Courses and Registration

Spring 2024



Health and Nutrition
Mondays: April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Hybrid / College Park Hall, room M102a and Zoom

This course will explore the many connections between nutrition and health.
Week 1: Reading the Food Package: Learn about the nutrition facts label, what nutrient content claims and health claims are, and what information the U.S. government regulates. The latest version of the USDA Dietary Guidelines will be discussed.
Week 2: Meal Planning on a Budget: Discover ways to make your food budget stretch, including “shopping” your pantry, eating seasonally, and estimating portion sizes. Budget-friendly recipes will be provided.
Week 3: Intuitive Eating/Health at Every Size©: Intuitive eating, designed by two registered dietitians, seeks to help people improve their relationship with food. Health at Every Size© is the belief that weight is not an accurate indicator of health and how to pursue health without focusing on intentional weight loss.
Week 4: Food Safety: Food-borne illness (also called food poisoning) can be especially dangerous for older adults. We will discuss the temperature danger zone, common food-borne illnesses and ways to prevent cross-contamination.
Week 5: Heart Health: Learn the basics of heart health, including limiting sodium and saturated fat, the different types of fat, the Mediterranean and DASH diets and hydration. Learn about vegan and vegetarian diets and receive heart-healthy recipes. Discover ways to decrease the amount of sodium, sugar and saturated fat in recipes using alternatives to flavor food. Presenter: Debbie Griswold Coordinator: Elizabeth Paul

Religion, Evil and Suffering
Tuesdays: April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Hybrid / College Park Hall, room M102a and Zoom

It's easy to identify acts of evil and experiences of suffering, both currently and historically, that seem senseless and meaningless. So why do evil and suffering exist in the world? Since religions claim to make sense of human existence and how the world works, do evil and suffering constitute an insurmountable problem for them? Are evil and suffering more of a challenge to some religious traditions than to others? This course critically examines answers to the problem of evil and suffering offered by various religious traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism). We will consider how their distinctive answers arise from key concepts within each religion and how answers have changed over time in response to intellectual and moral developments. The course also addresses recent critical appraisals of religion around the questions: Is religion itself a source of evil and suffering? And, can science offer better explanations for suffering and evil via the theory of evolution, the “selfish gene” or sociobiology?Presenter: Peter Bedford Coordinator: Cathy Lewis

Topics in Geology
Tuesdays: April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Hybrid / College Park Hall, room M102a and Zoom

Three scientists will speak on a variety of topics.
Week 1: Charles Ver Straeten will describe the rocks and fossils of the Catskills that tell us about the lands in New York long before dinosaurs.
Week 2: Kurt Hollocher will discuss the geologic development of the Caledonian Mountain Chain of Scandinavia and its connections with the North American Appalachians.
Week 3: Kurt Hollocher will explain the origin of the Earth -- how we got the planet that we have today.
Week 4: George Shaw will describe the striking parallels between the geologies of New York and Minnesota, including features from our emergence from the last ice age.
Week 5: George Shaw will discuss the climate crisis and the multi-pronged approach that will be needed to avert it. Coordinator: Phyllis Budka

Topics in Economics
Wednesdays: April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Hybrid / College Park Hall, M102a and Zoom (April 17th session will meet in Emerson Auditorium)

Five economists will speak on a variety of topics.
Week 1: Mary O’Keeffe will explore the fascinating history and evolution of the U.S. income tax system, one of the most complex in the world.
Week 2: Dolores Garrido will explain how the presence (or absence) of information affects the decision-making process and strategic behavior of firms and consumers.
Week 3: Erika Rodriguez will discuss the economics of education by expanding the usual consumer/producer dichotomy to analyze the complex interaction of incentives between students, educators, institutions and society, which comprise the market for education.
Week 4: Therese McCarty will explore the relationship between production, consumption and environmental issues in several specific places, through the lens of student projects from her Environmental Economics & Natural Resources course.
Week 5: Kaywana Raeburn will discuss some of the psychological processes and biases that influence human judgement and decision-making, with an emphasis on how to incorporate such insights into everyday life and policymaking.
Coordinator: Cathy Lewis

