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Fall 2017 Program  

Multi-Session Courses | Single-Session Courses | Tours |
Theater Productions & Classes


F1701  Take Fourteen:  Surveying the Sonnet through the Centuries
Presenter:  Leonore Gerstein
Dates:  Wednesdays, September 6, 13, and 20
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Imagine having to "say it all" in fourteen lines!  In our measured space of six class hours, we will sample some of the finest representatives of the sonnet, a strict but versatile and widely-used poetic form.  In the first week we will read English sonnets from the 16th and 17th centuries, and in the second we will survey the 19th century in both England and the United States.  In the third week, we will read translations of sonnets originally written in Italian, French, and Spanish.  All of the texts can be found in The Making of a Sonnet:  A Norton Anthology, edited by Edward Hirsch and Eavan Boland (W. W. Norton, 2008).  In light of the volume's size and cost, Leonore will mail the first session's selections to participants one week in advance.  The selections for the remaining two weeks will be distributed during the first class.  

Leonore Mohill Gerstein was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and spent many of her formative years in Israel, first at a kibbutz, and then in Jerusalem, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in English and Philosophy.  Leonore is passionate about poetry and is always eager to explore a variety of works with veteran and new Elderwise members.


F1702  The Game of Mah-Jongg
Presenter:  Stuart Baggaley
Dates:  Mondays, September 11 and 18
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25

Invented by Confucius thousands of years ago?  By Chinese army officers during the Taiping Rebellion?  Or, by two brothers from Níngpō in 1850? 

No one knows for sure, but the ancient board game of Mah-Jongg remains a popular pastime for millions of people around the world.  Meaning “sparrow” in Chinese, Mah-Jongg appears to be enjoying a resurgence in North America.  In this course Stuart Baggaley will present his simplified version of this addictive game, and will guide class participants in hands-on instruction.  Our classes will include a brief lecture on the history and variants of the game.  

Stuart Baggaley is a British World War II veteran (Royal Air Force), and a retired University of Michigan Medical School administrator (Anatomy Department).  Moving to Norway after the war, Stuart lived in Oslo for nine years before leaving his position with the Fulbright Foundation and moving to the United States in 1957.  He enjoys golfing, running and, of course, Mah-Jongg.


F1703  Great European Classical Composers
Presenter:  Jeanette Coviak
Dates:  Wednesdays, September 13 and 20
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25

Using videos from the Kultur series, we will crisscross Europe, following in the footsteps of four great classical music composers.  At each stop, a musician or historian will serve as our guide to the composers’ public and private lives.  During the first week we will travel back in time to the late 1600s with Antonio Vivaldi, whose composition The Four Seasons is perhaps the most recognized piece of Baroque music ever written.  Then we will leap forward to the early 1800s to Hector Berlioz, a largely self-taught genius of French Romanticism.

In the second week we will focus on the middle 1800s, with Georges Bizet, whose brief but productive life gave us the beloved opera Carmen, and then on to Jacques Offenbach, whose name is synonymous with light operetta, farce, and entertainment.  

Jeanette Coviak has served Elderwise as an officer, a leader, and an instructor, for almost 20 years.  Her love of music began when she was given a piano at the age of 12, and grew over the years with her late husband Jerry, who was a classical music buff.  Jeanette enjoys sharing her passion and her knowledge with Elderwise.


F1704  Alexandre Dumas:  The Count of Monte Cristo
Presenter:  George Stewart
Dates:  Thursdays, September 14, 21, 28, October 5 and 12
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $40; Nonmembers $55
Text: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas's epic tale of betrayal, wrongful imprisonment, escape, reclamation, vengeance and - maybe - redemption is one of literature's great page turners.  It is long, but when you have finished reading it, you may wish that it had been even longer.  The 1996 Robin Buss translation is a good one and is recommended.  For the first class, please read Chapters 1 through 26, roughly the first one-fifth of the novel.  

George Stewart practiced law for many years in Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, and Ann Arbor.  He is honing his retirement skills by reading, and rereading, great writers like Alexandre Dumas.  He looks forward to sharing the pleasures of The Count of Monte Cristo with like-minded readers.


F1705  Taking Apart the News
Presenter:  Al Chambers
Dates:  Thursdays, September 14, 21, 28, and October 5
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $32; Nonmembers $45

The goal of this class throughout its many years has always been to provide useful information, combined with interactive discussion about the news, why it is considered to be news, and how different media report and analyze the developments.  Journalism has become increasingly challenging in recent years as the speed of technologies and the number of media platforms have multiplied.  The startling ascent of Donald Trump, with his fascination for and dependence on the media, continues to matter.  There are increasing “point of view” print, electronic, and online journalistic competitors.  Many are prospering, even as polling shows record distrust for the media.  In these sessions, we may be able to return to broader media subjects and perspectives beyond American politics.  That will depend, however, on the news itself and the surrounding public dialogue. 

Veteran journalist, communications consultant and Elderwise instructor Al Chambers realizes that the United States and its media are in a period unlike anything we have previously experienced.  He finds the current situation fascinating, but also possibly threatening to key tenets of American and global democracy and freedom of the press.


F1706  Creative Writing Workshop
Presenter:  Jane Bridges
Dates:  Tuesdays, September 19, October 17, November 14 and 28
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee:  Members $32; Nonmembers $45
Class Size:  Enrollment for this class is limited to 12 attendees.

Led by published poet and retired teacher Jane Bridges, this workshop offers a relaxed setting for writers of all interests and levels.  She will suggest methods for mining memories, maintaining a journal, and adding music and mystery to both prose and poetry.  Whether you would like to delve into family history, memoir, or fantasy, or discover new formats, this workshop can help.  Sharing your drafts with peers and listening to their reactions is a proven road to more effective writing.  In this small group you will never feel overwhelmed or overlooked, and you will meet new friends whose lively company you will enjoy.  Please bring 13 copies of your work to each session for distribution among the participants – up to two pages for poetry, three pages for prose.  

Jane Bridges grew up in Texas, New Hampshire, and in India.  She has lived in Ann Arbor for more than 50 years and has taught writing in both public and private schools.  Jane’s poems have been accepted for publication in the journals Paterson Literary Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Third Wednesday, and The MacGuffin.  She will be assisted by co-facilitator Carol Westfall.  


F1707  Best-Seller Book Club
Presenter:  Shirley Southgate
Dates:  Mondays, September 25, October 30, and November 27
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Using prepared questions and our own observations, the discussion each month will explore a book from current best-seller lists.  Selected books for the Fall 2017 semester are:

September: The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah  (Fiction)
October:     Lion:  A Long Way Home, by Saroo Brierley  (Non-fiction)
November: All the Missing Girls, by Megan Miranda  (Fiction)

Please read The Nightingale before the first class.  A list of discussion questions for each book will be sent to registrants prior to each Book Club session.  

Shirley Southgate is a long-time member of both Elderwise and the Best-Seller Book Club.  She is an avid reader and looks forward to a lively exchange of ideas, opinions, and interpretations.


F1708  Black and White…Together? Part I, Slavery
Presenter:  Ken Phifer
Dates:  Fridays, September 29, October 6, 13, and 20
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $32; Nonmembers $45

One of the major themes of American history is race.  The tensions of recent years, the presence in government of believers in white supremacy, and the general ignorance of past conditions of slavery and vicious prejudice against black people – all make it clear there is much to learn if we are to live in an equitable and just society.  This course is divided into two parts.  This first part deals with slavery, and the second with Jim Crow and Civil Rights.  In both parts, the course tries to examine our history with a focus on black-white relations, black suffering, and black achievements.  Part II, listed as F1718 in this catalog, is offered in November.  You may enroll in either one or both parts.  Part I is not a prerequisite for Part II.  

Ken Phifer did his undergraduate work at Harvard College and his doctoral work at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.  He has published three books and more than 20 articles on a wide range of topics, and has taught a variety of subjects at Elderwise, including a history of Christianity, women in the Old and New Testaments, religion and violence, ethics, and race relations.


