News & Updates

Happy Thanksgiving to the TSCOR Family!

TSCOR is one big family. A family comprised of volunteers – board members, committee members, instructors, speakers, drivers, friendly callers and grocery shoppers – as well as students, travelers, members, donors and supporters. We’re grateful to be able to call each and every one of you a part of the family and we’re thankful for the seat you occupy at the TSCOR table. May you and your family and friends – both near and far – have a beautiful Thanksgiving.
peanuts thanksgving

You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But If You Try Sometimes…

“Smile! It’s Black Friday!”

“No it isn’t. It’s Monday before Thanksgiving.”

“Yes, I know, but this year the whole world is shopping online. Black Friday sales are already well under way.”

“Hold on. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet! It’s too soon to think about shopping! Didn’t we just discuss this in the newsletter?”

“It is not too soon! Stop dreaming about green bean casserole – there’s something very important you need to think about now.”

“Fine. I give. What’s so important?”

“That’s it exactly! That you GIVE!

“Give what? What are you talking about? I can’t think when I’m hungry!”

“I’m talking about how those hardworking Thanksgiving chefs aren’t solely focused on dinner – they’re also making gift lists and planning holiday shopping.”

“Say it ain’t so! If they’re not focused on the food, what’ll happen to the turkey!? The casseroles!? The pies!? What can I do?

“Relax! There’s an easy fix do some holiday shopping on AmazonSmile. It’s a program through Amazon that donates to your favorite charitable organization every time you shop – at no cost to you! (They donate 0.5% from every purchase!) It’s so easy! All you have to do is go to AmazonSmile, select The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond as the organization you want to receive donations, and shop! The chefs stay focused, Thanksgiving is saved, and your favorite local non-profit benefits – at one fell swoop. See? Easy-peasy.”

“Is it really that easy?”

“You bet your turkey sandwich it is!

“Phew! That was a close one! Boy, am I thankful for AmazonSmile!”

“Me, too! Which reminds me, we need to give ourselves something – a long walk! There’s a big meal coming up!”

“Okay, but…are you trying to tell me, ‘you get what you GIVE’ or ‘you get what you need?'”

“Who knows? That’s for another blog post to figure out…..”

And while you’re on that Thanksgiving Zoom call, share this AmazonSmile info with your family and friends!

Happy Black Friday, everyone!!!

Stay Engaged with the Community Read

The fall session of Open University may be over, but you don’t have to miss the opportunities to learn and engage. The OU winter session begins January 18, (hang in there!) and in the meantime, we’re sharing an invitation we received from the University of Richmond to participate in the Community Read. All the details are below – read on and engage!

Community Read: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
November, 2020 – January, 2021 

What: You’re invited to participate in Community Read, a special event presented by the University of Richmond’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Gather, offering an opportunity to read one of the most important and compelling new books of 2020: Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste. As we continue to wrestle with our nation’s past and seek to build a more inclusive and just society, Wilkerson’s book asks us to consider our history in a broader way. While we’re reading the book (and to keep each other motivated) there will be several optional opportunities to engage with the book’s ideas and with others in three short Zoom chats in December and early January. Join for as many or as few as you’d like. In the second week of January, after everyone’s had a chance to complete the book, you can choose to join one of several facilitated small-group discussions about the book, giving everyone a chance to share their ideas with one another in an engaging, meaningful way. 

More About the Book: Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste explores, through layered analysis and stories of real people, the structure of an unspoken system of human ranking and reveals how our lives are still restricted by what divided us centuries ago. In exploring inequity and inclusion in America, she documents the parallels with two other hierarchies in history, those of India and of Nazi Germany, and no reader will be left without a greater understanding of the price we all pay in a society torn by artificial divisions. This is an immersive, deeply researched narrative, and Wilkerson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, offers a masterful story of American history and culture that the New York Times called “an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.” 

Who Can Participate: Everyone is welcome! The Community Read is organized as a University of Richmond Osher special program, but it is open to the wider School of Professional and Continuing Studies community. You are welcome to invite friends and family to join our “community read.” All are welcome!

What Do I Need to Participate? Participation is free, and you can sign up here! The only thing you need to participate is to read (or listen to) the book, which may be ordered from Amazon or other online booksellers in both print and audiobook format read by the author. The book is also available at the Boatwright Memorial Library and other local libraries. Our University Bookstore has ordered copies, which may be purchased in person or online and shipped. Additionally, Fountain Bookstore, a locally owned and operated bookstore, will have copies available. 

About Isabel Wilkerson: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, Isabel Wilkerson has become a leading figure in narrative nonfiction, an interpreter of the human condition, and an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country, and our current era of upheaval. Through her writing, Wilkerson brings the invisible and the marginalized into the light and into our hearts. Through her lectures, she explores with authority the need to reconcile America’s karmic inheritance and the origins of both our divisions and our shared commonality.

Schedule:

November 21 (or sooner, if you wish!) – Start Reading!

December 7 – Zoom chat #1: Join with others as you’re reading to share your ideas and insights! (Focus on parts 1-2)

December 18 – Zoom chat #2: Join with others as you’re reading to share your ideas and insights! (Focus on parts 3-4)

January 6 – Zoom chat #3: Join with others as you’re reading to share your ideas and insights! (Focus on parts 5-6)

Week of January 11 – Sign up for one of several facilitated small group Zoom discussions, offered at different times over the course of the week.

