Learning in Retirement


Learning in Retirement (LIR) is a member-led and university-sponsored organization for individuals 50 years of age and above that provides a unique opportunity for cultural growth, lifelong learning, and recreation. Members are involved in determining curriculum, recruiting new members, managing the budget, and developing social programming.

Membership is $75 per term (Fall or Spring), and entitles you to choose from among  80+ classes  each term, most of which have no extra charge beyond your membership fee.

Check out what's new for Spring 2018!

Register Today!

Check out our spring classes!

Learning in Retirement course catalog cover

Fill out the 2018 Spring Semester Registration Form and return it to us:

  • By mail to VSU Continuing Education, ATTN: Suzanne Ewing, 1500 N Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA, 31698
  • In person at 903 N Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA, 31601.

Questions? Call us at 229-245-6484

Please note: To view the PDFs you will need to download Acrobat Reader.

Exciting New Spring Classes

Fake News

What is “fake news?” Is it a new development or has it been around for years? A former newspaper editor and assistant professor of mass media offers a look at how “news” became politicized and how news consumers are turning off what they don’t like to hear.

18SLIR20     Fri, Feb 16 • 1 - s2 PM • Greg Brown, Instructor

Urban Morphology and Urban Design in Valdosta

Explore how Valdosta developed since 1859 into the urban structure we see today. We will cover basic concepts in urban design by examining local examples of street layout, landscaping, the location of buildings in relation to open spaces, subdivision planning, functional zoning, and approaches to handling traffic and parking.

18SLIR25     4 Thurs, Feb 1 - 22 • 11 AM - 12 PM • Dr. Al Willis, Instructor

Tree Care for Homeowners

Learn how to take care of fruit trees and ornamental trees on your property. We will cover common diseases, insect pests, and cultural practices.

18SLIR29     Thurs, Feb 8 • 9 - 10 AM • Michasia Dowdy, Instructor

Beauty, Piety and Violence in Europe’s Dark Ages

The early middle ages are often known as the Dark Ages when the disintegration of the Roman Empire led to the formation of Germanic kingdoms across Western Europe. In this period, there was a perceived sense of insecurity, decline of urban life, literary culture and centralized government. However, it was also a time of impressive fusion between the old Roman and the new Germanic cultures. Students will learn about the diverse character of the “Dark Ages” in the context of the rise of medieval Europe as a distinct civilization.

18SLIR31     Wed, Feb 28 • 11 AM - 12:30 PM • Dr. Sebastian Bartos, Instructor

From 19th Century Egypt to American Gilded Age Gender Politics: A Research Project and its Many Children

Learn how historical research can create its own winding path, complete with dead ends and unexpected intersections. Starting with a doctoral dissertation on the Egyptian army in the 19th century, the presenter followed his cast of characters and created further published works, uncovering episodes such as a restaurant shooting in the 1870s; spousal abuse leading to divorce; and a scandal involving scantily clad burlesque dancers.

18SLIR32     Thurs, Feb 1 • 1 - 2:30 PM • Dr. John P. Dunn, Instructor

Social Media Overview

It’s time to get social, and we’re making it simple! Utilizing social media is a great way to gather information and keep in touch with others. In this class, you will learn about the following main social media platforms being used today: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While you’re learning about these platforms, you will also discover the benefits of utilizing social media and the ways in which you can keep your personal information safe within those platforms. The first meeting will be a classroom session/introduction; the second meeting will be a hands-on session in the computer lab where you can receive assistance in setting up accounts and settings, if you wish (bring your mobile devices if you like).

18SLIR43     2 Tues, Jan 30 & Feb 6 • 11 AM - 12 PM • Halle Zimmerman, Instructor

Google Maps

Learn to get where you need to go using Google Maps on your phone. Search for and locate businesses, restaurants, etc.; plan a trip with several stops; avoid traffic jams and construction slow-downs with up-to-the-minute data (and find alternate routes when necessary); and much more! This information is appropriate for both Apple and Android phone users.

18SLIR45     Mon, Feb 12 • 11 AM - 12 PM • Instructor: Elena Schmitt

Memory Pillow

Have a loved one who has passed away? Make a pillow out of an old shirt as a huggable remembrance. You do not have to know how to sew for this class. Two sewing machines will be provided, but bring your portable machine if you have one. Each student should bring a button-down shirt (washed and
pressed) and a large bag of polyfill stuffing; everything else will be provided. 10 students maximum.

18SLIR55     Thurs, Apr 19 • 1 - 3 PM • Marie Sooy, Instructor

Florida Caverns State Park

Discovered in 1937, Florida Caverns has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, “soda straws,” flowstones and draperies; the temperature inside is approximately 65 degrees year-round. The Chipola River and Blue Hole Spring provide areas for fishing, canoeing, and boating, and great spots to picnic, hike, and view wildlife. An audiovisual program and exhibits are available in the visitor center. Guided cave tours ($8 per person) last 45 minutes and should be considered moderately strenuous; spots in the tours are first-come, first-served. Please visit https://www.floridastateparks.org/park-activities/Florida-Caverns#Tours for physical requirements for those wishing to take the guided tour.

18SLIR88     Tues, May 8 • Depart 10 AM from Continuing Education building (approximately 2.5 hour drive) • Self-Guided

Interested in teaching?

If you would like to teach a class for LIR or have ideas for classes you would like to see offered, email Suzanne Ewing or call 229-245-6484.