F1709  An Introduction to the History, Culture, and Religion of Islam
Presenter:  Michael Fahy
Dates:  Mondays, October 2 and 16
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25

With 1.8 billion Muslims in the world today, Islam is the world’s second largest religion.  While Islam has been prominent in the news since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, its association with conflict and instability in the Middle East has led to persistent misconceptions and misunderstandings about the faith.  In this course Michael Fahy will discuss the origins of Islam and its relationship to other Abrahamic monotheistic faiths of Judaism and Christianity, as well as the main tenets of Muslim theology and varying trends within the faith.  In a brief historical overview, he will describe the decisive influence of Islamic civilization on the Western Renaissance.  Like all major religions, Islam is internally diverse, and we will pay particular attention to how different ideas and beliefs are practiced at different times and in different places.  

Michael Fahy holds a Ph.D. degree in anthropology from the University of Michigan and currently teaches in the University’s School of Education.  He is an anthropologist of the Middle East, where he lived and pursued research for several years.  Since 2004 Michael has offered presentations on Middle Eastern history and culture to American military personnel across the United States and Europe.


F1710  Classical Music:  History’s Great Works
Presenter:  Toby Teorey
Dates:  Mondays, October 2, 9, and 16
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $24; Nonmembers $35

In a combined pleasure of viewing and listening, Professor Robert Greenberg and Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas take us into the life stories of several of the greatest musical composers of the Western World, and the historic events that provided the inspiration for some of their most famous works.  In this class we will view the history of and listen to excerpts from these extraordinary works:  George Frideric Handel (Water Music Suite,1714); Hector Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique, 1830); Richard Wagner (The Ring, 1876); Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 4; 1878); Antonin Dvorak (Symphony No. 9, The New World, 1893); and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (The Golden Cockerel, 1907).  

Toby Teorey is a former chair of the Elderwise Council and a long-time member of the Curriculum Committee.  He is retired from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, and in retirement pursues his enduring love of classical music.


F1711  Tibet in the Modern World
Presenter:  Jiu-Hwa Upshur
Dates:  Tuesdays, October 3 and 10
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25

Formidable mountains and deserts isolated Tibet from the outside world until the 7th century, when Buddhism was introduced from India, and when Tibet and China began to forge a close relationship.  In the 18th century, the Chinese established dominance over Tibet, but by the mid 19th century Tibet had become a bone of contention between the British and Russian empires in their great game for control over much of Asia.  In this class we will learn how, in the mid 20th century, Russia and Britain withdrew their involvement, and how Tibetan hopes for national independence were doomed in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China began to assert control over China’s borderlands.  The United States was both hostile to the new Chinese regime and sympathetic to Tibetan aspirations, but was unable to render effective aid to Tibetan resistance.  Tibet’s leaders – the Dalai Lama and his supporters – fled to India, and Tibet’s indigenous  government has remained in exile ever since.  

Jiu-Hwa Upshur received her B.A. degree from the University of Sydney, Australia, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history from the University of Michigan where she specialized in modern Chinese history.  Jiu-Hwa retired from the Department of History at Eastern Michigan University in 2007.


F1712  U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. – Origins and Formative Years of the Cold War
Presenter:  Mike Homel
Dates:  Wednesdays, October 11, 18, and 25
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Owing to President Trump’s praise for Vladimir Putin and to Russian interference in our 2016 elections, U.S.- Russian relations have regained their former prominence.  From 1945 to 1990,  U.S.- Russian conflicts dominated world politics.  What were the causes of the Cold War?  How did strategic national interest, economic competition, ideology, and domestic politics combine to set two super powers against each other?  In this course we will begin by discussing the Russian revolutions of 1917, trace the fascist threats of the 1930s, and examine the critical events of World War II.  For the post-war era, we will look at the ways in which the Truman Doctrine, economic and military alliances, nuclear weapons, and the Korean War all shaped the dangerous struggle between two national titans.  As we know, that rivalry continues today. 

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University.  Mike specializes in 20th century U.S. history and U.S. urban history.  He is the author of several books and publications on American history, and on urban politics and education.


F1713  Herman Melville’s “Bartleby”:  Story and Film
Presenter:  Kevin Eyster
Dates/Times:  Thursday, October 12, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
                       Monday, October 30, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25
Text:  Bartleby and Benito Cereno by Herman Melville

           Dover Thrift Edition paperback, 1990    ISBN 0-486-26473-4

In the mid 1850s, after having published travel adventures based on his South Seas sailing experiences, as well as Moby-Dick and Pierre, Herman Melville (1819-1891) began writing short stories and novellas that were published anonymously in two major American monthlies:  Harper’s and Putnam’s.  One of these stories was “Bartleby the Scrivener:  A Story of Wall-street,” in which a finance lawyer recalls his experience hiring and working with a most singular and unique copyist known as Bartleby.  On October 12 we will discuss our reading of this rich and compelling story in the context of Melville’s life and times, and the ways in which the story still resonates for readers in the 21st century.  On October 30 we will view a film adaptation of the tale (Pantheon Film Productions, 1972), with Paul Scofield playing The Accountant and John McEnery as Bartleby. 

While serving as Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Chair of the Department of Language, Literature, Communication and Writing at Madonna University, Kevin Eyster still finds time to do what he enjoys doing most – teaching and discussing literature.


F1714  Sacred Path, Holy Place
Presenter:  Michael R. Kapetan
Dates:  Wednesdays, October 18, 25, November 1 and 8
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $32; Nonmembers $45

This course will examine the universal human urge to give permanent form to our most ephemeral longings.  We will visit exemplary structures raised on holy ground on every continent except Antarctica, in every age, and for most if not all of mankind's great spiritual traditions.  We shall be alert to aspects of sacred architecture shared in common by all faiths, and equally sensitive to those aspects of form, structure and decoration that make each tradition unique. 

Michael R. Kapetan is an artist whose own work is informed by the scientific, the aesthetic, and the spiritual as he creates holy images for churches, synagogues, and temples, plus unique solar sculptures that mark the turning of the seasons.  Mike is retired from the University of Michigan School of Art.  He holds a degree in art history from Harvard University, and a Master’s degree in sculpture from the University of Michigan.


F1715 The Tudors, Part II:  The Reign of Elizabeth I
Presenter:  Susan Nenadic
Dates:  Thursdays, October 19, 26, November 2 and 9
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee:  Members $32; Nonmembers $45

Last spring we began our study of the Tudor dynasty in England.  Part II of this series considers film portrayals of the reign of Elizabeth I.  Did the teenage Elizabeth really have a child by Thomas Seymour?  Was she the consummate politician and diplomat as some say she was?  What was her relationship with Robert Dudley?  How did she feel about the execution of Mary Queen of Scots?  And when did she develop the iconic image of Gloriana, the Virgin Queen?  You need not have participated in Part I to enjoy this sequel.

October 19: Elizabeth R, 1971, BBC television serial drama, featuring Glenda Jackson

October 26: Elizabeth: The Golden Age, 2007, Universal Pictures, featuring Cate Blanchett

November 2: Elizabeth Rex, 2004, film adaptation of a Stratford Festival play, featuring Diane D'Aquila

November 9: Anonymous, 2011, Columbia Pictures, featuring Vanessa Redgrave

Susan Nenadic taught high school English and history.  She utilized film to train her students to look at movies the way they would a piece of printed literature.  Ms. Nenadic has published many historical articles as well as two books, A Purse of her Own:  Occupations of Nineteenth Century Women, and Legendary Locals of Ann Arbor. She regularly provides programs for groups throughout Michigan.


F1716  From Age-ing to Sage-ing:  A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older
Presenter:  Mike Murray
Dates:  Tuesdays, October 24 and 31
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25
Text:  From Age-ing to Sage-ing:  A Revolutionary Approach to Growing Older by Rabbi Zalman Sachachter-Shalomi, Warner Books, 1997; 2014 paperback

                        Reading the text prior to the class is recommended, but not required.

