Schoolteachers know lots about learning—for sure, the kind that takes place in their classrooms.
But for retired public school teacher JoAnn Jacobson-Hodny of Mandan, learning is a passion she and her husband William "Bill" Hodny, a retired N.D. district court judge, enjoy indulging.
Both confirmed OLLI members, Bill and JoAnn often take classes together.
"I started doing this because Bill did it, so basically, we do it together," said JoAnn, who got her teaching degree at the University of North Dakota and a Master's at Minnesota State University-Mankato. "I enjoy OLLI classes a good deal because I really like learning."
JoAnn, who did the OLLI "honey tour" to Linton, ND, on her own, agrees that one never is too old to learn.
"In my profession I had to read a lot, but now I get to read because I want to, for the fun of it, and that's why enjoy OLLI," JoAnn said. "I've been going to OLLI courses for three years, and I've learned a lot—it's great to be exposed to so many different subjects. I like learning about places such as Africa and Australia—I'm not planning trips there anytime soon, but I sure appreciate learning about them."
JoAnn also appreciates the opportunity that certain OLLI classes give her to connect the dots on historical events that occurred during her own lifetime, such as the Cold War.
She remembers that she lived through a lot of history but doesn't remember much of it in any detail.
"I knew about the Cold War, but it was remote to me—now I've learned so much more about it in an OLLI course about former President Ronald Reagan and the Cold War."
An OLLI class about geology—which included a field trip—helped JoAnn connect with a subject she was interested in as a child walking the countryside with her dad. It also helped her connect with her son's college major, geology.
That class showed all kinds of terrain, and it included lunch 'on the rocks' out at a site in Velva.
"It also was nice to learn something more about what my son studied in college," JoAnn said.
Most of all, JoAnn notes, it's great to meet other learners and work with knowledgeable OLLI instructors.
"They are so well prepared, it makes it fun to be part of such classes," JoAnn said.