Courses

Click the course title for details

Ancient Art of Stonecarving CANCELED

Old Favorite. Students craft their own masterpieces using common household tools, beginning with soap carving and then, if you choose, working on a piece of ice carving. The remaining six weeks involve practicing the art form with stone, learning how to select a stone, handle it properly and polish it.

Please note: This class is held at the Darien Senior Center,
30 Edgerton St, Darien, Connecticut  06820



Armstrong’s World: Celebrating Satchmo, W134

New! “If anybody was Mr. Jazz, it was Louis Armstrong. He is what I would call an American original.” Duke Ellington’s words could not ring truer. And for Wynton Marsalis, the sound of Satchmo’s horn “was a pure spiritual essence, the sound of America and of freedom.” Immerse yourself in the world of Satchmo with an internationally recognized published authority. We explore his amazing 50 year career, from early work with King Oliver and Fletcher Henderson, transformative, historic role as leader of the Hot Five and Hot Seven, his big band phase, his All Stars and Ambassador Satch period, including political activism, movie appearances and collaborations with Earl Hines, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and more.



Best Plays on Broadway, W130

New! Read and analyze the greatest dramas of American playwrights. Most plays to be discussed are under 100 pages in length.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Recognized as a milestone of the American theater since its 1949 debut.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
This 1948 classic explores primitive desire versus civilized restraint.

A Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill.
A masterpiece portraying the futility of love in healing a family’s wounds.

Our Town by Thornton Wilder
The 1938 Pulitzer Prize–winner dramatizes life in Grover’s Corners, a community that represents all of life.

Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose
A landmark play, initially a 1954 television production, went on to become a movie masterpiece starring Henry Fonda.

Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon
Eugene Jerome and his family fight hard times and sometimes one another in Depression-era Brooklyn.

Proof by David Auburn
Explores the mysteries of love and science, focusing on Catherine who, upon her father’s death, must untangle the demands of friends and lovers.

Wit by Margaret Edson
This powerfully imagined drama delves into timeless questions with no final answers. How should we live our lives knowing that we will die?



Buddhism, W230

New! With 450 million followers, Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world.  This course centers on the Buddha’s life in sixth century India and his teachings, known as the Dharma, which we compare to other Eastern religions of India, China and Japan such as Hinduism, Daoism and Confucianism.



Cold War: A Historical Perspective, W214

New! Political, military and ideological tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union were already strained before the end of World War II. Nevertheless the two great superpowers dominated world affairs for over 40 years until the collapse of the Soviet alliance in the late 1980s. We explore the origins and progression of the Cold War as well as its legacy and implications for the future.



Color in Art: Basic Techniques, W226

New! Everything you wanted to know about color: hue, value and intensity, as well as “simultaneous contrast,” “two into one” and “one into two.”  This series of structured art exercises explores the possibilities of color and expands the student’s knowledge of color. Whether you are creating art or choosing a carpet, you will benefit from this course.

Supplies required on the first day are:

  • A pack of color-aid paper which can be ordered from the Blick (www.dickblick.com) or Utrecht (www.utrechtart.com) web sites and can be shared with other students.
  • Water colors, colored pencils or acrylic paints, brushes, erasers, water color paper and canvas board. A basic set of acrylic paints includes a tube of white (large), yellow, ultramarine blue, phthalocyanine blue, cadmium red, alizarin crimson, permanent green, phthalocyanine green, purple and black.
  • A water container, heavy paper, towels/rags, a palette (or cardboard, a sheet of plastic or a palette pad) and a plastic palette knife.



Current Affairs, W124

Ongoing Topics. Framed by the week’s trending news, this course relies on rigorous yet respectful debate to enhance our understanding of divergent viewpoints in the reporting of current events. Discussions address politics, sex, religion and their effects on contemporary culture ─ issues that give life depth and meaning.  We focus on developing critical reasoning skills by examining the pre-conceived biases that affect our personal objectivity.



East Asian Nations: Economic Development, W213

New! We examine the history, present conditions and challenges ahead for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan are respectively the second and third largest economies on the planet. Hong Kong and Taiwan have a symbiotic relationship with the PRC. South Korea, whose growth may arguably have been the fastest, has undergone the most spectacular transformation in the last 50 years. What factors have contributed to the success of these countries? What obstacles may hamper their future progress?  We examine the geographical, demographic, cultural and political factors at play for each of the five.  Finally, we survey the links the region has developed with the outside world.



