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Greetings from the new Retiree News editor!

My name is Amy Layton and I am the new program coordinator for Work/Life in Human Resources, the position previously held by Kathee Shaff.

Kathee had supported the Cornell Retiree Association for many years, coordinating and communicating events and activities. I am excited to take over where she left off!

I've been at Cornell since 2008. Previously I lived in New Jersey, where I worked in HR for twenty years at a high-tech company and in the banking sector. I started at Cornell in Career Services and then moved to Weill Hall Facilities. I returned to my HR roots in 2016. In addition to engaging with retirees, my new role involves providing facility support of the Cornell Child Care Center and coordinating and marketing a variety of work/life programs and services on topics such as parenting, self-care, and adult care.

Like Kathee, I love to camp and be outdoors! My husband is retired military and we spend many weekends fishing and hiking with our two dogs. We also pride ourselves on our large garden in the summer and do a lot of canning. I am a freelance photographer/writer in my spare time, and love to photograph birds, especially the Cornell hawks ! I have been a guest writer on the Lab of O website, as well.

I look forward to meeting many of you and bringing you the most informative and enjoyable news, events and learning opportunities! Please feel free to call or email me with ideas and suggestions!

Amy Layton | | (607) 255-0388

Photo: My husband, Kevin, and I feeding Patience the sloth at the Binghamton Zoo.
Retiree Reflections
Retiree Reflections is dedicated to sharing retiree experiences within our community.
Giving back through CRVIS

By Carol Grove, retired graduate field assistant, horticulture

It had always been my plan to circle back to the Trumansburg Elementary School when I retired from Cornell. I left my job as Elementary School building secretary for a position at Cornell University. When I left, I said I’d be back as a Cornell Retirees Volunteering In Schools (CRVIS) volunteer someday! For me, volunteering at school is a bit like going back in time, but with lots of new faces.
This year, I am volunteering in a Pre-K and Grade 1 classroom. I enjoy building relationships with the students and teachers and being able to share an encouraging word. We learn from each other. In each classroom, after taking a few minutes to listen and observe, it becomes clear where an extra hand is needed that day. Sometimes a student is having a difficult day, sometimes there are projects to complete, but usually it’s simply a time for reading, writing, and creative play. It can be as easy as reading books to 4-year-olds, to reassuring a first grader who is struggling with his number sentence.

I enjoy taking pictures that tell a story, and my CRVIS connection has also given me the opportunity to work with the Trumansburg Central School District Foundation to prepare their Facebook posts. This job is the best of all worlds: photography, making new friends, and travel. I go on each of the Trumansburg Kids Discover the Trail field trips where I meet students, parents, teachers, and staff from all grade levels and the community. While learning about art, books, fossils, windmills, wildflowers, slate boards, birds, and rope courses, I snap pictures for the Foundation’s Facebook page to help everyone learn more about the Foundation and the programs it supports. 
The CRVIS program is a great opportunity to support your local schools, to be an ambassador for the university, and to make a difference!

CRVIS needs volunteers! Contact Elaine Quaroni, Chair, to learn more at
Retirement gives me time to create
By Judith Pratt

I retired from Cornell in 2004, and spent six years working as a freelance writer. I joined Business Networking International (BNI) and learned a lot about marketing.
But I was also writing my own stuff: plays and fantasy novels. After talking with my husband, who is still working, I decided that I could fully “retire” at 65, and focus on my own writing. I write the novels I’d like to read, just as I write roles for women that I’d like to play.
I also looked for volunteer work. Now I serve on a committee for the Community Foundation of Tompkins County, and do fundraising tasks for Civic Ensemble, a theatre company that focuses on community-developed plays, and plays about difficult issues. The latter include such plays as Athol Fugard’s My Children My Africa , about apartheid, and Baltimore , by Kirsten Greenidge, about racism on a college campus.
In February of 2018, I self-produced my play Maize , about Cornell graduate, A.D. White Professor, and Nobel-Prize-winner Barbara McClintock. Although the characters are based on real people, the play is a fictional account of how a woman might let past slights mess up her present life. The show hosted a discussion by Cornell professors about being a woman in science, and a discussion among artistic and literary directors about producing a new play. We had good audiences and a great review.
That was a full-time job, which I could only do as a retiree!
I also self-published my novel The Dry Country , which is on Kindle, and will soon be available in print.
Of course I garden, and exercise at the gym, and am planning to travel as soon as my new knee gets broken in!

Upcoming Programs
Date added with virtual participation option due to popular demand!

