“LEARNING – JUST FOR THE FUN OF IT!” The 2018 Winter/Spring Learning Sessions are listed below in chronologic order by their beginning date for the month of January. Those beginning in February, March and April are on separate pages. Included with class descriptions is biographical information on each instructor. Many are one day sessions but others continue on the same day of the week for two to six weeks.
All learning sessions, except for walking and hiking ones, are held in classrooms on the Charlotte campus of Florida SouthWestern State College at 26300 Airport Road in Punta Gorda. Each classroom has up-to-date audio-visual equipment and there is ample parking with short walks to the “D” building (the only two-story building on campus).
You can register online with your credit card by clicking on the appropriate “Add to Cart” button (FRIENDS member or non-member) or you can call the LLI office at 941-637-3533. Refunds must be requested either by email or in writing through the U.S. mail and will be granted only prior to the first scheduled session.
NOTE: Additional sessions may be added as details are confirmed.
Now make your choices and learn — just for the fun of it!
Tuesday, Jan. 23, 10:00 – 11:50 am (1 session), Classroom D108 “Magic on the Bay: An Illustrated Story of Historic Spanish Point” -with John McCarthy
This will be an overview of the fascinating story of Historic Spanish Point, from prehistoric times to our first homesteader to the creation of Gulf Coast Heritage Association to preserve, restore and interpret this very special place in Osprey, Sarasota County, Florida. John McCarthy is the Executive Director of Gulf Coast Heritage Association/Historic Spanish Point. John is well known in Sarasota as a historical tour guide, lecturer and occasional writer. Prior to his work with Gulf Coast Heritage, John served as County Historian and Director of Parks & Recreation in Sarasota Co. Government. John was born in Ft. Myers and lives in Sarasota. NOTE: This learning session is scheduled one week before an optional LLI trip to Historic Spanish Point on Jan. 30.
Wednesdays, Jan. 24 & 31, Feb. 7 - 28, 10:00 – 11:50 am (6 sessions), Meeting Room O117 (between cafeteria and auditorium) “The Matrix of Western Culture” with Arthur Wenk
NOTE: Each of these sessions is designed as a stand-alone session. Students may register for any (at $10 for FRIENDS members or $15 for nonmembers) or all sessions (at $60 for FRIENDS members and $90 for nonmembers).
Jan. 24 - “Music of the Spheres: Art, Drama, Philosophy and Mathematics in Ancient Greece” The harmonious relation of parts to the whole becomes manifest in works of Sophocles, Plato & Aristotle, Euclid’s geometry and the proportions of the Parthenon. Jan. 31 - “From Monastery to Cathedral: the Arts in the Middle Ages” Principles of orthodoxy, uniformity and hierarchy characterize the Age of Faith, in which the Church, the conservator of western culture, reached the summit of its power in the 13th century, the era of the Gothic cathedral and the rise of polyphonic music. Feb. 7 - “Perspective in Renaissance Art, Music and Drama” The idea of self-awareness added a new dimension to art and literature in the Age of Humanism, from Chaucer to Shakespeare, from Giotto to Da Vinci, at the same time as a new vertical perspective added another dimension to music. Feb. 14 - “The Drama of the Baroque: What do Bach, Tom Jones and Thomas Jefferson have in common?” Attitudes of optimism, skepticism and rationality informed the Age of Enlightenment, in which the scientific revolution launched by Copernicus, Descartes and Newton provided the model for systematic thought applied to all areas of human activity. Feb. 21 - “The Shock of the New: Rebellion and Uncertainty in Art and Science” New ideas undermine the most fundamental assumptions about the nature of the world and traditional expectations in the arts: industrialization, nationalism, evolution, relativity, quantum mechanics & modernism. Feb. 28 - “Through the Matrix: A Longitudinal Perspective on Science, the Arts and Philosophy” The long historical view: classical vs. relativistic physics, the monomyth, symbolism vs. realism, universal principles of art, faith vs. reason. Arthur Wenk has followed successive careers as musicologist, calculus teacher and psychotherapist while maintaining musical pursuits as pianist, organist and choral conductor. In recent years he has written a series of mystery novellas with a musicologist as sleuth.
Wednesdays, Jan. 24 and 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28, 1:00 – 2:50 pm (6 sessions), Classroom D108 “Contemporary Economics: Economic Growth, Tax Reform, Jobs and Economic Mobility” with Gene Laber
After an extraordinarily long and slow recovery, the US economy is at full employment. However, it is afflicted with slow growth of output and wages, and those conditions are stimulating discussions about economic policies, including tax reform, international trade, and infrastructure. At the same time, debates about economic mobility and job losses from automation have focused attention on whether the American Dream is dead. We will address these issues, with a view toward understanding basic economic principles and empirical evidence that are relevant to the policy discussions at hand. Gene Laber is professor emeritus at the Univ. of Vermont. He holds a PhD in economics from the Univ. of Maryland and was on the faculty of the Univ. of Vermont, where he taught courses in economics and finance for 28 years. He has consulted with numerous corporations, testified as an expert witness in regulatory proceedings and court cases in various states, and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank.
