“I build everything around my OASIS activities,” Chuck Lundeen says.
Over the last 10 years this retired teacher has taken on the whole enchilada at Rochester OASIS – exploring the arts, teaching opera, keeping his body moving through fitness classes and volunteering.
He’s made his mark over the years, especially in converting people who are indifferent to opera to devotees. When the previous opera teacher moved away from the area, Chuck volunteered to step in and create a new class. He had lectured previously at the Guild of Mercury Opera Rochester, and as an OASIS participant had a good sense of what the audience expects for a quality learning experience.
A recipe for high quality classes
“You need to be knowledgeable, well-prepared and fun-loving,” Chuck says. “People want more than academics, they are also there for the social experience and to have fun. I try to incorporate all of that in my classes. When you teach a class on opera, there is a lot to laugh about. Some of them are so ridiculous; it’s easy to have fun with it. The most gratifying thing as a teacher is to encounter people out in the community who introduce me as the person who got them to love opera.”
In the last few years he has focused more energy on fitness classes as managing health took priority. “Exercise classes are what I need most to keep my body moving and my weight under control. OASIS classes offer the most non-threatening exercise. Yoga is my favorite. It’s such a great atmosphere. Everyone is there to have fun.”
A generous donor to OASIS, Chuck also volunteers at the front desk once a week, welcoming people and registering them for classes. “They are terrific people, open to new ideas and enthusiastic about life.”
Taking small steps towards “aging mastery”
This summer Chuck is bringing his broad experience to the Aging Mastery Program®. Developed by the National Council on Aging, the program aims to help adults take small steps to improve their well-being, add stability to their lives and strengthen their community ties. Chuck is facilitating the 10 session series, which features weekly speakers on topics such as wellness, financial fitness, medication management, relationships and community engagement. The program is also being offered at Upstate OASIS in Syracuse.
“Many of the speakers are relatively young and interested in gerontology, and the participants are sharing the information with their partners and friends.” The course is a great way for people to explore the comprehensive approach to healthy aging that OASIS advocates, through lifelong learning, wellness and volunteer service.
“Oasis has just been a great part of my life. It provides such diverse opportunities, from Arabic to tours of historic parts of the city. Rochester is a wonderful city and OASIS opens it up to anybody who’s interested.”
Visit Rochester OASIS
Chuck is featured in the 2015 OASIS Annual Report