Notes from the President
Well, here we all are, sitting in our homes, reading the news and wondering what in heaven’s name comes next. If you are like me, you are fighting off some level of boredom when you don’t have meetings to go to, games of pickleball or golf to play, classes to attend, fitness workouts to sweat through, and so on and so on.
Your friends and neighbors in LifeLong Learning are working on ideas and plans for next season. The Lecture Team is busy vetting possible speakers and topics to be sure that we keep up to our high standards. The Marketing Team is experimenting with meetings where everyone is outside, six feet apart, and still able to discuss how to get the word out to PebbleCreekers about LLL. The Classes Team has begun its work, looking at the sellout classes we had this year and hoping to beat that record next year. The Trips Team is considering where we can go when you are free to travel again without worrying whether your bandanna facemask clashes with your shirt. The folks with TED Talks are planning their summer events for anyone who wants to learn something interesting and different while sitting in a cool, dark theater when it is 118 outside. The IT Team is working on updates to our computer system, registration process, and website to make registration next year simpler.
LifeLong Learning joined the new world of technology and held our annual volunteer meeting virtually. Volunteers reviewed the numbers for last season, responded to questions, and voted for next year’s board. LLL began in 2005 with a team of five people. We are now 15 years old and have over 115 volunteers. Our growth has been phenomenal!
If you don’t want to be bored sitting at home for the next few months, consider volunteering with us remotely! We are always happy to have new people with fresh ideas come and join the fun.
See You Next Season
With the COVID-19 crisis, our 2019-20 trips season came to a sudden end. Fortunately, only two trips were cancelled. The University of Arizona cancelled our March 13 trip to see the AZ Simulation Technology and the Richard F. Caris Mirror labs. However, we will be offering this trip next season and hopefully will be able to give this season’s registrants priority in sign up. With the Robson cancellations, the March 27 St. Vincent de Paul trip and clothing drive also were cancelled. We hope to offer this trip again next season.
The March 11 Lake Pleasant Sunset Dinner Cruise was a success despite the weather and virus worries. The rain held off on Lake Pleasant until just before time to disembark the boat, the dinner buffet received great reviews, and we were able to experience a beautiful sunset over Lake Pleasant! Thank you to all 100 who braved the weather and joined us. Unfortunately, this turned out to be our final trip of the 2019-20 season. We are in the process of finalizing plans for future trips that should be not only learning experiences, but so much fun, too! So, get ready!
Some Very Important People Deserve A Thank You
I’d like to give a shout out and thank you to the awesome Trip Team which includes Roger Crystal, Bill Fenster, Lisa Greenhoot, Cindy Hix, Jenny Munson, Kathy Nemeth, Billie Plasker, Rich Stitch, and Ron Vandervort. Not only did they do an excellent job as escorts ensuring you would enjoy your experience, they also did the research and planning for the trips we were able to offer.
Thank you to Pat Ingalls for working with us over last summer to develop the trip write-ups for our website and schedule. She really knows all the right words to grab your interest! A major thank you to Barbara Younker for being an assistant I could always count on. Her skills in organization, technology, and pulling everything together were immeasurable to the success of each trip. Finally, thanks to each of you who supported LifeLong Learning by joining us on one or more of our trips this season. It was wonderful to see so many of you on the trips and to have the opportunity to enjoy your company. The Trip Team and I look forward to seeing many of you back and seeing many new faces next season.
I wish each of you a summer of good health and enjoyable times. I leave you with a quote.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” -Henry Ford
LLL Lecture Update
Our lecture season, along with other LifeLong Learning programs, was cut short due to COVID-19.
The lecture vetting committee has wrapped up the process of choosing speakers for next season and we are in the process of securing the speakers. It was a unique process this year and took some extra effort as the process had to be conducted via email and teleconferencing when we were unable to meet in person. We are optimistic that we will be able to offer an exciting lecture program beginning in October, but, of course, this will be dependent on the future impact of COVID-19.
This past season, we held a trial sale of the Premier Lecture season ticket package. This new offering proved to be very successful and we will be looking to offer something similar this coming lecture season. We certainly appreciate all those who purchased the season ticket package in support of the lecture program and then again chose to support next season’s lecture program by donating their cost of the last Premier Lecture that was canceled due to the pandemic.
My appreciation goes to the many volunteers who support the Lecture Program through the time that they devote to ensuring that the program runs smoothly. Our thanks to the community for their support, whether it’s through the purchase of individual tickets, season ticket packages, or recommending speakers. We fully recognize that your continued support is the foundation of our success.
Due to the coronavirus, no programs are currently scheduled. PC Reads will resume when the HOA deems it safe to meet. Books that were scheduled are listed on the LLL website. LifeLong Learning is also planning the second Summer TED Talk Extravaganza. Look for LLL announcements in the PebbleNews email which comes out on Mondays. If you don’t receive it, you can sign up on the HOA website. If you would like more immediate notices, subscribe to the LLL Newsletter by sending an email to [email protected]
LLL Contact Information
* LLL Center hours: Closed until September
* Website: www.lifelonglearningatpc.org
* LLL Center: 623-535-8875
* Email: [email protected]
PC Great Decisions Conclude Foreign Policy Series
Global challenges kept 120 Creekers focused on U.S. foreign affairs as they pursued the 2020 Great Decisions series in January, February, and March. Great Decisions, a program of the Foreign Policy Association, is designed to help citizens across the U.S. understand current issues from many points of view. A book and DVD presentation offer opinions from numerous think tanks, military and government officials, and academics representing widely differing interests.
Five sessions met this year for eight weeks and were led by residents Marty Chambless, Alan Hatfield, David Hungerford, Les Minsuk, Bill Nee, and Ron Viano. The goal of discussions is not to reach a consensus or prescribe a solution, but merely to broaden our understanding of each issue. At the end of each session, participants could register their individual concerns and opinions with the Foreign Policy Association which sends our comments to Congress at the start of the new session in the fall.
Discussions included human trafficking and the consequences for immigration and the drug trade; the Duterte regime and the role of the U.S. in the Philippines; the Chinese influence in Latin America as well as crime and poverty in the Northern Triangle; the ongoing disputes between India and Pakistan: the importance of the Red Sea for world trade and the projection of global dominance; the global consequences of climate change; and the growing influence of artificial intelligence in all aspects of our lives.
There already is speculation on possible discussion topics for the coming year.