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Spring 2017 Program  

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


S1701 The Tudor Era, Part I
Presenter: Susan Nenadic
Dates: Tuesdays, April 11, 18, 25, and May 2
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee:  Members $32; Nonmembers $45

The Tudor EraThe Tudor Era was a fascinating and dangerous time, filled with larger-than-life people.  Strong religious opinions dictated political policy.  Part I begins with the establishment of the Tudor dynasty by Henry VII, and how he came to the throne.  We then follow the dynasty’s course through to the accession of Elizabeth I.

Utilizing film, we will take a look at less well known people and issues within the broad framework of the era. Who was the luckiest wife of Henry VIII?  Did Mary deserve the label “bloody”?  Did teenage Elizabeth have    a child by Thomas Seymour?

April 11
A Man For All Seasons, revealing the political turmoil of the War of the Roses, Henry VII, Henry VIII, and the Protestant Reformation.
April 18
Wolf Hall, characterizing Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More quite differently from their portrayal in A Man for all Seasons.
April 25
Lady Jane, telling the story of Lady Jane Grey, known as the Nine Days Queen, and Mary Tudor.
May 1
Elizabeth R, a BBC television series featuring Glenda Jackson’s remarkable portrayal of the young Elizabeth.

Part II of this series will be offered in the fall semester, and will cover in depth the reign of Elizabeth I.

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.


S1702 Creative Writing Workshop
Presenter: Jane Bridges
Dates: Wednesdays, April 12, May 10, June 7, and June 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.

For those seeking a start at putting pen to paper, published poet and retired schoolteacher Jane Bridges offers a relaxing atmosphere in which to explore your ambitions.  Whether you would like to record memories, create entertainments, produce factual accounts, or venture into the realm of published writing, 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.  Prior to each session, write a short piece of any sort and make 13 copies for distribution among the participants.  

Jane Bridges grew up in Texas and 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.


S1703 Gregory Peck:  A Class Act
Presenter: Hedy Brodak
Dates Thursdays, April 13, 20, and 27
Time 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee: Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Gregory PeckTall, dark, and handsome, Gregory Peck (1916-2003) is still remembered for his many film roles playing the good guy who battled adversity or confronted a moral dilemma.  A five-time Oscar nominee, he excelled in dramatic as well as comedic roles.  During our first class session we will view the documentary A Conversation with Gregory Peck (2000), featuring interviews with the actor and clips from his films.  The following week we will watch one of Peck’s earliest films, Keys to the Kingdom (1944), in which he plays a young Catholic missionary sent to China.  Finally we will enjoy the romantic comedy Roman Holiday (1953) co-starring Audrey Hepburn. Join this class and join the fun – black and white film treasures, movie trivia, and lively discussion!  

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


S1704 Genesis: Where It All Began
Presenter: Ken Phifer
Dates: Fridays, April 14, 21, 28, and May 5 and 12
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $40; Nonmembers $55

Genesis is the first book in both the Jewish and Christian Bibles.  It resonates throughout the remainder of  both of those Bibles.  Its stories and themes also have a prominent place in the Muslim sacred text, the Koran.  We will discuss how and why the book of Genesis was written, by whom, and what some of the meanings/interpretations are that have played and continue to play important roles in Western culture.  This course is primarily lecture, but there will be ample opportunity for participants to ask questions and offer their own insights.  Reading the book of Genesis before attending is highly recommended.  

Ken Phifer did his undergraduate work at Harvard College and his doctoral work at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago.  He has been a Unitarian Universalist minister for 45 years, serving the Ann Arbor congregation    from 1980-2005.  Ken has published three books and more than 20 articles on a wide range of topics, and has taught many subjects at Elderwise, including a history of Christianity, women in the Old and New Testaments, religion and violence, ethics, and race relations.


S1705 Celebrating 100 Years of Broadway Musicals
Presenter: Toby Teorey
Dates: Fridays, April 14, 21, and 28
Time: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.  [Please note the 3:30 p.m. end time.]
Fee: Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Broadway musicals have captivated American (and worldwide) audiences for over 100 years.  In this course we will view and discuss the documentary film series “Broadway:  The American Musical,” published by PBS and narrated by Julie Andrews.  The series covers the entire period from 1893 to 2004, highlighting the Broadway shows and songs that defined each decade.  The individual segments include on-camera interviews with the principals of various shows, rare performance footage, and newly restored film clips.  Come to this course and enjoy the best seat in the house for the greatest Broadway shows of all time.  

Toby Teorey is a 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 an enduring interest in all kinds of music, and a special love for American musical theater.


Detroit TigersS1706 Let's Play Ball!  A History of the Detroit Tigers
Presenter: Chris Hee
Dates: Mondays, April 17 and 24, and May 1
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $24; Nonmembers $35

This three-session presentation will cover the history of the Detroit Tigers beginning with the Detroit Wolverines in 1881, when they replaced the Cincinnati Red Stockings in the National League.  We will learn about their “World Championship” in 1887, their leaving major league baseball only one season later, and their re-entry into the newly formed American League in 1901.  Chris Hee will trace the fortunes of the Tigers through their eleven American League Championships and their four World Series Championships, their doldrums during the historically bad years of 1952, 1975, and 2003, and all of the in-between years.  

Chris Hee is a retired math professor at Eastern Michigan University.  He has taught a number of classes for Elderwise, including math-related and puzzle-related topics, and How to Lie with Statistics.  Chris is a sports enthusiast and historian of the game of baseball.  He attended his first Tiger game in 1958, and has been an avid Tiger fan ever since.  His previous classes on baseball include a brief history of the Tigers, and of the Baseball Hall of Fame.


S1707 Best-Seller Book Club
Presenter:  Shirley Southgate
Dates: Mondays, April 24, May 22, and June 19
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 Spring 2017 semester are:

My Name Is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout
Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson (nonfiction)
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom

Please read My Name is Lucy Barton 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.  She has taught courses regularly with the Elderwise lifelong learning program since 1993.


S1708 The Joy of Gardening and Plant Exchange
Presenter: Keith Germain
Dates: Mondays, May 1, 8, and 15
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee: Members $24; Nonmembers $35

To all of our long-time gardeners, as well as beginners and would-be gardeners, please bring your gardening problems and questions to this course!  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, along with the art and science of composting.  If weather conditions permit, class members will enjoy an additional opportunity for plant exchange.  

Keith Germain has more than 50 years of gardening experience.  He 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.


S1709 Thomas Hardy:  Far from the Madding Crowd
Presenter:  George Stewart
Dates: Wednesdays, May 3, 10, 17, and 24
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $32; Nonmembers $45

Far from the Madding Crowd was the first of Hardy's novels to achieve both critical acclaim and popular acceptance, and it remains one of his best and most widely read.  At its center, it has a strong and passionate woman with one of fiction's great names:  Bathsheba Everdene.  It is also one of the few Hardy novels with a happy ending - sort of.  For the first class, please read the first 12 chapters, roughly one-quarter of the book

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 Thomas Hardy.  He looks forward to sharing the pleasures of Far from the Madding Crowd with like-minded readers.


S1710 To Da Moon, Alice!  (Part II)  The First Golden Age of Manned Space Flight
Presenter: Michael R. Kapetan
Dates: Thursdays, May 4, 11, 18, and 25
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $32; Nonmembers $45

Part I of Mike Kapetan’s To Da Moon brought us up to 1961 and President Kennedy’s call for America to land a man on the moon by the end of that decade.  Part II will take us through the frenzied race that ensued as the U.S. space program caught up to and then surpassed that of the Soviets.  (Participation in the earlier class is not a prerequisite.)  How on earth did we do it?  How and why did human beings for the first time leave the earth?  And, all of it witnessed first-hand by our generation.  This class looks at the amazing personalities, the confounding historical forces, and the incredible flying machines that transformed age-old will-o'-the-wisp lunar fantasies and penetrating scientific prophecies into Neil Armstrong's "one small step" onto the Sea of Tranquility.  And, we may well ask what moral, spiritual, political, and personal lessons we can take away from this astonishing enterprise.  