Downsizing & Decluttering
Monday, June 11, 2018
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Participate virtually or in-person!
East Hill Office Building
Training Room #140 
Are you experiencing significant stress caused by the need to downsize and/or declutter? If so, this workshop is for you!  Join us, as professional organizer and small business owner Linda Story, walks us through strategies to address these life challenges. To learn more about Linda and register, click the link above.
Healthy Living Program - Senior Fitness Testing
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Helen Newman Hall
Registration at 8:45am. Test begins at 9:00am, finish by 10:30am

One of the great benefits Cornell Wellness offers our Wellness Recreation Members is physical fitness testing in a group setting for older adults. This group test follows the Fullerton Functional Fitness Test protocols as well as the NASM Squat Assessment, Trunk Rotation, and Reach Test. The tests are well-researched, recognized internationally, and provide a picture of the overall strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination, balance, and posture of adults aged 60 years old and up. Cornell Wellness believes in the social benefits of exercise and provides the testing in a group atmosphere that is non-competitive and fun. You must have a current Wellness Recreational Membership to participate.

Questions? Contact Keri Johnson , coordinator of the Healthy Living Program.

Campus Events & Activities
Participate In National Bike Month
May is National Bike Month and was created to help celebrate and encourage communities from coast to coast to give biking a try.

Participate by biking anytime during the month of May and be entered into weekly prize drawings, end of month prize drawings, and the grand prize drawing of a round-trip ticket on Cornell's Campus-to-Campus. More Biking In May = More Chances To Win. Be sure to fill out a prize entry form every time you ride during the month of May. More information including prize details, bike-themed events happening in May, event supporters, and prize entry form at

Cornell bike month brought to you by Cornell Transportation and Delivery Services, Cornell Wellness, and Cornell Recreational Services. #CornellBikes #BikeMonth
Mastering Anxiety
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
12:00 -1:00 PM, G01 Biotech

Join meditation teacher David Gandelman for a one hour workshop on using meditation to release, heal, and understand anxiety. With over 40 million Americans suffering from anxiety every year, it has become one of the most prevalent mental health challenges of our generation. If you are looking for an organic, practice approach to releasing anxiety, then come sit, meditate, and let go of some tension and worry. Expect the meditations to be fun, engaging and light.
Cornell Astronomy Presents: Are We Alone?
The Search for Life in the Universe
Thursday, May 24, 2018
6:00 - 7:00 pm
Tompkins County Public Library
Borg Warner Community Room East
Cornell Astronomy Senior Research Associate Shami Chatterjee will present a talk focused on the question of whether we are alone in the universe. He will discuss ideas about the origin of the universe, the formation of stars and planets, the evolution of life on Earth, and the search for life elsewhere in the solar system and beyond. Chatterjee is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science and the Carl Sagan Institute, and he specializes in Radio and Radar Astronomy.
This event is free and open to the public. Contact Librarian Cady for more information at .
Resetting Your Energy
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
12:00 -1:00 PM
401 Physical Sciences Building

At one time or another in our lives we all need a reset. When we spend a lot of time in one career, in a relationship, with a certain group of people, or we just get absorbed by the energies of the day, we can begin to feel depleted, and lose a healthy sense of ourselves. In this workshop we will learn to recognize what energy we are holding in our bodies that is keeping us from feeling good, and/or stopping us from creating our next steps in life. As we step into meditation we can begin to see where our energy is being depleted, how to real it back into the present, and finally, how to shift it into a healthy energetic space. Workshop provided by meditation teacher David Gandelman.
Caregiver Support & Education Network
Caregivers come together to share the challenges, joys and resources of caregiving as well as listen to occasional speakers presenting on topics of interest. Facilitators share strategies, tools, and resources for coping with stress, caregiver guilt, and burnout as well as information on local/national resources that may assist you. 

