Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
California State Channel Islands
(April 3 – May 26)
The Language of Symbols - Barrett Culmback
Symbols are as old as humankind, and are to be found in all cultures,
ancient and modern. They are a universal language speaking to the minds,
imaginations and intuitions of all sincere seekers. Many truths that cannot
be directly conveyed have been intimated by telling, potent symbols. This
course will examine a number of these archetypal symbols, seeking to find
through them timeless ideas, teachings and meanings.
Isn't It Romantic: Music after Beethoven - Charles McDermott,
Beethoven was above all contemptuous of formal barriers; it is this
characteristic which gave rise to musical Romanticism in the nineteenth
century. This class follows European music from Weber's exotic "Der
Freischutz" to Wagner's paean to love "Tristan und Isolde",
from the miniature piano pieces of Schumann to the virtuosic brilliance
of Chopin. The chief themes examined are the roles of political revolution,
belief in the supernatural, fascination with the past, and breaking
down the barriers of harmony and form. We also consider other art forms
as efforts were made to blend the arts together: poetry became more
"musical," paintings and musical works were given "poetic"
titles, and poetry, drama, music, and stagecraft merged in Wagner's
unique and enormously influential "total artwork." Ability
to read music is not required.
Satyagraha: Impractical Dream or Social Necessity - Bill Garlington,
Social conflict is an inevitable human reality. The ways in which both
individuals and groups deal with social conflict are, however, open
to a range of possibilities. This course will examine non-violent approaches
to social conflict as found in the writings (theoretical) and activities
(practical) of M. K. Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela
(as well as several less-well-known political activists). Through the
analyses of specific case studies students will be encouraged to evaluate
non-violent strategies as effective means for dealing with social conflict.
Religion in America, 1860 – 2000 - Carolyn Dorrance,
This course explores the development of religious ideas and practice
in the United States since the Civil War. Both philosophical and sociological
methods of analysis will be used to examine the diversity of religious
responses to modern society. The tensions between conservative and liberal
views of American ideals and their religious expression will be studied
with the aid of several documents. The course concludes with an assessment
of contemporary challenges to religious faith and practice.
A Reverse History of the English Language - Pamela Price Klebaum,
Language is both biological and cultural. And a famous linguist has
noted that “stability in language is synonymous with rigor mortis”
in the human body. This course will explore the evolution of English
from its roots across the Atlantic to its many variations present in
what is known as “American English.” We will discover the
biological and cultural reasons for the fact that “aks,”
the way “ask” is pronounced in some current dialects, is
closer to its old English progenitor than is the standard pronunciation,
and will consider the historical and linguistic forces that have changed
Chaucer’s now unintelligible language to English in its current
Contemporary Legal Issues - Richard Besone, JD
What was the reasoning of the Courts in dealing with the Ten Commandments
and the law? Is there an Ethical or Moral Basis to the Law? Why do we
have Juries? Why are Juries under attack? What are the issues the Courts
are addressing in terms of Gay Rights? Are Courts protecting Elders
in Conservatorship Proceedings, or denying them the rights of privacy,
due process and equal protection? Why are the politicians divided over
the selection of Judges? Each class discusses movies which present some
of the issues, and the student can explore further through the CSUCI
Business Law links to internet sites.
The First Amendment : Separation of Church and State - John
M. Suarez, M.S., M.D.
The course begins with an overview of the historical underpinnings leading
to the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We then proceed
to a detailed assessment of the 200 year "experiment" triggered
by the First Amendment and its guidelines as to the relationship between
government and religion. Along the way, we shall explore how both government
and religion have been affected, including specific considerations of
the impact on public education, the role of the judiciary, and the problems
posed by fundamentalist ideologies. Ongoing controversies, such as abortion,
and evolution versus creationism, will be viewed in the context of the
First Amendment as interpreted over time.
Biotechnology and Disease: A Guide for the Non-scientist
- Blake Gillespie, Ph.D.
What is DNA and DNA testing? What are stem cells? Where do viruses come
from, and how do they work? What is Alzheimer's disease? How does cancer
kill? Disease and biotechnology change our lives and define our society's
priorities, but do you really understand them? This course introduces
you to the world of biology at its smallest scale, using specific medical
issues as a guide. We begin with an introduction to DNA and enzymes,
describing how these molecules work in layman's terms. Then, we apply
this knowledge to several topics that affect our lives, and wallets!
California Geology - Christopher Wheeler, Ph.D.
Have you ever wondered why California has gold and petroleum, mountains,
volcanoes, and frequent earthquakes, whereas many other states don’t?
This course introduces you to the geology of modern-day California and
how it developed during the last 2.5 billion years. No background in
geology is assumed, so the course serves as a primer on the basics of
minerals, rocks, fossils, geologic time, mountain building, and plate
tectonics. The course then focuses on each of California’s twelve
geologic provinces (e.g., the Sierra Nevada Mountains., the Mojave Desert,
the Coast Ranges). The course concludes with the history of how California
has been assembled and modified through the movement of tectonic plates.
Two for the price of one: learn about the formation of California AND
the basics of geology!
Understanding the 21st Century Zoo (short course) - Dennis
Did you know that more Americans visit zoos and aquariums annually than
all sporting events combined? Today’s zoos and aquariums are not
the institutions that we recall from our childhoods. In this course
we reveal the mission of 21st century zoos and examine how zoos in California
are striving to meet this mission. We answer many questions about modern
zoos practices and offer practical suggestions to enhance your next
zoo experience. The course culminates with a picnic and tour of the
Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens for a first hand look at how this excellent
zoo is meeting its mission. Meets two class sessions, and one
visit to the zoo.