Michael Kapetan is an artist whose work is informed by the scientific, the aesthetic, and the spiritual as he creates holy images for churches and synagogues, and unique solar sculptures that mark the turning of the seasons.  He is retired from the University of Michigan’s Department of Art.  Mike’s longtime interest in space travel began as a youngster with two television programs:  Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and a Walt Disney's Tomorrowland series that featured presentations by Wernher von Braun.


S1711 Classical Music as a Mirror of History
Presenter: Toby Teorey
Dates: Thursdays, May 11 and 18
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25

Enlightened by the fascinating lecture style of Professor Robert Greenberg, we return to the world of classical music with a provocative premise:  music is frequently a mirror of the historical setting in which it was created – despite our habit of listening to music as divorced from any historical context.  While viewing  lively discussions of important history, we will listen to excerpts from Beethoven’s popular Wellington’s Victory (1813), Górecki’s hauntingly beautiful Symphony No. 3 (1976), the Berlioz and de L’Isle La Marseillaise (1792), and hostakovich’s politically motivated Symphony No.13 (1962).  All of these works are associated with major world events – the Napoleonic Wars, the French Revolution, World War II, and the post-WWII Cold War.  Join us as we listen to, and look into, the musical mirrors of our past.  

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 spends much of his newly-found time pursuing his life-long love of classical music.


S1712 August Wilson:  Fences, thePlay and Film
Presenter: Kevin Eyster
Dates: Tuesdays, May 16 and 23
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note 4:00 p.m. end time.]
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25
Req’d Text: Fences by August Wilson,   (Penguin Random House, Plume Books, 1991. Paperback.  ISBN 0452264014.

Before he died in 2005, August Wilson accomplished his goal of producing a cycle of ten plays covering the African American experience in the 20th century, with all but one of them set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, where the playwright was born and grew up.  Fences (1985) takes place in the 1950s and explores the Maxon family dynamic, with Troy as the central character.  Honored with many awards, including the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play is also a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.  Our first class session is a discussion of the play and our second a viewing and discussion of the film adaptation.  

Kevin Eyster teaches literature courses at Madonna University, where he is Chair of the Department of Language, Literature, Communication and Writing, and interim Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.  Kevin’s special interests include critical writing and literary analysis, American folklore and literature, African American literature, and the fiction of William Faulkner and Toni Morrison.


S1713 Successful Aging:  The Laws of Resilience
Presenter: Mike Murray
Dates: Wednesdays, May 17 and 24
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25

                        You can’t turn back the clock, but you can rewind it.” Bonnie Prudden

A typically pessimistic view of aging is that it leads to a steady decline in physical and mental abilities.  As we grow older, we may be coping with adversity and losses.  Yet, in order to achieve continued growth and healthy longevity, we can maintain a complementary focus on psychological strengths, positive emotions,  and regenerative capacities.  In this class Mike Murray will present a balanced picture of resilient aging.  He will discuss how leading gerontologists and geriatric researchers are exploring the immense potential of older adults to overcome the challenges of old age and pursue active lives with renewed vitality.  

Mike Murray is a licensed 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.


S1714  The Poetry of Emily Dickinson
Presenter: Joel Nydahl
Dates: Thursdays, May 25 and June 1
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25

When Henry David Thoreau was asked why he never traveled, he replied, "I have traveled much in Concord."  Emily Dickinson also traveled much in her own home town of Amherst, Massachusetts, but her narrow world was immensely wide.  Her poems, most of them small and focused, expand our view of the world and of ourselves.  Join us as we explore Emily's gift – some of the greatest poetry ever written.  

Joel Nydahl, an M.A. (English) and Ph.D. (American Studies) graduate of the University of Michigan, has taught writing and literature for over 50 years.  He recently retired as Chair of the English Department at Broward College in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Now settled in Michigan, Joel does not miss Florida’s hurricanes and humidity.


S1715 America’s Poets Laureate:  A Sampler
Presenter: Leonore Gerstein
Dates:  Wednesdays, June 7 and 14
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25
Reqd. Text: The Poets Laureate Anthology, edited by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt (W.W. Norton, 2010.)  Hardcover edition.  ISBN 9780393061819. Gently used copies are available online at a reasonable price.

A few years ago, Elderwise poetry readers dipped into a book called The Poets Laureate Anthology, edited by Elizabeth Hun Schmidt.  In this course we will return to that book to read a different group of Laureates.  In preparation for the first class session, please sample Rita Dove, Ted Kooser, Madeline Kumin, and Richard Wilbur. If a poet speaks to you, read all of the selections offered.  Poets for the second class will be chosen jointly by the participants and the instructor at the close of the first session.  

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.  She is a retired speech and language clinician, now able to return to her first loves— the arts and literature.  Leonore is passionate about poetry and is always eager to explore a variety of works with veteran and new Elderwise participants.


S1716  “To Those Carping Few":  Class, Gender, and Morality in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
Presenter: Ioana Fracassi
Dates: Thursdays, June 8 and 15
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25

Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre, was published in 1847 to great acclaim, but also criticism.  One reviewer called its heroine, Jane Eyre, the “personification of an unregenerate and undisciplined spirit.”  Yet, Brontë does more than create an outspoken protagonist who rebels against the established order.  Unflinchingly, she exposes the rigid class hierarchy governing Victorian England, the tight hold of patriarchy, and the dubious morality of the powerful.  In Brontë’s own words, those “carping few” who missed such truths, misunderstood the direction of her book!  

Ioana Fracassi is an assistant professor in the Language and Literature Department at Madonna University and the editor of Madonna Muse.  Her most recent publications include translations of Voltaire and Prévert, as well as her original artwork. She lives and writes in Ann Arbor.


S1717 The Sounds of Freedom: Music from the Black South African Townships
Presenter: George Klein
Dates: Fridays, June 9 and 16
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $16; Nonmembers $25

The music of Black South Africa is a distinctive blend of indigenous folk elements and influences from American jazz, blues, and soul.  This music also played a critical role in the long and painful struggle against South African apartheid.  In this course we will explore the power and beauty of South African music, especially from the townships, and listen to examples of South African jazz.  We will hear the sounds of Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Hugh Masekela, Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, and several others. We will also view the documentary film Amandla! (Freedom!), which examines the important role of music in overcoming apartheid.  Join us as we experience the lively, powerful, and spiritually moving music of Black South Africa.  

George Klein has taught English and humanities at Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University, where he has directed the study abroad office of Eastern Michigan's Extended Programs.  George spent 30 years as a music program host at WEMU, and now is an independent producer of jazz programs for and


S1718  Taking Apart the News: A Test for the Nation and the Media
Presenter: Al Chambers
Dates: Tuesdays, June 13, 20, and 27
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $24; Nonmembers $35

Anyone who considers attending this class already understands that the United States is sailing in many uncharted waters.  It is likely they also know that technological and financial challenges for the media are not new.  Previously, we have assumed that an important part of our democracy is the ongoing dialogue and debate between each White House administration and the current media.  The Trump administration's persistent assertion that the media is “dishonest” and an “opposition party” is new and troubling, if only because it increases polarization.  At the same time, the demand for change from non-traditional elements    of both political parties is underway.  Our class sessions will consider these and other issues in the context   of June’s news, five months into the Trump administration.  There will be ample time, as well, to examine   vital international issues and to pursue open discussions. 