Electronics a la Carte, W213

New! Learn what the following devices do and how they can work for you:

March 19 ─ Microsoft Surface
Find out about the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 along with a basic introduction to Windows 8.1. An opportunity for hands-on experience with the devices! Questions welcomed.
The Microsoft Store Team from Danbury conducts this course.

March 26 ─3D Printer: A Demonstration
See a 3D printer in action. After an explanation of the process and examples of 3D printed objects, students view the design process using a free software package called Sketchup.
Bill Derry is Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience at the Westport Library. He was a library media specialist and classroom teacher in Westport and New Haven for over 30 years.

April 9 ─ GPS: The Magic and the Technology
How does GPS work? What makes it so accurate? Do I need a separate car GPS or can I use the one in my smart phone? What kind is best for me? How much should I spend? These are some questions that Captain Bernie answers.
Bernie Weiss is a life-long navigator and sailor known to his friends as the “King of GPS.”  He has taught at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Sacred Heart’s Stamford campus and Housatonic Community College as well as conducting workshops and seminars for boaters for 10 years.

April 16 ─ Skype
Skype is a free software application that works similarly to instant messaging. It enables users to make free video phone calls around the world through their computers. Learn how to sign up, download and use this program to speak with and   see friends and relatives.
Ann Bello is chair of the LLI Membership Committee and the Treasurer of LLI. She is a former NCC faculty member and has taught computer classes at the Norwalk Senior Center.



Ethiopian Jewry: A Modern Day Exodus, W134

New! We explore a remarkable exodus that began in the seventies and ended in August 2013 involving a remnant of the Jewish people, who refer to themselves as the Beta Israel (the House of Israel). Cut off from mainstream Judaism since Temple times, they have maintained a form of Biblical Judaism, believing that eventually they would return to the holy land and rejoin the main body of Jews. We discuss how this exodus took place, who was involved, what was accomplished and at what cost. The story does not end with their arrival in Israel. Language, culture and integration into modern society along with questions of authenticity are some of the obstacles they have encountered. The Beta Israel movement is still evolving, with the most hopeful signs of progress coming from the younger generation.



F14 Advanced Word and PowerPoint

New! The first half of this course will expand upon the basics of Microsoft Word.
The second half of the course teaches the making of a simple PowerPoint presentation.
Adding animation and finally, sound to the presentation completes the course.



F14 Puccini on Parade in Six Operas

New!
Puccini’s music goes straight to the heart, which explains the world-wide appeal of his opera. His first opera, entered in a composition contest, was instantly rejected by the judges. On appeal it was found that the reason was that his handwriting was so bad that the music score was unreadable. Once fixed, Puccini was immediately declared the new Verdi and the future star composer of Italian opera. We follow his meteoric rise to fame as we see video excerpts of six of his ten operas in chronological order. Our roster of singers includes the best tenors — Pavarotti and Domingo and Jonas Kaufmann (today’s superstar) ─ paired with the best sopranos like Kiri Te Kanawa. These opera videos have been selected to be the best of the best from the various productions available.

 



Generations: Holocaust’s Impact on Four Families, W128

Revisit. How did the Holocaust influence the interactions among members of different generations and their communities?   Between 1944 and 1952 over 135,000 European Jews immigrated to the United States. Almost all were survivors of Hitler’s attempt to annihilate the European Jewish population. Their experiences during the war varied; however, no Jewish family in Europe was left untouched by the Nazi killing machine. At the same time, 550,000 Jewish Americans served in the US military during the war, a defining moment in Jewish American history. We investigate the experiences of people who escaped Hitler’s genocide in Europe as well as Jewish Americans who served in World War II and take a deeper look at the intergenerational effects of the Holocaust on the families of these people.



Great American Songs & Their Stories, Pepsico Theatre

What’s New! Once again we are treated to Dr. Joe’s musical creativity on the piano and his extensive musical knowledge of the Great American Songbook. He reveals more behind the scenes stories about the composers and their music, from big band jazz to movie musicals.  Join us as we remember the music of the “good old days” while Dr. Joe discusses the lyrics and plays these songs for us on the grand piano.



