For the last couple of years, I’ve had the privilege of leading a class called “Writing in All Forms” for Scholar OLLI on the Concord Campus of California State University, East Bay.
For those who don’t know, OLLI stands for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The founder, Bernard Osher, makes grants from his foundation to provide noncredit courses to adults over 50. There are OLLIs all over the U.S. and if anyone can claim a legacy, it’s Bernard Osher. He promotes endless learning, not just for attendees, but for class leaders, too.
My class is filled with fabulous writers and I’m not the teacher, I’m the leader/guide. I learn as much as the people who attend. Each session lasts only five weeks (there are three each academic year) and they whip by at a rate faster than Mach 1 because we have so much fun critiquing our writing and talking about our craft. The class includes novelists and memoirists and poets and short story writers. Attendees write every type of work from gut-wrenching to humor. They’re fabulous. And the stories they have to tell—in whatever form they choose—are amazing. I learn about their unique lives and marvel at their gifts.
I’m deeply grateful at being offered the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful program. It’s improved my own writing, given me a community of writers, and blessed me than I could have imagined.