Santa Clara University

Osher Lifelong Learning

Spring 2009


  • Film Odyssey: Boys' Night Out
  • The Art of the Narrative
  • Creating Your Own Web Page
  • A History of the Roman Revolution: From Gracchi to Augustus
  • Capital Punishment: the facts, the law, the debate
  • Observing the Moon, Planets, and Stars
  • The Armchair Traveler Goes to Italy
  • Science and Technology for the 21st Century


  • Chinese Art and Spirit
  • US Foreign Policy Twoards the Middle East
  • California Legacy--How Newspaper Columnists Shaped the San Francisco Vision
  • Behind the Scenes of Song for a New World
  • Empty Nets: The World's Fishing Crisis and What Can Be Done
  • Healthy Spirituality: Scientific Evidence and Spiritual Tools
  • Consumer Bankruptcy
  • Behind the Scenes: Shakespeare's Twelfth Night


Film Odyssey: Boys' Night Out--taught by Mark Larson
Spend some time with the bad boys of Hollywood in this special edition of Film Odyssey. We will see and discuss films where the men are too tough (Public Enemy), too brave (Hail the Conquering Hero), too cool (Rio Bravo), too confused (Baby, the Rain Must Fall) and who just plain won't give up (The Verdict).

The Art of the Narrative--taught by Paul McHugh
Back by popular demand, writer Paul McHugh helps class members take personal ownership of the ancient crafty of story-telling, and make it and important, entertaining and enduring part of everyday life.  The five sessions include: 1) Word Power--the launch of language, the well of writing, and the birth of story-telling; 2) A Novel Life—discovering the drama in your individual and family narratives; 3) Tale-teller’s Toolkit—plot, character, scene, voice and essential elements of stories; 4) Craft of Construction—art in story assembly; 5) Spinning the Yarn—secrets of well-spoken narratives.  Please check the OLLI@SCU website to read narratives written by students in the Fall class

Creating Your Own Web Page--taught by Sumana Sur
There is nothing more exciting than building your first webpage! A website is your link to community, family and friends; a product of your creation and artistic aptitude. This class will give you the ability to design and implement your own website with images and text using Dreamweaver.  Since its launch, Dreamweaver has won the hearts of Web developers with its easy-to-use versatile environment. It integrates many aspects of Web development like page creation, site management and other advanced tools. Using the SCU library computers you will begin your journey of exploring Dreamweaver and website creation. No prior experience of website development is required. Basic know-how of using a computer is needed.

A History of the Roman Revolution: From Gracchi to Augustus--taught by William Greenwalt
Join Professor Greenwalt, as he examines one of the most interesting periods in Roman history—from the final years of the ancient Roman Republic to the creation of the Roman Empire under Caesar Augustus. This was a time of momentous events dominated by large personalities such as Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, Cicero, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Marc Anthony, Cleopatra, and Augustus. This class will explore the complex causes for the crisis of the late Republic and the Augustan settlement that ushered in the early Empire.

Capital Punishment: the facts, the law, the debate--taught by Ellen Kreitzberg
Capital punishment is one of the most controversial social issues in the United States and specifically in the state of California.  The “modern” death penalty dates from the 1970s when the Supreme Court first struck down existing death penalty statues (1972), only to uphold newly passed statues four years later.  Since that time we have seen a majority of the states, the federal government, and the military pass statues authorizing the imposition of the death penalty.
Controversy over the death penalty is evidenced by recent moratoriums on its use, and by frequent studies questioning its fairness.  In this class we will examine the death penalty from a number of angles:  the debate surrounding it, how it operates, death penalty trials, methods of execution, race and the death penalty, and questions innocence.

Observing the Moon, Planets, and Stars--taught by Bill Pezzaglia & Pat Maloney
Pending appropriate weather conditions, each week we will spend an hour observing the sky using telescopes after a short introductory lecture.  If the sky is cloudy, the lecture will be extended. Topics to be covered include: Introduction to Telescopes (how they work, how not to break them); The Moon (observing craters and mountains); The Planets (Saturn & Mars visible); Constellations (Stars, Clusters, Nebulae) and  Safely Observing our Sun (and Mercury.)

Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to use the telescopes themselves if they wish, or they can let the instructors find objects for them to view.  Available in spring are the planets Mercury, Mars & Saturn, plus of course our moon and various star clusters & nebulae. The last meeting coincides with a conjunction of the Moon & Mercury (and an observation of our sun).

The Armchair Traveler Goes to Italy: or 'Basta Pasta'--taught by Douglas Kenning
A holiday in Italy for the tourist can be a hilarious misadventure of mistaken meanings. (Well, hilarious to the Italians.)  If you want to amuse the Italians with your charm more than with your faux pas, then be open and ready to learn; if you want to give them the respect of knowing the basics of their culture and history, and deepen your experience, then let's explore it a little.   This short primer is about all that stuff you know about Italy that isn’t really true, and about what is true about Italy that you would not have suspected.  It is about what to do and not do, and about why some crazy things the Italians do are not crazy at all (and why some are).  We’ll begin with several hours on the history of Italy. History defines a people and place, and is the reason most folks come. Then we’ll get into the foods, language (words and gestures), and all kinds of other subjects, from art to animals to Mafia to traffic.  Come with questions and even suggestions about what you want me to cover.

Science and Technology for the 21st Century--taught by David Shortt
Have you ever wanted to learn a little more about nuclear energy, how DNA works, how MP3 players and digital cameras store data, or the difference between digital and high definition TV? This class will provide a gentle introduction to these and other contemporary topics in science and technology and give you a chance to ask questions. Beginning with climate and energy, the course will include discussions on communications, biological science, digital gadgets, and the latest discoveries in physics and astronomy. You will explore how things work and come away with a feel for some of the critical scientific and technological issues of our time, which are important whether you need to purchase a new television set or have to vote on a proposition involving one of these topics. No prior understanding of engineering or physics is required.


