Curriculum

WEDNESDAYS

9:00–10:30am

GREAT MOMENTS IN AMERICAN POETRY—1855, 1914, THE 1920s & THE 1960s: Can Poetry Change the World? The Poems of Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Alan Ginsberg

Particularly at moments of seemingly dramatic cultural change, poets respond with new forms and subject matter. By looking at particular poems by several important American poets, we will examine what was happening to American poetry and then examine the world the poets were portraying. Please bring your own copies of works by the poets we will be studying.

TOWNSEND LUDINGTON is Boshamer Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UNC–Chapel Hill, where he taught American studies and American literature, and for many years he directed the American Studies program. He is the author or editor of numerous works about American literature and culture.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 9:00–10:30am, The Bishop’s House. Maximum: 18. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1443.

 

9:00–10:30am SUMMITRY: Summit Diplomacy

This course will partially tell a story of success and failure that has profoundly affected everyone living in the second half of the twentieth century, whether or not they lived through the Second World War. The international political structure of the modern world, moreover, is directly linked to the way the relationship between Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, and Hitler (not to mention Truman) evolved; how they reacted personally to each other; how they came to set their political sights for the postwar world as high as they did; and how the interplay between these men conducting a fight to the finish against common enemies was followed, after the war had been won, by conflicting strains similar to those who brought the triumverate of ancient Rome to an end.

WENDELL MUSSER, MD, is a retired academic physician who held faculty positions at Indiana, Duke, George Washington, and Emory Universities and the University of Kentucky. He is a longtime book collector, primarily of books about Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and feels that a day away from OLLI is a day away from happiness.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 9:00–10:30am, The Bishop’s House. Maximum: 35. Fee: $50. Course ID: 0657.

 

9:00–10:30am THE HISTORY OF MONEY & FINANCIAL MARKETS

This course will review the history of money and financial markets over the last two thousand years with a primary focus on the last century. (Real ancient coins will be provided as an illustration.) We’ll discuss central banks, money supply, and inflation. We will review current examples of market inefficiencies, discuss the academic literature, and review their causes. We will review the history of financial bubbles and panics. We’ll also discuss the role of behavioral finance on financial markets. We’ll review a number of current debates in the financial markets including active versus passive management, and review the academic research on both sides of the debate.

KEN NELSON provides economic commentary on television and radio. He earned his MBA from Duke University and has guest lectured there. Ken started on Wall Street in the 1980s and runs an investment advisory practice.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 9:00–10:30am, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 30. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1464.

 

9:00–10:30am TRAIN YOUR BRAIN TO REDUCE BACK PAIN: Self Care for Your Back the Feldenkrais Way

Learn movement strategies from The Feldenkrais Method of Movement Re-education and the Change Your Age program that bring back pain relief. Discover how to harness the plasticity of your neurological system to improve the effectiveness with which your brain coordinates your spinal movement. As your unconscious and limiting spinal movement habits begin to shift to more healthy movement habits, you will move back into action in your daily life with greater ease and comfort than you have felt in a long time.

Please note: You must be able to lie on the floor comfortably. Please bring a mat, thick blanket, or sleeping bag on which to lie, and a big towel for head support. Wear comfortable clothes for movement and dress in layers. Please contact the instructor (919-967-8013 or movewithelan@earthlink.net) to discuss any concerns you might have about your ability to participate. Classes are suitable for both new and returning students, and both women and men are welcome.

KAREN DOLD, a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and well-loved teacher, has been teaching Awareness Through Movement classes at OLLI since 2006 and throughout the Triangle since 2000.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 9:00–10:30am, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 18. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1149.

