Message from the President

Dear <<First Name>>,

Our Council was recently asked if we’ll be celebrating LLI’s 20th anniversary with an in-person event. The answer is Yes! When it’s safe, we’ll hold a very festive special gathering! However, well beyond a one-day event, our newsletter carries the torch for LLI’s past, present, and future. 

In this anniversary year, we’ve featured our intrepid four founders and honored the memory of Dean Stuart Stritzler-Levine by sharing their collective remembrances of establishing LLI at Bard College. Last month, we enjoyed a video interview, and we’ll see videos in more articles, adding sound, camera, and action to the newsletter repertoire. 

The website’s newsletter archive holds a treasure trove of articles and visuals that tell our story with monthly purpose and panache. The dedication of our writers, editors, and photojournalists is unmatched; you’ll recognize their bylines. Please take the time to peruse this library of LLI excellence at<News & Events<Newsletters.

Today, let’s polish our Zoom skills as we happily focus on spring semester course registration. The new catalog is an exquisite introduction. Note that March is also LLI’s election season, so please cast your votes to fill the open Council positions. Read about our member candidates in this newsletter, each so deserving of our recognition in their willingness to serve LLI.

Watch your email for the invitation to the April 6th Zoom presentation by the Bard student recipients of LLI’s Dean Stuart Stritzler-Levine Seniors-to-Seniors Scholarships. The senior projects are always innovative and impressive, and the student scholars are a delight! Join in to applaud their achievements in this yearly tribute to Dean Levine and his 20 years of support for LLI. Full details coming soon! 

Each LLI communication brings an opportunity for celebration and an open invitation to learn something new and share in our ongoing story. Through times of uncertainty and moments of joy, there’s a place here for each of us, and it’s our perennial pleasure to be welcomed to the party.

Meet the Nominees for LLI Council
by Linda Stanley

As you know, Council is the governing body of LLI, and key positions are elected by the membership for two-year terms. The upcoming term for newly elected Council members will be from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2023. And this year, the election will take place from March 15 to 29. You, as a member, will receive a ballot via email to participate anonymously. Please review our candidates and be sure to vote to ensure your voice is heard.
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Winter Sowing Social Gathering

by Kathy OConnor

Start growing your garden in the winter?
You heard me right.

As Susan Hinkle and Deborah Barrow told us at the Winter Sowing Social Gathering on February 18th, February is a wonderful time to start growing your hearty fruits and vegetables. It just takes a bit of know-how, an abundance of enthusiasm, and a touch of humor. 
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LLI Grows Up

by Felice Gelman

Tom Esposito, who was LLI President from July 2016 to July 2020, also served as First Vice President the prior year and as Treasurer for the four years before that. In all, his nine-year tenure on Council stretched from mid-year 2011 until mid-year 2020 -- almost half of LLI’s lifetime as an organization. We had a chance to ask him for his perspective on how LLI had grown and changed over the years. After all, almost half of our membership has joined in the last three years.  
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Hybrid Learning Comes to Bard

by Gary Miller

We know all too well how the world of education has been turned upside down. Zoom has replaced the classroom presenter sharing thoughts with an LLI audience eager to learn, enjoy, and relish each other’s company. But surprise of surprises, some of us actually like remote learning.

We like seeing faces along with names, instead of looking at the back of someone’s head. We like not having to search for parking spaces. Those of us with physical disabilities are relieved not having to walk between Campus Center and Hegeman. 
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Oh, The Things We've Seen!
by Carmela Gersbeck

As session managers, we have really gotten to know our presenters and our participants. I’m sure that the number one saying of 2020-21 will be “You’re muted!” and by the time spring semester starts, just about every LLI participant will have been in at least one Zoom meeting, if not several. We have been impressed with how savvy our participants have become on Zoom.

As the spring semester starts, we want to remind everyone that even if you are in Speaker view and only seeing the presenter, others can be in Gallery view and may be able to see you. One of the many benefits of Zoom is that you can multitask. However, if you decide to do a workout, give yourself a manicure, eat a 12-inch sub, bake cookies or change out of your pajamas, please make sure you have turned off your camera as a courtesy to the presenter and other participants, who may find it distracting. This can be easily done by clicking on the Video icon, and changing it to “Stop Video.” Hosts also have the ability to turn off your video if they see something inappropriate. The guideline I use is: If it’s something I wouldn’t do in a classroom, I don’t do it on-camera while on Zoom.

We look forward to “seeing” you on Zoom this spring!
At Our Twentieth Anniversary, LLI Is Added
to the Bard Archives
by Cathy Reinis
Back in 2016, LLI President Joyce Carter-Krawczyk asked Helene Tieger, College Archivist at Bard’s Stevenson Library, for advice and assistance. Joyce was concerned that there was no consistent collection to document the story of LLI. 

