REMEMBER THE INVIGORATING INTENSITY of college, the thrill of a brilliant lecturer, the feeling of your mind, and your world, expanding, even as you sat? One Day University, now in several states, lets adults nostalgic for formal academic enlightenment spend a Saturday or Sunday listening to four, 70-minute lectures, each delivered by an award-winning professor from an Ivy League or other top university. There are no admission requirements and no tests.
Of course, homework and tests help students retain information. The thrust of One Day U differs. "For students, the goal is intellectual stimulation. They want to be reinspired by the great ideas of the day," says John Galvin, 37, who created One Day U with Steven Schragis, 50, a former director of The Learning Annex. Schragis got the idea while visiting his daughter at college. The students were excited, and parents wanted that thrill, too.
Lectures cover topics such as positive psychology, Iran and Iraq, and What's So Great about Shakespeare? For some students, the format, rather than a specific topic, is the draw. "It provides an opportunity to get a synopsis on current thinking in many areas, including one you might know nothing about," says Dr. Mimi Leibman, a retired psychologist turned consultant in White Plains, NY, who attended the first event and several since. Says Schragis: "It's like a health club for the brain."
Wendy Paris is a regular contributor to NRTA Live & Learn. This article orginally appeared in NRTA Live & Learn, Summer 2007.
Watch for new stories every Thursday in Live & Learn, NRTA's publication for the AARP educator community.
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