Social Security Reform this Thurs, Noon

From AARP:  “If our leaders don’t act, people will soon face a 25% cut to benefits. That means seniors will need to make ends meet with almost $10,000 less a year.”

This Thursday, Oct. 13 at noon at The Academy, AARP Colorado is hosting an information session on the challenges faced by social security. This session is your opportunity to ask questions social security and learn about Take A Stand, a new grassroots effort pressuring candidates to take action & put forward plans for social security reform.

NO NEED TO RSVP. Academy members and guests invited.  Refreshments available courtesy AARP Colorado.

Print a Flier for a Friend Here!  Soc. Security flier

Continue reading

IN MEMORIAM: Ralph Plimpton

With the recent death of Ralph Plimpton, The Academy has lost a friend, active participant, former Board President, and proud supporter of The Academy and lifelong learning in general. ralph-plimpton-1

Ralph’s allegiance to The Academy was a testament to lifelong learning as seen here, in an excerpt from a Denver Post article from 2010:

“Following his retirement as owner of a successful consulting business, Ralph Plimpton found himself in the same unchartered waters that many seniors navigate when they leave the workforce.

As chance would have it, Ralph picked up and read an Academy of Life Long Learning bookmark and that made all the difference in the world. ‘A course titled, ‘The New Science of Happiness,’ caught my eye and so I signed up for it even though it was half over,’ Plimpton said. ‘This was the beginning of a new life – one that my wife says is the best thing that has ever happened to me.'”

Ralph took 38 classes at The Academy between 2005 and 2016.  This term he was enrolled in The Law and the Arc of the Moral Universe and It’s the Economy, Stupid. Through the years he taught about many topics including climate change, economics, global issues, cyber power, and culture.  The latter was his favorite subject to teach and economics was his favorite subject to study.

The Academy is forever thankful to Ralph for his friendship with Jerry Bruni.  They both wanted to spread economic literacy and the Bruni Foundation has given an annual gift to the Academy for its educational opportunities in economics. 

Ralph participated in several weekly coffee groups in Denver, and started one on Coronado Island where he and his wife stayed for several winter months each year.  It was always issues that he wanted to talk about.  His wife Fran had a habit of clipping small articles from the newspaper and tucking them in her purse so they would remember to discuss them at dinner. Discussion group member John Slocumb noted that Ralph asked intelligent questions, was very organized, searched for additional facts, and displayed sensitivity.

Sally Kneser recalls, “I took Ralph’s The World is Flatcourse in 2006 using Thomas Friedman’s book. Ralph provided thought-provoking questions and made certain that everyone had a chance to speak. All the discussions were lively because we didn’t all agree with each other, but Ralph ensured that the issues and our reasons were explored in a respectful manner.  He honored all opinions.  Through the years I often praised him as a master facilitator.”

Professionally, Ralph served as a manager and Vice President of Human Resources with Arco and Amoco until the early 1980’s. He retired in 2003 but turned around and founded a consulting practice in outplacement and search. 

In retirement Ralph was a Renaissance Man who enjoyed sharing his knowledge with others.

Ralph and his wife Fran have a home in Highlands Ranch.




Continue reading

Tattered Cover Hosts Book Fair at Academy

Nov. 7-9, 9:30-1:30 p.m. 

A great way to support The Academy and find some wonderful books.

The Academy for Lifelong Learning is proud to announce a book fair of Colorado authors taking place at The Academy, 6500 E. Girard Ave., Denver 80224,tattered-cover-logo

The Tattered Cover will give the Academy 10 percent of its sales to benefit the our scholarship and technology fund.

FREE to members and guests,
No RSVP necessary
At the Academy for Lifelong Learning,
6500 E Girard Ave, Denver 80224




Continue reading

Meet Ausma Zehanat Khan + Book Fair

Author Presentation by:

Ausma Zehanat Khan

A Muslim Detective in an Anti-Muslim World.

Thurs., Nov. 3, Noon-1 pm. Book signing afterward.


Ausma Zehanat Khan is the author of The Unquiet Dead (2015) and The Language of Secrets (2016). Both novels received widespread critical acclaim, including a Publishers Weekly starred review, and reviews in the LA Times and The New York Times. Her first novel builds upon her expertise in human rights and war crimes in the Balkans, while the second focuses on an anti-terrorist investigation. She holds a Ph.D. in international law and is the former editor-in-chief of Muslim Girl magazine.

