Turning Points in History: How Different the World Might Have Been. was the title of a recent 11-week program at the Academy for Lifelong Learning of Cape Cod, Inc. Each class discussed two or three major turning points in history that, had they gone differently, might have significantly changed the world.

Members of the Adult Learning Institute at Columbia-Greene Community College in New York recently learned about Set Dancing. Set Dancing is somewhat like square dancing done to Irish reels, jigs, hornpipes and polkas. It is done to a triple step rather than walked and there are many different sets from all over Ireland.

Members of the Berkshire Institute for Lifetime Learning (B.I.L.L.) recently took a course entitled Accent the Positive. This course explored how our cultural values affect our perceptions of other English speakers. Current films and videos were used to illustrate this concept. Students participated in interactive conversations becoming aware of their own and others’ speech patterns and how their perception of others colored their judgments.

Brevard ElderLearning in Florida recently offered members a course entitled Life & Times of David Henry Thoreau or Transcendental Days in Concord Town. The course focused on Thoreau’s life and the influence of Transcendentalism as well as its psychological implications.

History of Our Letters and Numbers is the title of a course recently given at the Center for Lifelong Learning, Inc. in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Participants studied the development of the alphabet and writing from the earliest pictograph to the Roman alphabet and the various forms of modern English. Numbers and arithmetic were traced from their beginnings in ancient Sumer to our modern computers.

Members of the Duke ILR in North Carolina this winter studied The American Automotive Industry. Beginning in the 20th century it has grown to become of the United States’. major industries. Now faced with change, members explored the dynamic growth of the industry, its impact on the world and its influence on the U.S. economy.

The Lifelong Learning Institute at James Madison University in Virginia is offering members a chance to learn about The Spirit of American Philosophy. In this five-week course participants will cover five great Pragmatist Philosophers at the beginning of the 20th century. They will examine their roots in the American Experience of the practical sense of life and of new possibilities. The five classes are: Charles Sanders Peirce: The Definition of Pragmatism – Josiah Royce: Pragmatism Applies to our Concept of the Self and Pragmatism Applies to our Sense of Morality – William James: Pragmatism Applied to our Concept of Knowledge and Pragmatism and Our Personal Life – John Dewey: Pragmatism and our Social Life and Pragmatism: Spirituality vs. Religion – Alfred North Whitehead: Process Philosophy of Evolution and Religion in the Making.

Members of the Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas, Virginia recently took Drawing II, Self-Portrait in Chiascurro (Light and Shadow). In this course they learned to check the relationship of line and shape against one another, along with drawing negative spaces in order to strengthen their composition and create harmony among spaces and shapes.

Vienna in ¾ Time, from Mozart to Mahler, is the title of a course offered recently at the Lifelong Learning of Hilton Head Island program in South Carolina. The course highlighted Viennese composers from 1750 – 1900, the period when Vienna was the center of Western music. Participants explored all instrumental forms of music written in ¾ time, beginning with the minuets and minuets-trios of Mozart, the scherzos of Beethoven, the landler of Schubert, and finally the waltzes of Brahms, Johann Strauss, and Mahler. Special attention was given to the influence of dance on the classical music tradition, as well as the way it inspired these composers. In the background of the course was an awareness of historical/political developments of the period.

Members of the Lifelong Learning Program at Western Iowa Tech Community College took three interesting field trips. The first, Railroad Renaissance: A Hardhat Tour of the Railroad Roundhouse, gave members a chance to explore the Milwaukee Railroad Shop’s historic district. The second, a visit to the Strategic Air and Space Museum, educated members about the incredible array of aircraft that has been developed. Finally, the third field trip took members to local Siouxland Cemeteries. A local lecturer and retired education presented his humorous perspective on the lighter side of Siouxland’s cemeteries.

Transmission of Ancient Classical Texts was the title of a recent program at the Lifelong Learning Society, Christopher Newport University, Virginia. This course explored the transmission of the great literature of Greece and Rome, from the collapse of the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, to the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.

Members of the Lifetime Learning Institute at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale recently took a course entitled A View of Life and Love According to Biblical Wisdom Literature. This course covered some Biblical views of life and love as addressed in the poetical books of Psalms, Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes.

Tuning and Temperament was the title of a workshop given last month at the Lyceum program in New York. Members learned that a perfectly tuned piano is actually slightly out of tune but a violin doesn’t have this problem. They also learned about the relation of the physics of sound (acoustics) to the development of musical scales and keyboard instruments.

Members of the Montreat College Center for Adult Lifelong Learning in North Carolina recently studied The American Economy and Its Future Global Competitiveness. They examined the condition of American’s current economic condition and how it will impact the nation’s future ability to compete on a global basis, specifically with China.

The OLLI program at California State University, Channel Islands offers members a Film Festival on Fridays. Participants view a classic film with commentary and interesting tidbits. Admission is free to members, their guests, and the university community.

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University in Virginia offered a winter course entitled The Lure and Lore of Gems. The instructor, an expert gemologist, discussed how to judge the quality of gems, how to tell natural from fake and how to determine which factors affect the value of a gem. He also discussed diamonds, their mining, facet design, grading factors and quality and then touched on pearls, antique and estate jewelry. He also focused on the secrets of the trade, bargain hunting and how to avoid consumer rip-offs. In the final class students brought one or two items to get an opinion on quality and value.

Discover the Olympians Within You: Jungian Archetypes and Greek Gods and Goddesses is the title of a program recently offered at the OLLI program at the University of Utah. Participants discovered how the ancient Greek gods and goddesses live in them today by looking at them as archetypes, universal psychic instincts comprised of positive and negative aspects.

Members of the OLLI program at Yavapai College in Arizona recently took a course entitled Lost Christianities . Through video and group discussion they delved into the Christian Scriptures and battles over authentication.

Members of QUEST in New York City recently studied the Neolithic Revolution. They examined in-depth the crucial human transition from hunter-gatherers to agriculturists.

American Jesus is the title of a course this spring at the PLATO program at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Members will look at how Jesus, in American Culture, has moved well beyond Christianity. In the U.S. Jesus functions as a cultural icon in which the sacred and the secular are inextricably intertwined.

The Rose Institute for Life Long Learning in Beechwood, Ohio offered members a chance this winter to explore the Vision for Space Exploration. They learned about NASA’s 21st century space exploration system that will return us to the moon by the end of the next decade, followed by journeys to Mars and beyond.

Members of Senior Learning Unlimited at the University of California Davis recently studied Cesar Chavez and His Legacy. This course covered subjects such as how Cesar Chavez trained to become a community organizer, the methods and tactics developed by the United Farm Workers (UFW) between 1962 and 1982 – and the achievements and legacy of Cesar Chavez and the UFW.




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