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Two generations gather to discuss the Stoic philosophy

Two generations gather to discuss the Stoic philosophy

WKU’s Society for Lifelong Learning (SLL) members shared their classroom with a younger generation this semester and enjoyed engaging discussions and new perspectives as a result.

For seven weeks during the spring semester, WKU students from Dr. Audrey Anton’s Philosophy 342: Skeptics, Stoics, Epicureans class joined SLL members in the SLL class Living Like a Stoic.

The SLL is an organization for people 50 and over who seek intellectually-stimulating educational opportunities that provide new knowledge, personal growth, cultural stimulation and social interaction with others who have a love of learning. Dr. Anton was slated to teach the SLL class, as well as the for-credit course and thought it would be a unique and interesting experience for the two classes to collaborate.

“In studying the goals and meanings of life, I think it is important that we consider the perspectives across the many stages of life,” Dr. Anton said. “Living Like a Stoic challenges all students to identify and refine their personal philosophy of life and reflect critically about and work constructively towards their own pursuit of happiness and tranquility. The more perspectives shared, the more fruitful it is sure to be for all involved.”

Linda Paulus and her husband, Tom, are SLL members who have taken numerous SLL classes. They found the collaborative setting to be unique, offering new insights and perspectives, as well as the chance to learn something new from students over 30 years their junior – a group Linda Paulus says they typically don’t have the opportunity to spend time with, especially in an academic setting.

“This was the perfect course for engaging with others. We have gained new perspectives and new ideas from these young people who are very smart, well-informed and engaged in the world around them,” Linda Paulus said. “This experience has given us hope for the world.”

Paulus’ experience has motivated her pursue more classes – and not just through the SLL. She plans to eventually enroll in the philosophy program at WKU.

Page Harrison, a philosophy minor, said that learning alongside the SLL members was extremely beneficial. “This unique class allowed me to learn from people who have more life experience than I do. It has provided me with practical knowledge that I can apply to my life,” she said.

Dr. Cindy Ehresman, lifelong learning program manager, said WKU current and retired faculty lead many of the classes offered by the SLL. She hopes there will be other collaborative classes in the future.

“There’s much to learn from each other, regardless of age,” Ehresman said. “Dr. Anton did an exceptional job of engaging the SLL members and WKU students. We welcome future opportunities to encourage two generations to learn together.”

For information about the Society for Lifelong Learning at WKU, visit www.wku.edu/sll or call (270) 745-1912.

The Society for Lifelong Learning was founded in 2014. It is a member driven organization dedicated to offering a wide range of high quality, intellectually stimulating, non-credit educational programs and experiences for ages 50 and over who have a love for learning.   

Contact: Cindy Ehresman, (270) 745-1910 or cindy.ehresman@wku.edu

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 Last Modified 5/2/17