James Madison University

Session B Course Descriptions

March 17 – April 18

S14B1 Remembering Place 

(Limited to 12 participants, selected by lottery)
Day/Time:  Mondays, 9:00-11:00a.m.
Dates:  March 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14
Location: Duke Hall, Room 2040
Participants for this class will be chosen by lottery.  Do not enclose payment with registration form.  Payment will be requested at the time of notification.

Description: One of the best ways to understand our society is to explore how we remember the past. We carefully choose what to remember and what to forget, what to celebrate and what to conceal. Our focus in this class will be on the history of our own place, Harrisonburg. We will concentrate on public buildings and spaces (monuments, museums, civic buildings, public parks, etc.), but will also investigate selected works of literature and film.

Instructor:  David Ehrenpreis is Professor of Art History and Director of the Institute for Visual Studies. His specialty is nineteenth-century art, and he directed the JMU Summer program in Berlin for several years.

S14B2 Looking at Human Rights through Film

Day/Time:  Mondays 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.  (Note different time)
Dates:  March 17, 24, 31, April 7
Location: National College, Room 206, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: Human rights films may be harshly realistic.  The four selected films reflect major human rights concerns not made popular by current cinema productions.  They illustrate real life situations in an unbiased manner.  Each film reflects informs on, and provides a deeper understanding of actual past human rights violations.  Each will lead to a meaningful and analytical discussion of the content and ways to redress such concerns.

Instructor:  LLI member Jayne Rynar, Ed. D., has been involved with LLI as an instructor and Curriculum Committee member since moving to the Shenandoah Valley in 2007.  She is a former learning disabilities specialist, educator, and school administrator with the New York City School System.  She has traveled the world twice, and all of these experiences enhance her ability to teach from a global perspective

S14B3 First Bites 

Class Full
(Limited to 12 participants, selected by lottery)

Day/Time:  Mondays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 17, 24, 31, April 7, 14
Location: 1181 Vista Glen Dr. #3, Sunnyside Retirement Community
Participants for this class will be chosen by lottery.  Do not enclose payment with registration form.  Payment will be requested at the time of notification.

Description: This class will feature first bites from quick and easy offerings to more sophisticated hors d’oeuvres.  Each session will feature three appetizers that will be prepared with appropriate beverage suggestions.  Hints on presentation and tips on entertaining will be offered during the sessions.

Additional fees:  $25 per person to cover cost of food and beverages, payable to the instructors at the first class.

Instructor:  Joanne Bell and Mary Scott both love food and entertaining.  Joanne has traveled extensively and taken cooking courses in Japan, Italy, and the United States.  She has entertained all of adult life.  Mary enjoys all aspects of food.  She is involved with Fort Harrison teas and many church activities involving cooking.

S14B4 "All Roads Lead to Rome": Exploring Art & Culture in Central Italy

Class Full
Day/Time:  Tuesdays, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Dates:  March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15
Location: National College, Room 206, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: The claim “All roads lead to Rome” originated in ancient times but continues to shape perceptions of this great city.  This class focuses on Rome and the surrounding areas of Umbria, Lazio, and Abruzzi.  Using firsthand descriptions from travelers and Italian literature, we will explore ancient life in Pompeii, the pilgrimage experience to Assisi and Renaissance Rome, the Renaissance and Baroque Popes as art patrons and builders of country villas, and the development of Naples and southern Italy in the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries.

Instructor:  Kay Arthur headed the Art History program and taught Italian Renaissance art at JMU for 32 years.  She founded the JMU Semester in Florence and served as director of JMU’s International Programs.  Currently, she serves as associate curator at the Madison Art collection while she continues her research and writing on Italian art.

S14B5 America's Trust in Violence

Day/Time:  Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15
Location: Sunnyside Room, Sunnyside Retirement Community, 3935 Sunnyside Dr., Harrisonburg

Description: Jim Atwood contends that the 30,000 gun deaths America suffers every year cannot be understood apart from our national myth that God has appointed America as “the trustee of the civilization of the world.”  This course will examine not only our history and our cultural fascination with violence, but also our language which is full of violent terms.  We will explore how our guns have morphed into idols where millions not only respect but reverence them.  Our final session will focus on the responsibility of the faith community to unmask the idols and build Christ’s “Peaceable Kingdom.”

Suggested reading:  America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, Rev. Dr. James E. Atwood, $20.

