You've heard of Trivial Pursuit, of course, the board game whose main object is to make you feel stupid in front of your friends. Now here comes Thoughtful Pursuit, whose main object is a whole lot more civic.

Under the direction of the Center for Adult Transitions at the University of Utah, the Thoughtful Pursuit learning program is geared toward retired and semiretired Utahns who want to add some knowledge and some lively discussion to their free time.The program is one of several new approaches the university is taking to entice more adults to take classes. Mindful that many adults are too busy to commit themselves to a three-month class that meets two or three times a week, the Division of Continuing Education is introducing 34 new non-credit "short courses" starting winter quarter.

The new short courses meet early in the morning, during the lunch hour, in the afternooon and after work, both on campus and at the DCE's new downtown location, at the Belevedere, 103 Social Hall Ave. The university is even offering video "classettes" (take it home and watch it in your spare time, suggests DCE).

Like the U.'s other minicourses, Thoughtful Pursuit will begin in January. Interested persons are invited to a Thoughtful Pursuit open house Dec. 7, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the Huntsman Center lounge.

Tom Markus, director of Pioneer Theater Company's January production of "I'm Not Rappaport," will give a mini-minicourse on the play. The open house, which will also feature refreshments and prizes, is free.

Marcia Mendelsohn, licensed psychologist and program coordinator, hopes that Thoughtful Pursuit "will become a community of older learners who have a sense of membership and identity within the larger university community."

Thoughtful Pursuit is based loosely on several similar programs at other universities around the country, including UCLA's Plato Society and the Rochester Institute of Technology's Atheneum.

"There are no requirements at all to participate" in Thoughtful Pursuit, says Mendelsohn, although it is intended for people who are retired or nearing retirement. All classes will be offered in the afternoons.

Both six-hour and three-hour classes will be offered; tuition is $36 for the longer courses, $18

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for the shorter ones. Thoughtful Pursuit will also offer two lunch-time programs during the winter quarter. On Jan. 27, Robert Hall of the U.'s educational psychology department will speak about memory and aging. On Feb. 10, university honors students will present a program. The charge for each event is $5.75, which includes lunch.

All Thoughtful Pursuit classes will be offered in the Annex Building, just east of the Hunstman Center. Students can purchase parking stickers or buy day passes.

Minicourse topics for the winter quarter include: "What Should We Expect from a Judge" (taught by Leslie Francis, U. professor of law and philosophy); "Astronomy: Life Styles of the Big and Powerful" (taught by Seth Jarvis of the Hansen Planetarium); "Know Thyself: Taking a Different Look at Who You Are" (taught by Mendelsohn); "The Middle East: Centuries of Conflict with No Resolution" (taught by Lee Bean, director of the U.'s Middle East Center); and "Be Street Smart Overseas" (taught by Gabriel Tabor).

As the baby-boom generation grows through middle age into old age, more and more Utahns will be in the market for programs like Thoughtful Pursuit, notes Mendelsohn, who adds:

"I'd like to see a good program up and running by the time I'm old enough to use it."