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The Polarization of America, America’s Foreign Policy, This Land is Your Land

Program Number: 20979RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/14/2014 - 9/19/2014; 3/22/2015 - 3/27/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Montreat, North Carolina
Price starting at: $568.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Activity Particulars

All facilities are in one building, with approximately 300 yards walking required; a few stairs. Outside areas are mountainous, with inclines and uneven terrain.



Coordinated by Montreat Conference Center.



The Polarization of America

Not since the Civil War have we experienced such intense political, societal, economic and ideological polarization. Examine the effects of “socialist” assertions and “big money” contributions, and the impact this reorientation is having on our philosophical and legal lifestyles.



America’s Foreign Policy: Responding to a Chaotic World

Examine and evaluate challenges to U.S. foreign policy and leadership in terms of global terrorism, economic instability, Chinese ambitions, and Middle East political turmoil as well as our military and economic dominance and internal politics.



This Land is Your Land

Experience the folk music revival and its social impact through the voices of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and others who spoke through their music during times of poverty, social unrest, unionization and the civil rights movement.




Montreat

Originally founded as a spiritual retreat center, Montreat, nestled on Lake Susan at the foot of Graybeard Mountain, continues to be a peaceful destination for those seeking respite. Footpaths weave through the 4,000 acres of surrounding woodlands and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains offer other recreational opportunities.



Accommodations
Beautiful conference center overlooking small lake in the center of Montreat. Spacious lounges, classrooms, fireplace and dining facilities in same building.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Anne Lough

Anne Lough is a nationally known traditional musician who performs and teaches at schools, workshops and festivals throughout the East and Midwest. She holds a bachelor’s of music education from Murray State University in Kentucky and a master’s from Western Carolina University. Anne is particularly respected for her artistic, sensitive style of playing of the Appalachian dulcimer, a unique string instrument. Her music has been features on a PBS Christmas special and in educational videos.
 
George Yates

A retired professor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, George Yates has a Ph.D. in management from the University of North Texas, a master’s in management from UCLA, and a bachelor’s in structural engineering from California State Polytechnic University. He has 20 years of experience in corporate management, with extensive experience in business transactions in Europe and the Far East. He is married and has three grown children.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
  Montreat, NC 5 nights
 Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Originally completed in 1929, the 101 room Assembly Inn has undergone a major renovation. New windows have been installed throughout the building, as well as an upgraded heating and air-conditioning system. All guest rooms and public areas have been refurbished with new furniture, carpet, paint, art, lighting and bedding. This stately hotel is a beautiful stone building, overlooking a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace and comfortable furniture for fellowship, puzzles and games, or just relaxing. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica. The dining room is in the same building as our housing and meeting facilities, and an elevator serves all floors (except for 7 steps going into one main meeting area). Of Montreat's 4,000 acres, 2,500 acres are dedicated to wilderness and are entered in the NC Registry of National Heritage Areas, and we have more than a dozen maintained hiking trails. Tennis courts also available. We will have board and card games in the lobby for your enjoyment, but if you have a favorite, please feel free to bring it along. An outdoor pool is located on the grounds, but it not open during our Road Scholar programs (only open June 1 - first week in August). However, a lovely fitness center (Cheshire Fitness) is located just a few miles away, and they offer daily or weekly rates for visitors. There are no TVs or phones in the individual housing rooms, but there is a TV in the main lobby, and guests can be reached by leaving a message at the front desk (staffed 24 hours a day). If it is urgent, the front desk staff will contact the coordinator who will deliver the message in person, otherwise a note will be left on the guest's housing door. A quiet reading room is also available, located near the main lobby of the Assembly Inn.
  Ship Information: 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757
  Contact info: 401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x0
web: http://www.montreat.org/stay/assembly-inn/
  Room amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit. ADA rooms have walk-in showers. Double occupancy rooms have either two twin beds, a queen-size bed or a king-size bed. Single occupancy rooms have one queen or king-size bed. The bedrooms also have a clock/radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Each housing area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Hair dryers and irons available from the front desk. Beautiful rooms, beautiful scenery outside too!
  Facility amenities: All housing accommodations will be in the Assembly Inn. All rooms have private baths. The bathrooms have a tub/shower unit, and ADA rooms have a walk-in shower. Double occupancy rooms have two twin beds, a queen-size bed or a king-size bed. Single occupancy rooms have either a queen or king-size bed. The bedrooms also have a clock/radio, Kleenex, closets and lamps, as well as a sink and counter and a large mirror. It would be helpful to bring an umbrella, a flashlight, and individual make-up mirror, if desired. Blankets, sheets, pillows, (beds are made), bath mat and a towel set will be provided (rooms are serviced by our housekeeping staff and clean towels are available daily). Each housing and meeting area has an individual heating and air-conditioning unit. Snack and cold drink vending machines are located on the ground floor, and ice machines are on the second and third floors. Wireless Internet access (with personal laptop) in all areas of the Assembly Inn. Computer in main lobby for access to email and Internet. Courtesy phones are located on each floor.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call for price/availability. Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for price/availability. Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 - 5:30 PM, at the Assembly Inn You will be staying at Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
12:30 PM, at the Assembly Inn You will be staying at Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at the Assembly Inn in Montreat.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Montreat, NC
  Nearest city or town:  Black Mountain, NC; nearest large town: Asheville, NC
  Nearest highway: Route 9 to Interstate 40
  Nearest airport:  Asheville Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Montreat, NC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Knoxville, TN

