Pompeii: Lost and Found
This course will introduce class participants to the diversity and vibrancy of the ancient Italian city of Pompeii which was a bustling middle-class city which, in many ways, mirrors the development of its more famous sister- city of Rome. Pompeii offers a unique example of a provincial city which, due to natural circumstances, has been frozen in time to 79 AD through the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which covered the city, leaving it virtually untouched until modern times. Pompeii, like Rome, has left a microcosm of what it was to have lived in the ancient world. Pompeii has left the modern world a tremendous legacy through its material remains which have been translated into modern western architecture much in the same way that its political, social, religious and economic institutions have survived. Much of what we think of when we think of the “city” today stems from the ancient traditions established by those who lived on the Italian peninsula during antiquity.
When: Mondays, Feb. 10, Feb. 24-March 9 (4 sessions)
Course Leader: Ray Thompson
Ancient Egypt: Its Origins and Early history through the Pyramid Age (3100-2180 BC)
An overview of Early Egypt and its institutions, starting with “Egyptomania”—why Egypt so intrigues us, then examining its geography and climate, and religious institutions. The early period of Egypt’s history (3100-2700 BC) is little known, our understanding of this period changing almost daily with new excavations. The Pyramid Age (dynasties III-V) is a time of immense governmental centralization which allowed the construction of some of the most impressive and lasting monuments in world history---a group of nearly ninety pyramids, from Zoser’s Stepped Pyramid through the colossal pyramids of Dynasty IV at Giza. Lectures will be entirely visual to provide the feeling of “being on the spot” as we discuss each institution, early ruler, his/her monuments and the fantastic art of the time. We end with the transformation of the Old Kingdom into a time of localism and warring factions.
When: Mondays, March 16-April 27 (7 sessions)
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Course Leader: Ray Thompson
Global Health: Social, Cultural and Geographic Determinants of Health in Turkey, Ecuador, and South Africa
This course will continue our exploration of global health issues around the world. A review of the structure and functions of global health and current global health issues will serve as a foundation for a focus on the social, cultural, and geographic determinants of health in three countries - Turkey, Ecuador and South Africa. As students learn, each country has its own complex matrix of variables that make it unique and that affect the overall health of its people. Some time will also be spent in each class to address current issues in global health.
When: Mondays, March 23-April 20 (5 sessions)
Course Leader: Karin Johnson
The Movies and All that Jazz
In over 90 years of films with sound, the movie soundtrack has evolved alongside jazz. This course will examine several ways in which jazz music has combined with cinematic art to advance both forms of expression. Topics include: 1) “You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet”: Jazz and the Backstage Musical, 2) “Second Chorus”: Bandstands and Biopics 3) “After Midnight”: Jazz and Film Noir, and 4) “Odds Against Tomorrow”: Jazz Artists as Composers.
When: Tuesdays: Feb. 11-March 3 (4 sessions)
Course Leader: Phil Hesser
Literature of the Eastern Shore
This course examines Eastern Shore works written over the past 400 years. Beginning with John Smith’s Chesapeake voyages, ending with contemporary writers who tell us about the area today, this free-wheeling look at the peninsula examines poets and prose writers who offer real and imagined perspectives on Delmarva. Here are the writers we will examine: (1) John Smith (1580-1631), Chesapeake Diaries (1608-09), (2) Ebenezer Cook (1662-1732), “The Sot-Weed Factor” (1725), (3) Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself (1845), focusing on his first 20 years as an enslaved worker on antebellum Talbot county plantations; (4) George Alfred Townsend (1841-1903), Georgetown, DE, native, who chronicled ordinary Eastern Shore life; (5) Sophie Kerr (1880-1965), managing editor of the Woman’s Home Companion, born Denton, MD, who endowed Washington College’s extravagant undergraduate literary prize; (6) Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956), essayist and journalist who wrote a Baltimore Evening Sun column "Eastern Shore Kultur" (1931); (7) Ogden Nash (1902-1971), New York poet who married into a Salisbury family, summered during the 1940s on Toney Tank; writer of “silly verse”; (8) John Barth (1930- ), The End of the Road (1958), a fictional look at “Wicomico State Teacher’s College” during a time of transition; (9) James A. Michener (1907-1997), Chesapeake (1978), Pennsylvania Quaker “come-here” researched the lower Choptank River to concoct an imaginative multigenerational and multiethnic quasi-historical version of Cambridge; (10) Anne Tyler (1941- ), Baltimorean (since age 24) author of Ladder of Years (1996), a sympathetic novel about a woman who wanders about Delmarva searching for herself, trying to find solace and a clearer look at the woman she will become.