Helene did have an envelope with some miscellaneous early records, but Joyce set up an ad hoc effort to collect what she calls “stuff.” The “stuff” included materials from the founders, from early members, from the file cabinets of Dean Stuart Stritzler-Levine, and from our own records. The College Archive wasn’t ready to accept it, so LLI stored the materials in a file cabinet in the “red room” of the Bertelsmann Campus Center.
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Three Stories About the Fall 2020 LLI Course "Who, Us? What White People Can Do to Face Racial Injustice and Build a More Just America"

By Eleanor Wieder, Kim Sears, and Linda Legendre

Story 1
Eleanor Wieder
In the spring of 2020, I was quarantined with my children and grandchildren. Without thinking about it, in a conversation, I used the phrase “Are you out of your cotton-picking mind!” My kids (like adult children do) immediately called me out on the origins of the phrase. From that moment of introspection, I began to look more closely at the things I said and the things I believed because they always were that way. I am a CPA by training, and it is typical to look for the big mistakes, but it is equally valid to look for small mistakes that are repeated over and over again. Erasing those, even a few at a time, can possibly make the bigger difference.
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How to Drop a Class in ProClass

by Carmela Gersbeck

If you decide to drop a class, please make it official. Go into ProClass and drop the class; the process is simple and just takes a minute. Click the link below to see a short video on how to drop a class in ProClass. The LLI presenters and session managers appreciate having an accurate list of people in each class.

Thank you.
Click Here to Watch Video

Tech Corner: How to Improve WiFi for Zoom

by Carmela Gersbeck

As we start the spring semester, we thought it would be useful to share some tips for improving your WiFi capability while using Zoom. If you are experiencing any issues with transferring data, frozen screen, poor quality audio, or meetings getting disconnected while using a home or WiFi connection, here are some ideas to improve your service.
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Council Notes from February
The Program Support Committee is being reconfigured to account for our online classes. Carmela Gersbeck has agreed to chair the new committee. Ann Miller was thanked for her contributions as chair of the previous committee, and Carmela was welcomed to the LLI Council.

The 2021-2022 LLI membership fee will be $175. The website has been updated to make scholarship information easier to find.

In preparation for registration for the spring semester, a series of short instructional videos were posted to the website under Courses>Quick Start Training Videos.

The Hybrid Learning Team did a field test, with three members at the Roosevelt estate and a session manager serving as “director,” selecting video feeds. They are training in preparation for our first hybrid classes - two sessions outdoors in May.

Any member interested in observing a Council meeting should email Linda Stanley at
             George and Clare Luse                                                                 Steven Lanser
In Memoriam
by Cathy Reinis

With sorrow, we learned of the death of Claire Luse on January 30. Claire was a very long-time member of LLI, Curriculum Committee volunteer, and chair of the Class Support Committee for many years. Her husband, George, who predeceased her, was the first chair of a brand new AV committee. Claire and George were supporters of The CENTER For Performing Arts at  Rhinebeck, and she produced CENTER Executive Director Lou Trapani’s classes at LLI for many years. To learn more about her life and to offer condolences to her family, visit:

To our sorrow, Steven Lanser passed away peacefully on February 21 of this year. He joined LLI in 2015, with his wife Deborah joining a year later, and both became enthusiastic members and volunteers, finding stimulation and good company in their fellow members. Steve volunteered as a class manager and was an active and curious participant in every class he took. We offer our deepest sympathy to Deborah and to their family. To learn more about his life, visit: 
Bard Calendar Highlights
by Felice Gelman

There are just a few Bard events scheduled so far for March. (Events are often listed just a week or so ahead of time so keep an eye on the Bard Events Calendar during the month of March). 

On Wednesday, March 10, from 12:00-1:00 P.M., the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program will discuss COVID-19: One Year Later, what have we learned and what does the future hold?  You must RSVP for this talk here

On Sunday, March 14, from 3:00-4:30 P.M., Fred Sherry, the great interpreter of contemporary music, and his quartet will perform Schoenberg’s String Quartet No, 1 in D Minor, Op.7. You can reserve your tickets for this livestream from the Bard Music Conservatory here
Upcoming Dates for LLI
Important Dates for Members:

March 4 - Spring semester registration opens.

March 9 - Curriculum Committee Meeting (if you would like to attend, please email Bill Tuel at

March 15 - Council Meeting. If you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at

March 15 - March 29 - Election voting.

March 25 - Last day to register for a spring course.

March 18 - April 30 - Spring classes on Zoom, Thursdays and Fridays on March 18, 19, 25, 26; April 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30. Additionally, two outdoor classes will be held on Wednesday, May 5 and Friday, May 7, in-person and via Zoom.

April 6 - Dean Stuart Stritzler-Levine Seniors-to-Seniors Scholarship Presentation on Zoom, 3:00-5:00 P.M.

April 13 - Curriculum Committee Meeting (if you would like to attend, please email Bill Tuel at

April 19 - Council Meeting. If you would like to attend, please email Linda Stanley at
This newsletter is a publication of Bard LLI Council. Communications Team Chair: Cathy Reinis. Writers and editors: Susan Christoffersen, Felice Gelman, Carmela Gersbeck, Susan Hinkle, Deborah Lanser, Jill Lundquist, Susan Manuel, Dona McLaughlin, Kathy OConnor, Susan Phillips, Margaret Shuhala. Photographers: Gary Miller, Chair, Carmela Gersbeck, Kathy OConnor
Bard LLI Newsletters are always available on our website at

Copyright © 2021 Bard LLI, All rights reserved.

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