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A teacher’s challenge
Teaching is always fun, says Schiller, but there’s something special about teaching to an older crowd.
“You can actually talk about Ronald Reagan and it’s not as if you’re talking about a man from ancient history,” she said. “Part of the fun is that it allows you, in politics, to look back and analyze changes from a much longer time horizon than you can when you’re teaching the kids.”
She finds older students are more apt to challenge her or disagree with her assertions. During her lectures, she likes to interact with the audience, calling on random people. “If they’re there, they’re fair game,” she said. “I’ll say, ‘What do you think, sir?’ ‘What do you think, madam?’ and they really do feel like they’re back in school.”
Schiller will be teaching on “What Would the Founding Fathers Think of America Today?” when she comes to Minneapolis.
Excited to learn
Also on deck is Laurence Cooper, associate professor of political science at Carleton College in Northfield. His topic is “What Can We Learn From the Ancient Philosophers?”
Margaret Mazzaferro of St. Paul snagged the first seat available for the Nov. 2 date.
“I’m excited about it,” she said. “I’m 70 years old. I have all kinds of leisure time and I like to use at least some of it productively.”
Passionate about learning, she holds a bachelor’s degree in English and has a collection of audio courses on art, literature and history. She also tries to watch a different “TED Talk,” the popular speaker series that can be seen free on the Web, every day.
“I just love learning about stuff that I was too stupid to learn when I was in school,” Mazzaferro said.
While she hasn’t decided yet which classes she’ll take at One Day University, she knows where she’ll be sitting.
“I want to be right up front,” she said. “I need to be up close.”
Allie Shah • 612-673-4488