I started teaching at Hutchins in the Fall of 1971 on the heels of the turbulent politics of the 1960s. During that time I was busy acquiring a Ph.D. in Political Science, and believe me, that immersion in both academic and revolutionary (or so we thought then) politics made the events of that era even more poignant. The only way out of the political vortex in which I found myself was to join an interdisciplinary program, called the Hutchins School. Seminars in my office allowed me the opportunity to enter into discussions about religion, energy policy, film, politics, economics, creative process, China, physics, history, literature and a number of other topics that served to expand my awareness of myself and the world around me in ways I would have never experienced. There were incredible moments when it would all come together in a seminar discussion, or I would read an absolutely superlative student paper and I would say that "this is the type of learning that should be available for people of all ages." We had delightful potlucks that were a staple of the early years at Hutchins.
All of this gave me the background in and thrill of interdisciplinary pursuits that led me into the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute with fellow Hutchinsonian Les Adler. We put together similarly exciting and mind-altering educational experiences for people 50 and over who attended classes only because they still longed for the opportunity to expand their horizons and knowledge of the world around them. They wanted to keep their minds young so that they could remain creative, informed and caring.
After twenty-nine years in Hutchins, two years of ceramic art, eight years in OLLI, and eighteen with wife Lynn (a former Hutchins student), and getting our son Alex off to college, I decided a year or so ago to place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, and write a novel.
Dr. Louallen Miller passed away in January, 2014.