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February 22, 2020

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Nicolet College Learning in Retirement Coordinator Brenda Peltier, right, converses with other LIR members during a recent presentation on Native American culture. Currently the organization has about 300 members.
Submitted photo

Nicolet College Learning in Retirement Coordinator Brenda Peltier, right, converses with other LIR members during a recent presentation on Native American culture. Currently the organization has about 300 members.
1/21/2020 7:30:00 AM
Nicolet College Learning in Retirement launches 2020 winter/spring session

The Learning in Retirement program at Nicolet College will offer nearly 50 different courses this winter through spring that cover a broad range of topics that include natural resources, the arts, travel, film, history, current events, local tours, and many others.

"In addition to long-time favorites such as Ced's Nature Series, we'll also have dozens of new classes that cover a broad range of topics," Learning in Retirement (LIR) coordinator Brenda Peltier said in a press release announcing the new session. "There really is something for everyone, and the best part is there are no grades or tests in any of the classes. It's just getting together with like-minded people and learning purely for the fun of it."

Some classes will meet only once for a couple of hours while others will be part of a series that meet once a week over several weeks, the release states.

At present, about 300 members from throughout the Northwoods belong to LIR. Annual membership is $45 and runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. Members can join at anytime during the year and take as many or as few classes as they desire.

Winter/spring classes will be held across the Northwoods in Rhinelander, Eagle River, Minocqua, and Arbor Vitae. Classes run from Jan. 27 through May 15. Below is a sampling of upcoming offerings:

Northern Waters Distillery Tour

Tour with owner Peter Nomm, 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12 or 19 (choose one), 3560 Hwy. 51 N, Arbor Vitae. Founded in 2013, the distillery produces handcrafted spirits including whiskey, vodka, gin, rum, and a variety of flavored products and liqueurs.

Each batch, each barrel, and each bottle has uniquely independent characteristics that can only be appreciated a sip at a time.

Learn about the process, smell the mash, see the raw spirits flowing from the still, and complete the experience by savoring the finished product.

TED Talks

Talks take place at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 11, 18, 25, Eagle River First Congregational Church of Christ, Fellowship Hall, 105 N. 1st St. Eagle River. TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) continue to add to its collection of fascinating talks. A wide variety of topics are available from the cosmos to medical advances and from locating archeological sites from space to creating hope through music. Typically four 20-minute talks are selected per session and loosely connected by themes. Members view a presentation and then have a chance to offer thoughts of their own before moving on to another of the selected talks.

Ced's Nature Series

Ced's Nature Series, 9:30 a.m., Wednesdays, April 8, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13, 20, Pine Lake Town Hall, 4197 River Rd. Rhinelander. Ced's Nature Series continues its tradition of honoring Ced Vig (1912-2010), local naturalist, educator, writer, and founder of this series.

Since one of Ced Vig's monikers was "A Writer for all Seasons," a reference to his long-running newspaper column "Wisconsin Woodsmoke - Four Seasons of the Northwoods," it is only fitting that with the promise of spring, a series of presentations is again offered on all things natural in the Northwoods. Topics are varied, but focus on requests of attendees in previous years, often common animals and plants in Wisconsin.

Some more general ecology topics may be included. The speakers are mostly professional natural resources practitioners and educators in our state, but some may even be from nearby states or universities.

Civil Discourse

"Civil Discourse" with Jane Banning, 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 17, Pine Lake Town Hall, 4197 River Rd., Rhinelander.

This non-partisan, non-political class is about ways to connect, understand, and have civil conversations when it seems there are no paths through the thickets. Pick up some fundamental skills in how to converse with people with whom you disagree. Learn a bit about how our brains work (stories vs. facts and data), how to ask a great question, plus a couple of strategies for keeping cool.

Is a Happy Mushroom a Fun Guy?

"Is a Happy Mushroom a Fun Guy?" with Anne Small, 9:30 a.m., Monday, May 11, Pine Lake Town Hall, 4197 River Rd. Rhinelander. Want to know more about those mysterious mushrooms of all shapes and sizes that pop up in yards and forests? Small, the club coordinator of the Northstate Mycological Club, will give information on fungi and mushroom biology and explain their place in the Northwoods.

Decreasing Pain and Increasing Mobility and Strength as We Age

"Decreasing Pain and Increasing Mobility and Strength as We Age" with Kurt Klemm, 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 28, Pine Lake Town Hall, 4197 River Rd., Rhinelander.

Learn of the growth of the physical therapy profession from bachelor to doctoral programs over the last three decades and how modern therapy can help with aches and pains. Klemm, a physical therapist, will cover some basic anatomy and physiology along with many of the problems we all encounter as we age. There will also be a question and answer session.

Other upcoming offerings include "Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalist Movement," ArtStart Spring Exhibit, "Fifty Years of the Nicolet Players," "The Best of YouTube," "Wisconsin English," "Great Masters of Western Painting," "Genealogy and DNA Primer," and "Strength, Endurance, and Agility Assessment for Seniors."

To receive a printed schedule, contact the Nicolet College Learning in Retirement Office at 715-365-4491 or 1-800-544-3039, ext. 4491: TTY 711 or 1-800-947-3529. More information is also available at

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