The Newsletter of the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning
at the University of San Francisco
Winter Session 2008
Issue #4
Mar. 3, 2008
The man who penned the words “Young cat, if you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you would learn! The most
wonderful stuff!” would have been 104 years old this week. His March 2 birthday in 1904 is faithfully remembered each
year by the National Educational Association as Read Across America Day. As teachers, parents, grandparents, and almost
anyone who has ever baby sat will attest to, such a memorial is a fitting tribute to the writer, Theodore Geisel, who inspired
the love of reading in children across the planet with such masterpieces as Horton Hears A Who, Green Eggs and Ham
and The Cat in the Hat.
While Dr. Seuss was a resident of La Jolla for the last half of his writing years, it’s more than quite possible that, had
he lived here in the Bay Area, he would have loved our school. After all, aren’t those of us who make it a daily/weekly
habit of keeping our eyes, and minds, open and active through our participation at the Fromm Institute, those ‘young cats’
he references? Who better than us to extol all the ‘stuff we can learn, all the wonderful stuff!’
Theodore Geisel never was our student or professor, but he would have been a kindred soul to so many here — a
‘Frommie’ at heart. Creative and energetic at his least, he was a man of special talents. (Hey, he wrote in the metric style
of Lord Byron, no less — anapestic tetrameter anyone!) At his best, he spoke to all generations. While most of his work
was aimed at younger people (and appreciated by those much older), in 1986 at
the age of 82 he wrote a book for older people (obsolete children as he called us)
that could be appreciated by people much younger. In You’re Only Old Once!,
he voiced a sentiment often spoken around Fromm Hall, that “you’re in pretty
good shape for the shape you are in!”
How do we measure that shape? Like the good patient who showed up
“in the Golden Years Clinic on Century Square for Spleen Readjustment and
Muffler Repair,” we measure it not in the tests taken and things proved, but by just
doing it, and doing it with the best that we can possibly summon. Nothing more.
Nothing less.
As another session ends this week and winds down with a few makeup classes in the week that follows, it appears from reading your early course
evaluations that most of you could identify with a Fromm Institute student who
The Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning at USF 2130 Fulton Street San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
415-422-6805 (phone) 415-422-6535 (fax) (web) [email protected] (e-mail)
wrote, “I’ve not only enjoyed all of the classes that I’ve taken but it’s amazing, thanks to my professors, how much
I’ve learned.” Thank you for your confidence in the curriculum and our faculty, but Dr. Seuss would have enjoyed
the remaining part of her comments as she added, “My husband tells me I won’t remember it all in another few
weeks, but I really don’t care. I’ll be back in classes in April and I can learn more and more.”
So many of you have been equally enthusiastic about so much you’ve encountered during the Winter Session.
It’s wonderful to know that you are satisfied. Your comments, even and especially the critical ones that help us
to improve, are much appreciated. To those of you who have been so kind as to add that you’ll miss coming to
Fromm Hall during the weeks of spring break and will be lost without your classes and classmates, the “Rooftop”
can only repeat just one more Seussism. “Don’t Cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” See you next
Session when we all gather together to learn some more wonderful stuff!
The last “Rooftop” contained a list of all the classes that will be offered in our Spring 2008 Session and
student interest in them is everywhere. So much so, that the following information bears repeating.
• Catalogs will be in the mail on Tuesday, March 11 and online at 5 p.m. that day.
• Pre-Enrollment — that three-day period when an enrollment application left on 415-422-6806
gives all students an equal chance to bid on their classes — happens all day long on March 12,
and 13, and concludes at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 14.
• On Monday, March 17, St. Patrick will be the patron saint of applicants as the office will begin
the random processing of all requests (probably more than 800) received during the PreEnrollment period. Confirmations will follow 5 days later.
• The Enrollment Period is from March 17 through the third week of Spring classes. It ends on
Thursday, May 1.
• Spring Session classes begin the Monday, April 14 and end Thursday, June 5
It is of interest to note that while some
dolphins are reported to have learned English,
up to fifty words used in correct context,
no human being has been reported
to have learned dolphinese.
– Carl Sagan
There is one change to the list
of classes published in our last
newsletter. Professor George Houle
will be teaching a class on “English
Music in the 17th Century”
instead of the previously
published course “Bach Again.”
