Join the continuing fun of
A Special December in the online Commons*

A month-long collaboration among OLLI’s at 
Aquinas College
Saginaw Valley State University
University of Michigan
Western Michigan University
Beginning December 1 and throughout the month, the online Commons calendar will feature virtual events hosted by each of the four OLLI organizations in Michigan.  OLLI-UM’s recurring online programs and groups will still be there, but many other opportunities will let you connect and learn with OLLI members across the state as we move through this unusual but special December.
Check the online Commons calendar frequently at Click on an event or session to learn which OLLI is hosting it, who the presenter is, what will be happening and to find the link to log in. All events or sessions are free to members of the four OLLIs and their guests. Registration is never required- just click and join!

Don’t miss the December 6 – 11 events!
Check for details on the Commons calendar --
All sessions are free.  No registration required.  

December 6th   2:00-3;30pm     Sharing from our Community Partner "Ypsilanti District Library" "The Paul Keller Ensenmber Holiday Jazz Concert"
Need a lift this holiday season?  The Ypsilanti District invites all ages to the premiere of The Paul Keller Ensemble Holiday Jazz Concert on December 6 at 2:00pm. The Paul Keller Ensemble is a jazz band whose performances are entertaining, energetic, and engaging. They’ve appeared at numerous festivals and venues including the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, the Detroit Festival of the Arts, the Michigan Jazz Festival, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Jazz Club Series. Their holiday spirit comes through in a mix of familiar Christmas tunes and new songs lovingly arranged by Keller and his bandmates for trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, string bass, drums and vocals. 
Free Event. No registration required. Go to for a swingin’ time!

December 7th   1-2pm     OLLI-UM: Literacy Heroines: Amazing Women's Achievements 1880-1930
Dr. Alice Horning Professor Emerita, Oakland University
Come hear the stories of three women who used their reading and writing skills to perform heroic feats to help others by addressing key social problems.  Their contributions include a university started with $1.50, important steps toward social justice, and the idea of public health nursing, all of which continue into the present day, truly heroic success stories. 

December 7th     4–5pm   OLLI-UM: Torn from the Headlines series:  "Can Changes in Drug Laws Mitigate Our Drug Addiction Crisis?
Fred C. Blow - Director of the U-M Addition Center in the Department of Psychiatry
The US "war on drugs" has led to mass incarceration, disproportionately aimed at minority populations, with very high social and economic costs.  Further, these efforts have not been effective in mitigating addiction and reducing illicit drug trafficking. Recognizing this failure, recent marijuana (and other drug) legalization in some states reflects a growing trend away from tough drug laws; other countries are also following this trend.  Expert Fred Blow will provide an overview of this issue within the framework of addiction mitigation and long-term rehabilitation.  Such issues as alternatives to incarceration in breaking drug addiction, and a more measured approach to incarceration, will be discussed. Moderated Q&A to follow with OLLI instructor and member Karen Bantel

December 8th     2-3 pm    OLLI-UM:  Torn from the Headlines series:   Follow up discussion of December 7 lecture with Karen Bantel facilitator

December 9th    1-2pm    OLLI-UM:  The Schmoozery: At Our Age, In This Age.  A facilitated conversation Hank Greenspan
The Schmoozery: At Our Age, In This Age is a facilitated conversation in which participants are invited to share stories and reflections about aging, generations, hopes, and related topics in “uncertain times.” The specific issues and themes are less important than the chance to learn from each other’s experiences and insights in these times—and perhaps in any times.  That is, the goal is to have the best possible schmooze about things that matter.
December 10th    1-2pm     Zoom Training at the intermediate-advanced level
Will Hawk – OLLI-UM Volunteer and Technical Support to the Commons
This training is open to all members of OLLI’s in Michigan.  It will include responsibilities of hosting Zoom meetings and using advanced functions.  This session is limited to the first 15 sign-ins.  The Host will message when the session is filled. 

December 11th     1-2pm     OLLI: Aquinas College:   Grand Rapids’ favorite son – Gerald R. Ford
Caroline Cook – OLLI Aquinas College and Tour Guide Grand Rapids
Founder Grand Rapids Running Tours 2014
Grand Rapids’ favorite son - Gerald R. Ford - the 38th President of the US, is buried here, beside his wife, Betty; but he was not born here. In fact, he was not named Gerald R. Ford at birth. This virtual tour will tell the tale of our humble civil servant as you visit places touched by “Junior” during his All-American youth - 1913 through 1931 - in old Grand Rapids. Experience an inspirational story of a young man who was raised in this great midwestern city to become a world leader. Through fascinating narrative and photographs, you will learn where he lived, played, worshipped, studied, and competed athletically. As a final stop, we will observe Gerald Ford’s tomb, his statue in front of the Presidential Museum and his last working office.
*The Commons is a free virtual zoom space.  It features free programming and offers space to OLLI members to join and connect for discussion/visiting/happy hours!

Have a question or need more information, contact an OLLI Director:

Aquinas College
Saginaw Valley State University
University of Michigan
Western Michigan University

Book Beat Holiday Book Suggestions 
…Shared from our Community Partner, "Nicolas Books" 

Many Thanks to Jack Gillard and Meagen Kucaj for this special OLLI Holiday Edition of Book Beat on Tuesday, December 1st. The following are some of the titles that were mentioned. Remember you can order books from Nicolas for mail order, for curbside pickup, or grab your mask and stroll around the store. They also have gift cards, Christmas cards, toys and games. 

If you wish to thank Nicolas for the Book Beat presentation, you could add that in the Special Instructions box at the end of your order.

Books for Adults: 

Bacon, John U. The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism

Behee, John. Coach Yost: Michigan's Tradition Maker.

Fisher, Dale. Washtenaw County: Visions of the Eagle.

Garten, Ina. Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Lopez, William D. Separated: Family and Community in the Aftermath of an Immigration Raid

Harvey, Miles. The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch.

Headley Maria Dahvana. Beowulf: A New Translation

Jemisin, N.K. The City We Became.

Moreno-Garcia, Sylvia.  Mexican Gothic.

Jimenez, Simon. The Vanished Birds: A Novel.

Larson, Katherine. Ann Arbor Observed: The Stories Behind the Ann Arbor Observer. 

le Carré, John. Agent Running in the Field.

Meacham, John. His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope.

Obama, Barack. A Promised Land; Speeches.

Perry, Anne. A Christmas Resolution: Christmas Novella

Rather, Dan. What Unites Us.

Sedaris, David. Holidays on Ice.

St. John Mandel, Emily. The Glass Hotel.

Willis, Connie. The Doomsday Book: A Novel; A Lot Like Christmas--Stories;

Zinn, David. Temporary Preserves; Underfoot Menagerie; Street Art Calendar 2021.

Books for Children:

Bearn, Emily. Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall.

Becker, Bonny. A Christmas for Bear.

Brett, Jan. Cozy.

Brallier, Max. Galactic Hot Dogs Series; Last Kids on Earth Series.

Cameron, Bruce. A Dog's Perfect Christmas.

D’Aulaires.Ingri. D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths.

Favilli, Elena. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World.

Highlight Magazine: The Highlights Book of Things to Do: Discover, Explore, Create, and Do Great Things.

Hinds, Gareth. The Illiad: The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel.

Jansson, Tove.  The Moomins.

Kraegel, Kenneth. Wild Honey from the Moon  

Milford, Kate. The Greenglass House.

Paulson, Gary. Hatchet.

Rey, H.A.  Curious George Book of Sight Words

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: MinaLima Edition. 

Timberlake, Amy.  Skunk and Badger.

Todd Parr. The Joyful Book.
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