In his book, From Age-ing to Sage-ing, Rabbi Zalman shows readers how to create an aging process for themselves that is full of adventure, passion, mystery, and fulfillment, rather than anxiety.  Using scientific research, both neurological and psychological, Rabbi Zalman offers techniques that will expand horizons beyond the narrow view of the present into a grand and enduring eternity.  Join us as presenter Mike Murray leads us in a discussion of this text about enlightened aging.  

Mike Murray is a clinical psychologist and a specialist in the field of positive psychology.  He is also an expert on mindfulness and has studied and practiced Western and Eastern methods of meditation for over 50 years.


F1717  United States Foreign Affairs:  Imminent Challenges
Presenter:  Toby Teorey
Dates:  Thursdays, November 2 and 9
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25

The conduct of foreign affairs has been a growing challenge for American presidents and their
administrations in the 21st century.  Issues such as the Brexit fallout, the rise of non-democratic states, massive immigration due to economic and political hardships, terrorism, and the specter of nuclear war, have made our citizens more intensely interested in what is happening in the Middle East, Europe, Russia, China, and North Korea.  In this class we will view and discuss two recent videos from the acclaimed PBS Frontline series, in order to better understand the background of the current difficult world situation America confronts, and our policy options as we face these challenges.  

Toby Teorey is the former Chair of Elderwise Council.  He is retired from the faculty of the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan where he specialized in computer science.  Toby has a lifelong interest in current events and foreign affairs.


F1718  Black and White…Together?  Part II, Jim Crow and Civil Rights
Presenter:  Ken Phifer
Dates:  Fridays, November 3, 10, and 17
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $24; Nonmembers $35

One of the major themes of American history is race.  The tensions of recent years, the presence in government of believers in white supremacy, and the general ignorance of past conditions of slavery and vicious prejudice against black people – all make it clear there is much to learn if we are to live in an equitable and just society.  This is the second of a two-part course.  Part I, offered in October and listed as F1708 in this catalog, deals with slavery.  This part, Part II, deals first with the Jim Crow phenomenon, and then with Civil Rights.  Attendance at Part I is not a prerequisite for enrollment in Part II.  Both segments try to examine our history with a focus on black-white relations, black suffering, and black achievements.  

Ken Phifer did his undergraduate work at Harvard College and his doctoral work at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.  He has published three books and more than 20 articles on a wide range of topics, and has taught a variety of subjects at Elderwise, including a history of Christianity, women in the Old and New Testaments, religion and violence, ethics, and race relations.


F1719  An Astronomer’s Bucket List
Presenter:  Philip Hughes
Dates:  Fridays, November 3, 10, and 17
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Discovery of the Higgs particle (the "god" particle), validation of Einstein's General Relativity through the detection of gravitational waves, detecting signs of life on other worlds, discovering the nature of dark matter, understanding the origins of dark energy, and finding evidence for cosmological inflation – these are all things astronomer Phil Hughes believed he would never see in his lifetime.  And yet the Higgs particle was found in 2013, and gravitational waves were detected in 2015.  There are now real prospects of detecting life beyond Earth and explaining the nature of dark matter in the coming years.  Progress on dark energy and finding evidence for inflation seem more elusive goals, but given the staggering advances made as we begin our journey through the 21st century, who knows?  Phil will discuss each of these topics, explaining their significance, the progress that has been made, and what the future might hold.  

Philip Hughes teaches in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Michigan.  His current research interests include relativistic flows and wavelet analysis, with an emphasis on simulation and imaging.


F1720  The History of Life on Planet Earth:  4.6 Billion Years Ago to the Present Time
Presenter:  David Thompson
Dates:  Mondays, November 13 and 20
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fees:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25

In our first class session, David Thompson will explain the evidence of earliest life through the expansions of the Cambrian period, the rise of arthropods (trilobites and eurypterids), the rise of fish (armored, cartilaginous, and boney), the rise of plants, the early mammal-like reptiles, and the mass extinction of the Permian period.  In our second class we will learn about the recovery of life and the rise of the dinosaurs after the Permian, the Mesozoic era of 170 million years leading to the Cretaceous mass extinction, which paved the way for the rise of mammals and flowering plants (grasses).  For the last 66 million years, we   will learn about the repeated glaciation of the Earth, and the rise of most primitive to modern humans and animals.  Dave will also tell us about our current mass extinction, the Anthropocene era. 

Dave Thompson has been engaged in collecting fossils since childhood and regards it as his adult avocation.  He is a member of the Friends of the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology, where he also has exhibited.  Dave has been a guest paleontologist at the University’s Natural History Museum.  He currently is retired from his professional career as a substance abuse therapist and counselor.




 F1721  An Introduction to the Baha’i Faith
Presenter:  Paul Harrison
Date:  Wednesday, September 6
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Founded in 1844 in Iran, the Baha’i Faith is among the youngest of the world’s major religions and, with an estimated six million followers in 234 countries, it is also among the fastest growing.  Its appealing belief system emphasizes the equality of all humans, the harmony of science and religion, and the essential unity of the world’s major religions.  In this class Paul Harrison will review the key tenets and scriptural sources of the Baha’i faith.  We will learn about the faith’s heroic inception, current administration and leadership, traditions and ceremonies (or lack thereof), how the Baha’i Faith has been spread, and the faith’s current status within its birthplace nation of Iran.  Paul will also discuss Baha’i views on marriage and family life, government, politics, and the military.  He invites you to bring your questions.  

Paul Harrison is a guitarist, songwriter, electrician, and devoted family man.  He has been a member of the Ann Arbor Baha'i community for over 30 years, and has been active in the administration of this group for the past 20 years.


F1722  The Polar Bear Expedition of 1918 and 1919
Presenter:  Roger Crownover
Date:  Thursday, September 7
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

The American military intervention at Archanagel, Russia, during the final years of world War I, was nicknamed the Polar Bear Expedition.  This remains a strange episode in the annals of American history.  Presumably sent to Russia to prevent a German advance and to help reopen the Eastern Front, American soldiers found themselves fighting Bolshevik revolutionaries for months after the truce ending the war was signed in November 1918.  Most of the Polar Bear troops came from the State of Michigan.  These Michigan men suddenly found themselves caught up in the Russian revolution, and in the origins of the animosity between Russia and the United States that has continued to the present day.  

Roger Crownover holds a Ph.D. degree in military history and is Professor Emeritus at Madonna University in the Department of History.  He is the author of The United States Intervention in North Russia - 1918, 1919: The Polar Bear Odyssey. Roger Crownover holds a Ph.D. degree in military history and is Professor Emeritus at Madonna University in the Department of History.  He is the author of The United States Intervention in North Russia - 1918, 1919:  The Polar Bear Odyssey.


F1723  From Budapest to Amsterdam:  A European River Journey
Presenter:  George Jabol
Date:  Thursday, September 7
Time:  1:00 to 3:30 p.m.  [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]

Travelling through the heart of Europe along the arteries of the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers is an education in cultural anatomy.  In this class we will join George Jabol on his 2016 three-week river cruise, starting at proud and beautiful Budapest.  Not far upstream lies romantic Vienna, displaying elegant architecture and one of the world’s richest musical heritages.  From here, and all the way to the Netherlands, the interconnecting rivers form a twisting spine that is dotted with quaint towns and villages, medieval castles, and scenic hillsides covered with vineyards.  Our journey passes through a dozen historic settings, replete with legends and charm, and sites such as the abbey at Melk and the cities of Regensburg, Koblenz, and Cologne.  We will stop along the way to explore authentic Dutch windmills at Kinderdijk.  Amsterdam is at the northern end of our journey – a vibrant city of canals, flowers, and the art of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.  

George Jabol received his B.A. degree from Muskingum College in Ohio, and a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. Retired from a career with the federal government, George is currently self-employed as a consultant on Social Security.