The “Rooftop” apologizes for the
confusion. The correct course
title and description will appear
in our Course Catalog due in
your mailboxes the middle
of next week.
The final week of Fromm Institute classes is the last chance that
you will have to evaluate your classes and professors — that final
opportunity to say what you liked and why you did. Accordingly,
Course Evaluation forms, and return boxes for completed forms, are
available now. Pick one up on the information tables in each classroom
and let us know how your classes this session measured up to your
expectations. Designed to be an easy exercise, your
evaluation of skills, content, and overall success will
help the Fromm Institute curriculum planners to
Sadly, due to the high cost of fuel and our inability
determine what worked well and where improvement
to identify an angel who would subsidize the
can be made. Don’t forget to render your judgment.
$1,600 dollars a week that it now cost to operate
Your evaluation is appreciated today.
it, the Frommbus, the service that caries residents
of the Towers, Sequoias and Rhoda Goldman
Plaza to and from Fromm Hall classes, is being
discontinued. Because many of these wonderful
Next week, March 10-13, is the Fromm Institute’s
students will find it hard to continue attending
“Make-Up” Week, an extra week of classroom
without some kind of transportation assistance,
reservations just in case one more meeting is
we have created an incentive for you should you
needed to complete a course. Sometime a holiday
wish to help them. The Fromm Institute will pay
(or two) necessitates getting together again. Often
for any Fromm Institute student’s daily parking
it is because a professor has missed a regularly
(a $40 value) if they bring as passengers two
scheduled class or just wants to hold class for one
residents of these three assisted living facilities.
more session. Whatever the reasons, “Make-Up”
Week accommodates them all.
As the “Rooftop” goes to press all of our Monday
classes will meet one more time on Monday,
March 10, to accommodate the two Monday
Holidays in our Winter Session. Prof. William
Garrett will screen the film Monsieur Ibrahim
on Tuesay, March 11, at 1 p.m. Otherwise no
other classes are scheduled. All classes meet at
their regular times and in their regular locations.
To facilitate your meeting each other for this
purpose, we are again dedicating a table in the
Maraschi Room at lunchtime this week (March
2- 6) for students from the residences who would
like to meet potential drivers. Fromm Institute
students who would be willing to pick up riders are
encouraged to stop by these tables and exchange
contact information with potential riders. You
can talk about classes you might share and make
arrangements to ride together.
The Fromm Institute hopes you’ve enjoyed the lunchtime speakers we’ve showcased
this session. Keep your eyes open for more to come in the Spring. Meanwhile, enjoy
two “Brown Bags” during last the week of classes.
On Monday, March 3, Prof. Betty Carmack is our chosen speaker for “Telling Our
Story.” The title of her talk is “Sharing Our Lives With Our Remarkable Companion
Animals.” Don’t miss her very special story and charming personality.
There’s one more surprise! A “Back to the Roots ‘Brown Bag’” this Thursday,
March 6! Last week an a environmentally concious USF student came into office
all excited to make a connection with the members of the Fromm Institute. This stary-eyed youth turns
out to be Michael Aguiler who is the President of the campus’ social activist group “Back to the Roots.”
We checked our schedule and had time in the last week for his enthusiastic message to be shared with like
minded Fromm Institute students. Here is Michael’s invitation:
“Back to the Roots” is a student group that wants to form a long-lasting relationship with
the Fromm Institute learners. We are a group of about 40 committed members on the USF
campus who hope to implement more sustainable practices into our daily lives. We build
gardens in students’ back yards, are collaborating in creating the first organic garden on
campus and are dedicated to trade justice.
Our organization believes that the Fromm Institute is a large portion of our USF student
population and as a group would like to inform you about our Fair Trade Coffee Campaign
that we have been working on. We will be giving a presentation on March 6th at your
“Brown Bag” event at 12:00 p.m. in the Maraschi Room and would love it if you joined us.
We will update you about our current campaign and will inform you how to get involved if
Hope to meet you all!
“Back to the Roots”
Any questions e-mail [email protected]
Please note that all “Brown Bags” are held in the Maraschi Room and begin right at Noon.
