Special Interest Groups


Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are member-driven, peer-facilitated groups made up of OLLI members who share an interest in exploring a particular topic. SIGs do not replace OLLI courses; they are a different type of participatory group that allows members to delve deeper into a subject. SIGs are open to all OLLI members and foster fellowship and active learning.

There are two levels of Special Interest Groups:

Study Groups: These groups are intellectual in nature and have a clear expectation of active member participation. Generally, there will be reading or research assigned for each meeting, and all participants are encouraged to engage in the discussion and plan the topics for future meetings. Shared or rotating facilitation of the group is typical. There is a cost to participate in Study Groups; generally the same as a six-week course.

Interest Circles: Interest circles are less formal and generally do not require outside reading or research. They are based on a shared hobby or interest, and will meet as determined by the group to engage in activities or discussions related to the topic. In some cases, Interest Circles could include field trips or events. Shared or rotating organization of the meetings and activities is typical. There is no cost to participate in an Interest Circle, though there may be costs related to the activities of the group.

Check out these SIGs starting in the winter 2017 term:

Study Groups

Genetics & Genomics Study Group
Genomics is the study of DNA; what it does and how. The first session will launch our study of genetics and genomics, and the following discussions will be determined and planned by the members. Each participant will be responsible for preparing a class discussion, making a presentation, and leading that discussion. No participant will start out as an expert. We will learn from each other and from shared (and required) reading.
Enrollment is limited to 12 members.
Coordinator: Larry Fox, 760-285-1568, larryfox1310@gmail.com

Great Music Study Group
There is so much magnificent music out there, the potential for fresh discussions is virtually limitless. This group will explore works important to each of the participants, works essential to your personal library, or simply compositions you especially enjoy. For the first session, each participant is invited to bring a favorite recording from the Baroque era (Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, etc.) and provide an interesting anecdote about the composer or why that composition touches you. For future sessions, participants should be prepared to share a favorite composition for each theme.
Enrollment is limited to 15 members.
Coordinator: Michael Hoffmann, 760-565-7787, mjhoff37@me.com

Interest Circles

Writers Circle
This discussion group will explore topics of interest to the current or future writers among us. Some sessions might feature an author from within our OLLI ranks, or could include a workshop on a specific topic related to writing. The group will determine the direction as we go. This flexible group will adjust based on the interests of the participants. If you’re a published author, would like to hone your writing skills, or just love to read or write, come and join us.
Coordinator: Merrie Lyn Shickler, 760-770-3030, merrielynshickler@gmail.com

Glass Club
Man has been fascinated with glass, naturally formed or man-made, for thousands of years. Whether fashioned for utilitarian, decorative or personal use, glass has been an important commodity throughout history; even more so today. This SIG will explore many facets of glass history including, but not limited to, glass objects of historical/stylistic periods, fabrication in the past and present, historical glass designers and artists, popular glass collectibles, and more. Possible visits could include nearby museums, collections and glass hot shops. No prior knowledge is required.
Coordinator: David Novick, 760-345-8041, dtnovick@earthlink.net


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