F1724  Electric Trolleys of Washtenaw County
Presenter:  H. Mark Hildebrandt
Date:  Friday, September 8
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Our speaker, Mark Hildebrandt, will present vintage photographs from his book and trace the introduction of electric traction in Ann Arbor during the late 19th century.  We will follow the building of a non-electric interurban railroad along Packard Road, the electrification of the Ypsi-Ann line, and the line’s sequential extension to Detroit, Saline, Chelsea, and eventually to Jackson.  Mark’s  presentation will describe the equipment, the offices and shops in Ypsilanti, and the operations in Ann Arbor, Saline and Chelsea.  We will learn about the electric coal-hauling railroad built by the University of Michigan, and the decline and abandonment of interurban rail due to competition from automobiles and paved roads.  

H. Mark Hildebrandt is a retired pediatrician who taught and practiced medicine in Ann Arbor for 50 years.  He is a local history enthusiast with a lifelong interest in electric railroads and street cars.  He is the co-author, with Martha Churchill, of Electric Trolleys of Washtenaw County (2009).  Mark is also the author of A History of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor, Part II (2014).


F1725  Ovid's Metamorphoses
Presenter:  Jeffrey Cordell
Date:  Friday, September 8
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Text:  Metamorphoses by Ovid, translated by Rolphe Humphries Penguin Books, paperback, 1960    ISBN 978-0-25-320001-3

Written in 8 A.D., Ovid’s Metamorphoses is a sequence of connected, often humorous tales chronicling the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar.  Its 15 books and more than 250 myths have inspired works of art, music, and literature throughout the Middle Ages, during the Renaissance period, and continuing to the present day.  In this class we will read and discuss the opening books of the Metamorphoses, and consider some of the subsequent works that have been inspired by it. 

Jeffrey Cordell holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature from the University of Virginia.  He has taught literature and academic writing at Boston University, Harvard, and Alma College.  Jeffrey presently is an assistant professor at Madonna University in the Department of Language, Literature, Communication and Writing.


 F1726  War Through the Eyes of a Child:  1861, 1917, 1941
Presenter:  Rochelle Balkam
Date:  Monday, September 11
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

In this centennial year of remembrance of United States engagement in The Great War (World War I), our past is on our minds.  From the time Rochelle Balkam was a child, she listened to stories about ancestors who had gone to war.  These heroes included William Renwick who received the Kearney Cross for bravery in the Civil War, and Howard Renwick who joined the Coast Guard one week after he and Rochelle’s grandmother were married in 1918.  Rochelle’s father, Vince Balkam, served in Guam during WWII, and was a special undercover agent in the Air Force during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.  This heritage has played a role in Rochelle’s journey to become a history teacher.  In this class, she will share photos, artifacts, and stories, and will encourage class members to share their own experiences.  

Rochelle Balkam has taught Michigan history at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) for 26 years.  She holds an M.A. degree in history and an M.S. in historic preservation from EMU, and is Chair of the Friends of the Townhall School on the EMU campus.  Rochelle serves on the board of the Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Association, and is a former board member of the Historical Society of Michigan.


F1727  Melodrama:  The Hero of 19th Century Theater
Presenter:  Laura C. Bird
Date:  Tuesday, September 12
Time:  2:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 2:00 start and 4:00 end times.]

Can you imagine going to the theater and being treated to a horse chase (precursor to our ubiquitous car chase) with live horses running around on a complicated system of treadmills?  Add to the mix some dastardly villains, dashing heroes, and damsels in distress, and you have the essence of 19th century melodrama.  Come join us as Laura Bird leads us on an exploration of the sources of this popular American entertainment – the plays, the actors, the audiences, and the special effects.  

Laura C. Bird earned her degrees in theater and theater history from Eastern Michigan University and Michigan State University.  She has taught theater history, directing, and technical theater at several institutions in Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Currently, Laura is a member of the theater faculty at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor.  She is also a member of the Board of PTD Productions, a community theater organization in Ypsilanti.


F1728  Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan:  An Integrated Assessment
Presenter:  John Callewaert
Date:  Monday, September 18
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Hydraulic fracturing has been championed as a way to move toward energy independence and a cleaner energy supply.  As domestic natural gas production has accelerated in recent years, however, the hydraulic fracturing process has come under increased public scrutiny.  Concerns include perceived lack of transparency, chemical contamination, water availability, waste water disposal, and impacts on ecosystems, human health, and surrounding communities.  The Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Integrated Assessment (IA) is the result of a unique partnership involving several University of Michigan units, industry representatives, environmental organizations, and state regulators.  In this presentation, John Callewaert will discuss Michigan-specific policy options for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, with a focus on three key issues:  chemical use, water resources, and public participation. 

John Callewaert is the Program Director for Emerging Opportunities at the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute.  He is responsible for designing, implementing, and overseeing a wide range of activities involving subject matter experts, decision-makers, and key stakeholders in outlining viable pathways toward sustainability solutions.


 F1729  Climate Change in the Great Lakes: Challenges and Opportunities
Presenter:  Kris Olsson
Date:  Friday, September 22
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

In the face of rising temperatures, more intense storms (and other weird weather), and rising sea levels, Earth's population is facing some daunting challenges in dealing with a changing climate.  Our presenter, Kris Olsson, has participated in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership training program for educating the public about climate change.  According to Kris, "The most important thing I learned at the training was that while the scale of the problem is monumental, the opportunities to fix the problem are tremendous, with renewable energy costs plummeting and capacity skyrocketing.”  America’s states and cities (including Ann Arbor), and many countries across the globe, are turning to solar, wind, and energy conservation at record rates.  Join us for this class to learn more about how we can move Michigan and the world towards a sustainable future.  

Kris Olsson is a watershed ecologist at the Huron River Watershed Council, where she focuses on GIS (Geographic Information System) analysis, landscape ecology, and local government planning.  Kris holds two Master of Science degrees (resource ecology, natural resource policy) from the University of Michigan.


F1730  The Top Pop Tunes of 1955 to 1972:  An Exercise in Ranking
Presenters:  Chris Hee and Mike Zeiger
Date:  Friday, September 22
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]

In January of 1973, Mike Zeiger and Chris Hee decided it would be fun to compile a list of their favorite top singles from the previous 17 years, using Billboard’s ratings along with their own preferences.  While this was just the kind of project to appeal to a pair of analytical minds, neither Mike nor Chris realized that it would take almost two years to complete their list.  Part of the motivation for the project came from reading Joel Whitburn’s Billboard chart book, Top Pop Records 1955-1972.  In this class, Mike and Chris will play a number of the top-ranking songs on their final list.  How many of your favorites made the list?  Are there any songs by Elvis, the Everly Brothers, or the Beatles in the countdown?  Next, we will ask class members to rank the songs independently.  In conclusion, class-member rankings will be compared with Chris and Mike’s rankings.  We predict a lot of surprises!  

Chris Hee is a retired math professor at Eastern Michigan University (EMU).  He has a fairly large record collection including much pop music from this era.  He has been an Ann Arbor Folk Festival attendee since 1977, and has been an Ark attendee since 1970 and a volunteer there for the past 12 years.  

Mike Zeiger is currently a computer science professor at EMU.  When he was five years old, his parents presented him with his very first phonograph, along with a stack of 78 RPM records.  Mike began listening to weekly pop singles countdowns on the radio, which, in turn, inspired him to compile lists of his own favorite top songs of the day.


F1731  Happiness:  Our Most Valued Emotion
Presenter:  Hedy Brodak
Date:  Tuesday, September 26
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.   [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.
You have to catch it yourself. — Benjamin Franklin.

The feature documentary film Happy (2011) was written, directed, and co-produced by Academy Award nominated film-maker Roko Belic.  It explores human happiness through interviews with people from all walks of life in 14 different countries, weaving in the newest findings of positive psychology.  This is not a movie that tells you what to do.  Just like a good teacher, it shows you what is possible, even in situations that seem impossible.  Join us to view and discuss this thought-provoking film.  

Hedy Brodak retired in 2007 as the Assistant Library Director of the Troy Public Library where she particularly enjoyed planning film and book discussion events for library patrons.  She continues to enjoy the study of films and their relationship to current times.


