NEISD - Community Education
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A History of Hitler's Empire

This Great Courses® class featuring Dr. Thomas Childers traces the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and his Nationalist Socialist Party. Lectures explore how they came to power in a highly-educated, well-developed Western nation. A second key focus is on how the Nazis were able to establish a totalitarian regime in such a short time, hurling the world into a devastating war.

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300 Years of San Antonio Heritage

From its founding in 1718 as the "Presidio San Antonio de Bexar" and the capital of the Spanish (and Later Mexican) province of Tejas, to its present flourishing as a major, multicultural, U.S. city, San Antonio's rich history is the focus of this class. Six expert San Antonio speakers (TBA) will present wide-ranging topics, but they will all resonate to one theme - our city's deep, vivid, 300-year heritage.

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Acrylic Painting

In this beginning acrylic painting class, students will learn multiple techniques, the rules of linear and aerial perspective, and basic still life and landscape composition. (Max 20)

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Advanced Hispanic Literature and Civilization

This course will emphasize student discussions and analysis of literary and cultural texts.

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Advanced Spanish Literature

This class, conducted in Spanish, will read and discuss short stories and essays written by leading authors of the Spanish-speaking world. We will use the book Exploraciones en Literatura (ISBN #9780 8442 7659 5) to focus on comprehension, communication and literary appreciation. (Max 20)

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Aging Gracefully, Planning Intelligently

Arm yourself with the knowledge you need to protect yourself and your loved ones as you age. Elder law attorney, Amanda Skeen, will share everything you need to know in layman's terms. Topics include: How to make and implement your own estate plan, Efficacy of Payable of Death and JTWROS designations on bank accounts, Texas' NEW Transfer on Death deed, Strategies for preserving your life savings from nursing home costs, Ladybird deeds, Preparing for dementia, Avoiding guardianship, Keeping the government out of your estate settlement, Reducing or eliminating death taxes, and much more.

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ALIR Initial Course

Initial registration fee.

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ALIR Instructor Course

This is only for ALIR instructors.

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ALIR Membership Fee

A $10 membership fee is payable to ALIR by check or cash only at the time of registration.

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ALIR New Members for Email Use Only

This is for email purposes.

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Art Across the Ages, Part 2

This Great Courses® survey, led by Prof. Ori Soltes, is a broad study of Western visual art designed to familiarize you with its basic history, acquaint you with major artists and styles, and provide you with a foundation for a deeper exploration. This term continues the series, concluding with the startling perspectives of post-modern painting. (Max 30)

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Bad Girls of the Bible

A Bible study class, we will read about the not-so-saintly gals of the Judeo-Christian testaments who, in spite of their pasts or shortcomings, accomplished something memorable. Rahab the Harlot, Bathsheba, Delilah, Jezebel, Sophira, Salome and Mary Magdalene are some of the women we will discuss. Bibles will be provided, or bring your own.

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Basic Bead/Jewelry Making

In this introductory course, you'll learn to use basic jewelry tools and techniques to create your own necklaces, bracelets and earrings, plus a floating lanyard. A$5 material fee collected during the first class will cover fasteners, wire and crimps. Students will supply their own beads and should bring a placemat-sized cloth for their work area. Small pliers help! (Max 15)

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Basic Watercolor

Discover the fun of watercolor! Students of all levels are welcome, and instruction is offered for beginners. Bring any paints and brushes you already have (if you have none, we'll furnish them for the first lesson). A supply list will be available. The 11:00am class is a repeat of the 9:30am class. (Max 20)

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Beginning Calligraphy

This is an enjoyable introductory class for people wanting to do beautiful lettering in many styles. This term we will concentrate on 6th Century Uncial Script. A $5 paper projects fee is requested, and pens etc., may be purchased from the instructor. Not recommended for left-handers, but not impossible. (Max 15)

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Beginning Italian

Prego! Begin your study of basic Italian this Spring. The class will use the book "Italian All-in-One for Dummies" (ISBN 13 978 11185 10605), available from online booksellers such as Amazon. (Max 15)

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Beginning Line Dance

If you have no experience in line dancing (or any kind of dancing),if you have two left feet, or even if you are just a bit shy - this course is for you! It's so much fun you won't realize you're getting physical as well as mental exercise. (Max 30)

