Retired Naval Officer Pursues Joy of Learning at Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning at SDSU

by Joyce Seidman

Joyce Seidman

Joyce Seidman

When I was five, I used to wait with great anticipation for the bookmobile to come to my neighborhood, on Fridays at 3:30 p.m. I remember walking up the steep steps and entering a world of books to the tune of a noisy generator inside the bookmobile. There were so many books! I had the great joy of choosing among them, and excitedly walking home to decide which to read first. The hard part was being limited to checking out only three books at a time.

Now as an adult, I have the same feeling of anticipation when I open the current Osher Lifelong Learning Institute catalogue. There are so many amazing courses to choose from! As I go through the catalogue, I circle all the courses I want to attend, courses that excite me, challenge me, amuse me … you get the idea. The hard part, once again, is reducing the number of courses that interest me from double digits to a manageable few.

Recent memorable courses I took with Osher are Women Warriors, the remarkable stories of six women who changed the world, a performance piece told in first-person narrative by Annette Hubbell, a local actor and award-winning author. It was an amazing performance, and I learned so much about the accomplishments and impact of women, some of whom I was familiar with and others who were new to me.

I also attended a book club lecture in which Kathi Diamant, an award-winning journalist and author, facilitated a discussion along with Patricia Benke, the author of the book Qudeen the Magnificent. Benke’s collection of short stories about the immigrant experience through the eyes of a child led to a hearty and heartfelt discussion, and the author shared personal insights and answered our questions about the stories and her writing process.

A third memorable course I attended was taught by Oliva M. Espin. This program described the (often perplexing) connections between women’s sexuality and migration and encouraged participants to examine gender/power differentials and the myriad reasons women may migrate, and what uniquely happens to women as they begin the assimilation process to a new culture/country.

I have been blessed with an open mind and insatiable curiosity.

I had the privilege of serving as a naval officer for 20 years. Before retiring with the rank of commander, I served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm; developed leadership curricula targeted to different levels/ranks; served on the Surgeon General’s staff in developing health policy for the three Services and created a model for education and training used Navy-wide.

Since retiring from the Navy, I have worked as an executive coach and organization development specialist, partnering with senior leaders to take their organizations to their desired futures. I develop organizations through leadership skills training and development and performance consulting. I love learning and training. To that end, I currently work part-time with the San Diego Unified School District and consult with organizations to improve individual and collective performance.

I am a charter member of the Osher Speakers’ Bureau and love sharing the benefits of Osher with various audiences. I am also a volunteer member of the Marketing Committee — we recently put together a strategic plan with objectives for greater outreach and communication to enhance membership.

I love to travel, have my assumptions challenged and changed, read, hike, have conversations preferably over good food or good coffee, enjoy theater and movies, and mentor others — this keeps my HQ* high.

*Hip Quotient

Learn more and see the current course catalog at neverstoplearning.net/osher.