Chinese Art and Spirit--taught by Coeleen Kiebert
Why is calligraphy the most important art form in China?  Why are garden spirit rocks the highest form of Chinese sculpture? In this four-hour class we will view ancient and present day Chinese art, with the intention of more deeply understanding the Chinese spirit. Instructor Coeleen Kiebert believes that understanding the Chinese “way” is needed today more than ever.  By examining the deep connection between East and West, we can see the ways in which our cultures are both different and similar. Comparing the Eastern and Western approaches to doing and viewing art can open our minds to a better understanding not only of the Chinese people but of ourselves as well. Coeleen will share slides and videos of her frequent travels to China to illustrate how we in the West have been influenced by the Chinese.

U.S. Foreign Policy Twoards the Middle East--taught by Farid Senzai
This course examines the evolution of American foreign policy towards the Middle East. We will investigate the crucial decisions and debates that have shaped the course of American foreign policy, to illuminate change and continuity in the policymaking process, and to provide students with the background and analytical perspective necessary for understanding the future of American relations with the region.

California Legacy--How Newspaper Columnists Shaped the San Francisco Vision-- taught by Don Riccomini
A short course examining how columnists in San Francisco’s newspapers have shaped the image of the city. We will analyze how the newspaper column combined fact and fancy, especially in Mark Twain’s work, to create a particular image of the city, and how Herb Caen, Stanton Delaplane, Art Hoppe, and Jon Carroll developed and elaborated that vision. All material will be read and discussed in class.

Behind the Scenes of: Song for a New World--taught by Kimberly Mohne Hill
In a revue-type series of songs centered around the theme of “one moment.” The audience will visit the deck of a Spanish Sailing Ship circa 1492,  the 57th floor of an apartment building, the soul of a young mother, a street corner and many other places in the journey of discovering what happens in that “one moment” – the moment we get what we want, the moment we try something new for the first time, the moment we realize that what we wanted is not really what we wanted…the moment we discover what really matters.  Join us for a wonderful voyage into the world of “what if” and discover what will be!  Make this Mothers Day Matinee a family celebration.

Empty Nets: The World's Fishing Crisis and What Can be Done--taught by Wil Burns
The world’s fisheries are in crisis, with many of the most important commercial fish species in serious decline, and with future projections even more foreboding.  Indeed, the highest percentage of endangered species in the world is fish species.  These trends have serious implications for those who rely on fish as a critical protein source, for those who work in the industry, for communities that rely on fishing for tax revenues, and for the overall health of many ocean ecosystems.
This course will examine the following issues:  1) What is the current status of the world’s fisheries, and what are the projected trends for fisheries over the next century and beyond? 2) What are the causes of the dramatic decline of the populations of many fish stocks?  3. What are some of the potential solutions to the world’s fisheries crisis?

Healthy Spirituality: Scientific Evidence and Spiritual Tools--taught by Carl E. Thoresen
How does someone grow spiritually? What’s the evidence linking spirituality to health? The American public is fascinated with spirituality, especially its connection with health and well being. Scientists have conducted over 2500 studies on the spiritual role in health and well being. This workshop will review briefly the major scientific evidence linking spirituality and health. What is meant by spirituality will be discussed. Examples of a few major studies will be presented.  A major part of the workshop will focus on introducing some very practical spiritual tools that can be used by any person: those who are active in a religious tradition; those no longer active; and those never involved in any organized religion. Spiritual tools will be demonstrated and some will be briefly practiced in the workshop. A comprehensive list of references will be available as well as several books on the topic, including one recently edited by Professor Thoresen (with Professor Thomas Plante).

Consumer Bankruptcy-- taught by Gary Neustadter
Millions of Americans have recently faced, or are facing foreclosure on their homes, and millions more are facing other forms of financial distress.  As a result, the number of bankruptcy filing by individuals has been steadily rising since Congress made significant changes to consumer bankruptcy law in October 2005, with the largest number of such filings occurring in California.  This class will survey the ways in which bankruptcy (both Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy and Chapter 13 repayment plan bankruptcy) can help individuals in financial distress and consider the limitations of bankruptcy relief.

This course is for general educational purposes, only, not for the purpose of providing students with specific legal advice or advice about how to file a bankruptcy case.  The course will also not cover Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization proceedings for corporation.

Behind the Scenes: Shakespeare-- taught by Fr. Fred Tollini & Judith Dunbar
For an exploration of Shakespeare’s great and delightful comedy Twelfth  Night, and an opportunity to learn about SCU’s upcoming production of it directed by Professor Fred Tollini, S.J., of the Department of Theater and Dance, join Fr. Tollini and Dr. Judith Dunbar, a Shakespeare professor in the Department of English, for this special 2 hour class on Saturday, May 30, 2-4 p.m. Students will learn about the rich interweaving of love and loss in this gender-bending play of hidden identities, separation and reunion, social aspiration and conflict, longing and folly, with its wit and touches of wise foolery.  The production explores these themes (and more!) in a 1930’s context that contrasts a world of “high life romance” to challenging, darker realities.  Students will have an opportunity to see the set and discuss design in relation to concepts that inform the production. Please bring a text of the play if you have one.  Class members also have the opportunity after the Sunday, May 31, 2 p.m. matinee to attend a reception to talk with each other and members of the production team and cast about what we have learned.

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