The Transition Network

New York City Chapter

Lifelong Learning: The Cure for Curiosity

(Posted July 15, 2019)

By Debbi Honorof

“The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.”

(Quote widely attributed to Dorothy Parker.)

I’ve always been a curious person, so when I retired a year and a half ago, I looked forward to being able to spend more time satisfying my curiosity by engaging in lifelong learning. New York City offers a panoply of opportunities to broaden one’s horizons.

Whether you like to read, take in-person or online courses, attend lectures, join discussion groups, or visit museums and historical sites, there’s something for everyone.

Gaining new knowledge and acquiring new skills are beneficial for all ages, but especially after 50. It can help keep the mind sharp as we age. In future columns, I will share ways to engage in lifelong learning, but in the meantime, allow me to share two of my favorite learning opportunities:

• MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

Free online courses in a wide variety of disciplines (tech, history, literature, management, creativity, to name just a few) that are taught by renowned professors at top colleges and universities around the world. You can participate at whatever level you choose. Generally, I just watch the videos, but you can also test yourself by answering questions or participate in online chats. Two MOOC providers that I highly recommend are Coursera ( and EdX (, but there are many more to choose from. Many colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations also offer their own free or low-cost online courses.

• Continuing Education Courses

These courses are available at most local colleges and universities. While many of the courses are job-related, there are others that are more for personal enrichment. I recently took a course at Cooper Union, “The City Transformed,” taught by the very engaging and entertaining historian Barry Lewis, who you may remember from his PBS series with David Hartmann. In the course, Lewis explored the architectural history of New York City with wonderful photos, stories about architects, politicians and others who helped transform the City and funny personal stories about growing up here. I learned so much from the course that it led me to explore other learning opportunities related to the topic, including walking tours, lectures, books and museums.

Since joining TTN, I’ve learned about many more learning opportunities from interacting with fellow TTN members and I would like this column to be interactive as well. Please send me information and experiences about websites, apps, classes, lectures, programs, Meetups, or anything else that helps foster lifelong learning. 

You can contact me ( Debbi Honorof )
via email
I look forward to hearing from you.

Material from, 21:27:25 September 16, 2021.
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