Life Here

August 16, 2018 By Jeanne Michael

Activities to Educate Your Mind

When Paradise Valley Estates was a new organization, physical activity classes developed quickly, but then residents began to wish for things that would stimulate one’s brain and make the mind think. Thus the “Campus of Extended Learning” came into being with offerings on creative writing, literature, science and nature.

One of the first of these new offerings was Liz Wildberger’s Memoir Writing class. The class helps participants access the richness and uniqueness of their lives through the writing of personal stories in memoir form.

The instructor and other participants make up your audience, offering support and critical feedback. Attendees learn how to start on an article, make a first draft, and how to make revisions. The current class is in the middle of an eight-week course that meets each Wednesday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Ron Ridley Room. This is a wonderful way to pass on family history to future generations.

PVE’s Lifelong Learning program is a video series on various topics. Pat Williams and Virginia Kirkwood started this program about a dozen years ago. It is not a participation course but is simply a chance to sit back and watch a video series of experts in various fields pass on their knowledge. Today, Ken Heinz coordinates the program.

Videos are displayed on the screen in Rawlinson Hall each Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. The current video series explores American history from many different aspects. This is a particularly valuable course since people are trying to rewrite our history, so it’s good to go back to the beginning and appreciate where we came from as a nation. It is definitely a learning experience to realize what a different world it was when America first broke free as an independent nation.

An exciting new activity is Discover U. Shirley Arnold’s son, Jeff, described a program to her called the “Science Pub” that is offered in Santa Barbara. Shirley took this idea and created the Discover U program for PVE. The format is similar to the Santa Barbara offering. Since we have no “Pub,” our location is in the “Club.”

It is a monthly program, held after dinner on a weeknight at 7 p.m. with available coffee, drinks and snacks. The presenter lectures on his or her topic, with breaks for comments or to answer questions. While Santa Barbara has a connection with UCSB and the Museum of Natural History, Shirley’s group has help from UC Davis. The program started in January and has proven to be very popular. The object of this activity is to stimulate a conversation between the audience and the presenter. The Resident Marketing Committee is the program sponsor.


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