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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Do you know a ‘super-ager?’

Members of the OLLI program sit in on a lecture.

Members of the OLLI program sit in on a lecture.

Scientists say that the brain peaks at age 30, and then starts to slowly decline, with some brains declining faster than others. 
And then there are the “super-agers.”
The brain of a super-ager performs like that of a much younger person. Super-agers defy the scientists as they engage in continuous learning opportunities purely for the “love of learning.”
Before pandemic restrictions set in, when we all were able to gather together on campus, you might have seen us super-agers wandering the same corridors as you. We are coming back. We may not be wearing “super-agers” on our sweatshirts or t-shirts for you to detect us, but you will notice us, I’m sure.
We are members of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UMass Boston. OLLI is a membership organization and part of the Gerontology Institute, and it provides lifelong learning via programs and classes, trips, and social activities for those over the age of 50.
We are committed to growing, changing and keeping our minds and spirits alive and evolving as much as possible. Membership in OLLI at UMass Boston may also help your parents or grandparents change their lives as they take charge of their brains.
Each spring and fall, the OLLI program offers over 70 courses on a variety of topics, both in person on the UMass Boston campus, at the Hingham and Braintree Libraries on the South Shore, and via Zoom. 
Zoom conferencing has been a boon for us super-agers when large gatherings are a concern. With no commuting costs, subway delays or parking fees, Zoom courses have enabled us to meet, learn, grow, recharge our brains and even save on wardrobe changes!
What kind of courses might OLLI at UMass Boston offer, you may ask? The variety is vast and far-reaching. For example, there are classes in English poetry, as well as learning to write poetry; American and World History; opera, where one can view actual performances and understand the language used; and even more classes in art, music, science, world views, martial arts and so on.
There are also special interest groups where members can meet and discuss a shared, common interest, such as food, books, travel and theater, just to name a few. For example, the OLLI Theater group attends theater performances together at a discounted rate, and then has the opportunity to discuss views and feelings about what was experienced.
One of the most valuable aspects of membership in OLLI is the interactions, relationships and friendships that form from learning and growing together, whether members meet for in-person classes or over Zoom. Distance is no longer a barrier to forging new connections in our internet age.
Learning something new, creating new friendships and being with like-minded individuals are key components that help one become a super-ager.
As Anne Kelly, an OLLI member for years, says: “There are no strangers at OLLI—only friends you haven’t yet met.”
If you know people over the age of 50 who are looking to spice up their lives, change their brains and become a super-ager, tell them about the OLLI program at UMass Boston.  
We would be pleased to mail you a catalog of upcoming courses. Contact us at (617) 287-7312, through email at [email protected], or drop us a written note. 
Looking forward to seeing you around campus!