I Love To Read, W130

Always New. Join six LLI members as they lead lively discussions of contemporary titles and old classics.

March 17 ─ Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. Facilitator Michael Mugnolo.
This masterpiece is as relevant today as when it was written over ninety years ago, when Lewis exposed small town America as narrow-minded, resistant to change and suspicious of those who were not like us.  When an outsider with different ideas and different views arrives in Gopher Prairie, neither she nor her notions are welcome.

March 24 ─  Killing Lincoln by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard. Facilitator Bob Berthelson.
In the spring of 1865, America’s Civil War came to an end.  President Abraham Lincoln’s surrender terms are shattered within days. When John Wilkes Booth murders Lincoln at Ford’s Theater and becomes America’s most wanted fugitive, the chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions. Vividly detailed, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.

March 31   ─  The Cutting Season by Attica Locke. Facilitator Judy Hinkle.
Caren Gray manages Louisiana’s stately Belle Vie, an antebellum plantation-turned-tourist-attraction where past and present coexist uneasily.  Outside the plantation gates, an ambitious corporation snaps up sugar cane fields from struggling families, replacing local employees with illegal laborers. Tensions mount after a migrant worker is found murdered on the edge of the plantation property. Locke’s resonant novel is beautifully written.

April 7   ─ Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Facilitator Ralph Loomis.
A precise and seemingly flawless craftsman presents us with shocking portraits of isolation and yearning. Characters share a tragic desire for one indefinable thing ─ a level of existence, a life of meaning that is both better than what America can offer and grievously unattainable.  And yet, Yates’s vision is uplifting, made gorgeous and almost holy by the strength of his prose and his sympathetic characters.

April 14  ─  Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Facilitator Richard Auwarter.

A different view of Thomas Cromwell, usually depicted as Henry Vlll’s henchman, remembered for his hounding to death of a saintly Thomas More as a traitor to the king. In a captivating revision of history, Mantel’s Cromwell is recast as a hero of sorts, both for our time and his.  Parallel to the rise of Cromwell we see the fall of Thomas More, who seems the lesser man.

April 21 ─ The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve. Facilitator Carole Ann Wiemer.
Kathryn Lyons receives word that a plane flown by her husband Jack has exploded near the coast of Ireland. She confronts the unfathomable one startling revelation at a time.  Led by rumors that Jack had a secret life, Kathryn sets out to learn who her husband really was.  Her search explores the question, “How well can we ever really know another person?”



I’m No Racist! W128

New! Racism: does it still exist? Many people feel that racism is over and done. They oppose affirmative action, see no need for reparations for blacks claiming damage from years of repression and believe there is nothing wrong with the Supreme Court’s recent decision on voting rights. Yet they would never consider themselves “racist.” Many Americans acknowledge the demoralizing effects of slavery and repression, yet tend to emphasize only the progress made since the fifties.  Some believe that poverty, not race, is the real issue and that blacks need only pull themselves up by their bootstraps, as other minorities have done. We explore different views on race and examine some of the reasons why racism persists in our society. Do any of these positions regarding the plight of America’s blacks have validity?

FACILITATORS:
Stuart Losen, now retired, was a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in Westport.  He has facilitated courses on memoir writing, psychology, racism and comparative religion for many years at LLI and senior centers throughout Fairfield County.

Catherine Onyemelukwe graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1962 and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria for two years returning to the US in 1986 to earn an MBA from the Yale School of Management in 1988. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and is currently writing a memoir about her years in Nigeria.

Jim Nixon, former LLI Board member and civil rights leader, was an affirmative action officer for major corporations and a New York state transportation agency and a consultant to the British Equal Opportunities Commission.



Jesus of Nazareth, W129

New! Who was Jesus of Nazareth?  We examine the four Gospels of the New Testament to learn about the early Jewish-Christian communities.  We hear the stories of Jesus’ birth, his hidden years, his baptism and the events that made him a controversial figure. This is the historical Jesus who preached and taught in Jerusalem and the Galilean synagogues, interpreted the Torah with authority, confronted the Scribes and Pharisees and performed miracles as evidence of the reign of God.  Finally we look at the effects of his actions – the confrontations that led to his crucifixion and at the Jewish-Christian communities of the Gospels that believed in his resurrection.

Please bring a Bible with the New Testament to class.