F1732  Famous Libraries of the World: Providing Bridges from the Past to Posterity
Presenters:  Gerlinda Melchiori, Connie Olson, and Julie Teorey
Date:  Wednesday, September 27
Time:  1:00 to 3:30 p.m.  [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]

History is an ocean that books help us navigate.  It is the permanence of the printed word that has allowed us to travel from place to place and from time to time. 
Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone
Out of the Flames, 2002

In this class a panel of three experts on world libraries will lead our discussion of major repositories of human history, thought, and culture – ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary library collections.  We will learn about one of the world’s earliest research libraries, Egypt’s Library of Alexandria, and explore the illuminated collections of the Abbey in Melk, Austria.  We will visit an exemplar private library, the Medici Library in Florence, Italy, and our own national library, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  Finally, we will tour one of the world’s finest lending libraries, the New York Public Library in New York City.  Our panelists emphasize that this is, indeed, a discussion, and welcome participation on the part of all attending.  

Gerlinda Melchiori is a university consultant and a world traveler specializing in history, humanities and the arts.  

Connie Olson is a long-time library enthusiast and an expert on the Carnegie Libraries of the United States. 

With her background in education and journalism, Julie Teorey is an avid reader, and a promoter of the value of libraries and the preservation of the printed word.


F1733  American Musical Theater – The Game Changers
Presenter:  Phil Simmons
Date:  Friday, September 29
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

This class will focus on game changers in American musical theater – shows, composers, and performers who influenced the evolution of a unique theatrical genre.  We will focus on shows such as Show Boat and Oklahoma!, on path-breaking composers such as Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, and Jason Robert Brown, and on memorable performers including Chita Rivera, Jerry Orbach, and Sutton Foster – all of whom significantly helped to shape American musical theater.  

Phil Simmons is a professor of musical theater at Eastern Michigan University, and a card-carrying member of the Actors Equity Association.  He has lectured and taught master classes in dance across the United States, focusing on the style of dancers such as Bob Fosse and their influence on musical theater and the dance community.  Phil finds his passion in teaching the next generation of actors, singers, and dancers to be happy, thriving, career-long performers.


F1734  Personal Computer and Internet Security
Presenter:  Harvey Juster
Date:  Wednesday, October 4
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

This class will focus on Windows PCs.  Harvey Juster will describe ways you can protect both your computer data and your personal identity.  He will cover methods of keeping your computer safer by installing antivirus software and enabling software updates, and ways to avoid such email and web security threats as ransomware and phishing.  He will also discuss alternative means of backing up your files, the best practices for choosing passwords, how to keep wireless transmissions secure, the latest internet and telephone scams, common-sense tips for Facebook security, and the basics of preventing identity theft. There will be opportunities for questions and discussion.  

Harvey Juster is a semi-retired IT consultant who has guided friends, family, and businesses through the task of protecting their data from internal and external threats.  He holds an engineering degree from the University of Michigan and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.


F1735  Film Noir:  The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Presenter:  Julie Teorey
Date:  Wednesday, October 4
Time:  1:00 to 3:30 p.m.  [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]

The Night of the Hunter (1955) stars Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, and Lillian Gish.  This is film noir at its best, where evil hides in the shadows while innocence literally floats down a dark and lonely river seeking safety.  Join us to see whether ex-con Harry Powell (Mitchum) captures his newly acquired stepchildren as they try to escape his grasp by riding the river in an old flat-bottom boat.  If Powell finds them, he will force them to tell him where a stash of money is hidden.  Ah, but the light of good appears in the form of shotgun-toting Lillian Gish … yes, THE Lillian Gish!  Come share the tension, munch popcorn, and enjoy watching these talented actors at the top of their form.  

Julie Teorey received her Bachelor’s degree in education and her Master’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.  She is a big fan of classic movies.


F1736  Paul Nash:  Painting the Horrors of War
Presenter:  Boyd E. Chapin, Jr.
Date:  Friday, October 6
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Art and war have a long mutual history.  Paul Nash is arguably the greatest war artist Great Britain has produced.  The works that first earned him renown, We Are Making a New World and The Menin Road, are striking images of destruction set in the trenches of World War I.  He painted splintered tree stumps and lumpy mud seas, and shockingly captured the annihilation of nature at bomb-blasted Ypres and Passchendaele.  Nash found a new style of art to represent a new horror.  Two and half decades later, more esteemed than ever and a war artist once again, he painted the unforgettable ocean graveyard of crashed German planes, Totes Meer.  We will examine the art that came out of World War I, concentrating on Paul Nash, but viewing him as part of a brotherhood of artists who painted similar scenes.

Boyd Chapin is a graduate of Wayne State University and a senior attorney with the Detroit firm of Garan Lucow Miller, PC.  Boyd is a former docent with the Detroit Institute of Arts, and has an ongoing passion for all forms of art which he pursues through his own work in pencil, oil, and acrylic.


F1737  A Creature Double Feature:
Creatures of the Night and Creepy, Crawly, Icky Ones, Too!
Presenter:      Don Chalfant
Date:  Monday, October 9
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

In this presentation Don Chalfant departs from his usual display of colorful sunlit birds and butterflies and leads us into the realm of Michigan’s nocturnal denizens.  Creatures of the Night presents some of our less popular animals, and those that are more often heard than seen.  Creepy, Crawly, Icky Ones presents animals we would perhaps rather not see at all.  A special treat comes with Don’s imitation of the calls and sounds of these creatures, and some fun trying to do those imitations ourselves.  

Don Chalfant received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.  He retired from the Ann Arbor Schools in 1995, where he taught elementary students for many years.  In retirement, Don indulges his passion for the outdoors, and especially for birding.  He has recently added nature photography to his list of enthusiastic pursuits.


F1738  Rodriguez:  Searching for Sugar Man
Presenter:  Toby Teorey
Date:  Wednesday, October 11
Time:  1:00 to 3:30 p.m.  [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]

Sixto Rodriguez is a recently rediscovered folk/rock singer from Detroit.  He made two albums in the early 1970s, and then went into total obscurity (or so we thought) until 1998 when he was found again, via the Internet, still in Detroit.  Because of his music, Rodriguez had a huge student fan base in South Africa during the period of Apartheid, but urban legend later pronounced him dead.  The inspiring 90-minute Oscar-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, explains the world-wide search for Rodriguez and his triumphant return to South Africa for a concert 25 years after his albums had been "lost.”  The video covers Rodriguez’s fascinating personal life from humble beginnings to stardom, and is great story full of wonderful music.  The class will conclude with several full length songs from his newly remastered hit CD, Cold Fact.  Rodriguez still performs around the world today.  

Toby Teorey is a former chair of the Elderwise Council and a long-time member of the Curriculum Committee.  He is retired from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, and in retirement pursues his love of all kinds of music.


F1739  Assessing the Presidency of Donald Trump: A Panel Discussion
Presenters:  Jeffrey Bernstein, Michael Homel, and Larry Kestenbaum
Date:  Thursday, October 19
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

When our panelists began thinking about this discussion last spring, they knew that nobody could predict what the middle of the first year of the Trump administration would look like.  But, our experts are now quite sure they can guarantee it will be interesting, and provocative, and deeply important.  Join us as we consider what has been happening, why it has been happening, and what the consequences will be.  The panel will highlight Trump's policies and conduct in foreign affairs and national defense, his work in domestic affairs, and how the rhetoric of his campaign matches (or does not match) his achievements in office.  The panelists will also explore Trump's relationship with Republicans and Democrats, his standing with the electorate, and the implications of all of this for state and local government.  During the second half of this session, you will have an opportunity to submit questions to panel members.  

Jeffrey Bernstein studies and teaches political science and American politics at Eastern Michigan University (EMU).  He specializes in public opinion and political behavior.  

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at EMU.  Mike’s special expertise is in the fields of 20th century American history and American urban history.  

Larry Kestenbaum is the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds.  He was first elected in 2004.  Larry is the creator and owner of, the Internet’s most comprehensive source for American political biography.