The “Rooftop” is very appreciative of the two dozen student volunteer members
of the newly established Fromm Care Corps. How wonderful it was to see
them all around Fromm Hall helping everyone, and especially assisting the
Fromm Institute Staff. You folks are the best! We’ll be counting on your help
next session and would welcome a few more volunteers if anyone is interested
in service. The Fromm Care Corps requires a one-hour, after-school, training
session and the willingness to help out around Fromm Hall in some wonderful ways. Watch the first
newsletter of the Spring Session for the announcement of the next training. As a more formal thank you
for participation, Fromm Care Corps volunteers are processed as the first applicants of each Enrollment
Period virtually guaranteeing a first-choice of classes. Thank you Care Corps! Your school is a better
place because of you.
This winter we’ve learned more science ‘secrets’, seen fascinating slides of
birds, brains, the cosmos, and the earth. We’ve discussed mathematics in schools,
“the living roof” at the new Academy of Sciences, African science, and art in
dementia, dementia in art. All of these topics were both stimulating and inspiring. Wow! But don’t leave
your seats yet!
The final lecture, in the Wonders of Science Series will be given by its esteemed coordinator, Dr. Jerold
Lowenstein this Wednesday, March 5, same time same place. His talk, entitled “Science Update
2008,” will gracefully guide us through both old and recent scientific discoveries, an anticipated and
appropriate conclusion to this series.
The Fromm Institute wishes to express it’s gratitude toward Dr. Jerold Lowenstein who, for ten years,
has brought us distinguished speakers with humanistic ideals and clear science. Each is a gem within
his/her area of research, and a marvelous enthusiasm to share research and knowledge. Dr. Lowenstein,
Thank you! Your gift to the Fromm Institute is invaluable.
New breakthroughs in Science: at far right, skins
cells into stem cells – could this spell the end of
the controversy in the use of embryonic
stem cells in medical research? At
near right, nanotubes make this new
plastic as strong as steel & completely
transparent. These recent discoveries
could be on Dr. Lowenstein’s list in
his lecture “Science Update 2008,”
this week in the Wonders of Science.
If you are interested in The AARP Driver Safety Program offered by Fromm Institute student P.J. Joseph,
here in Fromm Hall on Tues., March 11 and Wed., March 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there are still just
a few spaces available. Sign-up at the Fromm Institute Office by paying $10 (checks payable to AARP) and
remember students are required to attend both days and should bring lunch as there is no long lunch break.
“P.J.,” who is dedicated to lifelong independence, keeping seniors driving safely for as long as possible, and
has been trained by AARP, says, “All attendees are eligible for an insurance discount. The course counts as
attending driving school with permission from a judge for those cited for a moving violation.”
An international law firm is advertising for a paralegal who can type, answer the phone,
take dictation, and speak more than one language. To heir surprise, the first applicant is a
black and white Scotch terrier. They are even more astonished to find that the dog can type
125 words a minute, has an excellent telephone voice, and knows shorthand. The personal
manager is flabbergasted. “You’re really an extraordinary dog,” she says. “But what about the
foreign language requirement?” “Meow,” replies the dog.
Tour & Travel News
The sound of jazz trombones and zydeco fiddles will be music in our ears for those of us headed to the
Southland Gardens and Mansions this spring break. We’ll be sipping chicory coffee with our beignets in
New Orleans’ French Market, viewing magnolias abloom in Mobile’s Bellingrath Gardens, strolling among
boxwood mazes of the antebellum homes in Natchez and letting the good times roll in Cajun country. Wish
you could be with us!
You can join us in future tours IF you sign up in time.
Our Eighth Annual Ashland Shakespeare Tour is set for June 24-27 and is already half-full. As usual
it’s a first–class tour with transportation by deluxe motor coach and accommodations in the four star Plaza
Inn and Suites. We have theatre tickets in prime seating for four plays ranging the globe in style and content
from the Indian classic “The Clay Cart” to Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” and Shakespeare’s “Othello” and
“Comedy of Errors” (this production set to music). Other specialties include a private lecture and a discussion
with a Festival company member both exclusive to our group. In addition we’ll have a welcoming dinner,
special luncheon at the Winchester House, daily European breakfasts and post-theatre midnight snacks.