You will enjoy her presentation about her books and career. Her books will be available for purchase at the accompanying Tattered Cover Book Fair, taking place at The Academy Nov. 1-3. The Book Fair will be available each day of classes from 9:30-3 p.m.  and will feature notable Colorado authors. The Tattered Cover is giving the Academy 10 percent of its sales.

Ms. Khan practiced immigration law in Toronto and has taught international human rights law at Northwestern University, as well as human rights and business law at York University. She is a long-time community activist and writer, and currently lives in Colorado with her husband.


Print This Flyer about the Book Fair and Author Talk

FREE to members and guests, No RSVP necessary
At the Academy for Lifelong Learning, 
6500 E Girard Ave, Denver 80224


Continue reading

Newbies Answer Questionnaire

Our Newest Course Leaders Answer the Proust Questionnaire.

Not really, but still a fun read. Click on the Course Title below to find out more and to register.

Course Leader Name: Matt Wigdahl
Course Title:  Film- The Essence of the Art.
10 -12:45 WED AM, 10/19-11/16
$55   Viewing, Discussion

Why do you love teaching?
I love teaching for the surprises it yields.

What new thing did you learn while preparing for your course?
I learned that rubber cement is a more effective adhesive than double-sided tape for hanging movie posters.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is sitting stream-side anywhere in the west with my wife watching our daughter cast a fly with either hand to a rising trout.

Greatest Fear?
My greatest fear is using the word “notwithstanding” in public.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I most identify with Emily Dickinson.

Which living person do you most admire?
Barack Obama has more cool than anyone I’ve seen.  He has my most admiration.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Honesty is the most overrated value.

What is your favorite journey?
My favorite journey is writing a sonnet.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I would most like to compose or play music.

What is your current state of mind?
Usually, overturned.  But I am most comfortable overturned. As Rabelais said, “The mind is never so much itself, as when it has been lately overturned.”

My greatest achievement:
Helping my wife raise a cool, funny, generally well-balanced daughter.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I would come back as a 12th Century Nomadic Tribesman wandering the steppes of Central Asia.

Favorite Writers:

Flaubert, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, Twain, Cather, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats and about 74 others.

What word might work better here?

Where would you most like to live?
I would most like to live on The Pacific Coast of this continent.  Oregon, (where we already do), usually wins my heart.


David Scruggs
David Scruggs

Course Leader Name David W. Scruggs
Course Title: Apollo Missions: An Insiders View
TUES PM, 9/27-11/15
$75   Lecture, Q&A

Why do you love teaching?
It is fun and the students learn.

What new thing did you learn while preparing for your course?
That I’m getting old.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I lived it.

What is your greatest fear?
Heights even though I’m a pilot

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Dwight Eisenhower

Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to spell with ease

What is your current state of mind?

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
President and CEO Advanced Technology Associates, Inc. for 20 years

What is your motto?
Never go back

Where would you most like to live?

Course Leader: Karyl Meyer
TUES PM, 9/13-10/25, performance date pending
$65   Reading, performing

Why do you love teaching?
I love collaborative, creative teaching because I love seeing people try new things and grow. There are surprises in every class.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Patience. Sometimes impatience is required to get the job done.

What is your favorite journey?
One I’ve never taken before!

Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be able to sing beautifully, or at least on key.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Shakespeare – to be able to both write and act as he did would be sublime.

Who are your favorite writers?
Shakespeare and John Irving

Tim Steele
Tim Steele

Course Leader Name:  Timothy D. Steele
Course Title:  Water is Life-Global and Local Issues
WED AM 10/19-11/16
$50   Lecture, Q&A

Why do you love teaching?
Mentoring/teaching gives fulfillment when students/attendees get excited about a topic as I do!

What new thing did you learn while preparing for your course?
Three percent of people living on Iceland are Polish.

What is your greatest fear?  
That the general public is unwilling to take proactive measures to minimize or reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.

Which living person do you most admire?
President Barack Obama.