This Class is Full

F1740  The Selected Poems of Donald Hall
Presenter:  Will Horwath
Date:  Friday, October 20
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Text:  The Selected Poems of Donald Hall by Donald Hall, Houghton, 2015 
            ISBN 978-0-544-55560-0    also available as an ebook

T.S. Eliot.  Carlton Fisk.  Dylan Thomas and Kevin McHale.  Red Auerbach and Henry Moore.  Bob Cousy.  Andrew Marvell … Donald Hall wrote about them all.  He is as much at home at Fenway as he is at Oxford.  A brilliant essayist still, at 88 Don is scribbling away at Eagle Pond Farm, his home in New Hampshire, crafting a book of essays titled Speeding Toward Ninety.  But, like Thomas Hardy, he loves poetry more.  Between 1958 and 2011, he published 16 books of verse, and was named Poet Laureate of the United States in 2006-2007.  For this class, Will Horwath is inviting you to get together to read and discuss The Selected Poems of Donald Hall.  Pick a couple of favorites ahead of time and be ready to share your spin.  It’s that simple.  

Will Horwath holds a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan.  He has taught literature and creative writing at Moravian College, the University of Michigan, and Oakland University.  He most recently taught at Madonna University in the Department of Language, Literature, Communication and Writing.


F1741  The Joy of Gardening
Presenter:  Keith Germain
Date:  Monday, October 23
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]

In this class we will bring the gardening season to a close, with a focus on best practices for fall and preparations for winter while “putting the beds to bed.”  Bring all of your gardening problems and questions to this class!  Master Gardener Keith Germain will discuss new information and approaches, with a special focus on insects and plant diseases.  He will also discuss invasive  species in the garden, as well as the art and science of composting.  If weather conditions permit, class members will enjoy an additional opportunity for an end-of-the-season plant exchange.  

Keith Germain has over 60 years of gardening experience, and plants his own quarter-acre garden with vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  Over the years, Keith has worked with several horticulture groups, as well as with plant and flower clubs.  He has taught gardening courses regularly with the Elderwise lifelong learning program since 1993.


F1742  The Lighthouses of Hawaii
Presenter:  Mary Borkowski
Date:  Thursday, October 26
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

In October of 2011, Mary Borkowski and her husband Phil traveled to Hawaii with members of the United States Lighthouse Society to visit the lighthouses of Hawaii, along with many of Hawaii’s other attractions.  Join Mary here as she takes you on the journey to Oahu, Maui, Hawaii – the Big Island – and Kauai.  For this journey we will travel by cruise ship, helicopter, bus, and car to view some of the most spectacular scenery in the world – from the bustling Waikiki Beach to Kilauea Volcano, and from the Road to Hana to Waimea Canyon.  The lighthouses of the Hawaiian Islands range from simple harbor lights to classic lighthouse towers, including the only Hyper-Radiant Fresnel lens in the United States.  

Mary Borkowski is a retired landscape architect who spent 40 years with Atwell-Hicks before retiring in 2005.  Mary and Phil have been traveling to and photographing scenic lighthouses worldwide for more than 30 years.  They often travel with the U.S. Lighthouse Society, and Mary is an active volunteer with that group.


F1743  The Politics of Gerrymandering
Presenter:  Larry Kestenbaum
Date:  Friday, October 27
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Following the 2020 census in the United States, electoral district maps will be redrawn to equalize legislative representation.  There will be new congressional districts, state legislative districts, county commission districts, and city wards.  The lack of constraints on this process can lead to the practice of gerrymandering, which is the abusive manipulation of district boundaries to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group.  In this class Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum will offer insights based on his long experience in the field of American politics – national, regional, and local.  Larry will attempt to answer, among others, these leading questions:  How did we get here?  How does gerrymandering affect governing?  What can we do about it? 

Attorney Larry Kestenbaum is the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds.   In a variety of different roles, he has been involved in every round of redistricting in Michigan since 1980.  Larry is also the creator and owner of, the Internet’s most comprehensive source for American political biography.


F1744  The Deep Roots of American Music
Presenter:  George Klein
Date:  Friday, October 27
Time:  1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note 4:00 p.m. end time.]

As American popular music became increasingly commercialized by the mid 20th century, identifying its roots and origins became much more difficult.  There have been times when people from other countries have looked into the past of contemporary American music with more clarity than Americans.  This presentation offers one case study.  Chris Strachwitz, born a German count and the founder of Arhoolie Records, is the subject of a documentary, This Ain’t No Mouse Music, the film we will view in this class.  Since his arrival in America after World War II, Strachwitz has been searching for music that is the antithesis of corporate “mouse music,” and since 1960 Arhoolie Records has showcased Louisiana Cajun music, Tex-Mex music, and country blues.  Join us on a hip-shaking stomp from Texas to New Orleans to Appalachia, as George Klein follows Strachwitz on his passionate quest for the musical soul of America.  

George Klein taught humanities at Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University (EMU), and directed EMU’s study abroad office.  He was a music host for 30 years at WEMU 89.1, and is now an independent producer of jazz programs for and


F1745  Becoming Picasso
Presenter:  Helen Weingarten
Date:  Wednesday, November 1
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Pablo Picasso is quoted as saying:  “My mother said to me, ‘If you are a soldier, you will become a general.  If you are a monk, you will become a Pope.’  Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.”  Join us for Helen Weingarten’s talk and slide presentation about Picasso – a unique individual who lived large, both as an artist and as a man.  It is estimated that during his lifetime, Picasso produced 50,000 artworks:  1,885 paintings; 1,228 sculptures; 2,880 ceramics, numerous tapestries and rugs, and thousands of drawings and prints.  He considered Matisse to be his closest friend and rival.  Complementary to this class, on November 15 and November 21, Helen will lead duplicate tours of Picasso works in the context of the permanent collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA).  Please see F1746, below, in this catalog.  

Helen Weingarten is an emeritus associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan.  She has studied art history and literature since her undergraduate years at Cornell University.  In retirement, Helen has served as a volunteer at the Ford Gallery at Eastern Michigan University and as a docent at UMMA.


F1746  The Art of Pablo Picasso: 
A Tour of His Work at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
Guide:  Helen Weingarten
Dates:  Tour A, Wednesday, November 15 at UMMA, 525 South State Street, Ann Arbor
           Tour B, Tuesday, November 21 at UMMA, 525 South State Street, Ann Arbor
            Note:  These are duplicate tours.  Each is limited to 15 participants.
            Please register for one tour only.
Time:  2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  [Please note the 2:00 p.m. start time.]
Fee:  Members $8; Nonmembers $15, for one tour only
Tour Size:  Each tour is limited to 15 attendees.

This tour of Pablo Picasso’s work, and other artwork that influenced him, is complementary to the class “Becoming Picasso,” presented by Helen Weingarten on Wednesday morning, November 1.  Please see the description of F1745, above, in this catalog.  

Helen Weingarten is an emeritus associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan.  She has studied art history and literature since her  undergraduate years at Cornell University.  In retirement, Helen has served as a volunteer at the Ford Gallery at Eastern Michigan University and as a docent at UMMA.

This Class is Full

F1747  It's a Sing-Along!
Presenter:  Layla Ananda
Date:  Monday, November 6
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Do you like to sing?  This session is for you!  We will hearken back to the days when we used to gather around the piano, or go to a "hootenanny" where someone strummed a guitar, and sing the old songs we knew and loved.  We will provide lyric sheets and rhythm instruments.  You can bring your ideas for songs you would like to sing.  Layla Ananda, who has been singing with family and friends (and later for audiences) since she was a wee tot, will lead the singing and accompany us on guitar.  Even if you only sing in hidden places (such as the shower), come on along.  A good time is guaranteed!  

Layla Ananda has been singing all her life, and has been performing for almost fifty years.  She created "Songs of America's Women" as part of her B.A. degree in contemporary musicology at Michigan State University.  Layla accompanies herself on guitar and dulcimer.


F1748  3-D Printing
Presenters:  Joan Bulmer and Mark Charles
Date:  Monday, November 6, at Maker Works, 3767 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Class Size:  Enrollment is limited to 12 attendees.