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours, all interstate 

 

Greenville, SC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

1 1/2 hours, all interstate 

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
same as listed for airport
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

arrange for transport with Road Scholar coordinator at Montreat; she will coordinate times with other participants.

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
various... see listing below
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

price varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

35 miles

   

The Road Scholar coordinator suggests/recommends to you Grandyco Car Service 828-273-3214 and is happy to coordinate transportation for guests coming in to the Asheville airport, so price is less. Other options (visit www.flyavl.com for more) Marvels Transport 828-280-1698 A Red Cab 828-232-1112 Areawide Transportation 828-713-4710 Beaver Lake Cab 828-252-1913 Checker Cab 828-254-1155

 

Charlotte, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

None - Car Required

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours, all interstate 

 
Driving Directions
  From All Points - to Interstate 40 Come to Western North Carolina via Interstate 40; use exit 64 for Black Mountain/Montreat/Route 9 (15 miles east of Asheville, NC). At the exit, turn north on Route 9 (go through one traffic light, across a railroad track and another traffic light, and up the hill to the traffic light). Go straight across where Route 9 becomes Montreat Road, and travel approximately two miles to the Montreat entrance (stone gate). From the gate, continue approximatley 1 1/2 miles to the middle of the conference center. The Assembly Inn is on the hill on the left, across from Lake Susan. Pull up to the front door of the Inn to unload, and then park your car in one of the marked spaces along the lake or the Inn. Please note: do not trust a map or GPS that tries to bring you in on Route 9 (except for the last few miles) instead of Interstate 40 (unless you desire to travel along very sharp curves, up and down mountains). Also, do not take Flat Creek Road... come up Montreat Road (Route 9 North).
Elevation Note: Participants may wish to hike on their own in surrounding mountains, which peak elev. exceed 5,400.

