When she retired from her job as superintendent with the Tucson Parks & Recreation Department, Karen Larkin went looking for ways to interact with people since most of her friendships had previously been through work. During her search, she found OASIS, which offered her both new friendships and new interests.
“I was just hoping to make new friends and to fill my time,” Karen says. “I took some classes on Arizona history and found them fascinating. When I was working, I didn’t have time for that type of thing, but through OASIS, I’ve learned all kinds of things about the state where I grew up.”
Karen also has taken beading classes to keep her hands nimble and exercise classes to for the purpose of keeping healthy. “One of those classes was even taught by a former professional ballerina,” she says. “It was excellent.”
The biggest benefit that she gets from her involvement with OASIS, according to Karen, is the opportunity to meet new people. “I just love OASIS,” she says. “Where else can you find such a wide variety of classes – from nature walks to bird classes to the history of international bridges, highways and trade routes – while also making new friends along the way?”
Of course, Karen knows that sometimes it’s hard for older adults to take the first step and sign up for a class, but she would encourage others to give OASIS a try. “It might be hard to make yourself do it, but it has made such a huge difference in my life,” she says.