Veteran Elderwise instructor Al Chambers says that this era may be as fascinating and difficult a period as any he has experienced in his decades as a journalist and corporate communications advisor.  Will the changes be as significant as with the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War years earlier in our lifetimes?




S1719 American Prisons:  A Social Tragedy
Presenter: Judy Patterson Wenzel
Date:  Monday, April 10
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

America's jails and prisons are filled with 2.2 million people who are layered in prejudice and stereotype.  The consequences of mass incarceration cast a wide and ugly net of damage and trauma to people behind bars, their families, and communities.  Judy Wenzel did not expect to spend more than two decades “in jail” after going back to school to get her secondary certification in the mid 1980s.  She taught English and social studies to students at the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan, Michigan, which offers the only program beyond the General Educational Diploma (GED) in our prison system nationwide.  The majority of Judy’s students were people of color, convicted for drug offenses and given long sentences for non-violent crimes.  In this presentation she will share stories about her students and talk about how extreme punitive policies are damaging our national identity.  

Judy Patterson Wenzel grew up and raised a family in northern Michigan.  After moving to Ann Arbor, Judy taught many subjects in the Milan prison program between 1986 and 2010, primarily in the fields of English and social studies. Judy is writing a book called Light from the Cage:  25 Years in a Prison Classroom.   Judy misses her students, but writing about them has kept them closer.


S1720 Oh, Britannia!  Exciting Travels in England, Scotland, and Wales
Presenter: George Jabol
Date: Monday, April 10
Time: 1:00-3:30 p.m.  [Please note 3:30 p.m. end time.]

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

As the years go by, George Jabol has become increasingly interested in Britain, with its nooks and crannies, and endless places to explore.  In this class we will join George as he shares photos taken in 2013 on an exciting three-week tour of England, Scotland, and Wales.  We will accompany George as he visits Hampton Court, the Tower of London, Stratford, Llangollen, and the Isle of Skye.  We will view a Scottish Tattoo in Edinburgh, and a variety of other fascinating historic and contemporary sites. 

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, and creates photographic slide shows as a way to remember his trips and share them with others.


S1721 Confronting Climate Change:  What Are the Challenges?
Presenter: Henry Pollack
Date: Tuesday, April 11
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

In the face of rising temperatures, rising sea levels, and weird weather, Earth's population is facing some daunting challenges in dealing with a changing climate.  The Paris Climate Accords of 2015, the depressed prices of fossil fuels, and the new administration in Washington all contribute to an uncertain future.  Our presenter, Henry Pollack, has extensive experience and special expertise in this field, and has provided briefings about climate change to Congress and the White House.  Join us for this class to learn more about the challenges of our world’s changing climate.  

Henry Pollack is Professor Emeritus of Geophysics at the University of Michigan.  He was a Contributing Author to the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report, and is a scientific adviser to former Vice-President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.  Henry has authored two books:  Uncertain Science…Uncertain World (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and A World Without Ice (Avery/Penguin 2009.)


S1722 Expressionism in Art and Film
Presenters: Richard Rubenfeld and Henry Aldridge
Date: Wednesday, April 12
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Strongly influenced by the emotional art of Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch, a group of artists called the Expressionists in the first half of the 20th century challenged the status quo, and created art that rejected fidelity to nature – art that heightened or distorted reality to elicit strong emotional reactions from viewers.  This presentation focuses on seminal Expressionist artworks and films created in Germany and Austria.  We will learn how to recognize the characteristics of the Expressionist style.  We will also see that Expressionist art was not only an attempt to convey personal emotions, but a response to turbulent and often catastrophic social, political, and economic events.  We will discuss the artwork of independent Expressionists and members of secession groups, and hear commentary on haunting cinematic masterpieces such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Last Laugh, and Metropolis.  

Richard Rubenfeld received his master’s degree and his Ph.D. in art history from The Ohio State University.  For many years he taught a wide range of classes on modern and post-modern art to both undergraduate and graduate students at Eastern Michigan University (EMU).  Richard has curated or co-curated several exhibitions of comic and other pop culture art forms.  He is currently Professor Emeritus of Art at EMU.  

Henry B. Aldridge is Emeritus Professor of Electronic Media and Film Studies at Eastern Michigan University.  He is an incorporating officer of the Michigan Theater Foundation, and has served for many years as one of the theater's staff organists.  Dr. Aldridge has written three books and several articles in the field of video and film studies.


S1723 Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula:  A Pictorial History
Presenter: Charles Gehrke
Date: Monday, April 17
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Today, the Keweenaw Peninsula is best known for snow, cold weather, and Michigan Technological
University.  However, between the 1840s and 1995, this area was a major producer of the world's copper supply.  It was also home to Fort Wilkins, built in the 1840s to protect the copper industry and keep peace between the copper miners and the Ojibwa and Chippewa tribes.  The Keweenaw has a rich, varied, and unrecognized history, and has played an important part in the broader history of the State of Michigan.  Using vintage postcards and personal photographs, Charles Gehrke’s presentation will explore the history of the Keweenaw Peninsula’s people and their major mining industry.  

Charles Gehrke is a native Michigander.  He is a retired physician, interested in collecting and using vintage postcards to illustrate historical presentations.  Following his retirement, Chuck returned to school to obtain a master’s degree in American History from Eastern Michigan University.


S1724 The Engaged Scholar:  Academia’s Crisis of Relevance
Presenter: Andrew J. Hoffman
Date: Wednesday, April 19
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

A January 2015 Pew Research Center study found an alarming chasm between the views of scientists and the views of the public.  Here is a sampling:  87% of scientists accept that natural selection plays a role in evolution, 32% of the public agree; 88% of scientists think that genetically modified foods are safe, 37% of the public agree; 87% of scientists believe that climate change is primarily due to human activity, only 50% of the public agree.  In our increasingly technological world, issues such as stem cell research, nuclear power, climate change, vaccines and autism, gun control, and health care require thoughtful and informed debate.  Instead, these and other issues have often been caught up in the so-called culture wars.  One of the many factors explaining this diverted dialogue is the extent to which the scientific community has been unable or unwilling to communicate the gravity of scientific findings.  Andy Hoffman will discuss how academics must evolve to keep pace with and engage major change.  At stake is their relevance in society.  

Andrew Hoffman is the Holcim Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan.  He holds joint appointments at the Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources and Environment.  Professor Hoffman’s research employs a sociological perspective in understanding the cultural, organizational, and institutional aspects of environmental issues.


S1725 Amazing Andalucía:  From Moorish Iberia to Modern Spain
Presenter: Gerlinda Melchiori
Date: Wednesday, April 19
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Hanging gardens, canyons and beaches, Roman, Arabian, Jewish and Christian treasures – that is the mix of nature and culture in Southern Spain.  Join us for this class as Gerlinda Melchiori shares the historical
background that fostered a Golden Age of brilliant cultural flowering, religious tolerance, and economic prosperity.  She will show us some of the natural wonders and artistic treasures of Andalucía.  Gerlinda will conclude by discussing the difficult road to modern Spain, a 300-year history that includes economic hardships, political turmoil, and civil war.  

Gerlinda Melchiori has enjoyed offering lectures and making friends at Elderwise.  She holds advanced degrees in European History and business, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Michigan.  Gerlinda has served as international consultant to universities around the world.  A life-long student of the arts and humanities, she welcomes questions and participation during her presentations.