The Family that Zooms Together Stays Together

Thanksgiving is one week from today and because TSCOR considers you a part of the family, we want to share some news that might help make this unusual holiday feel a bit more “turkey as usual.”

For Thanksgiving Day, Zoom has announced that the 40-minute time limit it usually has on its free meetings will be lifted globally from midnight ET on November 26 through 6:00 a.m. ET on November 27.

You can set up a free Zoom account here. It’s easy to schedule a meeting and your friends and family can access your invitation via email or phone.

Just make sure to dig out that holiday sweater and check your teeth for creamed spinach before you turn on the camera. Happy “ThanksZooming,” everyone!

Voted? Stressed Out? Relax with the TSCOR Newsletter!

Whoever thought a Tuesday could be so stressful?

At this point, you’ve likely already voted and maybe you’re thinking, “there’s nothing left to do now except fret, hope, and wait – how on earth will I get through the rest of the day?!”

Well, please stop pacing the floor, turn off the news coverage for just a bit (or at least mute it), and do something fun, relaxing and inspirational instead.

“What on earth could that be?! Is that even possible right now?!”

Why, yes! Yes, it is! You can read the hot-off-the-press Shepherd’s Center of Richmond newsletter Gray Matters, and feel better right away!!! See what TSCOR’s been up to (whole lotta Zoomin’ goin’ on!), find out how students, teachers and volunteers are staying busy, and feel inspired with news to lift your spirits and keep you looking forward to, well, Wednesday.

And if tomorrow is another hard day, you can always re-read the newsletter!

OU Lunch Speaker Works to “Connect Us All”

Last fall, Ted Elmore, president of BridgePark Foundation, came to Open University and gave a Lunch Speaker presentation, Reimagining Richmond: Parks as Bridges, where he talked with us about BridgePark, an exciting project happening here in the RVA community.

For a quick refresher, BridgePark proposes repurposing portions of the Manchester Bridge (9th Street) into a park with active green spaces, tree-lined walking paths, and a bicycle superhighway. The project will tie many east-west urban initiatives together via interconnected parks, event spaces and public art opportunities along an important north-south spine and seek to prompt further complementary development and connectivity beyond the boundaries of the project. At its widest-scale, BridgePark aims to reconnect communities that were separated from the city’s center by a series of mid-century infrastructure projects.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful? But wait! This only gets better! Since you are an “in-the-know” OU student as well as a senior in the RVA community, you are uniquely qualified to share your knowledge and give input on this exciting project! Ted Elmore’s team is conducting a study of how BridgePark might best serve seniors. If you are interested in helping, please drop him an email at ted@bridgeparkrva.com. To learn more about the project visit BridgeParkRVA.

“BridgePark. A Park That Spans a River. A Bridge That Connects Us All.”

Changes to Open University Schedule

There are a few Open University schedule changes to announce before the start of the fall session. For the Lunch Speakers: on Monday, September 21, Dan Palazzolo will present The 2020 Elections while Ernest McGowen’s presentation, The Changing Political Landscape, moves to Thursday, September 24, replacing Charles Williams’s Diversity versus Inclusivity.
In addition, we regret to announce the cancellation of the course Yoga Calm for Your Day.
We apologize for any inconvenience these changes may bring to your own schedules and hope you can join us for ALL of the wonderful courses, lectures and lunch speakers given by instructors graciously “Zooming” their time and talents with TSCOR! As well, we appreciate your patience while we all work towards finding our footing in this brave new online world.

See the revised fall 2020 Open University schedule here.

Register for Open University here. (Register now! Zoom links go out Sunday!)

Open University Starts Monday!

Open University is entirely online via Zoom this fall and classes start this coming Monday, September 21. Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity for intellectual stimulation and virtual socialization with your fellow students and favorite teachers. Register today! Emails with Zoom links will be sent out this Sunday evening.

See the fall 2020 Open University schedule here.

Register for Open University here.

Wednesday’s Lunch & Life – always free, open to the public, and normally presented in partnership with St. Mary Catholic Church – has also moved online for the fall 2020 session. If you are a member of TSCOR, or have already registered for Open University, you do not need to register separately for Lunch & Life as these Zoom links will be sent to you automatically. If you are not a member or a student and are only interested in signing up for the free, Wednesday Lunch & Life lecture series, you do need to register.

Register for Lunch & Life here.

Look Forward to Fall: Lifelong Learning with The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond

The official start date of autumn is a couple weeks away, but with Labor Day behind us, our attention turns to fall activities we love. What better activities to look forward to than the lifelong learning programs of TSCOR?

Open University is entirely online via Zoom this fall. Sign up for great classes and a chance to virtually wave at your fellow students and favorite teachers. Wednesday’s Lunch & Life – always free, open to the public, and normally presented in partnership with St. Mary Catholic Church – has also moved online for the fall 2020 session.

While “spring forward, fall back,” works wonderfully as a clock-setting mnemonic, it does not necessarily apply to life. Don’t fall back and look behind to what was missed; look forward to fall with TSCOR! Register today! And share this info with friends and family – let’s look forward to fall together.

See the fall 2020 Open University schedule here.

Register for Open University here.

Lunch & Life: If you are a member of TSCOR, or have registered for Open University, you do not need to register separately for Lunch & Life as these Zoom links will be sent to you automatically. If you are not a member or a student and are only interested in signing up for the free, Wednesday Lunch & Life lecture series, you do need to register.

Register for Lunch & Life here.