JFK: A Look Back, E223

New! In honor of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death, we examine the life and legacy of the man who remains one of the nation’s most beloved and mourned leaders.  We look from his childhood to his rise to power and his election as the youngest American president. Recently opened archives offer an insider’s view of his journey to the Oval Office, the ambition that propelled him there and how he navigated one of the most pivotal eras in American history. We also get a new perspective on his complicated private life and his close connection to Robert and powerful father.



Learning to Read the Movies, CANCELED

Class CANCELED

New! Since their invention over a century ago, movies have become an integral part of our culture. This course enhances viewers’ ability to “read” a movie by understanding how visual composition and other cinematic techniques combine to express the theme of the film.  We examine the interplay of images and sounds as well as the technology of film.   explanations of shots and angles, movement, lighting, color, sound and special effects enrich the viewer’s visual literacy. Participants explore these aspects of film in Citizen Kane, On the Waterfront, Rebel Without a Cause and The Graduate.

Please note, class does not meet 4/16/14.



Magical Moments at the Movies, W101

All Time Favorite. This course, now in its 19th year, continues to feature musical, dramatic and comic scenes from movies with rarely a repeated sequence. Such is the film library of the facilitator.  This series emphasizes the Golden Age of Hollywood (1931-1960), yet includes many scenes from movies up to the present day.  All clips are introduced with a history of the genre: the stars, directors, choreographers, moguls, behind-the-scenes artisans and pertinent gossip. Hear explanations of how the magic was created, along with those all-too-many goofs Hollywood wants us to forget.  The facilitator opens each session with a film industry monologue and two popular name games and the birthday game. These classes make one nostalgic for the good old days when movies were sheer entertainment, when stars were stars and dancing and singing in the streets were a joy to behold.  Handouts await attendees each week.



Mindful Meditation, W248

New! Mindfulness is a form of meditation practice originating in Buddhism, which is rapidly spreading to the  western world. Being mindful is being alert and aware, observing things as they are, noticing our emotions and  whatever is going on mentally and physically. While focusing on our emotions and physical sensations, we not only observe but also participate ─ fully aware and fully alive. During each session, we practice meditating, using the breath to quiet the mind and to stay in the moment. A PowerPoint presentation acquaints the participants with ways to become more aware of one’s internal environment, awareness that leads to insight, enlightenment and peaceful living.



Modern Short Stories – CANCELED

More. The collection Best of Times, Worst of Times: Contemporary American Short Stories from the New Gilded Age will serve as the text for this course.  In it, such outstanding writers as George Saunders, Jhumpa Lahiri, Tobias Wolff and others offer comments on and try to make sense of modern America.  Their stories speak to some of the most pressing issues confronting America today, from race relations, immigration, and social class to gender issues, politics, and the economy.  The stories provide an ideal way to explore the current state of our union.

A copy of the text will be provided to the students on the first day of class.  Specific titles will be chosen at that time.



New York: America’s Greatest City, W248

New! This course covers the entire history of New York City from its beginnings as a Dutch trading outpost through the turbulent 1800s and into the modern era. We witness the history of the city through the eyes and words of many of its citizens, from new immigrants to the rich and famous and its growth from 5,000 in 1776 to over seven million in 1929. Outstanding videos, photos and stories lead us through this journey. Learn how this dynamic city played an unparalleled role in shaping the nation and the world.



Old Testament: Exodus Part II – CANCELED

Continuation. Though it appears that Exodus is to be read as history, it is more important to view it as a projection of Israel’s relationship with God and God’s relationship with Israel and the world. We start with Israel’s suffering under Egyptian oppression and struggle for liberation, climaxing in a successful voyage across the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea). We follow the journey across the Sinai wilderness and examine the revelation at Mt. Sinai, the giving of the Ten Commandments and the events surrounding Israel’s betrayal of the Divine Covenant.  We analyze the symbolism of the structure known as the Tent of Meeting or the Tabernacle (Mishkan). We note influence of the ethical and moral principles of Israel’s liberation on other national liberation movements. Finally, we investigate the Biblical concept of ethical monotheism, a critical innovation of the Hebrew Bible.

Please bring a Bible to class.