S1726  Scandinavian Trains and Trams, Part II
Presenter: H. Mark Hildebrandt
Date: Thursday, April 20
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

We resume our exploration of Scandinavian railways at Oslo, traveling from there to Myrdal station, our jumping-off point for a trip to Flam.  The steep 12-mile descent to this picturesque village is considered to be one of the world’s great train rides.  Flam sits at the head of the long and deep Sognefjord and is a popular cruise destination.  Next we make our way by ferry to another scenic fjord town, Gudvangen, and then onward to Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, which boasts both electric trolleybuses and tramways climbing the surrounding mountains.  We return to Oslo via the 300-mile Bergen line, then take the train north to Trondheim, home to the world’s northernmost tramway.  From Trondheim we journey east by train to Östersund in central Sweden and southward to Stockholm - Sweden’s economic, cultural, and governmental center.  Stockholm’s regional population of 2.3 million sprawls across 14 islands and numerous communities, and is linked by a network of metro and intercity rail.  

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.  Mark is also the author of A History of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor, Part II.


S1727 Nat “King” Cole and Sam Cooke:  From Chicago’s South Side to Pop Music Stardom
Presenter: Michael Homel
Date: Wednesday, April 26
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon  [Please note the 9:30 a.m. start time.]

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Though 12 years apart in age, Nathaniel Coles and Samuel Cook had much in common. Both were born in the Deep South, and both moved to Chicago as young children.  Both attended Wendell Phillips High School in the heart of the Windy City’s “black belt.”  Both found success as members of ensembles outside popular music (Cole with jazz, Cooke with gospel).  But, both left their original genres to launch solo careers in mainstream popular song.  There, they each enjoyed immense fame and critical acclaim, but also struggled with racism.  And, both died tragically, Cole at the age of 45, Cooke at 33.  This class will take us through the turbulent lives and magnificent music of two outstanding performers in post-WWII America. 

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University.  Mike specializes in 20th century U.S. history and U.S. urban history, and is an avid fan of American popular music and artists.  He frequently explores the important role of pop culture in modern American society.  Mike is the author of Down from Equality:  Black Chicagoans and the Public Schools, and other publications on urban politics and education.


S1728 Ernest Hemingway:  Men Without Women
Presenter: Will Horwath
Date: Wednesday, April 26
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Req’d Text:    Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway. (Scribner paperback edition, 2004.)  ISBN 0-684-82586
Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Hadley Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer, Martha Gellhorn, Mary Welsh.  Hemingway was never without a woman.  The same cannot be said for Manuel Garcia, Signor Maggiore, Ole Anderson, Jack Brennan, Nick Adams, the peasant Olz, Bill Campbell, and several nameless others . . . the characters Hemingway wrote about in his 1927 short stories bundled under the title Men Without Women.  Dorothy Parker called these stories “sad and terrible,” but then went on to admit “I don’t know where a greater collection of stories can be found.”  Will Horwath wants to know what you think, and extends an invitation to you to come and discuss these stories with him.  What are they?  Sad and terrible?  A great collection?  Both?  Or . . . none or some of the above?  We will concentrate on “The Undefeated,” “The Killers,” “Fifty Grand,” “In Another Country,” “Hills Like White Elephants,” and “Now I Lay Me.”  

Will Horwath holds a Ph.D. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan.  A native of Pennsylvania and a former paratrooper, Will has taught literature and creative writing at Moravian College, the University of Michigan, and Oakland University.  He currently teaches at Madonna University in the Department of Language, Literature, Communication and Writing.


S1729 Learning in Early America
Presenter:  Sue Grossman
Date:  Thursday, April 27
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Today, almost everyone in America goes to school, for a few years at least.  But, in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries that was not the case.  Some children were formally educated, but many were not.  So, how did they learn, in and out of school?  This presentation will consider schools and learning in the earlier centuries of our country’s history, children’s experiences with education, and the other ways they acquired skills and knowledge.  The presentation will be accompanied by a large number of PowerPoint illustrations, and examples of historical sources and early learning materials will be available for attendees to examine. 

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.  In 1995, Sue joined the faculty at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) in the Early Childhood Program Area of the Department of Teacher Education.  She retired from EMU in 2012.


S1730 Spring Wildflower Walk
Presenter: Sylvia Taylor
Date: Wednesday, May 3
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Class Size: Enrollment for this class is limited to 15 attendees.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Although most of the forests of the upper Lake Erie Basin were long ago cleared, with the land leveled for agriculture, scattered remnants remain with their diverse spring flora.  The five-acre home site of Tom and Sylvia Taylor is located in one such remnant wood lot.  Since 1974, Sylvia has encouraged the wildflowers already present while introducing rescued plants from nearby construction sites.  As a result, about two acres of this habitat have a rich wildflower display in late April and early May.  Sylvia will show us how easily such a landscape can be managed where original soil conditions are available.  Enrollees will receive driving directions to the location near Willis in southeastern Washtenaw County.  This will be an easy woodland walk with some nice photographic opportunities.  

Sylvia Taylor is an adjunct assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan.  She is retired from the State of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, where she served for many years as an endangered species coordinator and wildlife biologist.  Sylvia is currently engaged in multiple projects involving field botany, wildlife biology, forest ecology, and the monitoring of vegetation.


S1731 The First 100 Days:  A Panel Discussion
Presenters: Jeffrey Bernstein, Michael Homel, and Larry Kestenbaum
Date: Thursday, May 4
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

By the time we meet, approximately 100 days will have passed in the Trump administration.  Join us for this panel discussion on the early accomplishments of the Trump presidency, the controversies it has generated (we are confident there will be at least a few of them), and the policy goals and directions that President Trump is pursuing.  We will talk about Trump’s conduct of foreign relations and national defense, his relationship with the Congressional Republicans, and the implications of all of this for state and local government.  Given the impetuousness of Donald Trump as an individual personality, and the interesting signals sent by his transition, we anticipate a very lively discussion.  During the second half of this session, you will have an opportunity to submit questions to the panel members.  

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

Michael Homel is Professor Emeritus of History at Eastern Michigan University.  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, first elected in 2004.  Larry is the creator and owner of, the Internet’s most comprehensive source for American political biography.


S1732 Walter Chrysler:  His Company and His Life
Presenter: Russell Doré
Date: Friday, May 5
Time: 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  [Please note the 2:30 p.m. end time.]

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Walter Chrysler was a self-made man who built one of the Big Three auto companies by using strong
engineering and a design reputation that is unequalled in the industry, even to this day.  In this class we will learn how Walter Chrysler developed his skills by being a key player with General Motors, notably during his leadership at the Buick division in Flint, Michigan.  Mr. Doré will further discuss the roles that the Maxwell and Willys companies played in Chrysler’s development, and will tell us the story of the Chrysler Building in New York City.  In addition to his success at General Motors and the creation of the Chrysler Corporation, this presentation will cover Walter Chrysler’s early life in the locomotive business, his family, his personality, and his love of the ‘good life.’  

Russell Doré is an automotive history writer, and has been offering presentations about the automotive industry and its founders for over 20 years.  Russ is also a member of the Motor Cities National Heritage Area, the Northville Historical Society, and the Henry Ford Heritage Association.


S1733 The Underground Railroad in Michigan:  New Perspectives
Presenter: Carol E. Mull
Date: Tuesday, May 9
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. 

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

This presentation will offer us a comprehensive exploration of the role Michigan citizens played in opposing slavery and helping to emancipate enslaved African Americans.  The discussion will include recent research focusing on the Detroit River borderlands as a particularly dynamic region where the formerly enslaved settled and then provided assistance to other freedom-seekers.

Carol E. Mull is an Ann Arbor historic preservationist and Underground Railroad scholar.  She is the author of The Underground Railroad in Michigan (2010) and a contributor to the recently-published collection A Fluid Frontier:  Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland [2016].  Carol was the recipient of Eastern Michigan University’s 2012 Alumna Achievement Award.