When: Tuesdays, March 17-April 28 (7 sessions)
Course Leader: Ron Dotterer
The Causes of World War II
How could it have possibly happened? The horrific casualties and economic chaos at the end of World War I made another war unthinkable. Yet barely 20 years later the same countries were at war again, with even more horrific results. The course will examine the events and personalities involved in the build-up to World War II. Topics covered will include World War I and its effects on Germany, other European nations and the United States; Mussolini and the Italian fascist movement; Germany’s economic & political chaos; the rise of Hitler & the Nazi movement; the Nazi takeover of all aspects of German life; the aggressive expansionism of Hitler’s Germany; the factors which led to weakness and timidity on the part of other European powers – and to their failure to take action when Hitler could have been easily stopped and forced from power. Mr. Roberts taught a similar course several years ago.
When: Tuesdays, March 24-April 14 (4 sessions)
Course Leader: Michael Roberts
Good Sports: Short Stories
The games people play, on and off the court, don’t always merit an ESPY, but they make for fascinating fiction. Join our team of on-the-ball “bookies” and Kindle jockeys as we read and discuss sports-themed short stories from around the world. Topics will include “How We Played,” “Golden Lads and Lasses,” “Faster,” “Post-Game,” “Masters,” and “Teams.” Readings will be provided via e-mail.
When: Wednesdays, Feb. 12-March 18 (6 sessions)
Location: Bethany Lutheran Church
Course Leader: Nancy Hesser
The Library Across Time and The Great Gamble of the Nineteenth Century: How We Won the Smithsonian
Each of these slide presentations will be given in two sessions, augmenting earlier information. From the great Library of Alexandria to the Codex form of the fifth century Bible, from Benjamin Franklin’s 1790 Library Company of Philadelphia to the bookmobile and computerization, the Library is an integral part of our household. The Smithsonian Institution, the largest museum complex in the world, rests in a way on the outcome of a bet, an amazing gamble in the young 1800s, and the impulse of that most extraordinary gift - the consistent fascination of the donor with the new United States, will always abide with us as will our appreciation of that impulse.
When: Wednesdays, February 12-March 4 (4 sessions)
Course Leader: Eleanor Mulligan
Trips and Treks: Short Stories
On the lam, on a quest, crusade, vacation, or ego trip, travelers’ tales often make for good reading. Join our caravan of fiction fans as we read and discuss an international selection of short stories about journeys by land, air, sea, and imagination. This six-week course will focus on topics such as “Getting out of Dodge,” “Treasure Hunt,” “Crossings,” “Way Stations,” “Uncharted,” and “Homecoming.” Readings will be provided via e-mail.
When: Wednesdays, March 25-April 29 (6 sessions)
Location: Bethany Lutheran Church
Course Leader: Nancy Hesser
Westward Bound: The United States Expands
Over four sessions, a vivid power point presentation will tell how, as the population of the new United States nearly doubled in the early 1800s, land became scarce and people moved west. Eventually, the dangerous, frequently terrifying, expedition of Lewis and Clark, the additional land of the Louisiana Purchase, the annexation of Texas and Spanish holdings that would become California and nearby states, drew thousands to the Pacific rim. American life was aided immeasurably by the Lincoln era’s immense new presence—the Railroad—joining the coasts. And, in 1959, after years of opposition and security haggling, Hawaii territory and former Soviet-owned Alaska came into the Union.
When: Wednesdays, March 25-April 15 (4 sessions)
Course Leader: Eleanor Mulligan
Chapters from My Life: A Course in Memoir Writing
In this class participants will write a series of short essays that form the basis of a memoir. Each class will include tips on good writing; a block of time to write using a suggested topic; and for those who want to, time to read out loud and get feedback from the rest of the class. Enrollment limited to 15.
