Lifelong learning classes at CSUB

January 17, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720,

California State University, Bakersfield's lifelong learning classes are in session and welcoming back some familiar faces. The Bernard Osher Foundation, housed in CSUB's School of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers a unique educational opportunity the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). With a focus on people 50 years of age and older, OLLI membership provides opportunities to explore new topics and meet new people through noncredit courses. The courses are designed for individuals to have fun while learning and not worry about tests or grades.

Robert Price, a columnist for The Bakersfield Californian, is once again teaching "The Bakersfield Sound: Migration, Poverty and Twang." Last year the class got a surprise celebrity two-hour visit from country music legend Merle Haggard. Haggard sat amongst the students sharing his story and his place in country music history.

That wasn't their last celebrity encounter. Price's class even got a tour of Buck Owens' Crystal Palace by the owner himself. Owens gave OLLI members a personal tour of his memorabilia and the students were treated to a special performance following dinner.

Price is once again sharing his fascination and knowledge of the evolution of Bakersfield's musical style. He has collected memorabilia, history and interviews since 1990. Price wrote a series on the subject in 1997. He said he has even more surprises planned for the 2007 class.

Aspiring oenophiles can satisfy their thirst for wine knowledge in "The Wonderful World of Wine," a class taught by longtime Bakersfield wine columnist/educator/judge Mike Stepanovich. The five-week class will explore red wines, white wines, appellations, how to order wine like a pro, and wine-food pairing. It begins Monday (Jan. 22).

Special courses are offered every quarter that will appeal to a variety of interests. Other classes offered this quarter include: "Conversational Spanish," "The Savvy Woman's Home buying Handbook:~ 150 Insider Secrets, Decision-Making Guides, and Online Resources -- Plus 1 Action Plan You Need." "Knitting A First Course" starts this Saturday (Jan. 20).

Individuals can purchase a yearlong membership for $25 and pay $5 per class. All ages are welcome, so family and friends can become OLLI members and take a course together. Individuals may also sign up for a lifelong membership for $1,000 or become a lifetime benefactor for $5,000.

To enroll in a class or for more information, please contact Yvette Morones, CSUB OLLI coordinator, at (661) 654-6832 or log onto