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Boca group spreads its wings to national experts

“People are always surprised that this feisty lifelong learning group has so much content and depth.” That’s a quote from “grow your brain,” Institute for Learning in Retirement’s executive director Carol Lazerick.

Turns out Zoom was a boon to this Boca group that not only books local speakers with expertise. Now they have a much broader reach.

Q: How did that happen?

A: When we were at the Boca Raton Community Center, we had 18 or 19 classes a week. We were there for four years. When we went on Zoom in March, that allowed us to reach out internationally. A lot of these speakers are homebound, too, so they’re willing. We are able to tap into speakers we would not have been able to get in person.

Q: For instance?

A: Gina Vild co-authored a book with Deepak Chopra’s brother, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra. She’s a senior advisor at Harvard Medical School and will talk about “The Two Most Important Days, How to Find Your Purpose and Live a Happier, Healthier Life.”  She offered to present and she’s speaking in our Thursday morning spotlight on issues and ideas on Jan. 14. She will talk about resilience. How appropriate.

Q: That’s a good segue into what you’re offering in the new semester starting Jan. 11 through March 4.

A: Our winter session kicks off with Meet the Instructors on Jan. 6 and classes start on Jan. 11. I feel more and more that ILIR is both an educational/social activity for our folks but now in times of COVID, ILIR has proven to be a lifeline.

Q: What do your experts talk about?

A: We have speakers on specific topics such as government in action, film, current events, science and the environment, arts and literature and even yoga. They’re in hosted sessions at 10 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. Mondays; Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. We have pop-up classes, too, including a book club.

Q: Who’s speaking on science?

A: The professor of astrophysics in an endowed chair at FAU will facilitate six experts who will focus on change over time in computers and other genres. A Citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who teaches at Emory University Law School will speak on “Broken Promises: A History of Federal Failure.”

Q: How do people register and is there are a cost involved?

A: The registration fee is $110 a person or $165 a household. You can make your payment through the institute’s PayPal account ilirincinfo@att.net or send the fee to ILIR, 21346 St. Andrew’s Blvd., #142, Boca Raton 33433. For questions, people can call 561-883-0999.

Q: Can they register at any point?

A: Yes, we want to expand the community, so we do our best to prorate. If somebody comes to one class, they can make a contribution. Our mission is to enhance the lives of attendees by peer learning, social interaction, and active participation in an academic environment. The learning process takes place in study groups, a partnership between students and  facilitators. The institute has been doing this for 25 years.

By Marci Shatzman

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