Feel free to bring your lunch to any of these meetings. For questions or for more information, contact Diane Bradac, or 607-255-1917.
Group support meetings are held on campus in Weill Hall, Room 321 on Thursdays from 12:00-1:00pm on:
  • May 24, 2018
  • June 21, 2018
  • July 19, 2018
  • August 23, 2018
  • September 20, 2018
  • October 18, 2018
  • November 15, 2018
  • December 13, 2018
Group support meetings are held off-campus at East Hill in the EHOB building, 395 Pine Tree Rd, Conf Room 241 on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00pm on: 
  • May 23rd
The World Bewitch’d: Visions of Witchcraft from the Cornell Collections
This exhibition explores the origins and spread of the belief in witchcraft across Europe and examines themes such as gendered stereotypes, belief in night flying, shapeshifting, demonic pacts, and the witch epidemics that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands. On view in the Carl A. Kroch Library, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Level 2B. Visit for more information and gallery hours.  
“Wicked Women”: Witchcraft and the Debate over Women’s Rights in Early Modern Europe
Lecture by Professor Kathleen Long
Thursday, June 7, 2018
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Goldwin Smith Hall, Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium
Why did witchcraft accusations disproportionately target women? Cornell Professor of French, Francophone & Comparative Literature, Kathleen Long, will examine the European witch trials of the 15 th to 18 th centuries in the context of debates at the time about whether women should have the same rights of men, or any rights at all. The history helps us understand why the association of women with power created a backlash that still resonates today. This lecture is presented in conjunction with the Library's exhibition “The World Bewitch’d: Visions of Witchcraft from the Cornell Collections."

Free and open to the public.  
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
 Birds & Blossoms Walks in May
In collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell Botanic Gardens is offering free, guided walks to discover both the birds and wildflowers of spring. Walks will be held rain or shine and pre-registration is not required.
Bird Walks in the Arboretum–Fridays, 8:00 a.m.: May 18, and 25.
Meet by the Sculpture Garden, in the F.R. Newman Arboretum.
Wildflower Walks in Sapsucker Woods–Sundays, 1:00 p.m.: May 20 and 27. 

Meet at the Cornell Lab Visitor Center.       
Beginner Bird Walks
Spring migration is ramping up, a great time to take advantage of the free beginner bird walks held each weekend at Sapsucker Woods, guided by members of the Cayuga Bird Club. Walks begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and usually last about 90 minutes. Meet outside the observatory. Please dress for the weather, and bring your binoculars. We also have a few pairs of binoculars to lend.
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Rock Gardening in the Finger Lakes
Thursday, May 24, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Master Gardener and rock gardener Carol Eichler will show slides of the construction of her rock garden in 2016, as well as the best plants for rock gardening in our region. The class will also include a tour of the rock garden at CCE that is planted and maintained by the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS).

Instructor Carol Eichler is a Master Gardener and avid rock gardener and has been a member of NARGS for many years. She helped create the rock garden at CCE Tompkins and now maintains it.

Pre-registration is required. Go to the registration page to register and pay online, or call CCE-Tompkins at 272-2292. Pre-registration is required to hold your place in the class, and also in the event that a class is postponed or cancelled and we need to contact participants.

Fee: $7-$10/person self-determined sliding scale; pay what you can afford

No-Dig Gardening Techniques
Thursday, May 31, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Reducing tillage in your garden helps preserve soil structure and also reduces the number of weed seeds that germinate each year. This helps improve your soil while also reducing the chore of weeding. At this hands-on class participants will learn a variety of no-dig techniques, including broad forking, lazy beds and using raised beds. The class will take place outdoors so wear your gardening clothes and shoes! 

Instructor Chrys Gardener is the Community Horticulture Educator at CCE Tompkins. She is passionate about teaching people to garden, with particular interests in growing edibles and seed saving.

Pre-registration is required. Go to the registration page to register and pay online, or call CCE-Tompkins at 272-2292. Pre-registration is required to hold your place in the class, and also in the event that a class is postponed or cancelled and we need to contact participants.

Fee: $7-$10/person self-determined sliding scale; pay what you can afford

Be Broke Better!
Tips, Strategies, and Resources to Help You Keep a Little More Money In Your Pocket
Saturday, June 9, 2018
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

A workshop on how to manage money by preparing a personal spending plan and identifying ways to decrease spending and increase income. During the workshop, participants will learn to:
  • List the steps for setting financial goals
  • Track daily spending habits
  • Prepare a spending plan to estimate monthly income and expenses
  • Identify ways to decrease spending
  • Identify ways to increase income
  • Identify spending plan tools to manage bills

Fee: FREE!

Spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale
Sunday, May 20, 2018
@Ithaca High School, 1401 N. Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY
More than 40 area growers and garden groups will offer a huge variety of plants at the largest and most complete Garden Fair in our region! You’ll find organically grown and heirloom vegetable transplants, colorful annuals, fragrant herbs, hanging baskets, small flowering shrubs, hardy roses, fruit crops, evergreens, and specialty perennials. FREE soil pH testing by CCE's Master Gardener Volunteers. Educational exhibits, food concession available. Visitors are encouraged to bring carts or wagons to aid in transporting their plant purchases to their cars. Admission is FREE! For more information about the event and a list of vendors, visit or call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County at (607) 272-2292.

