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Guided Autobiography  - GAB fest

by Sydelle Pomi

Have you ever wondered to yourself, I have all these years under my belt and there are stories I would love to share with friends? It is my journey - but are other folks interested in the situations that I want so much to remember again?
Fortunately, there is a class at OLLI called Guided Autobiography given by Teri Hershberg at the Pine Ave. location and also in the Fall at the JCC. Teri is employed by SCAN but not by its health insurance department. She is part of the SCAN-developed programs for seniors known as “Volunteer Action for
Aging.” One day at the fitness center, she picked up a copy of The SUN and thought a class in writing guided autobiography would be a great course for OLLI students.
After my visit with this charming and very bright woman, I agree!
Guided Autobiography (GAB) was researched and developed by the late Dr. James Birren (the founding dean of USC’s Davis School of Gerontology) as a method of helping people document their life stories guided by a trained instructor. Teri is the guide for the OLLI course, which is given every term and has a limited enrollment of 12. It is very structured as you will be asked to write your own story on a topic each week. Teri observes that if you are unable to write, it is difficult to share your memories. She advised me that self-criticism is a big No-No. GAB sounds to me like a great way to share passions and meet like-minded people.
What an apt title! Gab, gab, gab your heart out by writing. Teri was born in Maryland, and one day her sister said to her, “If you want to mend a broken heart, easterners go west and westerners go east.” So she did, and OLLI is pleased to have her.

Geography of China

by Rick Adams

Five ways of looking at the world’s fourth
largest country

Here’s your chance to learn more about a country most of us didn’t study in school, and know very little about. China is physically larger than the United States and has a vast variety of landscapes, from the sparsely settled Himalayas and the Gobi Desert to the west to the population rich plains and deltas of the east. Its thousands of rivers include the Yangtze, which is the third longest river in the world. The country also has a variety of cultures within its boundaries.
Hear how China is grappling with quickening economic development, especially the country-wide expansion of much of its infrastructure, and how all of it is affecting not only the social and physical environment, but the culture as well. And lastly, there will be a discussion of China’s well-publicized maritime
disputes with neighboring countries in the East and South China Seas.
Instructor Yulin Huang worked in the graduate department of Geology and Geography, Peking University and earned a Ph.D. in Marine Geography from the Chinese Academy of Science. We are looking forward to hearing about this special view of geography.