Written by Colleen Maidhof, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00
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