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Wooden spoon workshop

wooden spoons

A recent hands-on class gave participants the techniques to carve and polish wooden spoons

What is the NCLL?

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The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning (NCLL) is an organization that plans and offers informal educational programs and activities to enrich the daily lives of its members and others through mini-courses, regular programs, outdoor activities and social events.  More in About Us

When and how often are programs offered?

NCLL offers programs suggested by NCLL participants and community members who share their interest and desire to learn and stay active with others. More than twenty classes or events are offered each term in the day or evening - summer/fall, winter, and spring. If you have an interest, hobby, activity or experience you would like to share please contact the NCLL office, director or attend an NCLL Curriculum Committee Meeting! For more information on booklets and registration, see the Programs/Events page.


Who is eligible to join or attend programs?

Membership and programs are open to any adult interested in pursuing intellectual, recreational, and/or social activities. NCLL membership dues for the 2016-2017 year are $30 with a charge for most classes; $3 for members and $8 for non-members.   More information


What are NCLL interest groups?

Initiated and managed by NCLL members, interest groups function independently of NCLL, but we want to encourage folks to get together around particular activities they enjoy.  On-going interest groups include Bridge, Lunch Out Together, and Walking/Snoweshowing. Learn more


NCLL Memberships Makes Great Gifts!

Are looking for a unique, and useful gift, yet one that is personal and will be enjoyed again and again?

For just $30 you can purchase a gift membership for friends and loved ones. NCLL offers 80-90 programs each year that cover the arts, history, culture, tours, field trips, science, nature, hiking, snowshoeing, potlucks, health issues and MORE. Send check and recipient name and contact information to the NCLL Office and an email greeting and registration information will be forwarded to the recipient. Hard copies of the Program Booklet with the registration form and calendar are also available upon request.

Give the gift of learning!



A Sampling of NCLL Programming

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March - A Visit with NMU International education services and students

Some fortunate NCLL members spent a fun and informative afternoon learning more about the NMU International Education Services Programs and five special international students. The four students and one alumnus we visited with were from Columbia (Ada), South Korea (Min), Saudi Arabia (Abdul), Jamaica (Reneika) and Venezuela (Manuel).  Their majors are biology, psychology, exercise science, bio-chemistry, and business. The program adviser Lila Isleib described some of specific programs within the department and her related work with the students. Without needing to leave her desk to travel, Lila finds working with the students is an international education itself due to the process and the interaction with the students.  It is apparent that they develop a special relationship with each other.

What were the shared observations and feelings?

Many of the experiences shared were humorous, and it would suffice to say   there is definitely an adjustment period. Many do not have a real sense of where they are going until they get here. For instance they might know they are going to the largest city in something called the U.P. and often assume it is a large populated area.  It can be culture shock when you arrive at the airport and try to contact an “uber” and then drive 20 miles before you see any lights, or a surprise when you come from a city of 10 million and find you are in a small town of 20,000.

They all agree the thing they miss the most, other than family, is the food from their home countries.  We have never heard of many of the fruits and vegetables grown in tropical climates or other countries; consequently, they are not in our grocery stores.  Some spices can be special ordered or found via the internet but it is best when they receive the special items sent in the family care packages.

Students who do not learn English in their home schools often learn by watching, listening or imitating English on TV shows or movies before they come to the U.S.  While their English may not be perfect, they sometimes feel others think they are less intelligent because of it. Hesitancy is not a matter of intelligence; they are just trying to find the right English words to express themselves.  Though this can be frustrating and hurtful, sometimes it creates additional motivation to study/try even harder.  

There is sometimes a struggle with cultural differences.  Some cultures are more demonstrative using hugs and touch to express themselves more fully.  So some students are often hesitant to interact with others because they are not sure what is normal or acceptable in a certain situation. This can sometimes make it difficult to make friends and interact with others. While it is easier and more comfortable for them to “stick together,” they inherently know that the result is better if they interact with others.

