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Learning Without Limits

Hicksville resident Ann O’Connor is among the many seniors of Hofstra University’s Personal Enrichment in Retirement Program (PEIR) who is proving learning doesn’t have an age limit.

When O’Connor retired in 1996 from a career as an applied technology professor at Nassau Community College and Briarcliff College, she joined the program because she had a desire to continue growing mentally and intellectually as she aged.

Retiring was also a major life change for her, and she wanted something to stimulate her.

“When you retire it can be difficult. What you did all your life is gone, and you have to find your way again,” said O’Connor. “My husband retired before I did because he was in poor health. He could no longer do the social activities that I wanted to continue to do, and PEIR fulfilled that.”

As a member, she not only attends classes, but also lectures others in the program. At PEIR O’Connor continues to put her knowledge to good use, and she often teaches other members how to use the computer.  

“Teaching others how to use a computer has been something I’ve been doing since 1997, and I love teaching it here. I taught half the people here how to use the Internet and a computer mouse,” she laughed.

Exploring other subjects and attending different lectures adds to the fun of being a senior student.

 “I really enjoy the sciences. I also recently attended classes on micro-physics, philosophy and politics. It is a learning experience, and I can attend what I want, when I want,” she said.

O’Connor also facilities a group called “challenges of retirement,” a group that seniors can attend during lunch time. Meeting new friends in that group and in the classroom is one of her favorite aspects of the program.

“The diversity of interests people have here is absolutely amazing," O' Connor said. "I’ve made very dear friends, and I even socialize with them outside of the program.”

The PIER program is for retirees ages 55 and older. To schedule a visit, call Bradley Kaye at 516-463-4824. The website is www.hofstra.edu/academics/ce/lifelonglearning/peir

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com