What is your favorite journey?  
Life is a one-time journey.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Instill Hoosier humor into my dealings with others

What is your motto?  
Be Prepared (from Scouting) and Stay In Touch (from marriage(s))

Continue reading

Hey Cowboys/Girls: We’re Rounding Up!

The Academy needs to round up some cash in order to update some of the equipment, and fill the scholarship fund so that more lucky people can take courses.

Please become an Academy Rodeo Star: 

When you register,

ROUND UP your payment with an additional DONATION
Make your payment a nice even number (a BIG one!)

and earn a silver belt buckle in our hearts.  THANK YOU!!!

belt buckle for Web

Continue reading

Mars: Straight from the Telescope July 27

To Welcome you to our new home, The Academy presents:


Wednesday, July 27, 1-3 pm followed by reception and classroom tours

Presentation by Dr. Jim Bergstrom, Ball Aerospace & Technologies

Although this amazing telescope launched over 10 years ago, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera remains the largest telescope ever sent to another solar system body. Since arriving in Mars’ orbit in March 2006, it has collected over 40,000 high-resolution, stunning images of the planet’s topography, past- and present-day surface water and even spacecraft ascending from its atmosphere. Get an understanding of the MRO Mission, a description of the HiRISE Instrument, a brief reflection on launch activities at Kennedy Space Center and the current status of the MRO Mission.

Seasonal flows Mars
Seasonal flows on warm Martian slopes may be caused by the flow of salty water on Mars.

Dr. Bergstrom has 35 years of experience in the design, development and testing of electro-optic instruments and components. Jim retired in 2014 from Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., after 18 years of work on remote sensing instruments there. He continues part-time as a consultant to Ball and remains the Chief Systems Engineer for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera.

This is a FREE event for you and a friend. No RSVPs necessary.

Onsite registration available at this event. 6500 E Girard Ave, Denver CO 80224

Print the Mars information by clicking here.



Continue reading

We Moved to Hampden & Monaco

Where? Calvary Baptist Church, 6500 E Girard Ave, Denver (corner of Monaco and Hampden, 1 mile east of I-25)

Academy map (1)

CBC google map

-Good parking. 

-Great social space. 

-Many off-site lunch options. 

Same Academy experts and fantastic classes.


Continue reading

The Poet of RiNo

Rex Brown teaches, “Pulitzer Prize Winning Poets You Probably Haven’t Read,” starting March 16 at 1 p.m. The coursework includes reading poems in class and reacting to them in a discussion format.

The unofficial mayor of RiNo (that’s what the Academy has dubbed him) is a learned artist, poet and business owner in Denver’s new hot spot, River North (RiNo). Just North of Coors Field, this area is home to a FREE(!) First Friday art walk (including this Friday night), where you can see Rex and wife Sharon’s  gallery Pattern Shop Studio, as they are hosting an exhibit: Mo’Print, Shark’s Ink: Collaborations II, in honor of Denver’s 2016 Month of Printmaking. The address for the gallery is at 3349 Blake Street, and the evening runs from 6-9 p.m.

More about Rex Brown and his Academy course: Rex Brown has a BA in American Literature from Middlebury College, a Masters in American and British Literature from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D in Modern Letters from the University of Iowa.  He is the author of Schools of Thought: how the politics of literacy shape thinking in the classroom; It’s Your Fault, an insider’s guide to learning and teaching in city schools; and scores of reports and articles about teaching reading, writing, art, and critical thinking. He has taught at the University of Iowa, Heidelberg College and the University of Denver, from which he retired in 2010.  He has a lifelong interest in literature, philosophy, art, and their intersections in our culture and our everyday lives.

In 2016, the Pulitzer Prize Board will celebrate its 100th year of honoring outstanding American writers. Many of the poets who have received Pulitzer Prizes have become world famous—Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg and Mary Oliver. But many more are not household names despite their power to move and inspire readers. Participants in this course will read and discuss the work of some of these richly rewarding but perhaps lesser known poets. The poems and some of the poets’ thoughts about their prose will be available on the Academy’s course materials site. You will read a few each day and share your reactions in a facilitated conversation each week.

Rexford Brown (top left) and RiNo Art District Board members. Photo by Michael Ensminger


Continue reading