. You just use your friendly telephone.

Classes are 50 minutes long. And there are no fees to enroll or participate, although a contribution of $5 per class session is always welcome, I learned. Donations can be made online, by phone or by sending a check payable to DOROT, 171 West 85 St., New York, NY 10024. The phone is 212-769-2850.

This University Without Walls offers museum discussions such as “American Women in the Brooklyn Museum,” which will introduce students to works created by or portraying strong women in the Brooklyn Museum’s collection. This is just one of ten classes on museums offered this spring.

One of the three literature classes will discuss the Tim O’Brien novel “The Things They Carried.” This book, which deals with a collection of stories about a platoon of American soldiers fighting in Vietnam, will be mailed prior to the class.

There are eight music and performing arts classes. One is called “A Show about Nothing” and runs on five Thursdays. It explores the sitcom “Seinfeld” and where its ideas originated and the influence of earlier TV sitcoms.

If you are interested in studying about Health and Wellness there are seven discussions available including “Brain Health: How to Maintain What You’ve Got.”

A geriatrics fellow from Mt. Sinai will discuss everyday strategies that may help you remain sharp as you age.

There are four different News and Current Events classes as well as a class on Medicare Updates and Identity Theft. Weekly support groups cover topics likes vision loss, bereavement and LGBT support for elders.

Jewish interests are discussed in 15 different classes while Census 2020 is another topic along with Conversations: All Things New York.

Go to the Shelter Island Library for a class catalogue so you can register for one of your interests. And the best part is you never have to leave the Island!

On another subject, I am happy to report that I had a great time at dinner at the Legion last Monday. Laurie Fanelli asked me to join a table with those from the Senior Center. What great food! Gunner Wissemann and mother Rosie turned out great food assisted by Brett and Meredith Page. Dave Clark took care of all the beverages.

While there I had the opportunity to speak with nonagenarian George Strom. George enlisted in the Navy at 17 and was involved in the D-Day invasion and watched the flag get raised on Iwo Jima. I’ll have to spend some time talking to him soon.

Podiatrist Dr. Heath Gutterman will be making another Island visit on March 11. He will see Islanders who need him at their homes. Please call his office at 631-287-1818 to make an appointment. 

I also understand that the Senior Center is in need of volunteer drivers to take seniors to appointments. One does not need any special license to drive — just a regular operator’s license. Call Laurie Fanelli at 631-749-1059 if you would like to be a driver.