Thursday, Jan. 25, 10:00 – 11:50 am (1 session) “Preparing for More Irmas: Mitigation & Adaptation” with Coty Keller, Classroom D108
Hurricane Irma represents the new normal: the strongest storms will get stronger in the coming decades as the ocean temperatures warm; creeping sea level rise will make storm surges and inundation worse, particularly for low-lying areas; and storms that do form are likely to bring more precipitation with them. Now that the likelihood of increasing catastrophic weather events is on people's minds, a question is what kind of action should we take? There are two strategies for dealing with the climate change crisis: adaptation and mitigation. Adaptation (building dikes, elevating buildings) aims to protect us from the problem. Mitigation (reducing the emission of heat trapping gases) has to do with slowing and/or reversing global warming, and therefore reducing the likelihood of severe weather events and catastrophic sea level rise. This lecture will explore the pros and cons of adaptation and mitigation. Coty Keller is a retired Vietnam vet, ecologist and Florida Master Naturalist. He is co-author of Urgency and Action: mitigating climate change. He also wrote 40,000 lb. Carbon Diet: how a middle class American Family cut its carbon footprint by 75% and made money doing it.
Thursdays, Jan. 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, Mar. 1, 1:00 – 2:50 pm (6 sessions), Classroom D103 “Writing Poetry II” with Dorothy H. Brooks
In this course we will discuss elements of craft, such as imagery, metaphor, endings, etc., using as examples poems from contemporary poets. Students will have an opportunity to compose a poem, as well as a chance to bring in a poem for critiquing if they wish. Students who have previously taken this class, or have other experience writing poetry, are most welcome to attend. Dorothy H. Brooks writes poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in numerous literary magazines. She has a Master’s degree in education from Tulane University and has taught fiction in the continuing education program of Kennesaw State University in Atlanta. Her full length book of poetry, A Fine Dusting of Brightness, was published in 2013 by Aldrich Press.
Friday, Jan. 26, 10:00 – 11:50 am (1 session), Classroom D108 "Best Genealogy Websites" with Joanne Ryder
Existing online genealogy records are often scattered across a number of Internet locations. If you are lucky enough to find a record, the website itself may be confusing to navigate. Some are pay sites; others, free. Whether you’re just starting your research or have been doing it for a while, learn which websites can help you most, with an emphasis on the “free” sites. Joanne’s original genealogy research was in Western Pennsylvania where both sides of her family emigrated from Germany. German genealogy is now her passion! Joanne founded the SW Florida Germanic Genealogy Society, serving as its president, 2006-2014. Today, she is society newsletter editor and webmaster. A past president of the Charlotte County Genealogical Society, she is a member of six other genealogical societies. Joanne presents both general and German genealogy topics, speaking throughout Florida. She has lectured at FSW and recently spoke at the International German Genealogy Partnership conference in Minneapolis.
Mondays, Jan. 29 & Feb. 5, 10:00 - 11:50 am (2 sessions), Classroom D201 “Changing World of Retirement Planning Workshop” with Leo D. Boisvert, MBA, CDFA™, CIMA®
Regardless of your stage in the process of pre-retire ment or retirement you’ll learn updated strategies that will help you build and preserve wealth in volatile times. This course is designed to help you assess your current financial position, lay out a personalized roadmap to help you achieve your retirement goals, and to give you a comprehensive view of financial education. Leo D. Boisvert is Senior Managing Partner and Chief Financial Strategist of Private Wealth Consultants, LLC. He is responsible for wealth preservation strategies, strategic investment development, liability management, and charitable planning strategies for estate, corporate, personal and foundation groups. Leo was awarded the designation of Certified Investment Management Analyst® (C.I.M.A.) from the Univ. of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, in association with the Investment Management Consultants Assn; the CIMA® designation is held by only 5000 financial professionals worldwide.
Tuesday, Jan. 30, 1:00 – 2:50 pm (1 session), Classroom D103 “Restoration of Sculpture, Monuments and Fine Art Objects” with Andrew Baxter
Andrew Baxter will give an overview of his 40 year career working with metal and stone restoration. A PowerPoint slide show will be presented to cover projects at the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, the White House and other museums and sites in Virginia and New York. Methods of treatment, working with other museum professionals and historical context will be discussed. Andrew Baxter has a BFA in sculpture from the California College of the Arts in Oakland. He worked for seven years as a senior artisan at the Tallix Art Foundry in NY where he mastered his skills with bronze casting and restoration. He is president of, and has operated, Bronze et al, Ltd. Fine Art Conservation based in Virginia for over 20 years.