Instructor:  Rev. Dr. James E. Atwood, PCUSA (Ret.), has worked in gun violence prevention for 38 years.  He is a member of the Board of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and served as Chair for two terms.  In June of 2012, he published America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose.

S14B6 From the Rhine to the Shenandoah

Day/Time:  Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 18, 25, April 1, 8, 15
Location: National College, Room 201, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: In the Shenandoah Valley, many settlers in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were German-speaking immigrants from various political entities of the Rhineland, especially Alsace, the Palatinate, and several Swiss cantons.  They brought with them a unique culture that left a permanent imprint on the Shenandoah and made major contributions to the development of a new “American” culture. This course will explore several basic questions about these people:  who were they, and why did they leave their European homelands?  Why did they choose to settle in the Shenandoah Valley?  How did their way of life differ from that of other groups such as the Scots-Irish, the English, and the Welsh?  What is the legacy of the early German pioneers here in the Shenandoah?  Lectures and short primary documents will be used to generate discussion and class interaction.  A trip to the American Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton is also planned.

Instructor:  Daniel Bly is a native of Shenandoah County and served as a member of the history faculty at Bridgewater College for 35 years.  He has published several books on the European origins of many of the early Valley settlers and most recently published an article in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of Strasburg, Virginia

S14B7 Behavioral Economics

Day/Time:  Wednesdays, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Dates:  March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16
Location: National College, Room 201, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: What is rational behavior? How do people really make decisions that matter? Why do people make systematic errors when they make choices? Do people treat risk and reward differently? Are economists’ assumptions of utility or profit maximization good approximations of people’s actual behavior?  Come join us for an introduction to Behavioral Economics.
A list of suggested readings will be distributed in class.

Instructor:  Deb Fitzgerald is an Associate Professor of Economics at Blue Ridge Community College.  She is interested in economics as a social science and has taught economics and statistics in the valley for nearly 30 years.

S14B8 What Is Elder Law About and Why Is It Important To You

Day/Time:  Wednesdays, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Dates:  March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16
Location: National College, Room 206, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: With the graying of America, “Elder Law” is one of the newest areas of law.  What does it mean?  Why is it important to you?  In this class we will discuss topics including estate planning, probate, incapacity planning including powers of attorney and advance medical directive, financial and long term care planning with regard to Medicaid, Medicare, Veteran’s Benefits, and Social Security.  Topics of interest from the class members will be addressed.  What do you need to know to protect your family, your assets, and your independence?

Instructor:  Matthew C. Sunderlin has represented the elderly, the disabled, their families and advocates in the area of Elder Law since 1998.  His practice included elder law, tax and non-tax estate planning, probate, estate and trust administration, and many other areas important to elder law. He has a Juris doctor from Regent University School of Law and is certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation.

S14B9 Rambles with a Musical Pack Rat

Day/Time:  Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16
Location: Bridgewater Retirement Community, Houff Retirement Center, Mack A Room

Description: This course will survey a variety of historical and regional musical styles with each session following a different ethnic or historical track.  After a brief look at the beginnings of musical expression, we’ll move on to the development of medieval and renaissance musical instruments; Celtic music, including a look at the importance of the Celts in European history; African music; and peeks at other cultures.  The course will include recordings, a video, lecture, discussion and opportunities to see and try out some exotic instruments.

Instructor:  Mel Lee is interested in a wide variety of music styles and has taught LLI classes on the History of American Music, Southern Appalachian Music, and the Folk Revival.  He has over 20 years’ experience producing and hosting traditional music radio programs on local public radio stations.  Mel sings and plays a variety of string and woodwind instruments and currently performs with the band, Nonesuch.

S14B10 A Sacred Cosmos?  Religion and Literature

Day/Time:  Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16
Location: National College, Room 201, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: Do this world and human life form part of a sacred cosmos?  In this course, participants will explore the cultural significance of religion in literature by examining short works that consider whether or not the world has a sacred dimension.  Our readings will begin with Voltaire’s Candide and its radical rejection of the sacred.  We will then read a modern existentialist work, Camus’ The Stranger, which explores similar questions through a character who seems to internalize the absence of a sacred order.  We will conclude by discussing several short stories by Flannery O’Connor, whose fiction embodies a biting counterattack against the world view that reject the sacred dimension.

