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Learning in Retirement (LIR)

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Events and classes

2017 Cabin Fever Series

Welcome to our ‘new look’ Learning in Retirement newsletter! Once again the Curriculum Committee has organized a series of lectures/discussions for opportunities in the upcoming months. Most of our offerings require a membership in Learning in Retirement to get the best price, although there are opportunities for non-members to participate as well. You do need to register in advance for the classes and you are encouraged to do so soon! Many fill up quickly or have limited class size.

The LIR Singers are looking for a new pianist!

If you love to make music this group has a great time singing at area assisted living facilities and nursing homes! They have about 5 practices in February and travel around the community sharing their singing voices through about May! If you have the skill and would love to share they would welcome you as a part of the group! Contact Karen in the Continuing Education Office and she would love to help you connect with this sparkling and entertaining group!

Karen | Non-credit Program Coordinator | 608.785.6508 or

Lunch Bunch

(All dates are Thursdays at noon)

If you are interested in meeting friends, old and new, good food and casual conversation, check out the dates and locations below. Lunch and transportation will be on your own and pre-registration is not required. Be sure to invite a friend! Reminders will not be sent.

Jan. 19 | Burger Fusion (in the Holiday Inn downtown), La Crosse

Homeless Efforts in La Crosse

Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 | 10 am–noon | Room 111, Wimberly Hall, UWL | LIR Members – no cost, Non-members - $5

Come and hear about the problems of homelessness in La Crosse and how it is being met by the community. Members of the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness will provide insights about the state of homelessness here. Staff from area agencies will discuss their role in the campaign that began in the fall of 2016. Couleecap, the Salvation Army, Veterans Assistance Foundation, YWCA for the Coulee Region, New Horizons and Catholic Charities of La Crosse will be on hand.

Grand Opening of the New Student Union

January 23-28, 2017

Check out the UWL Student Union website!

You are invited to explore the new website to learn more information about the Union including hours, its many features and amenities, and the schedule of Grand Opening Events in January.

Mark your calendars for Grand Opening Week. We look forward to sharing this wonderful milestone with you!

Check back often for updates!

So You Want to Write a Story…Tips & Tools to get started

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 | 10 am–noon | Room 3135 The Union, UWL | LIR Members – no cost, Non-members - $5

Fran Rybarik, Heidi Blanke, members of Women Writers Ink

Join members of Women Writers Ink in a friendly environment to learn some tips and tools to make your story pop – whether it is fiction, non-fiction or poetry. The purpose of this course is the understanding of three tips or tools to enhance your writing skills. We will create a short piece of fiction, non-fiction or poetry and learn positive methods of critique. Limit: 15 people

Leave no traceLeave No Trace

Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 | 10 am–noon | The Myrick Center, Myrick Park, La Crosse | LIR Members – $15/session, Non-members - $25/session

Chad DuChateau

Chad’s presentation will be based on The Seven Principles of Outdoor Ethics. Chad is WisCorps’ Program Coordinator. He has over 20 years of experience working in the great outdoors. He has worked as an environmental educator and was a traveling trainer for the Leave No Trace program. The Leave No Trace principles might seem unimportant until you consider the combined effects of millions of outdoor visitors. Leaving no trace is everyone's responsibility. Leave everything just as you found it. Travel lightly on the land.

people snow shoeingSnowshoeing I

Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 | 10 am–noon | The Myrick Center, Myrick Park, La Crosse | LIR Members – $15/session, Non-members - $25/session

Come join us for an invigorating and refreshing morning on the snow! No experience needed. The WisCorp staff will help us get into the gear that is provided and guide our hike in the Marsh.

Snowshoeing II

Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 | 10 am–noon | The Myrick Center, Myrick Park, La Crosse | LIR Members – $15/session, Non-members - $25/session

Come join us for an invigorating and refreshing morning on the snow! No experience needed. The WisCorp staff will help us get into the gear that is provided and guide our hike in the Marsh.

Years of Living Dangerously

Thursday, Mar. 2, 9 and 16, 2017 | 10 am–noon | Room 3130, The Union, UWL | LIR Members – $15, Non-members - $25

A 3-part series featuring a video documentary followed by an open discussion.  Program 1 deals with drought, Program 2 with forests and fire fighters and Program 3 is centered on global warming and superstorms. Each program features celebrity investigators with a history of environmental activism and well-known journalists with a background in environmental reportage. These "correspondents" travel the world and throughout the U.S. to interview experts and ordinary people affected by, and seeking solutions to, the effects of global warming. They act as proxies for the audience, asking questions to find out people's opinions and to discover the scientific evidence. 

Program 1, "Dry Season" Don Cheadle reports on the severe droughts in the Southwest United States, following scientist and devout Christian, Katharine Hayhoe, as she speaks to religious audiences about the connection between extreme weather and climate change; Harrison Ford visits Indonesia to learn how slash-and-burn deforestation, driven by the global appetite for products like palm oil and paper, contributes a large portion of the world's carbon emissions; and Thomas Friedman investigates how drought contributed to the civil war in Syria.