 



Old Testament: Genesis Part II – CANCELED

Beginning. Genesis charts the interaction of God with a human family to tell the far greater story of humankind’s  relationship with God.  Its 25 chapters examine the salient myths of humankind’s origins over a period of 2309 years, including the origins of Israel’s first families. Genealogy beginning with Adam to the history of Abraham’s family concludes with the death of Joseph which finally becomes the story of God and the human race.  These seemingly disconnected stories serve a variety of purposes.  In dramatizing the origins of sin, for example, Genesis formulates principles of ethical behavior.  Other portions demonstrate the moral degeneration that led to the displacement of clans by the emergent nation of Israel.  The last word in Genesis is “Egypt,” anticipating the Bible’s second book.

Please bring a Bible to class.



Once Upon a Life/Time: Chapter II, W130

Chapter II. Writing one’s memoirs is no longer for the rich and famous. In addition to recording special memories, writing about the events of your life can offer unexpected benefits: boosting memory, assisting in the grief process, sharing your journey with family and future generations. Participants learn the characteristics of the genre, how to focus and begin writing, how to find your “voice.”  Organize your writing and refine your story through discussion and comments from the instructor and classmates.  Whether you have written before or have never recorded a word, this course offers a creative and peaceful environment in which to write, reminisce and share your milestones.

New writers welcome, no experience necessary.



Opera’s Neglected Gems: Part II, E218

Second Act. The well-known opera gems performed everywhere, such as La Boheme, Traviata, Carmen, Tosca and Aida, are the crown jewels of opera.  But other opera gems, often by those very same famous composers, are sadly neglected.  This class revives some of these treasures on video, including rarely performed Rossini, early Verdi, late Puccini, right on time Massenet and others.  As in Part I of this course we learn about the composers and their times and see an eclectic mix of operas.  No prior knowledge of opera is assumed.



Origami Potpourri, W226

New Folds. Join us for a romp through origami, beginning with the first fold and quickly progressing to basic bases, fish, water bomb, preliminary and bird, action models, the crane, the flapping bird, storigami, money folding and wet folding. Our goal is the petal fold. Don’t know what that is?  Come to class and learn.

No previous folding experience necessary.  Students should bring a pack of six-inch origami paper to class.  Origami paper may be purchased at Michael’s, Jerry’s Artarama and Barnes and Noble.



Presidential Decisions Part VI, W134

Another Term. This continuing course focuses on presidential decisions that have guided America from its formative years through the present day. We analyze the thinking of the presidents to better understand their actions. The course is part lecture (to establish the facts) and part discussion (to decide the issues, with class participants selecting a position to defend or rebut).  The facilitator selects a series of presidential decisions to discuss; class members may choose subsequent decisions. Scenarios for the chosen presidential decisions are available.



Prison: Punishment or Rehabilitation? W213

New! Why are so many prisons revolving doors? This course explores prisons that have successfully changed their focus so that inmates are more likely to get out and stay out. What are their secrets? How can Connecticut emulate them? We discuss who is most likely to go to prison, the reality of gangs, how prisons got to be the way they are and how the US differs from other countries. Most importantly, we focus on actual programs that have succeeded in reducing recidivism, using real-life stories of men who have benefited from prison programs and education to illustrate that it does work. We discuss potential changes, both in and out of prison, that contribute to a system focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment, one in which people leave prison, get jobs, support their families and become taxpayers.



Psychology of Color, W134

New! Did you know that 60% of all of your purchases are based solely on color? That if you wear red socks all day you will go to bed with warm feet? That yellow is the color of communication and safety?

We live in a visual world surrounded by color everywhere we go.  Whether in our clothing, home furnishings, nature or in the grocery store, color can affect our mood, health and even buying decisions. The color of our clothing can make us approachable or inaccessible and even affect our health.  Color in food packaging can and does affect whether we believe something is healthful. This fun and interactive course provides a deeper understanding of the unspoken “language of color.” We discover the emotions that colors elicit, color’s affect on our physical body, the historical significance and use of color, colors and culture and color symbolism. You will never look at color the same way again!



Rediscovering the Garden, W226

New! Grow medicinal flowers on your deck! Serve your own garden-grown lettuce, herbs or micro-greens for a special dinner! Both are easy and possible.  We cover techniques to start, grow and maintain healthy vegetables and plants of all types.  We learn simple plant and soil science and the differences between organic and conventional gardening. Three facilitators discuss common problems, share techniques to reduce risks and offer ways to save money. Students are encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences.  Join us for fun, information and take home a seeded pot.