You Can Reduce Your Energy Bills!
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
6:00 - 7:30 pm
Learn how your family can lower your energy use, support the switch to renewable sources, and be more comfortable in your home in our FREE "Community Energy Conversation" offered every 4th Wednesday from April through September. Bring your questions, ideas, and your electric bill to this facilitated community conversation. We'll provide tips and tricks to cut your energy use, shrink your carbon footprint and we'll go over NYSEG's new rates that may help you shave more off your electric bill.

Questions? Contact Aislyn Colgan at or (607) 272-2292
Community News
Sailing Lessons
Merrill Family Sailing Center collaborates with Cornell Wellness to offer Sailing Lessons open to the entire Cornell community. There are Five Classes to choose from. Each class consists of three lessons held on consecutive days. A class (3 sessions) costs $110 per person. Small participant to instructor ratio of 4:1 ensures a great experience. If you are looking to learn all about sailboat safety, getting a boat ready to sail, and controlling the sailboat in the water - this class is for you! Instruction is on 19-26' keel boats.

Boats and PFDs (life preservers) are provided. You just bring yourself and wear comfortable weather appropriate clothing. Registration is required. You must be 16 yrs. or older to participate.

Five classes are listed below - sign up for one only - remember each class has three lessons on consecutive days. To register or ask questions, contact Pat Crowley directly at the Sailing Center by email .

  • Class 1: May 23, 24, 25  (Wed-Fri) 3:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Class 2: May 30, 31, June 1  (Wed-Fri) 3:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Class 3: June 6, 7, 8  (Wed-Fri) 3:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Class 4: June 13, 14, 15  (Wed-Fri) 3:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Class 5: June 20, 21, 22  (Wed-Fri)   3:00-5:30 p.m.
Note: classes must have 4 people minimum to run; maximum capacity 12.
Knit with Care
1 st  & 3rd Tuesday of each month
3:30 - 5:00pm
Cancer Resource Center (612 W State St., Ithaca)

Beginners AND experts welcome! Come knit or crochet with a bunch of passionate & fun loving crafters! Each week we will have knitting, food and a theme to work on. Knitting needles, yarn, pattern, & beginner’s booklet provided free.

RSVP:  Monica at  if you are coming (please specify if you would like a starter kit).

Contact  with any questions, concerns
&/or requests for specific needles, patterns, or yarn, etc.

Please join, like, invite and share our  Facebook event page , and help us spread the word! #KnitWithCare
The Writing Room: Creative Writing Classes and Workshops
"Writing through the Rough Spots : Writing can help create clarity about challenging situations.  Writing Through The Rough Spots is designed to provide a trusting, non-judgmental atmosphere for you to write in. Ellen Schmidt has 25 years of teaching experience, including numerous summer workshops at Star Island, NH.
Summer 2018 Writing Through The Rough Spots Classes
Session I:
Wed. 6:45-9 pm June 6-July 11 (no class July 4)
Thurs. 10am-12:15 pm June 7-July 12 (no class July 5)

Session II:
Wed. 6:45-9 pm July 18-Aug.15
Thurs. 10am-12:15 pm July 19-Aug. 16

Each 5-Session Class: $150. Both sessions: $290
Registration for summer classes opens May 1
For more info and contact:
A Time for You: Caregiver Celebration
Co-sponsored by the Tompkins County Office for the Aging & the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes
Saturday, June 9th, 2018
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Tompkins County Office for the Aging
214 W. Martin Luther King Jr./State Street, Ithaca, NY

Come join us for a celebration of all Caregivers-family members, friends, and all loved ones! Music, poetry, chair massages, mindfulness/yoga and other wellness topics and activities, and info tables! Light refreshments will be served.
Respite care may be available for your loved one while you attend this event! Please call Caryn Bullis at the Tompkins County Office for the Aging at 607-274-5450, or e-mail for more information.
Ithaca Farmers Market: East Hill Market is Open!
The Market is held every Wednesday from 4pm to 7pm at 380 Pine Tree Road, next to the East Hill Rite Aid, across from Agava, May 2 thru October 31. The Market is a part of the Ithaca Farmers Market, a local cooperative offering products grown and created within a 30 mile radius of Ithaca, including fruits, vegetables, meat and other farm products, plants, crafts, bread, pastry and prepared foods. For more information go to . For more information contact Becca Rimmel (607) 273-7109.
Cornell University | 607-255-0388 | |