Program 2, "End of the Woods" Schwarzenegger accompanies the "hot shots", elite firefighters in Western US forests, as they risk their lives fighting the fire season made longer and more destructive by global warming, as fire regions expand from the southwest US further north into Canada. He learns that even more destruction is caused by the proliferation of bark beetles, as longer summers enable them to reproduce up to twice each year and kill trees with their toxic secretions. Meanwhile, Ford continues his quest to stop Indonesian deforestation and the carbon emissions and displacement of animals and people that it causes.

Program 3, "The Surge" Chris Hayes reports on how Superstorm Sandy affected towns and families; he meets with congressman Michael Grimm from New Jersey, initially a climate skeptic, who changes his position on global warming after reviewing the science and the work of fellow-Republican Bob Inglis. M. Sanjayan interviews scientists around the world about global warming and reviews the data that they are collecting about the effects of climate change around the world, for example at Christmas Island, where El Niños begin.

Auschwitz Revisted: Perspectives from Film, Literature and History

Monday, Mar. 6, 13 and 20, 2017 | 9–11 am | Room 3130, The Union, UWL | LIR Members – $15, Non-members - $25


Gregory P Wegner, retired UW-L History Professor

Wegner has been researching the Holocaust for more than 40 years. He started when he became a student at UW-L in 1968 and teachers like the late history professor Bill Vettes inspired him to continue to dig into history. He has published two books, including one on Nazi education, “Anti-Semitism and Schooling Under the Third Reich” (2002).

Senior's Walking the Appalachian Trail (AT)

Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2017 | 9–11 am | Room 3130, The Union, UWL | LIR Members – $15, Non-members - $25

Nola Larson

Are you ready to take a hike? Well, pull up a chair and listen to hiking adventures and challenges of seniors on the Appalachian Trail. By hearing the history of the trail's development you will realize that the Appalachian Trail is a National Treasure. We will get an historical background of the Appalachian Trail, share stories of seniors walking the AT and motivate seniors to get out and walk or hike. If you want to read about a woman who did just that consider reading ‘Grandma Gatewood’s Walk’! Some practical ideas will be shared on how to get started on your own walking adventures and it is hoped that you will be inspired.  Limit: 15 people

Arbor Day

Friday, Apr. 28, 2017 | 10 am–noon | The Myrick Center, Myrick Park, La Crosse | LIR Members – $15, Non-members - $25

Randy Mell, UW Extension

Randy will provide a lecture and then lead us on a walkabout for tree identification.


We are also planning –

  • 4 sessions led by Sandra Sechrest exploring Women Film Directors
  • Greg Parmenter will lead a class about Theater
  • Sandy will also be doing a Travel Talk about her trip to Canada, sharing her beautiful photos
  • A possible trip to Mason City, IA to see the work of Frank Lloyd Wright
  • A possible trip to see Lang Lang at the Beethoven Festival in Winona, MN

If you have other things that you can help with or suggestions that you would like to see pursued, please call the office (608.785.6500) and share your ideas!

As we move Learning In Retirement forward, we are looking to create an experience that is a bit more seamless for our members. The curriculum committee’s goal is to plan an entire year’s programs at the beginning of the year. We will transition toward that for our next membership year so you will see the value of your membership without waiting for the next season. This will provide an opportunity for members to get more involved in the planning and preparing as your input will be crucial to making this happen! We will also be looking at the membership structure and pricing in this process. We will communicate with more frequent electronic newsletters, always giving you the option of getting a printed copy. Be sure to read and share with others! Watch for exciting things coming!


  1. Please consider bringing a friend so they can experience Learning In Retirement. We have a pass that will allow them to check out one class at no cost. Call the Continuing Education office for details.
  2. In addition to the annual parking pass there is now another option! Please check out the UW-LaCrosse Parking at to learn more about the new pay stations.  They have a video explaining how to use them on the site. New pay stations are located in seven commuter lots on campus. Be on the lookout for the new, gray pay stations with color displays. Customers use their license plates as their permits, and display of a receipt is not necessary. The pay stations offer an option to enter a cell phone number to receive an alert when time is about to expire. Customers can reply, via text message, to purchase additional time. The pay stations default to a $5 overnight rate from 7 pm-2 am and charge $1 per hour between 2 am-7 pm. Pay-by-phone is available at any UWL pay station. Visitors can download the Passport Parking app to their smartphones or to create an account. Visitors can then add time remotely by selecting one of the numbered zones on campus. Visitors use their license plates to validate transactions.
  3. If you or anyone that you know is interested in being a part of the LIR Curriculum Committee we would love to have you. Please contact the office, 608.785.6500 or or contact Neale Koenig, the Committee Chairperson at 608.788.1074.