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Beginning Spanish

Take this opportunity to learn basic communication skills in Spanish. This class will cover basic vocabulary with real-world application - foods, actions, clothing, etc. (Max 30)

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Beginning Zen Painting

Live in the present with Zen brush painting, and develop your artistic talents in this mindful way. New subject forms are introduced weekly, and papers for projects like notecards and envelopes are supplied for a $5 fee. Most basic painting materials may be purchased in class. (Max 22)

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Beyond Disney: Fairytales and Children's Literature

Why is the hood red? Why does the witch always die? Why is the step-mother wicked? There's a lot going on behind the scenes, from the Brothers Grimm to Winnie the Pooh©, that will never make it into a Disney movie. Join us to read and discuss the stories we tell our grandchildren. Please read the Bros. Grimm's "Little Red Riding Hood" before the first class. (Max 30)

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Books vs Movies, Part 3: "Two for Tea with Tey"

This term we will begin by reading "A Shilling for Candles", a suspenseful 1930s story by the British Novelist Josephine Tey, and then contrast it with Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation. Next, the class will study Tey's mysterious "Brat Farrar", also based in England but set a decade later, and contrast it with its very unusual film adaptation. Tey's works can be purchased online, and students are asked to read the first story before class begins.

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Brain Games

This interactive class will introduce a variety of puzzles that help the processes that diminish due to brain aging - working memory, processing speed, executive functioning, and attention to detail. Learn different skills to improve the brain as you age. Students will need to bring paper and pencil/pen. (Max 25)

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Breads of the Mediterranean

We will bake and taste breads of the Mediterranean region. Learn a bit about the culture while inhaling the tempting smells of the baking bread! Featured breads will include rustic Italian "ciabatta", "Broa" (Portuguese yeasted corn bread), "Fougsse", "Pan de Cebada" and "man'oushe". An $8 fee covers ingredients and toppings. (Max 24)

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Build-A-Dance

We'll teach you dance basics - what you do with those moves is up to you. Here's your chance to pick your favorites. Together with our classmates, we will "build" a dance from scratch by choosing little blocks of movements (from our imagination). Get your groove on - let's move and have fun. As always, no experience or partner is required.

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Celebrating in the City: Festivals in San Antonio, 1870-1900

San Antonio's urban growth and shifting multiculturalism in the late 19th century can be gauged by the way that diverse groups (Anglo, German, Italian, African-American) celebrated their special day and shared it with everyone else.

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Celebrating Poetry!

Everyone will bring poems: favorite poems, old poems, new poems, your poems, food poems, sport poems, cowboy poems, science poems, animal poems, silly poems and more. You bring yours, the instructor will bring lots of books to choose from, and we'll enjoy the pleasure and joy of reading, listening and sharing. Celebrate poetry together!

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Computer Applications

Learn the latest Microsoft® Office programs, including Word®, Excel® and PowerPoint®. Specifically, we'll cover word processing (creating documents); spreadsheets (creating budgets and calculations); and presentations (designing classroom lessons and photo shows). (Max 20)

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Computer Workshop: Microsoft® Office

Workshop time will be allocated for computer questions and topics, including the latest Microsoft® applications. We’ll also discuss computer security, preventative maintenance, and digital imaging/photography. (Max 20)

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Continuing Zen Painting

Prior experience with Asian painting is required to continue the pleasure of this mindful way of painting, always with a view toward creating finished products. A $5 paper fee is requested for the various projects such as notecards, envelopes, gift wrap, etc. (Max 22)

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Contract Bridge: A Refresher

This is a refresher class on American Contract Bridge, also known as Goren's "Point Count Bidding System". We'll review basic bidding and responses between partners, useful conventions, and key "laws" of contract bridge. Students should bring a 3-ring notebook to hold notes and the course primer. (Max 20)

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Conversational Spanish

Some knowledge of Spanish is required. We will have conversations between students and the instructor about Mexican history, culture, and literature. Minimal grammar will be offered, as the goal is to improve the students' ability to converse in Spanish. (Max 20)

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Conversations with a Psychologist

Participate in conversations covering how existential philosophy and phenomenology inform psychology. (Max 30)

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Creating Oral Histories

We all have oral stories that should be handed down. Telling your stories is a great of carrying on family history, of bonding, or of opening up a conversation. This class will help you think about your life stories and explain them for maximum effect so that they become memorable to you and your family or friends.