 

11:00am–12:30pm MOHANDAS KARAMCHAND GANDHI: Life and Philosophy

Gandhi (1869–1948), known as Mahatma (“Great Soul”) and Bapu (“father”) of modern India, is one of the best known twentieth-century personalities. His use of active nonviolence and respectful noncooperation was instrumental in Indian independence, and has inspired many others, including Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. Innumerable scholarly and popular works are available about Gandhi; in this seminar, we will read one book supplemented by additional readings to briefly survey Gandhi’s biography as it shaped his philosophy. Topics will include Gandhi’s evolution toward notions of ahimsa (nonviolence) to affect social change; understanding and respect of religions; interpretation of traditional Indian and contemporary Western philosophies; leadership in the South African civil rights and Indian freedom movements; efforts against poverty, illiteracy, and mistreatment of women, while reconciling modernity with ancient wisdom; and timelessness as well as criticisms of his legacy. There may be a charming guest speaker who marched with Gandhi, as well as dinner out with him and his wife.

Required text:

  • Stanley Wolpert, Gandhi’s Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi (ISBN 978-0195156348), Oxford University Press, 2002, $21.95.

DILIP BARMAN is a long-time OLLI instructor who has taught at numerous schools. He is a professional photographer.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 11:00am–12:30pm, The Bishop’s House. Maximum: 15. Fee: $50. Course ID: 0619.

 

11:00am–12:30pm DUTCH ART & SOCIETY IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY: Picturing a Golden Past

The seventeenth-century Dutch delighted in pictures of themselves. The paintings they purchased for their homes depict husbands and wives, their possessions, the places where they lived and worked, and the particulars of their day-to-day lives. This was a period of peace and prosperity for the Dutch—a Golden Age—and they were pleased to record all aspects of their good lives in paint. In fact, no other people before them produced such a remarkable pictorial record of themselves and their world.

Remarkable, too, were the painters whose pictures comprise this archive of the commonplace. In this course, we will look at lively portraits by Frans Hals; light-filled landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan van Goyen, and Aelbert Cuyp; and engaging genre scenes by Judith Leyster, Pieter de Hooch, and Jan Steen. These and other talented artists transformed mundane themes into masterpieces that bring seventeenth-century Dutch society vividly and delightfully to life.

CAROLYN WOOD has a PhD in art history, with a specialty in Renaissance and Baroque art. She has taught art history and museum studies at Bowdoin College, the University of Georgia and UNC–Chapel Hill. She worked at the Ackland Art Museum for many years, serving as educator for university audiences and as assistant director for art and education.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 11:00am–12:30pm, The Bishop’s House. Maximum: 35. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1423.

 

11:00am–12:30pm THE WORLD TODAY

This course is for those who are interested in current events. Each week we will discuss news from the United States, the world, and the Triangle. We will begin each class with a list of proposed topics and discuss those of interest to the group. Class members may also offer topics for discussion.

Active participation by class members is encouraged (but not mandatory), since it expands our mutual understanding of the many events that might affect us. Discussions are enriched by the variety of backgrounds, expertise, and viewpoints of class members. Topics are discussed knowledgeably, respectfully, and sometimes with passion, but we always end with humor, looking forward to the next class.

We offer two sections of this course. The discussion leaders will rotate between the two sections. Each has participated in The World Today discussions many times, each brings a distinctive style and background to the class, and, most important, each will elicit a wide spectrum of views from class members.

HENRY BLINDER is an attorney and served in several different positions as a legal counsel to local government and state agencies. He was the city attorney for the City of Durham for many years prior to his retirement in 2008 and has lived in Durham for more than thirty years.

TOM HAUCK grew up overseas and then worked for Texaco managing petroleum marketing companies in West Africa and Central and South America, ending his career in Nigeria.

DOUG LONGMAN has taught several classes at OLLI on international political economy, public policy, and economics. He has a doctorate in business administration, and has taught previously at the University of Chicago, UNC–Chapel Hill, and the University of Texas.

BOB LYNCH has taught and counseled students from the seventh grade to university level during a forty-four-year career in education. With two master’s degrees (Antioch College in social studies and NYU in counseling), he has spent the bulk of his career as a high school counselor.

RIC SHEPHERD has been a CPA for thirty-one years. Originally located in the Boston area, since 1988 he has lived and practiced in the Triangle area. His specialty is financial consulting to business, and he teaches at Wake Tech Community College.