It becomes apparent these students are determined, courageous, and have a sense of adventure and want the opportunities and education that studying and living in the U.S. brings to them. Education in many European countries is free or minimal with regard to expense. For students to come to the U.S. they must pass special exams, and their families sacrifice a great deal to help them get here and pay for their education and living expenses.  Before they come to the U.S. they must prove/file special paperwork indicating they have the financial capability to be here and attend college. These five special people feel their time here has contributed to something larger in their lives. Their long term goals are to finish their studies, get their degrees and they are open to whatever the future might bring.  All agreed that wherever they end up the people they have met, the experiences they have had and the time spent at NMU and in Marquette will always be a part of who they are and their future.

How can the Marquette community get more involved with international students?  Read More


February - Striking Copper in the Keweenaw - Class

Capt. Kurt Fosburg covered the geological formations of the Keweenaw copper range. He discussed those who came because of it, and how technology has influenced advancement in search of copper. 11 billion lbs. of copper were mined from the Keweenaw. Kurt even owns his own copper mine! Great presentation. Read the Mining Journal article



January - Evolution of the U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race

Pat Torreano, Founder and Historian for the UP 200 gave a very enlightening presentation about the history and the behind the scenes activity involved in setting up the dogsled races. There are over 800 volunteers,18 veterinarians and vet techs that make sure things run smoothly and the dogs are well taken care of. They are always looking for volunteers. Make sure you get out this year and support one of Marquette's finest events.

Nice Mining Journal summary article. 



See more articles under Archives

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See Closed Programs


On going through the term


#105: Intermediate Photography

Wednesdays  8-22, 9-26,
10-24      11am-1pm
NMU Cohodas Hall, Room 404A


August 2018


#110: Adventures in Scuba Diving Around the World
Monday, August 13   6:30-8:30pm
Marquette Hope Connection Center (927 W. Fair in Marquette - across from Whitman)

#111: Immigration Prejudice – How Much is it Recycled?
Friday, August 17   1-3pm
Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center, Conference Room 147

#112: Beautiful Canyon Falls and Gorge with Lunch
Tuesday, August 28   10am-3pm
Meet to carpool at the NW corner of the Econo parking lot


September 2018


#113: Curriculum Committee Winter 2018-19 Programs/Events
Tuesday, September 4 & 11;
Wed, September 19  
NMU Cohodas Hall, Room 404A
(No charge)

#115: NCLL Fall Kick-off and Ice Cream Social
Friday, September 7   2-4pm
Location TBA
(No charge)

#116: Woodworker Rally I
Mondays, Sept. 10—Oct. 15  
NMU Jacobetti Center, Room 137
(Members: $30 for 6 sessions; non-members: $60 for 6 sessions)

#118: A Picnic at Morgan Waterfall
Tuesday, September 18 11am-2:30pm
Noquemanon Trails Network (parking off McClellan)


October 2018


#119: Under the Care of Hospice
Wednesday, October 3   11am-1pm
Mill Creek Senior Living Community (1600 Mill Creek, Activity Center, Marquette)

#121: Green Burial: What is it and Why Should I be Interested?
Monday, October 8   7-9pm
Superior Dome, Room 101B

#122: Gerrymandering: What is it and Why Should You Know!
Wednesday, October 10   7-9pm
Superior Dome, Room 101B

#123: A Visit to Temple Beth Shalom
Tuesday, October 16   1:30-3pm
Temple Beth Shalom (124 East Ridge in Marquette)

#125: Woodworker Rally II
Mondays, Oct. 22—Dec. 3   8am-noon
NMU Jacobetti Center, Room 137

#128: Get the Dirt: How Archaeologists Learn
Tuesday, October 30   10:30am-noon
Location TBA





#114: Make Your Own Wooden Spoon

#117: Rock River Farm Tour

#120: Fungi Fest! Learn About Fungi in Our Own Backyards

#124: Rice Paper Memoirs of Joy Lee Han

#126: Tour of the Sports Medicine/Life Performance Center

#127: Havasupai Indians—At the Bottom of the Grand Canyon