During my 35 years of teaching, the beginning of a new school year was always full of anticipation and excitement; meeting my new students, welcoming back former students, setting up my classroom, reconnecting with colleagues and looking forward to a new year of learning for my students and me. I have the same kind of excitement in anticipating this upcoming year with the LIFE program. I especially appreciate the opportunities available to us as a result of vaccinations and fewer
Before I go on to highlight some of the opportunities available to you this Fall, the returning board members and I want to thank the outgoing board members: Colleen Arnold, Pamela Haase, Pixy Russell, Steve Frytak and Maureen Plitzuweit for their service and unwavering support of our LIFE Program. Their dedicated work on various committees helped the LIFE program run smoothly; from suggesting classes to be offered, collecting and analyzing data received from our members about the classes, and brainstorming and implementing marketing techniques to promote our program within our community and beyond. All this is done under the extremely competent guidance of our Program Director, Chrisanne Pieper and her supportive right-hand Customer Service Specialist, Jamie Schroeder. To replace the outgoing board members we welcome new board members Bev Stupca, Erik Ritman, Debbie Jacobsen, and Randy Nelson. We look forward to their participation and help in guiding the future of our LIFE Program.
As you study the Fall classes listed in this booklet, I think you will be surprised and amazed at the wide variety of classes offered to expand your knowledge and bring you enjoyment in the collegiality of being among other enthusiastic learners. This Fall we will continue to provide all classes on Zoom. The board is investigating the best way to provide both in person and Zoom classes as options. As you can tell from our course offerings we have been able to expand our speaker base to include instructors from all over the country, resulting in a greater variety of course offerings and speakers willing to present to us.
We are very excited to be able to bring back day trips; including theater offerings, a trip to the Minnesota Zoo, the Arboretum, a cruise on the Mississippi River and the Twin Cities Mill City Farmers Market, which includes food tastings! How great to be back on the road again and you don’t even need to drive!
Lastly, the Harvest Dinner is back and scheduled for Thursday, October 28 at the Event Center. Our speaker will be Eric Dregni, an author of twenty books. He will speak about his latest book, “For the Love of Cod: A Father and Son’s Search for Norwegian Happiness.” What could be better! Seeing our LIFE friends in person, sharing a meal, and listening to an entertaining speaker?! I sure hope to see you there! Registration for the event is in this booklet.
This letter concludes my term as your Board Chair. It has been quite a year of anxiety, learning, and uncertainty for all of us. From the board and me, a sincere thank you for all your support! Without you, the members, we would not have a LIFE program. I am excitedly looking forward to joining you in classes as we begin our new year of learning. I hope you are, too! See you in class!
Julie Stenehjem, LIFE Board Chair, 2020-21