S1734  Learning to Look:  The Language of Symbols
Presenter: Kate Blake
Date: Friday, May 12
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Kate Blake returns with a second installment in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Learning to Look series. Researchers tell us that, as humans, 90% of the sensory information we receive is taken in from our eyes.   But, how many of us ever take a class on ways to see better?  The language of the visual world - whether encountered inside or outside art museum galleries - can be a challenge to interpret.  This hands-on, brains-on workshop investigates the world of images through the visual language of symbols.  Join us for an exploration of the connections between symbols, experience, and our response to images.  Participation in last year’s workshop on Exploring Form is not required.  

Kate Blake is the Manager of Curriculum at the Toledo Museum of Art.  In her role with the museum, she teaches students, educators, business leaders, and museum visitors to apply the Toledo Museum of Art’s Learning to Look approach to interpreting the visual world.  A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Kate holds an M.A. degree in art history and is a specialist in the field of visual literacy.


S1735 Senior Workers: Getting the Most Out of Post-Retirement Employment
Presenter: Jane Bassett
Date: Monday, May 15
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Working after retirement can involve some special considerations, including the impact of additional earnings on Social Security income, issues of age discrimination, and requests for special accommodations.  In this class, attorney Jane Bassett will discuss how to navigate employee rights versus employer rights in situations unique to older working adults.  

Jane Bassett is an attorney in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She focuses on probate law, elder law, estate planning, elder abuse and exploitation, adoption, and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues.  Jane is a council member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Elder Law and Disability Rights Section, and the Michigan and National Academies of Elder Law Attorneys.


S1736A     3-D Printing, Section A    [May 19]
S1736B     3-D Printing, Section B    [June 16]
Note:   These are duplicate sections of the same class.
Please register for either Section A or Section B, but not both.
Presenter:  Mark Charles
Dates:  Section A, Friday, May 19, at Maker Works, 3767 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor
Section B, Friday, June 16, at Maker Works, 3767 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor
Time:              10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Class Size:     Enrollment for each section is limited to 12 attendees.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

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.  Join one of these sections for a live demonstration at a local Ann Arbor workshop for artists and hobbyists.  As examples of the possibilities, we will make some doll house furniture and discuss the use of 3-D printing for other hobbies.  For this active workshop environment, please wear appropriate attire and closed-toe shoes.  Mark’s class provides a basic introduction to the technology.  No computer knowledge is required.  

Mark Charles is a lifelong auto-didact.  Now retired, he is learning about CAD/CAM (computer assisted design and manufacturing) in order to build 1:64 scale architectural models that are not commercially available.  Mark has been experimenting with computer graphics and related techniques for about two years.  He is especially grateful to the staff at Maker Works for their clear explanations and their patience.


S1737  Bands and Marching Bands in America
Presenter: Jerry Robbins
Date: Friday, May 19
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, before the days of radio, TV, movies, and recorded music, the number of bands in the United States expanded rapidly as a form of popular entertainment.  The great touring bands, of which John Philip Sousa’s was the best known, were the “rock stars” of their time.  Every community of any size had to have a “town band,” often associated with a sponsoring business or cultural organization.  This led to the development of marching and concert bands in colleges and universities, and then in high schools.  Join us as we hear about this fascinating history, with a special emphasis on the John Philip Sousa Band, and the “band movement” in and around Washtenaw County.  

Jerry Robbins is Dean Emeritus of the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University.  He began his music career as a high school band director.  From 1998 to 2011, Jerry served as the conductor of what is now the Washtenaw Community Concert Band (WCCB).  In 2009 he organized, and continues to conduct, a 20-piece "vintage" ensemble from the WCCB, called the "Town Band."  This group only performs music of the 1880 to 1920 period, with period-appropriate instruments and in civilian costume of the World War I era.  Jerry  has authored an article in the Ypsilanti Historical Society's Gleanings (Winter 2008) that covers the first 30-year history of the Ypsilanti Community Band (now the Washtenaw Community Concert Band), and traces the origins of early non-school bands in  the Ypsilanti area.


S1738 The Dawn of Civilization in Mesopotamia:  The Earliest States
Presenter: Henry T. Wright
Date: Monday, May 22
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Our world’s first urban economies and political states emerged in the valley of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers a little after 4,000 BCE.  The next states appear along the Nile about 3,400 BCE, so we can be certain that Mesopotamians made their key breakthroughs without contributions by yet older states.  However, Mesopotamia is a difficult place to study, first and foremost because it is so very old.  In some places, geological processes have wiped away key sites.  In other places, these processes have buried important landscapes under many meters of flood silt.  Even where landscapes are still accessible, the key sites have often been re-occupied repeatedly, burying the remains of the earliest cities.  Finally, this ancient heartland of Mesopotamia is currently divided among four very different nations.  Their frequent state of conflict makes research unusually difficult.  In this class Henry Wright will trace the last 60 years of research on state and urban origins, using archival images and artifacts from the University of Michigan’s Museum of Anthropological Archaeology.  

Henry Wright has studied the development of complex societies since his undergraduate years at the University of Michigan during the early 1960s.  He focused on early Mesopotamia for his doctoral research at the University of Chicago with work in Iraq and Iran from the mid 1960s to the late 1970s, continuing field work in Turkey in the 1980s, Egypt in the 1990s, and Syria in the 2000s.  He is Professor of Anthropology, and Curator of Near Eastern Collections at the University’s Museum of Anthropological Archaeology.


S1739 1,4 Dioxane:      How did we get into this mess? And, how do we get out of it?
Presenter: Ric Lawson
Date: Tuesday, May 30
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Over 30 years ago a graduate student discovered the carcinogen 1,4 dioxane in a small lake near Ann Arbor.  The State environmental agency and the corporate polluter settled on a strategy to clean up or stabilize the contamination in the groundwater.  However, the pollution plume continues to move toward the Huron River, and local governments and the Huron River Watershed Council have sued for a better plan.  In this class Ric Lawson will discuss what the chemical 1,4 dioxane is, how it is used, how bad it is, how big the plume is, where it is going, and how science, policy, and politics have led us to our current situation.  Ric will also provide a summary of current discussions for developing a new clean-up plan, and the plan’s prospects for success.  

Ric Lawson holds master's degrees in environmental management and public policy from Duke University.  He is a Watershed Planner with the Huron River Watershed Council, where he has worked for more than ten years.  Ric develops and implements management plans across the watershed, addressing a range of water quality challenges.  In this capacity, he works with a diverse et of governments and organizations to carry out watershed treatment and restoration practices and to monitor their success.


S1740 Wilderness Survival:  The Sacred Four
Presenter: Andy Buesser
Date: Wednesday, May 31
Time: 9:30 a.m. to noon [Please note the 9:30 a.m. start time.]

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

In this class we will learn about securing the “sacred four” essentials for survival in the wilderness – procuring, maintaining, and conserving shelter, water, fire, and food.  Developing and honing survival practices not only sustains life in the physical sense, it also awakens primal instincts and re-awakens that part of the human mind that evolved out of the necessity to alter our environments in order to survive.  Andy Buesser’s presentation is designed to demonstrate how we can integrate the practical side of physical survival with what he calls “the wilderness mind,” and to do so in a way that is transferable to modern life.  Our goals are to create curiosity and to explore wilderness survival methods as means of awakening a dormant way of thinking about the world around us. 

Andy Buesser is a master carpenter who has spent much of his life studying wilderness survival.  Under the tutelage of legendary tracker Tom Brown, Jr., Andy devoted a decade to studying and teaching the knowledge and skills of Stalking Wolf, a Native American elder and the last of the Apache scouts.


