I just saw the very first ballet of my entire life* this weekend, and I am so incredibly excited about the rest of the performances in the National Ballet of Canada’s 2016/2017 season! Cinderella kicked off the season, and while I was sitting quite high up in the fifth ring and couldn’t see in as much detail as I would have liked – especially the costumes! – it was quite an exciting night nonetheless. I had no idea what to expect, apart from popular (read: stereotypical) notions of what ballet performances might consist of (stiff tutus? classic ethereal elegance?) and was very pleasantly surprised: various elements of the story were reinterpreted and the stepsisters fared very well as comic relief, there were zero stiff tutus in sight, in addition to which the transformation scene was quite well done, the forest coming to life in the process of conjuring & presenting to Cinderella the transformative garbs. Part of me does wish they went through the entire change onstage – as it was, a scarf/wrap took the place of the dress, changing up her plain dress for that scene only, and she arrived at the ball in a completely different dress – but I suspect it would have been rather difficult to orchestrate. Continue reading
One of the less-known gems of the Vaughan Public Libraries online collection is the access we can give you to free online courses (just click on the Learn tab on our Lifelong Learning page). Here, you’ll find a list of different platforms available for various kinds of learning. We can help you out with, seriously, almost any topic imaginable, including options like:
- learning a new language (Transparent Language)
- getting help with high school or GED studies (or brushing up to (Khan Academy, TV Ontario Education)
- updating your resume with business or computer skills (maybe it’s time to get over your fear of Excel? Try out Lynda or Universal Class)
- or just exploring fun subjects you’re curious about, like dream analysis, game design, or pretty much anything else you can think of (Coursera, EdX, Universal Class, Lynda, or really any other resource that interests you). Continue reading
June is Seniors’ Month and Vaughan Public Libraries has planned several programs of particular interest to people 55 and up.
Tuesday, 11 – memoir writing, Bathurst Clark
Tuesday, 18 – safe driving, Pierre Berton
Thursday, 20 – diet and foot care for people with diabetes, Dufferin Clark
Thursday, 20 – stories from a senior’s life, Woodbridge
There are many book clubs and some movie showings at various branches. The libraries also provide many opportunities for developing your computer skills whether you’re starting from scratch or are more advanced. If you want individualized attention check out our computer and technology programs.
If you would like to read a novel with interesting and well developed characters who have passed fifty, here are a few suggestions.
Great Village, Mary Rose Donnelly
Natural Order, Brian Francis
The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence (The female protagonist in Natural Order put me in mind of Hagar Shipley from Stone Angel. )
Here are two stunning books that explore life with Alzheimer’s disease. One is a novel: Still Alice by Lisa Genova (also available in large print and audio book); and the other is a memoir by a daughter regarding her mother: Enter Mourning: A Memoir on Death, Dementia, and Coming Home by Heather Menzies.
Many non-fiction books have helped me as I navigate the upper half of my life. It seems that many of them are memoirs by middle age and older women:
Jill Frayne, Starting Out in the Afternoon.
But the book that most inspires me as I grow older was written by a male psychologist, James Hillman: The Force of Character: and the Lasting Life. It helps me understand why we humans live long past our biological utility.
Celebrate your age. Enjoy Seniors’ Month.