I first learned about OLLI at UNLV several years ago from friends at my church, who enjoyed coming to OLLI and attending classes. A few of us discussed the concept of "practicing retirement" before becoming fully retired. In show business, retirement happens more gradually than in other fields, so I thought it sounded like a good idea. Five or six years ago, my mother moved to Las Vegas. We wanted to find things we could do together, and started to come to OLLI twice a week. We’ve been coming ever since!
I like the choice of classes and the variety of topics. One of the first classes I attended was on Islamic culture, which I found fascinating. Next, I took a class called Demystifying Judaism. I grew up in a community with a large Hasidic Jewish population, and had always been curious. The Rabbi who taught it was interesting and funny; he truly demystified it for me. I was interested in taking a political science class, but was concerned about how heated the topics might become. Through speaking with other members of the OLLI community, I was encouraged to take the current events class “So, What’s New(s)?” and appreciated the impactful and respectful discussions. I have enjoyed many classes on films—especially movie musicals! I even took my very first art history class here at OLLI, something I never thought I would do.
More recently, I began teaching at OLLI. My father had always encouraged us to participate in public service, and early in my career I taught high school. I really enjoyed instilling a love of the performing arts in young people, but had to leave teaching in order to pursue my own dream of living a performance life. Now that I am semi-retired and working part-time as a choir director, teaching classes on musical theater at OLLI has been a wonderful experience. This opportunity has allowed me to remain excited about this art form, and see the same excitement in the faces of those OLLI members who love it as much as I do, as well as the wonderment of those who had not previously experienced Broadway musicals.
While I have truly enjoyed my classes on Zoom, I am looking forward to returning to campus, taking more classes, and seeing my fellow OLLI members.