Facilitators:
Laura Coppola
is a retired New Canaan teacher who was raised by generations of gardeners.  Even though she works part time as a church administrator, her passion is growing organic fruits and vegetables on her small but productive deck garden.

Jonathan Brown was an IT consultant with IBM, Verizon and various large banks and brokerage firms. Organic gardening is his hobby. He has won Cannon Grange recognition for photographs of his vegetables.

Dick Rauh teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, is a practicing botanical illustrator and was president of the American Society of Botanical Artists. He came to this profession after a career in motion picture special effects.



Reflections on Art – CANCELED

Another View. Paintings resonate differently with each observer.

How are we influenced by them? Once again we highlight the Renaissance, Baroque, French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist periods in art to understand and enhance our appreciation of paintings of the period. What are the links among these eras of art? Explore color, form, composition and the lives of the artists. No previous exposure to art history necessary – just curiosity and desire to learn!



Shakespeare: The Two Gentlemen of Verona – CANCELED

Anon! Join us to study Shakespeare’s comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Proteus and Valentine, two gentlemen, are best friends but have different opinions of love and how to make their way in the world.  Proteus clings to his love, Julia, but Valentine wants to strike out on his own and seek adventure. Can their friendship last when they fall in love with the same woman and the values they thought they held are completely turned upside down? Each week we examine a different act of the play, surveying critical interpretations and production history. Students get an inside look into Shakespeare on the Sound’s 2014 production of the play.

Please bring a copy of The Two Gentlemen of Verona to the first class.



Snapshots in History: A Retrospective, W226

New! This course explores some of the tumultuous times and historically defining moments from the end of World War II to the Vietnam War.  We put into perspective the major domestic and foreign events and policies of four presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson), the challenges that confronted them and their respective responses to those challenges.  Join us to explore the critical years following WWII and the legacy that laid the foundation for America’s post-war political, economic and social development.



Spanish Musical Odyssey – CANCELED

New! Did you ever wonder why you still remember the lyrics to songs such as Bésame Mucho and Cielito Lindo long after you have forgotten your high school Spanish?  We learn how singing, controlled by a different part of the brain than speech, can enhance memory and motivation. Following an overview of music as an integral part of the soul of a culture and its people, we reflect on the content and form of favorite musical selections while enriching our understanding of the Spanish language and its multicultural influences. We listen to popular tunes from Spain, Mexico and Latin America, Broadway tunes performed in Spanish and famous poems composed to music.



Speaking Spanish for Enjoyment, W225

Hola. In this ongoing course, the facilitator invites those with even a few words of Spanish to join the class. We begin with a review of Spanish basics and then focus on greeting people, shopping, dining, traveling and other daily activities. Our aim is to feel comfortable in speaking and understanding the language.   Spanish is fun!



The Bomb in Film, History & Literature – CANCELED

New! Was dropping the atomic bomb necessary to bring about Japan’s surrender?  How close did the Cuban Missile Crisis come to bringing about a nuclear war?  Did the world come close to a nuclear war in 1983? Take this course and find out how movies have answered these questions.  Films to be discussed include Dr. Strangelove, Fail Safe, War Games, The Terminator and The Sum of All Fears.



The Civil War, W248

New! This course emphasizes the origins of the Civil War, its revolutionary nature and its immediate and long-term consequences for the south and the nation. Although the military events of the war occupy a portion of the class’s studies, we also focus on the key social, political and economic questions of the era, with particular attention to the more activist role of the government at that time, as well as to the significance of slavery emancipation both during and after the war.



The Great Patriotic War: World War II, W115

Return Engagement. Join us on a sojourn into history, focusing on the greatest of all land wars:  the titanic clash between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Choices made on the Eastern Front, not the decisions settled in the Pacific, North Africa, Sicily, Italy or France, dictated which side was going to win the land war in World War II, even after the Normandy invasion. In size and scope, there has been nothing like the Eastern Front, before or since.  The conflict pitted German against Russian, Nazi against Communist, Hitler against Stalin. The Eastern Front featured some of the most pivotal engagements of the Second World War—Kiev, Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Operation Bagration and Berlin.  Students gain a greater understanding of the savage, no-holds barred war which claimed upwards of 30 million lives, the land war that broke the back of the Third Reich.



