'CSI: Retired' Gives Oklahoma Seniors A Brain Boost

Wednesday, March 23rd 2011, 6:03 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Some of Oklahoma State University's newest students won't be getting any grades for their classes. That's because they're learning just for fun in a CSI style class for people 50 and older.

They call them senior students. OSU-Tulsa offers a whole range of classes for people 50 and older who want to learn something new to keep their brains active.

The retired folks are all aspiring detectives, on the way to a crime scene, a murder. The scene is a setup , but the clues are real enough to lead to a suspect.

The cushions are pulled out, there's a button missing, there's a white dust on the side of the chair," Kennie Crawley said.

The detectives looked over the crime scene, some just looking, and some smelling.

Some draw out every detail so they can go back over it later. And in this case, like the real things, small details might be important, like the bed sheet.

"When you spread it out on a bed, you have imprints; you don't have this kind of creases on the sheet." Carol Hall said.

But all this doesn't mean they have a suspect.

"A real detective would ponder this a little bit and not jump to a conclusion until all this had been evaluated," Jack Weakley said.

The detectives are here to learn, but the goal is to live longer.

"The idea is to keep your mind active and keep you rolling and keep your interests high and that way people live longer and enjoy what life they have," Barbara Swiggert, with OSU Tulsa, said.

The crime scene is just part of the class.

Students learn in real forensic labs about all the tools detectives use. They learn about how all the tools work to solve real crimes and how all the clues fit together.

There are lots of other classes for lifelong learning at OSU, in Tulsa, Stillwater and now Oklahoma City.