Kathy Rosengren: Sharing decades of experience

Kathy Rosengren has spent five decades in academia, first teaching in high school, community college and university settings and then serving in administrative roles. Now she's a regular volunteer literature instructor at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University.

Like other OLLI instructors, Rosengren says she relishes the opportunity to share her expertise with adults who don't ask whether something is going to be on the test, and she is grateful not to have to grade tests or papers.

It's not surprising that Rosengren chose Ashland as her retirement spot. Her master's thesis was "The Nature of the Tragedy in 'Romeo and Juliet,' " and she taught a college travel/study course in connection with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival three or four times a year for 30 years. Rosengren, who moved here five years ago from Vallejo, Calif., often teaches courses on the Bard at OLLI.

During the fall quarter at OLLI, Rosengren decided to tap her Irish roots with a course titled, "James Joyce's Dubliners." Though Joyce lived most of his adult life away from Ireland, he wrote only and always about Dublin.

Favorite aspects about Ashland: The beauty of the city, the four seasons, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Ashland YMCA, the Britt Festivals and the lovely quiet.

What facts about your subject gets your audience's attention? It often surprises students that almost no one (not even teachers) gets everything out of reading a piece of literature just once. I try to insist on two readings and I recommend three. That's startling to many students!

How do you first introduce yourself to your audience? This quarter I'll introduce myself by saying, "As many of you know, my primary teaching field is anything Shakespeare; however, I also love the short story genre and I'm Irish. So, we're going to spend the next six weeks in early 20th century Dublin."

What do you like to do in your spare time? Reading, exercise, gardening, plays, and movies.

What do you still have on your bucket list? Lots of travel, taking my grandsons on the mail boat trip on the Rogue River, maybe a three- to six-month stay someplace in Britain — probably Wales.

How can we learn more about you? Take one of my OLLI classes.

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