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Well, it's back to school time. Four year olds are thrilled with new lunch bags. Grade 9 students are nervous about ths first step into high school. College kids are learning how to get around new communities and set up bank accounts.

What about the older folks?

The desire for information never stops; it just shifts gears! And Pat Mansfield, former high school principal, is chairing a committee reaching out to offer a series of seminars in Barrie. It's called Third Age Barrie (www.thirdagebarrie.ca) and the first four sessions are scheduled for this fall.

"For me, it's about wanting to be active and to continue learning," says Pat, who is thrilled to be working on this project along with Paul Bassett, Clay Lafleur, Gail Foy, Louise Pope, and Terry MacMillan. And, we're all benefitting from Paul Burnham's website which promotes the current series.

The first four sessions (Oct 7, 14, 21, and Nov 4) offer perspectives on Russia and the Ukraine, how International Relations are changing, the European Union and Internet Censorship.

"We are expecting participants to drive the agenda and we'll survey people at the first lecture to see where people's interests lie," says Pat. "We've chosen our first topics because Russia and the Ukraine is certainly topical."

Third Age groups exist elsewhere in Simcoe County...Collingwood, Owen Sound and now Barrie. The group was founded in England but is growing as the numbers of Zoomers grow throughout the world.

As we spoke this week, I commented to Pat that I'd love background information on ISIS and its roots and philosophy, and does it tie in with other extremist groups in the world? Having a perspective presented by people with solid backgrounds in the topics will make each session especially informative.

"We've set up the sessions for Tuesday afternoons, 1:30 to 3:30 and the location is Grace United Church, corner of Cook and Grove streets," says Pat. Parking is great there and the afternoon time slot makes it easier for more people to attend and easier to find a location.

Total cost for the four sessions is $40 and participants can register through www.thirdagebarrie.ca (paypal and credit card payments accepted) or by calling 705 627-0202 to send a cheque.

Congratulations to the Lifelong Learning Association, the parent group in Barrie offering this series. Very exciting to know school starts again and offers many forms!

Thanks, Pat!

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