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Current Issues in Nutrition

This course is a detailed overview of nutrients followed by discussion of current nutrition issues. We will address the use of supplements, food additives, phytochemicals, probiotics, food labeling, food safety, dietary guidelines and food production. The course concludes with discussion of nutrition and chronic diseases.

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Daily Life in the Ancient World: Rome

This course focuses on the lives of anonymous people who are usually ignored in traditional historical accounts, but who are no less important in influencing the flow of events. Using a Great Courses® series taught by Dr. Robert Garland, we’ll explore the daily lives of ordinary citizens of ancient Rome.

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Dancing for Exercise

This class will be a rhythmic total body cardio workout. We'll learn aerobic dance movements set to a variety of upbeat Latin, contemporary and country music favorites. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes; bring water and a hand towel. Eat at least 2 hours before class, or have a light snack (not sweet) a half hour before class. (Max 30)

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Dutch Art in the 1600s, Part 2

Painting in the Netherlands in the 1600s was marked by explosive artistic accomplishments reflecting vast societal changes. This course will explore the golden age of Dutch art from 1568 to the time of Johannes Vermeer. The Great Courses® video Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt, taught by Dr. William Kloss, will be foundational to our study.

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Eating for Better Health

Learn about nutritionally sound, healthy eating plans, with a focus on the Mediterranean Diet. We'll also discuss weight loss/weight management and prevention and/or reversal of disease. The class will use "Let Food Be Your Medicine", a 2016 book by Dr. Don Colbert(ISBN: 9781617955884)as well as current nutrition-related articles. Bring a copy of the book to the first class.

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Editorials

Students bring editorials from local papers, national papers, or international papers for group discussion.

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England in the 1890s: The Age of Oscar Wilde

This course explores the revolt against "Victorianism" in late-19th century England. Throwing off the constraints of respectability and strict sexual control, this rebellion was epitomized by the deliberately outrageous Oscar Wilde. They key word of the 1890s was "New": the New Woman, the New hedonism, the New Art. Many Victorians condemned the age as decadent; others celebrated it as a New Beginning.

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FDR and the New Deal

Beginning with some of the economic trends during the 1920s that led to the Great Depression, this class will focus on Franklin Roosevelt and the implementation of his New Deal. Video from PBS and other sources will be shown; a list of suggested books will be shared for "optional" reading. (Contact the instructor for this list before the term begins, if you want.)

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Film Appreciation: New York City

This term we will view films with New York City as the background. Films on the schedule to be watched include "Midnight Cowboy", "Barefoot in the Park", "The Way We Were" and others to be announced.

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Folk & Country Guitar

This intimate class will learn 3- and 4-chord progressions in the key of G. Students must have am electronic tuner and commit to practicing out of class. (Max 10)

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Food: A Cultural Culinary History, Part 1

From prehistoric to present times, the food that people eat has shaped human history. The Great Courses® lectures by Dr. Ken Albala examine the close (and fascinating) relationship between food and human history, and will inspire class discussions. Part 2 continues in Fall 2018.

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Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds and Scandals

Step into the world of forensic science and study the most fascinating historical crimes and mysteries from the last two centuries. This Great Courses® class is led by Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist with nearly 30 years of experience.

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From Chaos to Charlemagne

Continuing his Fall class, the instructor examines some of the reasons for the fall of the Western Empire and ascendance of the Eastern Empire. The failures of Emperors Justinian I through Heraclius will be discussed, as will be the performance of the "Christian Citadel" of Emperors Constans, Constantine IV, Justinian II and Leo III. The class will continue with the rise of the Carolingian Dynasty to which Charlemagne gave his name.

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Gentle Mat Yoga

This class will use gentle yoga poses while practicing breathing techniques to calm body and mind while adding balance and strength. Please bring your own mat, a block and a yoga strap, all readily available at many retailers. The ability to get up and down from the mat is essential. (Max 25)

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History of Wine Appreciation

We learn the history of wine: where it started, how it's made, how the climate affects the wine. A true survey of the making of wine, from the vine to the bottle.