Equipment Requirements: Anyone wishing to enjoy outdoor activities (walking, hiking) should bring hiking boots or shoes with tread on bottom.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Orientation
(Sunday, September 14)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 3 - 5:30 p.m. Registration for our program will be in the lower lobby from 4 - 5:30 p.m. Pull up to the Assembly Inn porch to unload, then park your vehicle in any designated spot close to the Inn or by the Lake.
 Dinner: Join us for a scrumptious dinner in the Galax Dining Room, located on the first floor of the Assembly Inn. All meals are served buffet style! A full salad bar, choice of two different entrées, vegetables, rolls/bread, fruit and dessert will tempt your taste buds and your appetite. Sweet/unsweetened tea, milk, coffee, water (cold or hot)
 Evening: Our opening program/orientation will be at 7 p.m. in Convocation Hall (also in the Assembly Inn). We'll spend some time reviewing the schedule for the week, and you'll have an opportunity to meet and hear from your instructors. Our evening will close with some "get to know you" activities and fellowship/games/puzzles in the lobby.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Two classes on America's Foreign Policy Class, and the Power of Music Class
(Monday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Is breakfast your favorite meal of the day? Then you're in for a treat! Breakfast options change each day, but will incorporate lots of your favorites. Biscuits and gravy, French toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, hash browns, oatmeal (not the packaged kind either), and lots of others. Standard offerings include fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, granola, baked pastries, orange juice (and another juice option). Fresh coffee or hot tea will start your morning off right!
 Morning: Our early morning course, with George Yates, begins our discussion on America's Foreign Policy. Given the chaotic demands of a rapidly changing world, only some of the pressures that shape a nation’s foreign policy can be proactively controlled. What are those? What cannot be controlled? We'll have a mid-morning break and then come back to class to continue discussing America's Foreign Policy. The ‘golden age’ of American foreign policy was between 1941 and 2000, when America was the world’s predominant leader and the success of its multilateral foreign policy was demonstrated by the failed challenge of the Soviet Union.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:15 - 1:15 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Typically, Monday is "soup and sandwich day." Make your own sandwich with a variety of bread and deli meat options. Enjoy a full salad bar and don't forget a light dessert!
 Afternoon: Our afternoon course, This Land is Your Land, introduces the "power of music," with the Populist Movement of 1890 - 1896, Sharecroppers and Tenant Farmers, and the Miners (1849 - 1931). 3:30 Walk Around Montreat (guided tour of grounds) or free time
 Dinner: Dinner, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Another two entrées to choose from, and lots more good veggies!
 Evening: Evening program, from 7:00 to 8:00 games/cards and tv available in the lobby for fellowship. Perhaps a movie on a big screen, if the group is interested
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Two classes on America's Foreign Policy, the Power of Music Class... Textile Workers, Hobos and Migrant workers, as well as Music since the Industrial Revolution..., and Optional Hike
(Tuesday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: Another yummy breakfast is served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
 Morning: Discussion of America's Foreign Policy continues with the period between 2001 and 2008, when a unilateral approach to America’s foreign policy was employed. The characteristics and results of these new policies will be described. We'll have a mid morning refreshment break and return to class to continue our discussions on America's Foreign Policy. During this class period, we will discuss the current foreign policy strategies America is using to address the daunting demands of an interconnected world.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Today is "Taco Tuesday" at the Inn. Build your own taco, taco salad, or whatever creative combination of Mexican fare you choose. Chips, melted cheese, and salsa (along with jalapeños if you so desire) top it all off. A complete salad bar is available as well. And don't forget to save room for some cobbler and ice cream.
 Afternoon: Our afternoon course, This Land is Your Land... focuses on the music of Textile Workers, Wobblies (industrial workers of the world), Hobos and Migrant Workers, and Folk Music since the Industrial Revolution and the early collectors. 3:30 Optional hike in the mountains Free Time
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program: Evening programs are typically a fun event -- a dance, a concert, or a storyteller games/cards/tv available in lobby for fellowship and optional movie on big screen.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: America's Foreign Policy Class, Polarization of America Class, Afternoon Free Time, and the Power of Music Class... Woody Guthrie!
(Wednesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Have you tried Ronnie's biscuits and gravy yet? If not, you don't know what you're missing!
 Morning: Our early morning course focuses on America's Foreign Policy. The most difficult aspect of American foreign policy, anticipating the future problems resulting from the chaotic combination of human behavior and physical realities, will be predicted. We'll have a refreshment break mid morning, then return to our classroom for our beginning discussions of the Polarization of America, also with George Yates. We will discuss the first of three major changes in America's political landscape that have contributed to its polarization -- the emergence of a persuasive new ideology. While there have always been groups on the liberal and conservative sides of America's political spectrum, this new ideology is unique in how quickly it organized and was able to take over the conservative side.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the area! We'll provide a listing of area attractions and directions for explorations on your own!
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Evening: Our evening course, This Land is Your Land, focuses on the music of Woody Guthrie (the early years) and New York through World War II.
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Two classes on Polarization of America, and the Power of Music Class... the New Generation
(Thursday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. Do you like sausage links or sausage patties the best?
 Morning: This morning, we will finish our discussion of the new ideology's characteristics and turn to the second factor contributing to America's political polarization -- the ready availability of 'big money' contributions to support the election of politicians and the enactment of laws. A Supreme Court decision in early 2010 combined with the development of 'super PAC's' (Political Action Committees) have facilitated the growth of 'big money' in politics. We'll have a refreshment break, and return to the classroom to continue our discussions about the Polarization of America. We will conclude our discussion of 'big money' and go on to the third major aspect of America's political polarization -- the rise of what can most accurately be described as an anti-humanistic attitude toward a broad range of Americans. Although there have always been relatively specific discriminatory trends in U.S. politics, the current anti-humanistic attitude affects a significant segment of American society. As a result, its impact is more pervasive and powerful.
 Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Afternoon: Our afternoon course, This Land is Your Land, looks at the music during the "Folk Revival," after World War II. We'll then take a listen to the New Generation, "Woody's Children." 3:30 - 5:30 free time
 Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room
 Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 evening program: games/cards/tv in lobby for fellowship (no movie tonight).
   