The Human Body: What’s Normal & What’s Not, W221

Back Again. What makes your heart “tick”?  How does your digestive system do its thing?  Why do bones become more fragile as we age?  How does your body fight those “bugs” anyway?  Where do those wrinkles in the skin come from?  Why do our bodies look flabbier with age when we are working out just as hard?  We look at the inner workings of the human body and explore the normal functioning of the 11 body systems to see what can go wrong as we age and what we can do to prevent it.  We cover the warning signs and symptoms of some common (and not so common) diseases and problems so that early detection is possible. This course will correct some of the misinformation and misconceptions you may have received in your high school or college biology class.  Our knowledge of the human body has come a long way since then!



To Have and Have Not, E228

Updated. At one time, every country in the world was poorer than the poorest country in the world is today. Some have since achieved unimaginable wealth, along with personal, political and religious freedom. For too many, however, life remains poor, nasty, brutish and short.  Each day is a struggle just to survive, often under the cruel reign of an inhuman despot. What accounts for these differences and what, if anything, can be done to raise the living standards of the disadvantaged? This overview of the history of economic development illuminates many of the reasons some are so fortunate along with some suggestions that may alleviate the suffering of those left behind.



Twentieth Century Art: The Isms, E227

New! Moving from French Impressionism into the Modern period we cover many of the “isms”: Fauvism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Cubism, Expressionism, Primitivism and more. View the works of Picasso, Braque, Dali, Matisse, Dufy, Brancusi, Beckman, Mondrian and Klee to name a few! We attempt to understand the growing self-consciousness of the artist. Learn why artists were motivated to defy tradition and invent new laws and languages of their own. Requirements – curiosity and opinion. Make sense of it all!  Lively class discussion is encouraged.



Watercolor for Beginners, W240

Old Favorite. Become a budding artist.  Discover the joys and challenges of watercolor. This course offers step-by-step guidance in the techniques–brush strokes, color mixing and composition–that create realistic landscapes, seascapes and still life paintings.  Pre-created scenes are available for assistance. Do not purchase any art supplies until you receive a list at the first class.  If you already have some supplies, bring them to class.  The facilitator will have supplies available for purchase.

This course is limited to 20 students



Watercolor Intermediate, W244

Another Old Favorite. If you are an intermediate- level water colorist, here’s a chance to improve your technique.  This course is a step-by-step guide to painting traditional landscapes, seascapes, flowers and still life.  We cover techniques: textures, perspective, transparent washes, masking, planning and composing.  Bring paints (tubes are preferred), a palette, your favorite brushes, watercolor paper and a water container to class.  Some pre-created scenes on watercolor paper are supplied. Do not purchase any art supplies until you receive a list at the first class.  If you already have some supplies, bring them to class.  The facilitator will have supplies available for purchase.

This course is limited to 20 students.



Women Newsmakers, W203

New! Daily news is more attentive to women newsmakers than ever before, regularly reporting on women’s issues and following women CEOs, politicians, artists, activists, scientists and religious leaders from the US to Pakistan.  Who are these global leaders?  Did their childhood environments nurture their success? Did particular events project them onto the global stage? What barriers did they need to overcome?  Our sessions explore the female agents of change today, drawing on women’s history as we research their lives, listening for the sound of the contemporary female voice and verifying feminine power in our society.



World War I: The Great War, W115

Return Engagement. World War I was the seminal event of the last 99 years.  Libya, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Vietnam, the Balkans, Eastern and Central Europe are continuations of events of the war. The road to the Great War goes back to the French Revolution. In the first session, “Pandora’s Box,” we explore the dynamics of 19th century change that led to the two shots heard round the world on June 28, 1914 ─ the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. In this unrivaled episode in history, a tragicomic soap opera led to the cataclysm that would unleash a tidal wave of change that altered the political, military, strategic and social landscape forever.  This was World War I.



World War II Via Film, W213

New! How well did George C. Scott “get” George Patton?   Can the horror of combat really be captured in films like Saving Private Ryan?  Which film gives the most accurate portrayal of the madness of Hitler?  What can films about POWs such as The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Great Escape tell us about the nature of the war?  Take this course and find out!