Please note: There are two sections of this course open for enrollment. When registering online, enter the four-digit Course ID (0393) into the course search. You will then need to choose between the two sections. If registering by paper, write the preferred section on the line.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 11:00am–12:30pm, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 30 in each section. Fee: $50.

Section 1: Course ID: 0393-025

Section 2: Course ID: 0393-026

 

11:00am–12:30pm BRAIN SCIENCE FOR NOT-SO-DUMMIES: An Introduction to the Basic Anatomy, Physiology, Function, and Limitations of the Human Brain and Nervous System

This course offers (1) an overview of the basic structure and biology of the human nervous system (brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system), (2) some fundamental dynamics of the nervous system (development, learning and memory, aging and the response to injury), (3) an overview of what goes wrong in some common diseases of the nervous system, (4) an introduction to general concepts related to therapies for neurological disorders (i.e., drugs and electrical stimulation), (5) discussion on the limitations and fallibility of human perception, interpretation and memory, and, finally, (6) discussion on one or more “hot topics” in neuroscience, such as “brain training” or the placebo effect.

ERIC W. HARRIS, PhD, has more than forty years’ experience in neuroscience, including academic research, drug discovery, and drug development (clinical trials and interactions with FDA). He is passionate about neuroscience and science education, as well as critical thinking, and looks forward to answering and being challenged by participants’ questions.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 11:00am–12:30pm, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 25. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1457.

 

11:00am–12:30pm WOMEN ON WEIGHTS PLUS: Resistance Training and Aerobic Activity

Research continues to document the benefits of strength training to slow age-related muscle loss, increase bone density, and produce a beneficial protein in the brain. Class begins with twenty minutes of moderately vigorous, low-impact aerobic activity performed with peppy music. After a quick water break, we will move into the resistance training segment. Here we will utilize a variety of muscle-strengthening equipment including dumbbells and resistance tubes. Balance training and stretching exercises are integrated into the routines to promote other important components of fitness. Mats are provided or bring your own. Experience the support of a group while you exercise under the watchful eye of an experienced personal trainer. It is always recommended to check with your doctor before engaging in a new exercise program. If you have any questions or concerns, please email the instructor at juliarose21@gmail.com.

Please note: Students are encouraged to purchase resistance tubes with padded handles—one skinny, one slightly thicker, available for $10-15 at Target, Sears, Walmart, etc.

JULIA ROSE is a certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She leads exercise classes in a variety of settings and has been helping active older adults get stronger at OLLI since 2006.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 11:00am–12:30pm, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 18. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1152.

 

11:00am–12:30pm THE GREAT PRESIDENTS: Leadership in American History

Ranking the forty-three men who have served as America’s president is one of the most satisfying games played by historians. The presidency was established in Article II of the United States Constitution (1787), but it was the men subsequently elected to that office who gave substance to the words. Our course examines the most significant presidential tenures and traces the development of the office in times of war and peace. Although “Greatness” is often in the eyes of the beholder, historians agree that relatively few of our Chief Executives deserve the accolade. Our discussions will consider the many functions of the president and how the office has become the center of public policy. America’s great presidents, along with the mediocre and the outright failures, are the subject of our sprint through American History.

GEORGE J. LANKEVICH, professor emeritus of history at CUNY, has written over twenty volumes of history.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 11:00am–12:30pm, Galloway Ridge, 3000 Galloway Ridge, Pittsboro. Maximum: 30. Fee: $50. Course ID: 0896.

 

1:30–3:00pm THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION: An Exploration of the Leading Figures and Social Dynamics of the Sixteenth Century

In this brief survey course, through class readings, lectures, video presentations, and discussions, we will explore the social, economic, technological, and political circumstances; the leading figures; and spiritual yearnings that provided the impetus for the Protestant Reformation and the beginnings of Early Modern Europe. In addition, we will explore whether there are inferences that might be applicable to twenty-first-century personal faith journeys. Because of the breadth of the subject, participants should plan to read up to forty pages prior to each class.

