When we were first considering retirement to this area, Mrsfabp and I had lots of discussions about what we wanted to do here. There were things like exploring the desert, visiting museums, hanging out with friends, going to restaurants. These discussions never included a dog (sorry Skippy!) and never included the ALR. What is ALR? I’m glad you asked.
ALR stands for the Academy for Learning in Retirement. It is a joint effort by New Mexico State University and Dona Anna Community College to provide interesting discussions on a variety of subjects. I never thought I would be going back to school but in reality that is what we did. Our friends Bill and Clair, have attended several of these discussions – one on mathematics, last year and after attending a class in January on the history of Las Cruces and the Centennial of Statehood, they invited us to attend the rest of that program. Presented by John Hunner, a history professor at NMSU, it was a fascinating stroll through the area’s history and all the issues surrounding New Mexico becoming a state as well as the development of Los Alamos and its effect on the area. He was witty, knowledgeable, and well spoken as he acted as our guide. It was exciting to hear and learn about our new state.
Next up was Dr. James E. Shearer, Regents Professor of Music at NMSU. He was witty and extremely knowledgeable as he explained the origins of Jazz, the development of the various styles, and the people who are the cornerstones of this musical form. He played hundreds of sound clips and videos to help all of us get a further appreciation of this art. He is a performer too and invited us to hear him at the opening of a museum exhibit in town. Although the exhibit was wonderful, I found myself preferring to listen to him and a friend play jazz tunes from the past.
They say that you need to keep your mind active, as you get older. I have been reading and writing and working on some photography projects and just having fun for the past four months but must admit that these classes have really stretched my mind and taught me a thing or two or a hundred. I am glad to go, learn and keep the neurons blinking…