Be a lifelong learner by studying with the Senior Studies Institute. Maria Bigelow encourages all to attend their SSI open house.

Like many people at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, I have a passion for learning new things and exchanging ideas with others.

We like spending time discussing social issues, their causes and potential solutions, and examining human behavior and corrupt policies. Finding friends who share this same interest can be difficult; not everyone wants to hear about the complexities of India's caste system.

About a year ago, I had the opportunity to sit in on a session of Senior Studies Institute (SSI). I was in heaven sitting in a room full of people with the same love of learning.

SSI is a discussion group focused on local and global topics including science, technology, health, medicine and art. The participants suggest topics, and the facilitator picks what will be on the dialogue docket.Sponsored by Portland Community College, the discussion platform has been around for 26 years. Run completely by volunteers, it has a membership of approximately 350 people. Membership is $40 per year ($70 for couples); membership allows you to attend any session at all eight meeting sites around the Portland metro area, and special events. An annual picnic, fall orientation, holiday luncheon and spring meeting and luncheon and other meet-ups provide time for social gathering.

The Lake Oswego Adult Community Center hosts an SSI group that meets each Wednesday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. To introduce potential members to the organization, the LOACC will host its annual Welcome to SSI event at 10 a.m. Sept. 9 at the center, 505 G Ave. in Lake Oswego. The group is lively and fun; no registration is required. Just come and check it out.

The Senior Studies Institute is offered in the spirit of life-long learning, collegiality, good humor, mutual exchange and respect.

After an afternoon learning they end with a joke, such as this:

"What do you call a fake noodle?

An impasta!"

The lunch menu this week features chicken Caesar wraps on Friday, Sept. 1 and Hawaiian pork tacos on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Cost is $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for everyone else.

The center is closed Monday, Sept. 4, so staff can celebrate Labor Day with their families.

The LOACC is located at 505 G Ave., Lake Oswego. A list of activities and support groups can be found on our website,, under the Calendar banner. Click on "View the Adult Community Center Calendar" and then the activity for more details. Call 503-635-3758 to register for classes, events, make lunch reservations or schedule a massage.

Maria Bigelow is a program supervisor at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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