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How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Have you ever wondered why some people find meanings in stories, poems or movies that you don't see? Learn how now! We will study the book this class is named after: "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" by Thomas C. Foster (ISBN 0 06 000942 x); the instructor will also supply other pertinent readings. (Max 25).

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Intermediate French

We'll continue using Annie Hemingway's book "Ultimate French: Beginner Intermediate” (ISBN 978-1-4000-0963-3). The instructor will supplement the text with handouts covering topics such as pronunciation, speaking practice, and grammar, and he will generally speak French in class, using English only when defining unfamiliar words. Students should have had prior French language instruction or experience. (Max 15)

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Intermediate German

As an intermediate course, this class will focus on pronunciation, phonetics, vocabulary building, grammar and Deutsche Volkslieder. We will use the book "German Made Simple" by Dr. Arnold Leitner (ISBN 0-7679-1860-6) available from online booksellers. (Max 20)

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Intermediate Ukulele

This class is intended for those who are comfortable playing 3- and 4-chord songs. Bar Chords and 12-Bar Blues will be introduced. This class is for those enrolled in the "Ukulele Band". Bring your ukulele, tuner, three-ring binder and a desire to learn. (Max 16)

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Introduction to Basic Computer Skills

If you're new to the computer, this class is for you. Students will learn computer basics in a hands-on setting, including how to use a mouse and keyboard. No need for typing skills...and there are NO dumb questions! (Max 20)

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Introduction to Facebook

Would you like to keep up with distant family, rediscover old classmates, or find communities full of people who share your interests? Facebook can help you do all those things and more! Learn the basics, and you'll be having fun online in no time. (Max 10)

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iPad Basics for Beginners

Now that you own one of Apple's popular tablets, how can you get the most out of it? This is an innovative, hands-on class for beginning iPad® users. (Max 20)

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Japanese Internment in WW II

From 1942 -1946, some 120,000 persons of Japanese descent were ejected from their U.S. homes and confined in desolate camps, often referred to as “internment camps". This course will explore life in the camps and some basic causes of why this happened.

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Jesus and His Jewish Influences, Part 2

This history course continues to explore Israel's history from 200 B.C. to the first century A.D., and shows how Jesus' life and teachings were shaped by his Jewish heritage. Discussions will be supported by a Great Courses® video led Dr. Jodi Magness.

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Juggling

Juggling is a great party trick, but did you know that studies at Oxford University have shown that mastering this skill enhances the brain connections that process and store visual information? So...let’s juggle and become smarter! There’s a $5 fee for bean bags. (Max 12)

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Meet Matisse

Learning about the life and work of French artist Henri Matisse, regarded as the greatest colorist of the 20th century, will inspire students to create one art work each week - tempera paintings, prints and cut paper collages. Materials will be supplied for a $5 fee. (Max 26)

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Memoir Writing

Everyone has an unique story to tell. Join our memoir class to be inspired to write and share your own.

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Mindful Living

We will discuss and practice a variety of ways – including meditation – to help improve mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. We will learn to let go of fears, worries and regrets by freeing ourselves from the enslavement of our minds. Topics will include self-mastery, stress management, and living peacefully and in harmony with the way things are. Eckhart Tolle’s books are often cited.

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Mixed Media

Students interested in exploring various artistic media - watercolor, acrylic, collage, pastels, etc. - are welcome in this class, regardless of their previous experience or skill level. Our focus will be on investigating techniques that can be used to combine media in order to enhance your abstract or representational creative works. (Max 20)

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Original Sin & Redemption in the City History of Rome

Why has the theme of original sin and redemption run so strongly through the entire history of Rome to the present? And what has been its impact on Western thought? Discussion is encouraged, and conclusions left to each student.

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Our Corner of the Universe

This is a class for people interested in science and astronomy, especially for those who prefer it to be presented in engaging and accessible terms rather than as "hard science". We'll use "The Universe" video series from the History Channel, with an emphasis on our solar system.