S1741 The Jury System in the State of Michigan
Presenter: Larry Kestenbaum
Date: Wednesday, May 31
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

The jury is a fundamental part of Anglo-American law, but the sometimes-creaky mechanics of the jury system (before prospective jurors even enter the courtroom) embody several inherent and controversial issues.  Like military draftees, jurors serve only under compulsion.  No one is allowed to volunteer.  Who gets called for jury service?  From what list are they drawn?  How are they selected?  How long do they serve?  Join us in this class as we trace through the history of Michigan’s jury law, and consider the ideas, the challenges, and the politics that have driven our policies.  

Larry Kestenbaum is an attorney and the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds.  He has testified before legislative committees on bills to amend the jury law, and currently chairs a committee of county clerks, in association with the State Court Administrative Office, to consider ways to modernize the law.


S1742  Two Novels by Kurt Vonnegut:  Mother Night and Bluebeard
Presenter: Gregory D. Sumner
Date:  Friday, June 2
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Reqd. Text: Paperback and Kindle editions of both Mother Night and Bluebeard are widely                     available through libraries, bookstores, and online sources.
Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Greg Sumner leads us in a close reading of two of Vonnegut’s short but highly acclaimed novels.  Mother Night (1961), the story of an American who poses as a Nazi radio broadcaster in the heart of Hitler’s Germany, explores the fragility of our identities and the moral consequences of our choices.  The autobiographical Bluebeard (1987), the memoir of an aging, lonely WWII veteran, confirms the redeeming powers of art and love.  Each unfolds with the author’s signature dark wit and humanity.  

Gregory Sumner has been a professor of American history at the University of Detroit Mercy since 1993.  He holds a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.  Greg has been a Fellow with the National Endowment for the Humanities, and spent two semesters as a visiting Fulbright lecturer at the Universita di Roma Tre.  His books include Detroit in World War II (2015) and Unstuck in Time: A Journey through the Life and Novels of Kurt Vonnegut (2011).


S1743 The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Presenter:      Raymond Stocking
Date:   Friday, June 2
Time: 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. [Please note the 4:00 p.m. end time.]

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

In this class we will learn about the tragedy of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, an American Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975 – an event that dominated national headlines for days.  We will engage in a historical review of the Edmund Fitzgerald, with photos, video, and music accompanying the presentation.  We will examine the specific details of the Fitzgerald’s final journey, a journey that ultimately took the lives of all 29 crew members.  We will also discuss a summary of the investigation that followed this tragic event, and the multiple theories about what caused the ship to sink so suddenly, without any distress calls. 

Ray Stocking is a long-time resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a life-long admirer of the Great Lakes shipping industry.  He grew up along the shores of Lake St. Clair and spent his childhood years watching and learning about the big freighters as they passed by.  Ray is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University where he received his B.B.A. and M.B.A. degrees in business management.  Ray and his wife Alena live in Ann Arbor with their two children, Shannon and Christopher.


S1744 The Wonders of China
Presenters: Russ and Lonnie Haines
Date: Monday, June 5
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Join us for a journey into the fascinating country and culture of the People’s Republic of China.  In this class world travelers Russ and Lonnie Haines share their video presentation featuring the wonders of mainland China.  Our visit begins with Beijing, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and Tiananmen Square.  We then move on to Xi’an and the beginning of the famous Silk Road, and on to Chengdu, the home of the Giant Panda Sanctuary, and to Tibet, where devotion to Buddhism is a constant “thorn” for the Chinese government.  We will see the terra cotta soldiers in Shaanxi Province, and Chongqing, the home of the Flying Tigers in WWII.  We will also cruise down the Yangtze River, concluding our journey at the Three Gorges Dam and the exciting city of Hong Kong.  

Russell Haines received his master’s degree in education administration from the University of Michigan and spent more than 30 years teaching in a variety of fields. 

Lonnie Haines received her B.S. degree in mathematics and science from the University of Detroit Mercy, and her master’s in the teaching of science from the University of Michigan.  She is an accomplished artist in watercolor and acrylic painting.


S1745 Alzheimer’s in 2017:
Latest Advances in Diagnosis, Care, and Prevention
Presenter: Bruno Giordani
Date:   Monday, June 5
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Alzheimer’s disease was first described by the German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906.  Today, it is regarded as the most common form of dementia.  In this class Dr. Bruno Giordani will provide background information on Alzheimer’s disease and explain what is going on in the brain when someone has this form of dementia.  We will learn about the latest findings from this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and several other recent conferences where brand new information is being presented, including new information on risk factors, early detection, innovative prevention and treatment approaches, and new initiatives to support research.  

Bruno Giordani is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Psychology, and in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan.  He is the Chief Psychologist for the Neuropsychology Section of the Department of Psychiatry and the former Board Chair of the Great Lakes Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.  Dr. Giordani currently serves as the Associate Director of the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center (MADC) and as the Co-Lead for the Administrative and Clinical cores of the Center.  His research interests include identification of early signs of cognitive impairment and cross-cultural applications of new assessment and intervention models.


S1746  Writing Our Way To Kindness:  A Workshop
Presenter: Jennifer Clark
Date: Thursday, June 8
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Do you feel overwhelmed or anxious by tweets and posts?  Do you open the paper, turn on the television or radio, and worry about the future?  Do you wonder how you can make a difference?  In this class, we will set aside the worries of the world and immerse ourselves in the concept of kindness.  Michigan writer Jennifer Clark offers an opportunity to express these thoughts in writing.  Through fun and friendly writing exercises, and ample group discussion, we will write our way to kindness.  No previous writing experience is necessary for participation in this workshop.  

Jennifer Clark, a Kalamazoo native, is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Necessary Clearings (Shabda Press, 2014).  Jennifer’s work has been nominated for five Pushcart Prizes and a Rhysling Award.  She is currently co-editing the anthology Immigration & Justice for Our Neighbors, and in late 2017 her second poetry collection will be released.  Jennifer is employed at Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo where she conducts special projects and initiatives.


S1747 Diet and Diabetes:  An Update on the American Epidemic
Presenter: Cecilia Sauter
Date: Friday, June 9
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

In this class Cecilia Sauter will bring you up to date on our national progress (or lack of progress) in stemming the diabetes epidemic.  We will learn about diabetes, how to prevent it, and how to live with this chronic disease.  In addition, we will assess the effectiveness of strategies to reduce the incidence of diabetes among Americans.  Diabetes affects all of us, young and old, from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds.  We will learn how to avoid developing diabetes by “eating healthy” and by having a healthy lifestyle.  We will also learn useful strategies for managing diabetes, whether for ourselves or for someone we care about.  We will discuss the role of diet and exercise in the management of diabetes, and we will debunk some of the most common diet myths.  

Cecilia Sauter holds an M.S. degree from Texas Woman’s University and is a Registered Dietician and a Certified Diabetes Educator.  She currently works at the University of Michigan, training clinical staff on how to help people who have chronic conditions, including diabetes.  Cecilia founded the Diabetes Education Program at the University of Michigan, and serves on the Executive Board of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.


S1748 Michigan Women and the Suffrage Movement, 1848 - 1920
Presenter: Beverly Fish
Date: Monday, June 12
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

In this class our presenter Beverly Fish will discuss how dedicated women, and progressive men, helped to promote the right to vote for American women.  Beverly will especially discuss the role of Catherine Fish Stebbins, who was one of the original signers of the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.  After the Seneca Falls meeting of the first women's rights advocates, Michigan women actively supported women’s suffrage during the ensuing long struggle to win the right to vote.  In this class we will learn about some of the great spokeswomen of this movement, and how Michigan took the lead.  The cities of Grand Rapids and Detroit had very active suffrage supporters, and many of the suffrage leaders, including Susan B. Anthony, visited Michigan often.  

Beverly Fish was the first women’s studies graduate in the master’s program at Eastern Michigan University (EMU).  She taught humanities and the history of women for 20 years at the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, and also taught women’s studies at EMU and Wayne State University.  Currently retired, Beverly remains active in the field and has served as a board member for the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in Lansing.


