LifeLong Learning at PebbleCreek

Cathy Lindstrom, LLL president

Cathy Lindstrom, LLL president

ABC 15 Interviews Lindstrom

Pat Ingalls

LifeLong Learning’s president, Cathy Lindstrom, recently appeared on ABC 15 Arizona in a TV news segment on how seniors are staying connected during the pandemic’s social isolation. The feature, which highlighted Robson’s PebbleCreek community, aired Oct. 14.

“This is a very social community, so it’s been hard, from that perspective,” Lindstrom said during the brief on-camera interview. “When we’re talking to each other over Zoom, it’s not quite like talking face to face, but it’s the next best thing.”

Dr. Lindstrom, a retired clinical psychologist who specialized in geriatrics, mentioned LLL’s Zoom classes as one-way residents stay engaged and mentally active.

LLL Contact Information

Pat Ingalls

* Website:

* Email: [email protected]

* LLL Center hours: closed until further notice

Using Artificial Intelligence to Corral COVID-19

Marie MacWhyte

Artificial intelligence (AI), which is a computer system that emulates aspects of human cognition, has been criticized for its powerful learning capabilities. In a seven-minute TED Talk, entitled “How we’re using AI to discover new antibiotics,” Jim Collins, a bioengineering professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains ways that AI could be utilized to halt the spread of COVID-19.

With about 7.7 billion people on our globe, the current pandemic is having a field day. It is out of control, and scientists are urgently searching for a vaccine to halt its destruction. Traditional methods of vaccine production usually take years to develop and often come with problems and setbacks that only time can reveal. Economists point out that we don’t have years; our global economy risks devastation in a matter of months.

Think of a computer, programmed to learn the intricacies of viral molecular properties, and then able to predict which antiviral compound would be best able to eradicate them. No need for trial-and-error methods, or years of tracking outcomes, to prove effectiveness. AI has accomplished this and is the focus of this TED Talk.

By harnessing the power of machine learning, and combining it with the tools of synthetic biology (which is the discipline of redesigning core components of cells and organisms for useful purposes by engineering them to have new abilities), we can win the fight against the new coronavirus.

Go to, click on the header watch, then TED Talks, and in Search talks input the talk’s title above.

Inherited Cancers: What To Do

Pat Ingalls

Inherited cancer is the topic of an upcoming, informative Zoom webinar that LifeLong Learning and Kare Bears are co-sponsoring Monday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. The presenting organization, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), is a national nonprofit organization available to people affected by hereditary cancer and facing difficult times with difficult decisions to make.

Understanding what inherited cancers involve can help people know what they should and/or can do, if they, or those close to them, have cancer. So far, researchers have identified more than 25 genes that can indicate a family connection. They can affect men and women of all religions, races, and ethnicities.

Save the date and look for more details, including how to register, through all PebbleCreek media, prior to the webinar.

Great Decisions Returns

Pat Ingalls for Carole Korzilius

Once again, LifeLong Learning is proud to offer America’s largest discussion program on world affairs: Great Decisions, an eight-week curriculum by the Foreign Policy Association.

Great Decisions focuses on a variety of critical issues facing America. Each week, participants read a chapter in a Great Decisions briefing book, watch a DVD documentary about the topic, and discuss the issue in a small group with other PebbleCreek participants. Unfortunately, this season the discussions will be held via Zoom, instead of in person.

The program provides background information and policy options, while avoiding partisan politics. As always, the topics are timely and generate lively discussion.

Visit the LLL website at for more details and to register for one of the five sessions. Each session is offered different days and times, so you can select the one that best fits your schedule. The class is free, but you must purchase the Great Decisions book. Session number five begins on Friday, Jan. 22; sessions one through four begin the following week.

Autumn Recap: 2021 Fees Waived

Paul Polk

In these trying times, LifeLong Learning’s board of directors has decided to keep giving back to the PebbleCreek community, by continuing to offer all classes and Monday Morning Lectures free of charge, through the end of February 2021.

As LLL’s fall programming season ends, we’re pleased to see that PebbleCreek residents have adapted to the changes that the pandemic requires and are growing more comfortable with the presentation of our offerings via the Zoom application.

This autumn, PC Reads averaged 10 persons a month, and the four Monday Morning Lectures averaged about 70 registrants each, garnering very positive feedback. Our class on how to use Zoom had almost 100 attendees! Other LLL classes have drawn about the same attendance as if they were offered live in our center. One benefit of Zoom is our ability to expand class size from the 24 persons our center holds to up to 100 participants.

The new year will bring more! LifeLong Learning has invested in audiovisual equipment to allow us to offer some of the popular cooking classes, and other classes, that need in-person attention. Now more residents will be able to learn pasta and bread-making techniques.

Be sure to take advantage of this unique, complimentary offer. Check out our programs on our website at and register now for your favorites.

Learn About Barbie Dolls, Bread Baking

Pat Ingalls for Carole Korzilius

Registration begins Dec. 1 for these free January Zoom classes; all begin at 1 p.m.

Artisan Bread (Tuesday, Jan. 12) Observe how to mix and form this practically no-knead, rustic, country bread, and to bake it in a Dutch oven—all demonstrated live from the instructor’s kitchen. Students will receive the nearly foolproof recipe and have ample time to discuss the many aspects of artisan bread making, as well as see the finished loaf. The instructor is Gene Fioretti, a retired cardiologist and PebbleCreek resident, who has taught this short course for seven years, garnering excellent feedback from students.

All About Barbie (Thursday, Jan. 14) Since 1959, Barbie®, the 11.5” doll, has been much more than a toy. She’s been an inspiration for some, an object of controversy for others, a global symbol of American life, and a lot of fun to play with and collect. This class will cover Barbie, her friends, and family, and their history from 1959 to present. Learn how Barbie has evolved over the decades in order to stay relevant. Learn about the worldwide phenomenon of Barbie collecting, including sources of information and fellowship with other collectors. Finally, learn about Barbie’s value—how to identify whether your doll is valuable and worth selling, or if she should live her best life as a toy, being adored by a child. Attendees will have an opportunity to have their heirloom Barbies identified and learn how to determine their value. Resources for learning about Barbie will be shared, along with contacts for collecting Barbie, her friends, and family. Instructor and PebbleCreek resident Priscilla Wardlow began her life with Barbie on Christmas Day in 1961, later adding other characters. In 1988, Wardlow began focusing on vintage dolls and clothing from 1959 to 1972. Currently, Wardlow is president of a local Barbie collectors’ club, the Pink Saguaro Doll Club, and continues to add to her collection, including newer collectable dolls, miniatures and accessories.

French Baguettes (Thursday, Jan. 28) Visitors in France know how special crisp-crusted, long, baguette loaves can be. Can that taste and texture be duplicated in an American kitchen, without a steam oven? Our skilled baking instructor has researched and perfected a recipe, and he is ready to share it. In about 90 minutes, he will demonstrate all the important phases of making and baking baguettes. Every student will be sent a copy of the recipe for reference and taking notes during class. The instructor is Gene Fioretti, a retired cardiologist and PebbleCreek resident, who has taught this short course for seven years, garnering excellent feedback from students.

Visit the LLL website at for more details and to register. Class capacity varies, and each class maintains a waitlist. Registration for each class begins 30 days prior to the class. You must have a LLL online account to register. If you do not have one, go to the LLL website and click Sign Up on the right side of any webpage.