Lifelong Learning is alive and well at 688 Sherbrooke, according to Kathy Lauer, former HR Advisor in the Faculty of Arts.
Beyond Zumba and fitness classes at the Y, Kathy’s dance card – post retirement – quickly filled up with interactive learning opportunities with McGill Continuing Studies. Pre-retirement, Kathy found connection and expression in leadership workshops in Organizational Development at 688. She would frequently observe those “older people” on the 2nd floor mulling about and wonder what was going on. As her retirement approached in 2013, she soon learned about the incredible array of study groups available to seniors under the umbrella of the McGill Community for Lifetime Learning (MCLL). The MCLL will be celebrating its 30-year anniversary this November surrounded by an impressive team of talented volunteer facilitators (retirees) and many happy clients. Study groups explore areas such as drama, literature, architecture, history, political science and more. Kathy participates in two study groups each week: with her personal interests ranging from the Spanish Civil War to Food in the 21st Century.
Participating in the study groups stimulated Kathy to take further steps. She joined a book club near her home, and faithfully devours two books per week on related topics. “Exchanging with such intelligent and diverse people is incredible – and it’s great to get out and meet people”, she shares. While Kathy “hated school” in her younger years, she has become a highly motivated learner. In addition to her MCLL study groups, Kathy audits courses at Concordia University on topics such as Canadian Politics. She thrives in multi-cultural and multi-generational learning environments where very different perspectives are shared with fellow students to the benefit of all.
“It’s joyful learning!” exclaims Kathy as she reflects upon her engagement with lifelong learning. “So fabulous. We are really fortunate to live in a city like Montreal with programs like these!”. For this McGill retiree, “Lifelong learning makes life relevant. It gives us meaning and value. It makes us more interesting people – both to others and to ourselves. It keeps us alive, connected and well.”