Accommodations: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Two classes on the Polarization of America, Lunch and Departures
(Friday, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. breakfast in the Assembly Inn Dining Room. If you've resisted Ronnie's biscuits and gravy all week... this is your last chance. Try some grits too!
 Morning: Both of our classes this morning focus on the Polarization of America with George Yates. After completing our discussion of the characteristics and results of the anti-humanistic attitude, we will shift to an analysis of the current status of America's polarization. The 2012 election and its aftermath indicate that a majority of Americans have become disenchanted, and indeed rather disgusted, with the political gridlock in Congress resulting from that polarization. We will have a refreshment break mid-morning (you may use some of your break time to check out of your room -- checkout is required by 11 a.m.) Returning to the classroom, we will complete our course by discussing how the current trends in America's political polarization provide insights into predicting its evolution over the next ten years. 12:15 - 12:30 closing program and saying good-byes.
 Lunch: 12:30 - 1:30 lunch in the Assembly Inn Dining Room (those who cannot stay for lunch may request a box lunch to take with them)
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Montreat, NC Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Asheville Chamber has specific information on Asheville and the surrounding area. Plenty of shops and places to visit! Enjoy a trolley tour of the city... For additional information, visit www.ashevillechamber.org
  Biltmore Estate
George Vanderbilt's 255-room mansion built at the end of the 19th Century, with a magnificent art collection and gardens covering 35 acres. For additional information, visit www.biltmore.com
  Black Mountain / Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce
Chamber of Commerce located in downtown Black Mountain. Phone number 828 669-2300 Quaint small town with lots of unique shops to explore. Several of these shops are "art" based -- with items the owners make. Information on all area attractions! For additional information, visit www.exploreblackmountain.com
  Black Mountain Golf Course
Boasts the world's longest fairway. Beautiful course with views of the mountains on all sides. For additional information, visit townofblackmountain.org
  Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachians -- and offer some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Hiking trails abound, both in Montreat and in the surrounding area with seasonal flora and fauna.
  Carl Sandburg Home
A simple farmhouse and goat farm donated to the Park Service by Mrs. Sandburg after the famous author and poet's death. Video about the Sandburgs--his literary work--and hers in breeding goats. House kept as though they could come home any minute! For additional information, visit nps.gov/carl
  Cherokee Indian Village
The Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Unto These Hills outdoor play (seasonal). For additional information, visit untothesehills.com
  Chimney Rock Park
Located in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Enjoy an elevator ride up 26 stores in a granite shaft to the chimney level. Gorgeous views from the top of the "chimney," and lots of hiking trails. Admission fee required. For additional information, visit chimneyrockpark.com
  Folk Art Center
Home of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild (located on the Blue Ridge Parkway) in east Asheville For additional information, visit southernhighlandguild.org/folkart.html
  Grandfather Mountain
Located in Linville, NC; attractions include a mile-high swinging bridge, natural habitat area, and hiking trails For additional information, visit grandfather.com
  Harrah's Casino
Harrah's Casino on the Cherokee Indian Reservation For additional information, visit www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/che/index.html
  Linville Caverns
A 35-minute walking tour through caverns deep under the Humpback Mountain. For additional information, visit linvillecaverns.com
  Thomas Wolfe Home
The childhood home of the famous author -- includes a video about him. House has been made into a museum. For additional information, visit www.wolfememorial.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


The Revenge of Geography


Author: Robert D. Kaplain


Ike's Bluff


Author: Evan Thomas


The Price of Inequality


Author: Joseph Stiglitz


The Paranoid Style in American Politics


Author: Richard Hofstadter


American Folksongs of Protest


Author: John Greenway


A Folk Song History of America


Author: Samuel L. Forcuccci




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