S1749 Two Stops on the A Train: A Round Trip from Broadway to Harlem and Back
Presenter: Ken Stevens
Date: Monday, June 12
Time:  1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

The key to the creation of the great American musical was collaboration between black and white artists.  This class puts the spotlight on the artistry and performances that are too often overlooked when chronicling one of this country’s legacies.  Ken will discuss the examples of choreographer George Balanchine, who called for acclaimed dancers Fayard and Harold Nicholas to appear in the Rogers and Hart musical Babes in Arms, Bert Williams, who became one of the highest paid members of the Ziegfeld Follies, and Shelton Brooks, who wrote Sophie Tucker’s signature song “Some of These Days.”  

Ken Stevens began his theater career in Cincinnati, where he co-founded the Showboat Majestic and served as a Rockefeller Fellow at Playhouse in the Park and the University of Cincinnati.  In 1972 Ken joined the faculty of Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where he created both the musical theater program and the graduate and undergraduate programs in arts management.  He retired from EMU in 2014, but he has continued teaching arts management classes and has resumed leadership in the education program of the Michigan Legacy Art Park, a wilderness sculpture park at Crystal Mountain Resort.


S1750 The Flora of New Guinea and New Caledonia
Presenter: Anne S. Benninghoff
Date: Wednesday, June 14
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Botanist Anne S. Benninghoff and her husband travelled the world to learn about plant communities.  In this presentation Anne will highlight various plant taxa (groupings) of New Guinea and New Caledonia, which are regions with an abundance of unusual botany.  

Anne S. Benninghoff received her Ph.D. candidacy in botany from the University of Michigan.  She and her husband, Professor W.S. Benninghoff, conducted botany field studies on all seven continents.


S1751 Rare Books, Old Books, New Books, Sold Books: A Bookseller Looks at Collecting
Presenter: Gene Alloway
Date:   Thursday, June 15
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Even if you have been buying books for years, there is always an opportunity to improve your collection and find new excitement in collecting.  In this class we will talk about what makes a good book collection, how to manage it, and smart ways to hunt for books.  We will also talk about different ways to present and protect your collection so it can be shared with others.  

Gene Alloway holds degrees in classical history and library science, and is a former University of Michigan librarian.  He is the owner of Motte & Bailey Used & Rare Booksellers in downtown Ann Arbor.  Gene also is a book collector, with two ongoing collections and one accumulation that is slowly growing.


S1752 From Wilderness to Wright:  Michigan's Architectural History
Presenter: Rochelle Balkam
Date: Monday, June 19
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

In this class we will focus on Michigan’s architectural heritage – from Native American wigwams to Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic dwellings.  Class participants will learn about many kinds of buildings – including the grand and not-so-grand.  Presenter Rochelle Balkam will introduce us to Michigan’s great architects and   their work.  We will view the commercial and residential building styles that are most commonly found in our state.  We will hear about some success stories, and some less than successful.  As Winston Churchill said, "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.”  Handouts on Michigan architectural styles will accompany the presentation.  

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.


S1753 The "Other" Meter:  Listening to Four-Beat Poetry
Presenter: Macklin Smith
Date: Thursday, June 22
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Chaucer is sometimes called the “father of English verse,” but this is false.  He was the first and best poet to write French-style rhyming, syllable-counting poetry under the patronage of the late-medieval nobility, who had just recently learned to speak English.  But, plenty of English verse existed pre-Chaucer, and the style of this verse has persisted, sometimes underground, up to today.  This workshop will consider Caedmon’s hymn (the first extant Anglo-Saxon poem), a passage from Beowulf, lines from Piers Plowman, a Shakespearean song, a nursery rhyme, the ABC song, a jingle or two, an Old Folk song, a blues song, and some rap verses, including passages from The Notorious B.I.G., Lauryn Hill, and the cast of Hamilton.  Four-beat poetry does not count syllables, and originally it did not even rhyme.  It has a literary pedigree as well as strong ties to popular culture.  And, it is compellingly musical, even toe-tapping, head-bobbing musical.  

Macklin Smith recently retired from the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where he taught Medieval literature, Shakespeare, and a variety of poetry courses.  Macklin has just completed a co-authored work, with undergraduate student Aurko Joshi, on the poetics of rap music.


S1754 Historical Fencing:  A Martial Arts Discipline
Presenter: Adam Franti
Date: Thursday, June 22
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is the study of medieval, renaissance, and early modern systems of fencing.  Unlike modern fencing, which has evolved entirely into a sport, HEMA emphasizes following the content of period treatises, called fechtbucher.  Using practical testing methods with replica swords and with cooperative and uncooperative training, and necessitating intellectual study, HEMA is a multifaceted, interdisciplinary effort to resurrect, as closely as is possible, the lethal methods of fencing employed with swords of many types throughout the past.  

Adam Franti, a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), has been fencing competitively since 2004.  In 2010, he joined Ars Gladii, a Historical European Martial Arts club located in Redford, Michigan.  Since then, he has studied on his own and with the Ann Arbor Sword Club, eventually forming his own club, the School of the Sword, at EMU.  Adam has won medals in longsword and rapier at national tournaments, and he is one of the organizers of the Midwest Historical Fencing League.


S1755 The Dark Side of the Belle Époque 
Presenter: Boyd E. Chapin, Jr.
Date: Friday, June 23
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

The period between 1870 and the onset of World War I is rightly considered a golden age for European and particularly French art.  This span of four decades has been designated the Belle Époque.  We think of the colorful celebrations of life created by Monet and the other Impressionists.  We think of Toulouse-Lautrec at the Moulin Rouge.  But, when we look more closely at art produced during the fin de siècle, the final years of the 19th century, we see the mood changing and darkening.  We detect an art of anxiety, of angst, of acute alienation.  Why, in an era of relative peace, stability, and (for some) economic prosperity, did artists choose to revel in expressions of unease and dislocation?  Their work often displays something contrary to society’s outward confidence.  It reflects discomfort with spiritual emptiness and the growing materialism.  There is a rejection of the 18th century Enlightenment ideal that progress and reason could sustain the human spirit.  

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.


S1756  The Early Years of Detroit Television
Presenter: Tim Kiska
Date: Monday, June 26
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Back in the 1940s – before coaxial cable from the East Coast reached Detroit – television was as local as Vernors Ginger Ale, Sanders Hot Fudge, and Hudson’s department store.  There was room for clowns, bowlers, philosophers, journalists, adventurers, movie mavens, wrestlers, and magicians.  The people who brought the shows to life were drunks, geniuses, thugs, heroes, artists, craftsmen, hustlers, and poets.  At times, some were all of these things.  A few were all of these things before lunch.  As the medium grew, thousands of Detroiters chatted with Channel 4’s Milky the Clown, danced before the cameras of Channel 62’s “The Scene,” and tuned in at home to watch bombastic anchorman Bill Bonds.  With the evaporation   of distinct local television, a piece of Detroit’s character disappeared.  

Tim Kiska has a Ph.D. from Wayne State University and is the author of several books, including From Soupy to Nuts!  A History of Detroit Television (2005).  He is a former television writer for the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, a political consultant to WXYZ Detroit, and an associate professor of journalism and communication at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.