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Pastels

This class is for anyone interested in learning how to use pastels - sticks of pure brilliant pigment, not colored chalk - to create works of art. We'll discuss color, composition, contrast, proportion and mood, and explore various surfaces, techniques and styles. Discover the artist that lives in you - no experience required! Supply list will be available on the first day of class. (Max 18)

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Planning for the Inevitable

So much can happen in a moment - a fall or illness - that suddenly requires quick actions involving finances, legal authority, a new living arrangement, or a home sale. The solution: have a plan. This class will cover senior living options, family-focused resources for care management, legal and financial issues, and downsizing/selling a home and setting up a new home.

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Rebirth of Ancient Athens in Renaissance Florence

Might a more careful study of the Athenian model have spared the Florentine the pain of its fall, as it inspired the glories of its rise and all six of its stages? Discussion is encouraged, with conclusions left to each student.

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Sam Houston - A Biographical Sketch

This course is a brief biographical look at the Texas icon Sam Houston, with emphasis on his tenure as Commanding General during the Texas Revolution.

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San Antonio's Spanish Missions

When San Antonio celebrates its Tricentennial, will you know the stories of the historic missions that brought the first Europeans to our area? Gain insight into the Spanish presence and the lasting legacy of New Spain's 18th century frontier. We will delve into how the past played a major role in creating the cultural identity that defines San Antonio and modern Texas.

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Science of Belief and Culture

This will be an interactive discussion of the origin and function of belief systems plus the role of culture in shaping us. Discuss how Memes, Genes, and cultural evolution made us human.

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Screwball Comedies

Join in the fun watching some of the best of our comic actors in great movies - the "screwball comedies" that thrived particularly in the 1930s and 40s. Often the jokes were based on turning expectations of gender, class and tradition on their heads.

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Socrates Café

Inspired by the book "Socrates Café" by Christopher Phillips, the class discusses and delves into philosophical questions of life (e.g. what is truth?). It is not a lecture class on philosophy; students are encouraged to share their ideas and perspectives on the question of the day.

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Stretch and Flex

Do you feel stiff as a board? This class is for you. We will focus on dynamic and static stretching of all major muscles and some of the smaller, stabilizing muscles as well. Class will take place primarily on a floor mat; we will be standing, sitting, on all fours, lying prone, supine and our sides at times. Don't forget your floor mat. Let's get flexible!

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Study of Matthew: Continued

This will begin by studying the 400-year intertestamental period between the closing of the Jewish canon and the opening of the gospels. It is a Bible study class, so Bibles will be provided or students may bring their own. Readings will be supplemented by video and movie clips and by study handouts.

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Sydney Pollack Films

Sydney Pollack was an Academy Award winning director and producer. Her directed over 20 films (six of which we will watch and discuss) and produced over 40. Discussions will consider theme, characterization and directorial style.

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Tales of the Human Body

Explore the history of healing and the human body, as medicine evolved from folk or semi-religious rites into a complex science. The course concludes with some speculation of the future of medicine, science and the human body.

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Talking About Death Won't Kill You

When (not if) the time comes for us to “transition,” we're often no longer in control, facing institutions, doctors and machines that cut us off from the spiritual rite of death. Topics include "The Conversation” with loved ones; end-of-life, palliative and hospice care; death with dignity legislation, organ donation and willed-body programs; funeral options; and advance directives. We’ll write our own eulogies and take a field trip to a funeral home.

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Tatting: Lace - Frivolite

Tatting can be defined as "a hole surrounded by thread". Create elegant lace, a beautiful doily, a decorative holiday ball, or more, while learning this 250-year-old art. A video will be used to support your hands-on experience as will the instructor’s guidance. A $15 materials fee is payable to the instructor. Attending the first two sessions is critical. (Max 10)

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The 21st Century Genderbread Person

Curious about the LGBTQ community? Learn about the differences between gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation, where every aspect of a person exists in a fluid spectrum rather than a binary constraint. The instructor will be accompanied by his transgender grandson and friends.

