November 30, 2018
Take The Anxiety Out Of Registration
By Jim Greenberg
I was about to retire and only had some vague ideas about how I was going to fill my time. For some time friends had mentioned the Osher program. They reported that it was wonderful, but you had to get on a waiting list. Then you might be invited to join in a couple of years. Sounded discouraging.
I dove in after learning that there were two Osher programs, one at CMU (the one I had heard about) and one at Pitt. I applied to both. Pitt had no waiting list and lots of great programs. However, I wanted it all. I became a “prospect” at CMU.
After discovering the magic of being rewarded for volunteering in the CMU Osher office, I got in my requisite hours and, within a few months, was invited to become a member.
Volunteering there was a really enjoyable experience. However, my first day coincided with opening day of registration. There were lots of phone calls from CMU Osher members trying to register online, and many inquiries that needed to be answered by the office staff (always calmly and reassuringly).
As a prospective member, I had previously registered for a variety of CMU Osher classes without problems. I had trouble understanding what all the verbal hand wringing and agitation was all about.
It then occurred to me that there were perhaps two kinds of Osher members: 1) wonderful, mature, intelligent, inquisitive, knowledgeable community members who perused the catalog at registration time and discovered stimulating courses for which to register, and 2) wonderful, mature, intelligent, inquisitive, knowledgeable community members who perused the catalog at registration time already having in mind the specific instructors or courses they wanted. The latter group had their hearts set on getting into courses they’d heard about; their friends had had this instructor or that instructor who was amazing. The intensity of this latter group’s members at times appeared to parallel that of college registration when there was only one course needed for graduation!
Many popular CMU Osher courses that become full one session are again offered either next session or next year (thanks to the many dedicated study leaders that return year after year). For this reason, it may be good to forego worrying and sign up for the desired courses in the future.