Suggested reading:  Candide by Voltaire; The Stranger by Camus; selected short stories from Three by Flannery O’Connor, Flannery O’Connor.

InstructorRobert Geary is a retired JMU English professor who taught from 1971 to 2007.  During that period he developed the course, "Evil in Literature," which examined the religious problem of undeserved suffering.

S14B11 Tai Chi/Yoga Fusion

Day/Time:  Wednesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16
Location: RMH Wellness Center, 2500 Wellness Dr.

Description: Tai Chi and Yoga are both based on ancient forms of martial arts.  While different in practice, they share the same outcome of diversity of movement, and harmony between mind and body.  This class wil be primarily a movement class focusing on breath, posture, balance, strength, and coordination.  Tai Chi/Yoga fusion is for all levels and backgrounds and is also being offered in session C.  Although this class will build upon the Session A class, that class is not a prerequisite for this session.

Instructor:  Gwynn Harrison earned a M.S. Degree in Physical Education from West Virginia University and has been a college swimming coach.  For the past nine years Gwynn has been a group fitness instructor at the RMH Wellness Center.

S14B12 The Prophet Amos

Day/Time:  Thursdays, 9:00 – 11:00a.m.
Dates:  March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17
Location: Lindale Mennonite Church, 6255 Jesse Bennett Way, Linville

Description: We will be looking at the Prophet Amos in the Old Testament and his call for righteousness and justice in the context of the northern Kingdom of Samaria and the gross injustice and exploitation that was taking place.

Instructor:  Duane Yoder is the lead pastor of the Lindale Mennonite Church.  He has taught and preached extensively throughout the Mennonite Church for the past 30 years.

S14B13 Dogs in Literature 

Day/Time:  Thursdays, 9:00 – 11:00a.m.
Dates:  March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17
Location: National College, Room 201, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

DescriptionNo animal –human relationship has fascinated artists more than that between people and dogs.  Our ancient ancestors preserved the dog in paintings on cave walls.  Homer wrote of Argos, who was the only creature recognizing that his master, Odysseus, had finally returned home from the Trojan War.  The Japanese erected a statue in honor of Hachiko, the Akita who continued to wait patiently for his owner’s return years after his master’s death.  Modern soldiers extol the intelligence, skill, and loyalty of their K-9 companions who serve honorably in war and later become gentle household companions. It is little wonder that this human-canine relationship has been the focus of so much literature through the centuries. Course participants will sample several literary works about dogs, including short stories, essays, and poems by writers such as E. B. White and John Updike,  as well as Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, Paul Auster’s Timbuktu, and David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.
 
Suggested reading:  The Call of the Wild, Jack London; Timbuktu, Paul Auster; The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski.

InstructorAfter receiving a doctorate in American literature from the University of Tennessee, Joan Frederick taught literature and composition at JMU for over 38 years until retiring in 2011.  Joan enjoys the companionship of her two Belgian Tervurens, Scout and Justy, and has assisted with dog training at Love on a Leash for 15 years.  She has also presented papers on dogs in literature at academic conferences.

S14B14 How To Create Perspective in Drawing 

(Limited to 15 participants)
Day/Time:  Thursdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17
Location: Village Hall, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, 1501 Virginia Ave, Harrisonburg

Description: Drawing in perspective can be challenging.  However, with the appropriate time with a professional artist/teacher, and an understanding of the process, you can learn how to draw in perspective.  You can learn how to foreshorten and to create depth while drawing buildings and rooms.  If you want to learn how to create three-dimensional drawings, then this class is for you.

Supply list:  9x12 or larger drawing pad, drawing pencils (including an Ebony pencil), good white graphite eraser, 12 inch ruler.

Instructor:  Maribeth D. Nolde is and art educator with over 25 years of experience in education and more than four years in teaching for JMU-LLI.  She is a professional artist who has shown locally and in many other areas.  She is also a member of CoArt, an artist collective in Staunton

S14B15 World War I: A War to Begin All Wars

Day/Time:  Thursdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 20, 27, April 3, 10, 17
Location: National College, Room 201, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: A bloody strip of time and space separates August 1914 from November 1918 - so short a time, so bloody a passage, so devastatingly blank the stretch of time beyond.  The war began in 1914 with good intentions.  It would be a brief, decisive exercise of military power to restore law and order.  Political and military leaders could not foresee the nature of trench warfare, the concentrated destruction of modern weaponry, the insidious confusion of gas warfare, and the battle field transition from mounted cavalry to mechanized warfare overhead.  Multitudes died before mutiny broke and political revolutions unbuckled the staunchest of allies.
Flanders gave way to Verdun, which swung overnight to the Somme and Ypres and teams of harnessed horses drowning at Passchendaele.  Only then would saviors from afar arrive to revive the spirits of some, confound the hopes of others, and proclaim the venture “A War to End All Wars.”  This course will examine the events of this era and reflect upon the ironic outcome of those original intentions.