A new technology called 3-D printing offers the possibility of making spare parts and other physical objects on demand.  It also allows for the easy re-sizing and customization of existing objects.  This class offers a live demonstration at a local Ann Arbor workshop for hobbyists and artists.  As examples of the possibilities, Joan Bulmer and Mark Charles will print some doll house furniture or fairy garden components, and discuss the use of 3-D printing for other hobbies.  For this active workshop environment please wear closed-toe shoes.  This class is for beginners and will provide a basic introduction to the technology.  

Joan Bulmer developed a curiosity about 3-D printing that turned into a lovely fairy garden, and is now working on a furnished doll house.  Joan is currently Elderwise Treasurer, and a member of Elderwise Council. 

In his retirement, Mark Charles has been studying computer assisted design.  He has been experimenting with computer graphics and related techniques in order to build 1:64 scale architectural models that are not commercially available.

This Class is Full

F1749  ivided and Conquered:  France, 1940-1944 and Beyond
Presenter:  Edward Couture
Date:  Tuesday, November 7
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

France is the largest country in Europe, and it is the only nation to have been split in two during the years of the German occupation of World War II.  Through news photos and films taken on-site at the time, we see first hand what that occupation meant for the people of France.  In this class we will witness what occurred through the eyes of journalists and citizens, and through the eyes of stamp collectors who observed, in the images on stamps, certain important philatelical changes.  

Edward Couture earned his Master’s degree in French and Russian from Middlebury College in Vermont.  He began collecting stamps in his youth, later specializing in stamps from the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Canada, and Republic of France.  Edward moved to Ann Arbor in 1997, after retiring from 35 years of teaching in the Los Angeles City schools.  He is a student of languages and history.


F1750  Chuck Berry:  A Founding Father of Rock 'n' Roll
Presenter:  Michael Homel
Date:  Wednesday, November 8
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Rock ‘n’ roll is one of America’s cultural inventions, and Chuck Berry, who died last March at age 90, is a founder.  In the 1950s, Berry combined country music, blues, and rhythm and blues into something new.  His lyrics documented and celebrated teen life, as teenagers were becoming a separate group.  His guitar style created the model for the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and others, and his dynamic stage act set a performance standard.  In this class Mike Homel will explain Berry’s appeal, describe his turbulent life, cover his tangles with racism, assess his importance, and, of course, feature recordings of the man Bob Dylan called “the Shakespeare of rock ‘n’ roll.” 

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University, where he specialized in 20th century United States history and urban history.  Mike is also a student of American pop culture, and has taught many classes at Elderwise dealing with history, current politics, and popular culture.


F1751 Fish and Ships:  We Have Met the Enemy and He Is (Still) Us!
Presenter:  David Reid
Date:  Wednesday, November 15
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

The invasion of the zebra mussel in the Great Lakes in the late 1980s brought increased attention to the threats invasive species pose to aquatic ecosystems, and identified the critical role of humans in moving species between ecosystems.  Several issues currently at the forefront of this problem for the Great Lakes include ballast water discharge, Asian carp, invasive plants, and organisms-in-trade.  This class will touch on all four topics, but most time and attention will be given to updating the ongoing stories associated with ballast water and Asian carp.  

David Reid has a Ph.D. in oceanography.  He spent 16 years as a research oceanographer for the United States Navy, followed by 25 years as a research scientist and a supervisor at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.  David retired in 2010, and continues to keep up to date on invasive species issues as a consultant.


 F1752  A History of Christmas in America
Presenter:  Sue Grossman
Date:  Thursday, November 16
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

The Christmas season is a time of great joy for many Americans.  It also can be a time of great stress, with many people struggling to get all the decorations up, the cookies baked, the parties attended, and gifts wrapped.  In this class we will look at the history of Christmas in America, and will discuss the activities and traditions that endure.  Why do we do all of these things?  Was it always like this?  

Sue Grossman earned her bachelor’s degree in child development and teaching from Michigan State University (MSU), her master’s in counseling and personnel from Western Michigan University, and her doctorate in early childhood education from MSU.  She is a graduate of a campus training school, as well as a former teacher-education professor at several Michigan universities.  Sue retired from Eastern Michigan University in 2012, and is now Professor Emerita of Teacher Education.


F1753  The Dodge Brothers:  Their Company and Their Lives
Presenter:  Russell Doré
Date:  Thursday, November 16
Time:  1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  [Please note the 2:30 p.m. end time.]

John and Horace Dodge were industrious, outspoken, and fun loving.  “Work hard and play hard” could have been their motto!  Join us to learn about the role that Henry Ford played in their lives, and how these machinists went from being parts suppliers to creating an automobile company which, at one time, was second only to the Ford Motor Company.  Russell Doré will also tell us about their life journey from humble beginnings to a world of mansions and yachts.  We will discover how their company survived following the brothers’ untimely deaths in 1920, within months of each other.  And, we will learn why Walter Chrysler acquired the company, and how Dodge products became a key part of Chrysler and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.  We will also learn about the Dodge family’s involvement with Meadowbrook Hall, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and Oakland University. 

Russell Doré is a member of the Henry Ford Heritage Association, the Northville Historical Society, and the Stewardship Board of the Motor Cities National Heritage Area.  Russell holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the social sciences from Michigan State University and the University of Washington.


F1754  A Lost Neighborhood of Early Ann Arbor: Archaeology on Wall Street, 1996-2012
Presenter:  Henry T. Wright
Date:  Monday, November 27, 2017
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Archaeologists do not work solely with ancient remains in faraway places.  Many archaeologists excavate the remains of our very recent ancestors to learn about people and activities of the historic period often not recorded in written documents.  Ann Arbor’s early historical record is patchy, thanks to an assortment of epidemics, courthouse fires, newspaper failures, and the transient nature of much of its population.  Like most American towns, Ann Arbor has neither a city archeologist nor a city museum concerned with its material past.  Archaeology in Ann Arbor has been undertaken by volunteers from the faculties and student bodies of local schools and from chapters of local archaeological societies.  In this presentation, Henry Wright will focus on archaeological work in what was once a vibrant neighborhood on Wall Street, now mostly parking lots and University buildings.  He will conclude with a discussion of the future of such research here and in other Midwestern towns.  

Henry Wright is a Professor of Anthropology, and Curator of Near Eastern Collections at the University’s Museum of Anthropological Archaeology.  In addition to his interests in Early Mesopotamian Civilization, Ancient Trade in the Indian Ocean, and Great Lakes Late Glacial Hunters, Henry has undertaken Archaeology here in Ann Arbor.


F1755 Arapaima:  Charismatic Megafishes of the Amazon
Presenter:  Donald J. Stewart
Date:  Wednesday, November 29
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Among the largest freshwater fishes in the world, air-breathing arapaima can exceed six feet in length and weigh over 300 pounds.  They are native to the vast lacework of rivers and shallow oxbow lakes making up the Amazon basin.  Donald Stewart and his graduate students have been studying the ecology, conservation, genetics and taxonomy of the genus Arapaima since 2005.  These fish have high economic, cultural and scientific value, but diversity in the group has been ignored since 1867.  The conventional wisdom has been that there is a single species, but recent work has revealed that there are at least five species.  Ongoing field studies suggest there may be other unrecognized species of these giants.  Arapaima are among the most over-exploited fishes in tropical South America, so failure to recognize diversity in the genus may be allowing some species to reach the brink of extinction even before they are known to science.  

Donald J. Stewart is a professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.  He earned his M.S. degree at the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.  Donald regularly conducts field research in the Amazonian waters of South America.