Please note: In preparation for the first class, please read chapter 1 of the required text (eighteen pages) and the paper “An Ecosystem Overview of the Transition from Medieval to Early Modern Europe” (twelve pages), which will be emailed to participants.

Required text:

  • Glenn Sunshine, The Reformation for Armchair Theologians (ISBN 978-0664228156), Westminster John Knox Press, 2005, $12.59.

Prior to his retirement, Dr. BILL dePRATER served as a presbytery executive and pastor with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Rev. MICKEY dePRATER prior to her retirement served as a chaplain and pulpit supply in PCUSA congregations.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 1:30–3:00pm, The Bishop’s House. Maximum: 18. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1472.

 

1:30–3:00pm WHAT TO EAT & WHY: Evidence-Based Guide to Healthy Nutrition

Recommendations on what we should eat and drink in order to maximize our longevity and quality of life are abundant. Some are designed to sell us products that are not in our best interest. Others come from well-intentioned sources that don’t have long-term results to back up their approach. The last decade has seen several large longitudinal studies yield solid results, correlating diet with health outcomes, on which to base a rational diet. The instructor will present his recommendations on what to eat and drink, and what to avoid. The research findings supporting benefits and risks will be discussed, as well as the remaining areas of uncertainty. A spreadsheet will be supplied with which you can evaluate the nutrient value of your own current diet and calculate the results of changes in your diet.

EDWIN COX practiced hematology and medical oncology in Durham for thirty years and was director of database for the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center for eleven years, during which he designed and performed data analysis for clinical trials and research studies.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 1:30–3:00pm, The Bishop’s House. Maximum: 18. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1466.

 

1:30–3:00pm ANCIENT GREEK MATHEMATICS: From the Blasphemy of Pythagoras to the Murder of Archimedes

Pythagoras discovered an alarming secret that still confuses people and incites debate today. Unlike Galileo, who was arrested and convicted for astronomy, Pythagoras kept the discovery secret in his lifetime. Zeno posed the famous paradoxes, and Archimedes gave a logical solution around 250 BC. Archimedes was then killed for his use of STEM subjects in the defense of Syracuse against the Roman army. In those wonderful times, mathematics was dramatic and very human. In this course, we will cover some of the big discoveries, in the context of the lives and motivations of the men and the culture of their time. We will do some math but will start with first principles; if you can make change at the Starbucks and sketch a floorplan of your home, you can follow the reasoning, all of which is still valid deductive logic today.

PETER H. ST. JOHN, MS, BA (Duke ’78), is a software developer trained as a mathematician, with a lifelong love of history.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 1:30–3:00pm, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 30. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1456.

 

1:30–3:00pm WHY IS INTERFAITH DEEPER FAITH?

When we encounter practitioners of other spiritual, religious, and moral traditions, we often bring our own fears, prejudices, and experiences to the table. Our anxiety sometimes prevents us from asking questions and seeking to understand common narratives between many traditions. In this course, we will explore how we can bridge these gaps not only to learn from one another’s journeys but also to deepen our own faiths and awareness of our spiritual gifts and sacred purposes. Specifically, we will explore the concept that God is bigger than one religion and our limited intellectual conceptions; seek to understand the many ways in which God has appeared to various cultures across time and how that helps us cultivate a greater appreciation for and depth of our own faith tradition in the context of a multifaith world; and rediscover the simple, common teaching of nonviolence, along with the profound application of the teaching in a modern world.

Required text:

  • J. Dana Trent, Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk (ISBN 978-1935205166), Fresh Air Books, 2013, $12.09.

J. DANA TRENT is an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist tradition and author of Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk. She blogs and loves to travel and cook with her devout Hindu husband, Fred Eaker.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 1:30–3:00pm, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 20. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1473.