When: Wednesdays, Feb. 5- 26 (4 sessions)
Course Leader: Jane Conly
Delmarva’s Birds: Their Lives, Loves and Challenges
In the first meeting we will review the species of birds regularly found on Delmarva, including their habitats and times of year most likely to be seen. We’ll also discuss good birding locations on Delmarva. In week two, we’ll examine “How Birds Work”, covering the basic anatomy and physiology of birds as well as a bit on avian intelligence. In the third session, we’ll discuss migration, a major and strenuous event in the lives of many of
Delmarva’s birds. We’ll discuss the geography and mechanics of migration as well as navigation and orientation, how birds find their way between their summer and winter homes. For the last week, we will discuss “family life”, reproduction and parental care, including singing and other courtship behaviors, the heavy workload of
the parents and mention some species that relinquish the care of their young to others. Along the way, we will highlight ways in which human activities have made birds’ lives even more challenging.
When: Wednesdays, Feb. 12-March 11 (5 sessions)
Course Leader: Ellen Lawler
Psychology of Death, Dying, and Bereavement
Death, dying, and bereavement affects everybody; it is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Yet, for so many, it remains either a taboo subject of conversation or provokes high levels of discomfort. Recognizing this, death education courses are now common in university curricula as well as in continuing education seminars for health care and mental health professionals. Furthermore, much work is being done to help educate the general public. This course will examine such issues as ethics, grief, loss, the health care system, and the roles of religion and spirituality, but will go beyond the academics of death education. It serves as a catalyst for a personal search into the mortality of the significant people in our lives, and ultimately, of our own mortality.
When: Thursdays, March 26-April 30 (6 sessions)
Course Leader: Carolyn Stegman
Arts and Artists: Focus Women Artists-Part 3-- “You Can’t Hold Them Down!”
This survey course will be examining Women Artists of Europe and the USA. There will be 4 classes. This class will pick up where the Fall Women Artists class left off. Part 1or 2 is not a prerequisite for Part 3 as each Women Artist is dealt with individually and in the context of her time. The Part 2 course finished with late19th century Female Artists. That will be our starting point. The artists to be covered will evolve. As the last course was written, much modern research arose broadening this subject matter. Many new discoveries of previously unknown women artists and their stories were unveiled, and then added to the course syllabus. This morphed the original plans for the course, enriching our knowledge, and fascinating many in the class. The same will happen as this class is written and designed, so an exact accounting of the women artists to be covered cannot be stated categorically here. You have to trust the journey!
When: Thursdays, Feb. 13-March 5 (4 sessions)
Course Leader: Terry Murray
This course will explore the commercial use of radioactive materials and how such uses are regulated to provide safety and security. This includes the regulation of nuclear power plants, medical uses, and radioactive materials used for applications such as road building and mining. Topics include:
nuclear power plants and their regulation, commercial and medical uses we might encounter, overview of laws and agencies involved,
what happens to the spent fuel from power plants, and
how nuclear power plants are overseen and decontaminated once they are no longer useful.
The central question of this course: How--and how well--are we protected from radiation releases due to natural disasters, accidents, or acts of terrorism?
When: Thursdays, March 26-April 23 (5 sessions)
Course Leader: Rachel Hesselink
The OSCE, America’s “Unknown” Security Arrangement; Plus Current Affairs
Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, with 57 Member States, The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the second largest Security Organization in the world, and the United States has been one of its leading Member States for the past 44 years. Yet most Americans have never heard of it, nor know the role the OSCE has played in shaping and maintaining the ideals of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, free elections among member states, as well as maintaining the stability and security of the Northern Hemisphere throughout that time. This course will explore the history and impact of this “unknown” intergovernmental institution over its nearly half century of existence, and ask why it is not better known or made better use of.
In addition, as a weekly extra, the course participants will be invited to spend 15 -20 minutes each session to examine key, current, European political development which the OSCE – or they themselves – might have on their minds.
When: Fridays, Feb. 14-March 20 (6 sessions)
Course Leader: Todd Becker
Great Decisions: Current Challenges Facing the World
The course is a presentation by video of current and past political and economic challenges the world is facing. There will be an introduction of the day’s topic and a video presentation of that topic. Following the video a discussion will take place concerning the day’s topic. The topics are: The State of the State Department, Regional Disorder in the Middle East, Made in China, Climate Change and the Global Order, China’s Road into Latin America, and Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. Course participants may choose to order the 2019 and/or the 2020 briefing books from the Foreign policy Association online at https://www.fpa.org/great_decisions/?act=gd materials or by calling 800 477 5836. The cost of the guide is $39.95
+ shipping. The book is NOT a requirement for the course.
When: Fridays, March 27-April 3, April 17-May 8 (6 sessions) Location: MAC
Course Leader: Dale Godfrey