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The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

This class will chronicle the full sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent to the presidency of Barack Obama, using as its basis the award-winning PBS series based on the book by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

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The Art of Quilting

This long-running ALIR course will continue its focus on applique quilting. We will touch on different techniques and tools. Each student will choose a pattern of their own. Contact the instructor for details or with questions at janicesgarden@att.net. (Max 30)

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The Black Death

In the late 1340s, a cataclysmic bacterial plague swept the European continent, killing up to half of the population in less than 10 years - a staggering 75 million people died. We'll use a Great Courses® series to investigate the medical understanding of the plague, trace how the plague invaded Mediterranean port cities and then moved inland, and consider how diseases and pandemics have shaped human societies and individual behaviors.

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The History of the Supreme Court, Part 2

Get a bench-side view of the inner workings of America's high court and, courtesy of Great Courses® lecturer Dr. Peter Irons, learn more about the often brilliant and sometimes frustrating history of this powerful judicial institution. The instructor will interject contrasting opinions for discussion.

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The Legend of Robert E. Lee

The legends around Robert E. Lee and his Confederate cohorts still make the news, even today - was he a hero or a traitor? This course uses the Great Courses® series by Dr. Gary Gallagher to examine Lee and his impact on the Civil War with historical objectivity.

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The Money Class

Who doesn't want to be a millionaire? Designed for retirees, this class addresses money topics ranging from reverse mortgages to estate planning, from long-term care options to tax strategies, from Dow Jones to the NASDAQ. Whether you're a financial novice or sophisticated investor, you'll enjoy the healthy competition as you invest "fun" money and track returns in real time each week.

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The Real Ulysses S. Grant

This course will examine the personal and professional life of Grant, including his childhood, West Point, Mexican war days, marriage, and promotion to top Union General. His Presidency, world tour, memoirs and last days will also be covered. Video material from PBS and American Experience will be used, as will the “Untold Story” about the significance of Grant’s victories in the Civil War. (Max 20)

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Trails of Evidence: How Forensic Science Works

Crime is as old as human society. So is the use of evidence, witnesses and reason to solve crimes. But how accurate are fictional portrayals of crime investigations? This Great Courses® series presents engrossing scientific details which are far more than a lesson in how popular detective dramas get it wrong.

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Ukulele Band

Do you have enough experience with the ukulele (or guitar) to play basic 3-chord songs, but are intimidated by the idea of playing in a band? Here's your chance to feel the joy of music-making in a group. We'll keep to a song list of easy folk, pop and rock music., while working on timing for a smooth, polished sound. Bring a ukulele (standard tuning GCEA), a music stand and an electric tuner. (Max 12)

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Understanding Personal Financial Risks and Opportunities

This class offers interactive discussion and practical ideas to address personal financial issues, risk, opportunities and decisions facing seniors. Topics include understanding credit, insurance and investment risk, practical budgeting, tax planning, vehicle leasing/purchasing strategies, and investment planning, all supported by the instructor's decades of financial marketing experience.

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Washington the General: War in the Southern Colonies

Using recently released papers, maps and battle reports compiled in Text books and doctoral papers, this class will take a fresh look at George Washington as a military leader, and will visit the often-overlooked strategies he employed in campaigns in the Southern colonies.

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What Am I Looking At? Visiting Museums

Take the confusion out of visiting a museum or gallery. Learn key questions to ask about works of art. This class is meant to elevate not only your understanding of art, but also to increase your enjoyment from what you're seeing.

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What's Next? My Life!

Are you looking for a vision of your own? This class aims to aid you in answering that pesky "what's next" question, by firing up your imagination. Give yourself some fuel to burn off useless habits and to consider fresh possibilities. Group discussions will support and inspire us all. (Max 25)

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Wildlife Photography

Animals can be photographed in the Serengeti, in a zoo or preserve, or even in your backyard. The techniques involved are different from other subject matter. Materials in a Great Courses® series by National Geographic photographers Tim Laman and Joel Sartore are the core of the class - come and get loaded for bear! (Bear photos, that is...) (Max 30)

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Writers Workshop I

Learn the ins and outs of the writing process through hands-on practice. Explore techniques to get ideas on paper; investigate story structure, characterization, dialogue, the use of descriptive language and scene-making in various genres. (Max 25)

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Writers Workshop II

Designed for those who write on their own, this workshop will focus on revision and editing and will meet in a critique group setting, with lunch. (Max 20)

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Writing Poetry

We will write, read and analyze poetry in a friendly atmosphere. (Max 15)

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