Operatic Couples with Issues
Wednesdays: April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1
2 – 4 p.m.
Hybrid / Emerson Auditorium and Zoom

Josef Schmee will present mainstream operas that deal with cultural and philosophical issues that affect the relationship between couples. We start with Abduction from the Seraglio, Mozart’s first big success. The Ottoman ruler Bassa Selim has captured a Western ship with motley characters. He is especially enamored with Konstanze, who is already betrothed to Belmonte. How can Konstanze resolve her dilemma? Give in to the ruler or stay faithful to her fiancée? The second opera is Verdi’s Otello, based on Shakespeare with a libretto by Arrigo Boito. The relationship between Desdemona and Otello starts as extraordinary love that gets progressively undermined by the arch villain Iago, who sows malicious doubts in the fertile soil of Otello’s soul. Next is Doctor Atomic by John Adams, with a libretto by Peter Sellars. J. Robert Oppenheimer oversees the project to build the first atomic bomb. The scientist with this daunting task must face the “normalcy” of his wife, Kitty. He needs to ask: Should science create a crisis in the expectations of common people? The fourth opera is Arabella, the final collaboration between Strauss and Hofmannsthal. Arabella is a widely admired and impoverished young lady. She holds off suitors until she finds the right one, the noble and rich country landlord Mandryka. Falling in love is easy, bringing it to a lasting conclusion is what the opera is about. Lastly, we review Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. Turandot is an icy princess who takes pleasure in executing suitors that can’t solve her three riddles. Prince Kalaf and his loving slave, Liu, melt Turandot’s ice. Puccini’s last and unfinished work is always a highpoint of any operatic season. Coordinators: Jim Comly with Jim Burns

Relief Printmaking
Thursdays: April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
In-person / Visual Arts Printmaking Studio (Limit 12)

This workshop surveys basic concepts in traditional relief printmaking. It is suitable for beginners, those looking to brush up on skills or students looking for a creative pursuit they can accomplish at home. Participants learn to carve, print and edition their own unique images using reductive and multi-block methods. Emphasis will be on hand-printing methods so students have the option to establish a practice at home. In addition to linoleum blocks, adaptable materials are available for different levels of dexterity. Students with manual limitations can opt to work with softer materials and use the studio’s presses. This workshop uses water-soluble inks and solvents are limited to rubbing alcohol. Material fee: $25 Instructor: Allison Conley

Move to Dance, Dance to Move: An Adult Dance Class
Thursdays: April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2
11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
In-person / Henle Dance Studio (Limit 25)

This 5-week program for adults (age 55+) will take students through a gentle dance-based warmup focusing on movement and exercises that can be practiced outside the class. Movement will draw from principles of ballet and modern dance, incorporating exercises for greater body awareness, including the instructor’s personal knowledge gained from physical therapy, yoga and as a licensed massage therapist. As our bodies age, we tend to stop using certain muscle groups. This causes loss of strength, flexibility, proprioception, balance and ultimately, a loss of freedom to move…and dance! Consciously including specific exercises into the warm-up and choreography of the class helps us to maintain our ability to move and dance more freely. Along with this there is an emphasis on experiencing the joy and sheer pleasure of moving our bodies while keeping them healthy. Instructor: Maxine Lindig Coordinator: Laurie Zabele Cawley

Contemporary China
Thursdays: April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2
1 - 2:30 pm

This course will address major aspects of Chinese culture and society focusing on key economic, political, ethnic and regional influences.
Week 1 will explore the historic differences among various classes in Chinese society and its impact on modern day life.
Week 2 will focus on the regional differences of the dominant Han group and contrast that with the influence and role of the 56 other ethnic groups.
Week 3 investigates the urban-rural divide in today’s China and how that impacts a wide range of domestic and international economic entities and factors, from tiered rail systems to trade.
Week 4 is all about the Chinese Communist Party, its leadership and priorities -- including the control it wields over every aspect of Chinese society.
Week 5 looks at Chinese perceptions of the United States government and its citizens.
Presenter: Jonathan Ryweck Coordinator: Jeff Rothman