S1757 A Paradise Besieged:  The Galapagos Islands
Presenter:      Ulrich Reinhardt
Date:   Wednesday, June 28
Time:  10:00 a.m. to 12 noon

Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Ulrich Reinhardt returns to share his experiences while studying the Galapagos Islands.  These islands are world-famous for their naturally tame wildlife – a prehistoric giant tortoise emerges from thick brush, penguins mingle with strange “sea dragons,” and guileless sea lions frolic on the beach in front of captivated tourists.  It is no wonder that the geographic isolation of the islands has been broken and that a multitude of invasive visitors, human and other, is threatening to cause irreparable damage to the Galapagos’ natural integrity.  This class will do two things – in the first hour we will show the natural beauty of the Galapagos and explain some of the natural and human history of the archipelago, and in the second hour we will describe the ongoing battle to preserve the islands.  

Ulrich Reinhardt has been a professor of biology at Eastern Michigan University for more than 16 years.  He is a specialist in ichthyology and teaches classes on zoology, ecology, and environmental science, as well as summer field-study in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  In addition to the United States, Professor Reinhardt has lived, worked, and studied in Germany, Ecuador, Japan, and Canada.

S1758 The Hawks and Owls of Michigan
Presenter: Michael Kielb
Date: Thursday, June 29
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Fee: Members $8;  Nonmembers $15

Hawks and owls are skilled predators, and are known to the world of ornithology as raptors.  Hawks are typically diurnal, and hunt in the daytime.  Owls are generally nocturnal, and hunt by night.  In this class we will learn about these intriguing predators, some of which actually live in our own backyards.  We will learn how to identify them, and about their behavior and their migratory patterns.  Michigan boasts a wealth of avian predators, some of which are quite common, while others are rare.  All of them lead extremely interesting lives.  

Michael Kielb is a faculty member in the Department of Biology at Eastern Michigan University.  He is a contributing author for several books on birds, and has written the accounts of the raptor species for The Birds of Michigan (Lone Pine Publishing, 2003).




S1759 Ernestine Ruben at Willow Run:  Mobilizing Memory
         Exhibit Tour, University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
Presenter: UMMA Docent Specialist
Date: Thursday, June 1 at the UofM Museum of Art, 525 South State Street
Time: 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. [Please note the 2:00 p.m. start time.]
Fee: Members $8; Nonmembers $15
Class Size: Enrollment for this exhibition tour is limited to 20 attendees.

In 2013, artist Ernestine Ruben photographed the once-famed industrial complex at Willow Run, Michigan, a manufacturing facility designed for the Ford Motor Company by Ruben’s grandfather, Detroit architect Albert Kahn.  Willow Run was an exemplar of American defense manufacturing because of its efficient mass-production of B-24 Liberator airplanes during World War II.  This exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) presents Ruben’s photographs of Willow Run, with overlaid views showing imagined glimpses into its interior landscape.  In the museum’s Forum we will view an original film co-created by Ruben and video artist Seth Bernstein, featuring an original score by award-winning composer Stephen Hartke.  The exhibition tour will be led by a UMMA Docent Specialist.  Following the tour of the Ruben exhibit, Elderwise participants are encouraged to visit (gratis) another UMMA exhibition, Victors for Art:  Michigan’s Alumni Collectors.  The Ernestine Ruben exhibit is being displayed at the museum from March 11 through August 20, 2017.


S1760  All-Day Coach Tour:  Historic Jackson Prison and Art Center
Guides:  Docents at the Prison and the Museum
Date: Wednesday, June 21
Times: 8:45 a.m. Departure,  3:30 p.m. Return
Fee: Members $90; Nonmembers $95
Includes transportation, entry fees, and lunch at Steve’s Ranch restaurant.
Tour Size: Enrollment for this tour is limited to 50 persons.  Two spaces are reserved for motorized wheelchairs.

Jackson State Prison opened as Michigan’s first prison in 1839 and soon became the nucleus of the City of Jackson.  Enclosing an area of about 20 acres, the facility embarked on a lengthy and often tumultuous history.  Today Jackson State Prison is known as the “Old Prison” and houses Armory Arts Village, a resident artists’ community.  This guided tour, “From Historic Prison to Artistic Vision,” features tales of intriguing prison history, a visit to the old solitary area, and a view of murals depicting prison life as painted by resident artists.  We will enter the brick, mortar, and stone Grand Gallery with its windows still lined by prison bars and built entirely by prison labor.  We will meet an artist in a studio that was formerly a cell block, and visit an apartment that was once 36 cells.  After lunch at Steve’s Ranch restaurant, we will visit Cell Block 7, which once held incoming prisoners and is now a unique museum within the walls of an operating penitentiary.  We will encounter the conditions of prison life and hear true stories about notorious escapes, both attempted and achieved.



THEATER Back to top

S1761 Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Theater: Spring Awakening
A rock musical.  Book and lyrics by Steven Slater.  Music by Duncan Sheik.
Director/Presenter: Pirooz Aghssa
     Pre-Performance Class: Friday, April 7, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. (Red Cross Building)
     Matinee Performance: Sunday, April 9, 2:00 p.m. (Quirk Theater)
     Post-Performance Class:   Thursday, April 13, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.  (Red Cross Building)
                                               [Please note the 9:30 start time and 11:30 end time.]
Fees: Members $25; Nonmembers $34   [Includes one ticket to the play.]
          Emeritus Faculty:  Members $16; Nonmembers $25 [Includes 2 tickets to the play.]
          Extra Tickets are $9 each.  Please see S1763 on this catalog’s Registration Form.

The Tony Award-winning rock musical Spring Awakening is based on the 1891 play Frühlings Erwachen by German dramatist Frank Wedekind, in which he criticizes the sexually oppressive culture of the 19th century.  The play was originally banned after it opened in New York City in 1917, amidst public outrage claiming obscenity and degradation of the audience.  After many rewrites, Steve Slater and Duncan Sheik presented Spring Awakening as a rock musical, opening on Broadway in 2006.  Bristling with raw emotion, vitality, and urgency, the musical follows the fate of the three main characters, Wendla, Moritz, and Melchior, as they struggle through the turmoil of their own sexuality during their transition to adulthood.  The title Spring Awakening suggests the promise of a future, but by play’s end, the audience begins to realize that children cannot be sheltered from life’s hardships and dangers.  

Pirooz Aghssa has been at Eastern Michigan University since 1992, teaching a wide range of courses and directing numerous theater productions.  In 2010 Dr. Aghssa received the EMU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teaching Award.  He has studied with several renowned theater and music artists, including Anne Bogart, Tina Landau, Adrian Noble, William Warfield, and Evelyn Lear.  Pirooz Aghssa also has studied Cabaret Performance Techniques and regularly performs in cabaret venues in New York City.


S1762 PTD Productions:  August:  Osage County A black comedy by Tracy Letts.
Director/Presenter: Liz Greaves-Hoxsie
                         Pre-Performance Class:  Monday, May 8, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
                         (Riverside Arts Center, Ypsilanti)
                         Matinee Performance:  Sunday, May 14, 2:00 p.m.  (Riverside Arts Center)
 Fees:  Members $19; Nonmembers $26  [Fee includes one ticket to the play.]

The Pulitzer Prize winning play, August:  Osage County is a black comedy full of compelling characters and rich in its sparkling criticism of the contemporary American family.  Set in modern day, middle-class Oklahoma, it tells the story of a dysfunctional American family who come together after the mysterious disappearance and subsequent death of its patriarch.  The patriarch’s wife and other family members attempt to offer each other support but, as always, cannot help making one another absolutely miserable.  As old truths and jealousies surface, this tragi-comedy exposes the nerves of a family in meltdown, when each member must confront some past hurt or future fear. 

Since retiring from the corporate world, Liz Greaves-Hoxsie has developed a second career in theater.  She has taken theater classes at Washtenaw Community College, Purple Rose Theatre, and Redbud Productions, and has been associated with PTD Productions since 2010.  For PTD, she most recently directed Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers. She also played one of her all-time favorite roles, Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez in the PTD production of Charley’s Aunt.

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