 

3:15–4:45pm WOMEN & INVESTING: Taking Control of Your Financial Future

This class is designed for women who want to learn how to take charge of their current and future financial situation. Life expectancy studies show that women today are more likely to live longer than men, which means most women can expect one day to manage the finances for themselves and perhaps also for their families. Are you prepared? Are you confident you have an understanding as to how things are to be managed? This course will start with a basic education on investing and investments. From there we will explore protecting assets against prevailing risks today and making sure your assets are structured to pass to the next generation successfully. The ultimate goal is for each woman to finish the course feeling confident and prepared to manage her or her family’s finances going forward.

JULIE KELLY has been teaching at OLLI for four years. She has been in the finance industry for almost ten years. She started her career working for two well-known firms based out of New York City. As a vice president, regional manager for AllianceBernstein, she coached and educated financial advisors how to effectively work better with clients as it pertained to retirement income planning, asset allocation, and communicating the complexities of the capital markets. For the last three and a half years, she has been running her own practice for Edward Jones Investments, focusing on helping families both successfully transition into retirement and leave legacies to the next generation.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 3:15–4:45pm, The Bishop’s House. Maximum: 18. Fee: $50. Course ID: 0922.

 

3:15–4:15pm INVESTING WITH YOUR VALUES: Using Sustainable and Responsible Investing to Enhance Your Retirement Portfolio

Assets allocated to sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) portfolios have been growing at a compound annual rate of 11 percent since the mid-1990s, faster than the markets as a whole. Why? Many people today want the opportunity to invest with their values while still earning competitive returns. And research demonstrates that businesses with sustainable practices can be better long-term investment choices than “conventional” businesses. We will focus on how investors can incorporate SRI strategies into their existing retirement portfolios. We will examine how environmental, social, and governance criteria are used in selecting investments. Guest speakers will discuss how SRI firms work with corporations to promote sustainable business practices and why top Fortune 500 companies and major institutions are leading the way. We will also explore the rapid growth of SRI alternative investment strategies that are providing retirement income, including green bonds, real estate investments trusts, and master limited partnerships.

SUSAN ROSENTHAL is a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley. Her professional passion is helping clients build and preserve their wealth and achieve the quality of life they seek. With her focus on sustainable and responsible impact investing, Susan works with clients to align their financial goals with their values.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 3:15–4:15pm (please note times), Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 25. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1429.

 

3:15–4:45pm AWAKENING OUR INTUITION: What in the World Are You Trying to Tell Yourself?

In this course, we will explore how intuition nudges us to make important, and sometimes difficult, changes in our lives. We will investigate how our dreams, illnesses, and gut feelings can provide valuable insights for our “internal intuitive guidance system,” as Mona Lisa Schulz describes it. Class discussions may include how each individual’s use of symbols is unique and how journaling and meditation may be beneficial in awakening our intuition.

Recommended text:

  • Mona Lisa Schulz, Awakening Intuition: Using Your Mind-Body Network for Insight and Healing (ISBN 978-0609804247) Harmony, 1999, $16.00.

DIANA MEAD worked in information technology at NASA, Oxford University, and UNCTAD in Geneva, where she spent most of her life. She is vice president of a private foundation whose focus has been on empowering youth since 1989. She has always been fascinated by the brain, since studying it at Wittenberg University and experiencing the unanticipated results of meditation practice.

ANNE M. LOGAN holds two master’s degrees (nursing and health services administration) from Saint Joseph’s College of Standish, Maine. She currently works as a registered nurse within the community as a RSVP volunteer, nurse educator, and manager of Grow Power Self Improvement.

6 Wednesdays, April 16–May 21, 3:15–4:45pm, Judea Reform Education Building. Maximum: 15. Fee: $50. Course ID: 1440.

 

SWING BAND and/or DIXIE DUKES: Wednesdays, April 16–May 21. SWING BAND, 3:30–5:00pm; DIXIE DUKES, 5:00–6:30pm. Durham Academy Middle School. Fee: $25 for either or both, in addition to the $35 Concert Band fee. See details under Thursdays Course ID: 0456.

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