F1756  Round Table Coffee Hour Where Were You When . . . ?  Part IV:  1970s to the Present
Facilitator:  Toby Teorey
Date:  Friday, December 1
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Our popular Round Table Coffee hour at the end of the Fall term will continue the discussion begun at the Spring 2017 Round Table Coffee Hour. This time, our theme will focus on momentous domestic and global events that occurred during the 1970s and into the early years of the new century.  Among many others, such events could include the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Nixon, the Challenger space ship disaster, the Chernobyl meltdown, the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the beginnings of the Great Recession of 2008.  Our Round Table Coffee Hours are informal gatherings that combine discussion of a theme with a social hour and refreshments.  We warmly welcome all Elderwise members, nonmember friends, and guests.  This collegial gathering is free of charge, but we do ask you to register in advance on the Registration Form provided in this catalog.




F1757  Tour of the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
Presenter:  Automotive Heritage Museum Volunteers
Date:  Friday, October 13
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Museum, 100 East Cross Street, Ypsilanti
Fee:  Members $8; Nonmembers $15

In addition to its lively restaurants, Ypsilanti’s Depot Town area features the world’s last Hudson dealership, now designated the National Hudson Motor Car Company Museum.  The dealership’s original facility has been expanded to preserve and showcase multiple aspects of Ypsilanti’s role in American automobile production over past decades.  These include the story of Preston Tucker and his innovative “Tucker Torpedo,” the post-war conversion of the giant Willow Run bomber plant into the assembly point for Kaiser-Fraser automobiles, the local production of the memorable (and now very collectible) Chevrolet Corvair, and the long history of General Motors Hydramatic Division which, before closing in 2010, employed 11,000 area workers in the design and manufacture of automatic transmissions.  The Automotive Heritage Museum houses 30 vintage cars and a collection of advertising, promotional, and service materials.  

Museum Volunteers will guide us through the exhibits and answer our questions.


F1758  Tour of the Clark Library Map Collection
Presenter:  Timothy Utter
Date:  Monday, October 23
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Hatcher Graduate Library
Fee:  Members $8; Nonmembers $15
Class Size:  Enrollment for this class is limited to 25 attendees.

Located within the Hatcher Graduate Library on central campus, and open to the general public, the Clark Library combines the University of Michigan’s map collection, government information center, and spatial and numeric data services.  It is a rich and unique resource where students and scholars from every discipline — as well as those working across disciplines -– can find the materials, tools, and expertise to meet their research needs.  Our tour will focus on the collection of over 370,000 maps and the exhibit Creating a Campus:  A Cartographic Celebration of UM's Bicentennial.  Some highlights that we will see include the first official survey of Michigan (1825), an early manuscript map of Washtenaw County (ca. 1829), a detailed birds-eye view of Paris (1739), a Japanese administrative map of Japan (1691), and vintage road maps of the United States.  

Timothy Utter is Manager of the Clark Library and provides reference and instructional assistance for maps, the history of cartography, and geography.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Wayne State University.  Tim has a special research interest in pictorial maps and in the Dutch cartographers of the 16th and 17th centuries. 


F1759 Digs and Discoveries:  Two Hundred Years of Archaeological Excavation at the University of Michigan
Presenter:  Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Professional Staff
Date:  Tuesday, October 24 at the Kelsey Museum, 434 South State Street, Ann Arbor
         Note:  The museum’s public and accessible entrance is on Maynard Street.
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee:  Members $8; Nonmembers $15

In recognition of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Anniversary, the Kelsey Museum has mounted a major exhibition, Excavating Archaeology at the University of Michigan, 1817-2017.  Curated by Terry Wilfong and Carla Sinopoli, the exhibition explores the history of archaeology and museums at the University over the past 200 years.  It also projects the future of the field of archaeology and archaeological museums into the next century.  The exhibition draws on carefully chosen artifacts, archival documents, images, and other illustrative material from various collections, and examines historical moments in the University’s involvement in archaeological excavation, museum development, and research.  

Kelsey Museum Professional Staff will guide our tour of this exhibition, which is on display at the museum October 18, 2017 through May 27, 2018.


F1746  The Art of Pablo Picasso:
A Tour of His Work at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
Guide:  Helen Weingarten
Dates:  Tour A, Wednesday, November 15 at UMMA, 525 South State Street, Ann Arbor
           Tour B, Tuesday, November 21 at UMMA, 525 South State Street, Ann Arbor
            Note:  These are duplicate tours.  Each is limited to 15 participants.
            Please register for one tour only.
Time: 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.  [Please note the 2:00 p.m. start time.]
Fee: Members $8; Nonmembers $15, for one tour only
Tour Size: Each tour is limited to 15 attendees.

This tour of Pablo Picasso’s work, and other artwork that influenced him, is complementary to the class “Becoming Picasso,” presented by Helen Weingarten on Wednesday morning, November 1.  Please see the description of F1745, above, in this catalog.  

Helen Weingarten is an emeritus associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan.  She has studied art history and literature since her  undergraduate years at Cornell University.  In retirement, Helen has served as a volunteer at the Ford Gallery at Eastern Michigan University and as a docent at UMMA.

This Class is Full


THEATER Back to top

F1760  PTD Productions:  Farce of Nature

           A Comedy by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten
Director/Presenter:  Dennis Platte

Pre-Performance Class:  Monday, November 6, 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti

Matinee Performance:  Sunday, November 12, 2:00 p.m. Riverside Arts Center
Fee:  Members $19; Nonmembers $26  [Fee includes one ticket to the play.]
Extra Tickets are $11 each.  Please see F1762 on this catalog's Registration Form

Farce of Nature tells the story of one day in the life of the Wilburn family of Mayhew, Arkansas.  The Wilburn family are the owners and proprietors of The Reel ‘Em Inn, the finest little fishing lodge in the Ozarks – at one time, anyway.  The play features an outrageous cast of characters and situations including gangsters, frustrated wives, cross-dressing, door slamming, and mad chases.  Yet by the delightfully chaotic climax of this one outrageous day, love blossoms, truths are revealed, and the lives of all – family, guests and gangsters alike – change in incredible and surprising ways.  This side-splittingly funny Jones-Hope-Wooten comedy is guaranteed to win you over, hook, line, and sinker!  

Dennis Platte has worked with PTD Productions since its inception 20 years ago, directing, designing, and acting in many shows over the years.  Among others, he has directed Auntie Mame and Life with Father.  His many stage roles have included Morris in Present Laughter and Willie in The Sunshine Boys.  Dennis studied theater arts at Eastern Michigan University and has worked with theaters across Michigan and in New England.


F1761  Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Theater:  Harvey
                   A Comedy by Mary Chase
Director/Presenter:  John Seibert
Dates/ Times/ Places:  
Pre-Performance Class:  Thursday, November 30 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.                                                                      [Please note the 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. time.]
Matinee Performance:  Sunday, December 3 , 2:00 p.m. Quirk Theatre, EMU Campus                                     [Please note that there will be a talk-back after the play.]
Fee:  Members $17; Nonmembers $24  [Includes one ticket to the play.]
Emeritus Faculty:  Members $8; Nonmembers $15
Extra Tickets are $9 each.  Please see F1763 on this catalog's Registration Form

Elwood P. Dowd is an affable man who claims to have an unseen (and presumably imaginary) friend named Harvey.  Elwood describes Harvey as a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall pooka, resembling a humanlike rabbit, and introduces Harvey to everyone he meets.  Although all are certain that Elwood has finally lost his mind, Harvey's presence begins to have magically positive effects on the townsfolk, with the exception of Elwood's sister Veta, who, ironically, can also occasionally see Harvey.  Veta increasingly finds Elwood’s eccentric behavior embarrassing, and decides to have him committed to an institution.  When they arrive at the sanitarium, a comedy of errors ensues, after which Veta realizes that she would rather have Elwood the same as he has always been – carefree and kind – even if it means living with Harvey.  Harvey premiered on Broadway in 1944, and closed in 1949 after 1,775 performances.  Mary Chase received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work in 1945.  

John Seibert holds an M.F.A. degree in acting from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in speech communication from Southern Illinois University.  As a member of Actors Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, John has accumulated an extensive professional stage and film resume.  As a performer, he has been recognized with a number of nominations and awards from Michigan media, including the Detroit Free Press, Ann Arbor News, Oakland Press, and Between the Lines.

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