Friday Courses

These courses have been completed. Feel free to browse last semester's classes for a sampling of what we offer. Content will be updated for fall 2021 on or before the opening of registration on September 2nd.

Tai Chi and Qi Gong for Health

This course includes exercises and background information showing how Tai Chi improves balance, energy, and coordination. Qi Gong breathing exercises improve stress, relaxation, and sleep. The class will include the following: warm-up deep breathing exercises; Zen walking for balance; stretching exercises; and Five Element Tai Chi Form (includes all of above). In addition, eight brocades with medicinal applications will be explained. Classes are supplemented by other online live lessons and recorded videos by Dr. Bobbert accessed through

Instructor: Larry C. Bobbert, founder of Tai Chi Village, has 50 years of martial arts experience and has presented in 35 states and on four continents.

8 Fridays: March 26–May 14; 9:00–10:15 am NOTE: Course begins pre-term and extends post-term
Location: online

Evolution: What it is and Why it Matters

The topic of evolution is a wonderful way to understand the nature of science as well as just how many aspects of life are enlightened by our understanding of evolution. We will discuss geologic time and the age of the Earth, Darwin’s theory and his evidence, what has happened in evolutionary studies since Darwin’s time, and implications of evolution in medicine and agriculture. Of course, we hope to consider questions that participants may have. Join us for what we hope to be some lively discussions.

Instructors: Ben Mattox is a retired biology/science teacher from Talawanda High School. Karl Mattox is Professor Emeritus of Botany and former Dean of the College of Arts and Science.

5 Fridays: April 2–30; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: online

Making the Most of your Google Account

Learn about personalization, privacy, and how to secure your Google account with two-factor authentication. See, manage, and even download the data in your account with Google Dashboard. Learn about Google One and why you might want to pay Google a modest fee for this service. What happens to your Google account when you die. This and more will be covered in three lectures.

Instructor: Robin Seaver spent her career teaching basic computer skills from yesterday's mainframe computers to today's smartphones and tablets.

3 Fridays: April 2–16; 10:45 am–12:00 pm 
Location: online

History of the Book through Bookbinding

Journey with us as we discover the history of the book through the lens of the detailed and special book bindings held in the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives. We'll travel through the centuries of the book and how bindings play a significant role in the making and promotion of books. Even in an online format, we will make class sessions interactive for students.

Instructors: Rachel Makarowski is Special Collections Librarian of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives. William Modrow is Head of the Walter Havighurst Special Collections and University Archives.

5 Fridays: April 2–30; 10:45–11:45 am
Location: online

How Poetry Improves Thinking

Some great poets have improved our thinking about the world. For example, our science of physics follows the thinking of Lucretius' poem, On the Nature of Things. Psychology follows the thinking of FitzGerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. And environmental science follows the thinking of Pope's Essay on Man. Write your thoughts in a poem to see how it works. According to Kant, "rhetoric promises more than it delivers, while poetry delivers more than it promises."

Instructor: Jack Sommer has taught philosophy at Miami University, Western College, and for ILR.

5 Friday: April 2–30; 12:30–1:45 pm
Location: online

Cold Serial: The Jack the Strangler Murders

Investigate a series of recently uncovered murders that could lead to a serial killer. The venue is the Dayton/Cincinnati area; the time, 1900-1911. A woman escapes and a person of interest emerges. Her testimony, along with newspapers, court records, and death certificates, will be reviewed. Forensics and police practices of the time, yellow journalism, the handling of sexual assault, crime literature of the era, racism, and anti-Semitism will be examined. Evidence will be presented to you, the jurors, in the final class. You will be asked to grant justice to these girls and convict a suspect on multiple counts of murder/rape.

Class text: Provided by the instructor and mailed by ILR (one per household) prior to course start date. Extra copies available from the instructor for $10.

Instructor: Brian Forschner worked in the criminal justice system in corrections, was an associate professor in the University of Dayton Criminal Justice Program, and has published and conducted study abroad programs for criminal justice students and professionals.

5 Friday: April 2–30; 12:30–1:45 pm
Location: online

Midday Matinee: The Stories We Live, The Lives We Tell

We will watch and discuss movies that navigate between reality and fiction, body and mind, experience and imagination, and explore how stories affect and shape our lives and create meaning and beauty in the process. Class discussions will be conducted online. Please arrange to obtain and watch the movies before class meetings. Movies may be available from a library, or online on YouTube or Internet Archive (free), or through streaming-for-payment sites, e.g. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime.

April 2Sherlock, Jr., 1924, 45 minutes, Buster Keaton. A projectionist at a movie theater dreams of becoming a famous detective. A rival in courtship frames him for a crime, and he must use his detective skills to clear his name.

April 9The French Lieutenant's Woman, 1981, 2h 4m; dir. Karel Reisz, with Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons. While shooting a movie set in nineteenth-century England about an affair between a gentleman and an outcast domestic, the actor and the actress who play the characters have their own affair.

April 16The Princess Bride, 1987, 1h 38m; dir. Rob Reiner, with Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright. A grandfather reads a story to his sick grandson about a boy-turned-pirate and the perils, enemies, and allies he encounters in his quest to find his true love.

April 23The Fall, 2006, 1h 57m; dir. Tarsem Singh, with Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru. In a hospital on the outskirts of 1920s Los Angeles, an injured stuntman begins to tell a little girl a fantastic story of five mythical heroes. In her imagination, the line between fiction and reality blurs.

April 30Lost in Austen, 2008; 4-part BBC miniseries, 3 hours. Amanda, a present-day Jane Austen fan, swaps places with Austen's fictional creation Elizabeth Bennet. [Please note the three-hour length and allow enough time to watch all four 45-minute episodes.

Coordinator: Sante Matteo, Profesor Emeritus of Italian, has taught ILR courses on Italian literature and a recurring movie course, taught each term with a different theme.

5 Fridays: April 2–30; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: online

From Poetry to Music

Composers from the earliest days of western music have written songs based on poetry. We will focus on the poetry of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and James Agee, and the music of Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Samuel Barber, and Morten Lauridsen. The goal is to understand the poetry and critically compare how different composers set the poem to music. Specific works will include Agee's Sure on This Shining Night (set by Barber and Lauridsen) and Whitman's Dirge for Two Veterans (set by Holst and Vaughn Williams).

Instructor: Dennis Clason has performed as a tenor and bass trombonist in various professional and semi-professional ensembles in New Mexico, where he was Professor of Applied Statistics at New Mexico State University.

4 Fridays: April 2–23; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: online