You can also get a head start on our October tour of Celtic Culture to Ireland and Scotland. Even if
you’ve been to Ireland before you probably have seen only half of it! We’re going to travel to the wild West
and North, visiting Donegal and Derry, the Giant’s Causeway, Antrim and Belfast before crossing the Irish
Sea to Scotland. There Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, the Islands of Mull and Iona, the Highlands and the
Trossachs await us. Dates are Oct 4-16.
Crossing the Pyrenees and Paris/Normandy Cruise are now wait-list only. So don’t wait for classes to
resume and run the chance of being disappointed. Pick up tour flyers in the Activities Hall or contact me
during spring break at (707) 257-1804 or [email protected] I’ll have finished sipping my mint julep and be
glad to help you with Happy Travels! Susan Kennelly
When the “Rooftop” announced the Fromm Institute’s intention
to hold a student photo contest that would result in the selection
of one photo to grace the Course Catalogs next year, we thought
that many would get their cameras out and take lots of different
pictures. While a few students did send some fun snapshots of the
faculty, students and staff, the total number of submissions and
similarity of subject matter prevented us from selecting one that
stood out. So . . . come Spring Session we’ll include a slideshow
of all that we have received into our E Top Presentation on the
screens in each classroom, but, as of the time this newsletter goes
to press, we have yet to find the perfect picture that says “Fromm
Institute for Lifelong Learning.” Many thanks to the shutterbugs
who sent their photos to us! We hope we’ll be able to use your pictures (with photo credit) at some time in the future.
USF student studies in the Gleason Libary
Atrium one sunny afternoon. Photo
submitted by Fromm Institute
student Jackie Link.
Well, here we are at the end of another Winter term and I hope it was rewarding for all of you as it was for
me. As many of you know, we had a “no-show” for our performing arts “Brown Bag” talk and I personally
would like to apologize to the 50 students who showed up. This is the first time this has happened in the 7 years
I have been doing this and I can promise that it will not happen again. I will schedule a new “Brown Bag” for
the Spring Session.
There was quite a response to the San Francisco Ballet Student 1/2-price Subscription Series over the past two
months and many of you have expressed your pleasure with how well the Ballet treated you. Remember, though
it is too late now to order a series for next year, you can still go on a RUSH basis for either $10 or $20 a ticket
by calling the Ballet box-office the day of performance. If there are “Student Rush” tickets available, you can
order (up to 2 per student ID), pay for them by credit card, and pick them up when you go to the performance
(bring your student ID). If you have any questions regarding this be sure to call the Ballet box office.
As you will be gone now for the next 4 weeks before the Spring term begins, I hope many of you will use this
time to investigate the on-line services I’ve written about before and sign up to get their weekly email notices
of discounted tickets. TIX or Theater Bay Area has been around locally for years and many of you are familiar
with them from the 1/2-price ticket booth in Union Square. But, they are so much more than just a ticket booth.
Their postcard is in our display racks and will help you to find out how much you can save on tickets from
anything from Beach Blanket Babylon to the Opera. Goldstar is another service that is national in scope (you
can choose any major city if you are traveling) but also has many local choices every week. While we do not
have postcards on them, if you go on line and put in Goldstar, you will learn about them and be able to sign up
for weekly email. The third local, online service is Artsopolis, and this one covers the Peninsula and South Bay
performing arts. Again, sign-up for their weekly emails.
The San Francisco Symphony will be announcing their next season shortly and for those of you who have
subscribed to the student subscriptions in the past, look for your renewal brochures in the mail sometime in
April. I will have the Symphony come for a “Brown Bag” in the Spring Session and will let you know more of
that in my April column.
The “programs & playbills” on the lower shelf of the display rack marked “Fromm Hall Copy Do Not
Remove” are now available for the taking, as we will recycle them after the final week of classes. Have a great
Spring break and I look forward to seeing you all at Open House on April 9th.
Wishing you all many great performances while we are gone. Robert Morgan
by Randy Harrison
Wed., March 5, 10 a.m., Xavier: “Science Update 2008” with Jerold Lowenstein, Prof. of Medicine – UCSF
at the University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Mon., March 3, Noon, Maraschi Room: “Telling Our Story” Brown Bag with USF Emerita Betty Carmack
Thurs., March 6, Noon, Maraschi Room: “Back To the Roots Brown Bag” USF’s student run just trade and sustainable argiculture program.