Instructor:  Catherine Boyd taught European history, with special emphasis on Germany, at JMU between 1968 and 2001.  World War I was always the focus of her teaching and writing experience.

S14NHB   New Horizons Concert Band

Day/Time:  Thursdays, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Dates:  January 16 – May 1, excluding March 13
Location:  TBD, JMU Campus
Cost:  $130 for the entire 15 weeks or pro-rated per semester

DescriptionNew Horizons Music programs provide entry points to music-making for adults, including those with no musical experience at all and those who have been inactive for a long time.  Small group instruction and practice allow members to develop or redevelop their skills and to play band arrangements.  The cost of instruments varies and rent-to-own programs are available at stores around town.  The New Horizons concept of making music provides a non-intimidating environment for you to begin or to resume playing an instrument.  It offers you the chance to play the instrument you have always dreamed about and to progress at your own rate.  You can even practice with the band for a couple of weeks free before you commit!

Instructor:  Will Dabback holds degrees in music education from West Chester University and the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music (M.M., 2000, Ph.D. 2007).  He served as an instructor and conductor of the New Horizons program at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, which was the first such program in the country.  He currently teaches at JMU.

S14B16 Listening to the Deep Past: An Introduction to World Literature through 1500 C.E.

Day/Time:  Friday, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Dates:  March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
Location: National College, Room 201, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: This “great books”-style course introduces students to a variety of foundational intellectual and artistic texts from around the world.  We will study classics from both Western and non-Western traditions such as the Epic of GilgameshPopol Vuh, IliadLais of Marie de France, Qur’anBhagavad Gita, Tale of Genji, and Epic of Sundiata.  We will examine these texts from different disciplinary perspectives, though special attention will be paid to their historical and literary value.  We will discuss these works as bound to specific moments in time and space and as engaging universal aspects of the human experience.  The basic goal is to deepen our awareness of who we are and how we got here.

Instructor:  Timothy Fitzgerald, who has a Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University, is a specialist in the history of the Ottoman Empire and Islamic Law.  He currently teaches world and Middle Eastern history at James Madison University.

S14B17 Genealogy and You

Day/Time: Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
Location: National College, Room 106, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: Whether you are just thinking about genealogy or are an experienced researcher, this course may be for you.  Like most things, genealogical research is changing fast.  What you may have thought of as a proverbial brick wall may have a solution thanks to modern technology and increased accessibility of records.  This course will focus on good traditional research as well as “what’s new.”

Instructor:  Dorothy Boyd-Bragg is Professor Emerita of History at JMU.  Her research and writing interests include local history and genealogy.  She is the author/editor of numerous books and articles on genealogy and has also served as president of the Virginia Genealogical Society.

S14B18 Da Vinci Code Updated

Day/Time:  Fridays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Dates:  March 21, 28, April 4, 11, 18
Location: National College, Room 201, 1515 Country Club Rd., Harrisonburg

Description: Revised and updated class content.  It’s still not about the book.  This course explains the greatest conspiracy you never heard, covers 12,000 years of hidden history, and opens your mind to new avenues of investigation.  Guaranteed to catch your attention, stimulate your curiosity, and rouse your imagination.  You’ll discover the amazing numbers camouflaged in the pyramids.  We’ll examine the many secret societies that are alive and well.  Not only will we discuss the myths of Atlantis, I’ll show you where it still survives.  Other topics will be the archaeoastronomy of ancient sites in Europe and the Americas, Gnosticism, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, the Merovingians, the Templars, the real secrets of Rennes-le-Chateau, symbolism, numerology, and American history you probably never knew existed.  Bring an open mind and a sense of humor.

InstructorGreg Coffman has spent a lifetime investigating ancient civilizations and their impact on our contemporary world.  Connecting the links between fact and fiction continues to open new avenues of study, and this class presents just a few of  the mysteries Greg has uncovered.