Friday Courses

Thank You for Another Great Semester!

We’re thankful you joined us this past spring. These classes or events have already been held, but are kept here to offer you a glimpse of the programming we offer. Each semester’s offerings will vary, so check back soon for next semester’s content.

Celebrations Around the World

All over the world, people observe different cultural and religious celebrations that allow them to deepen their faith and spend precious time with their families. Learn about celebrations around the world, how they are celebrated, and what makes them significant to those celebrating.

March 31RamadanFatima Emlemdi has been with Miami University for ten years and has worked at the Islamic Center of West Chester for 15 years as a teacher, an academic coach, a curriculum developer, a youth advisor, and a community outreach coordinator.

April 7Holi: The Festival of ColorsS.S. Rama Rao Pappu taught philosophy at Miami University for over 40 years, specializing in Indian philosophy, Hindu-Buddhist philosophy, Gandhian philosophy, and the philosophy of law. He is the Founder-Director of the International Congress of Vedanta and currently a visiting Professor of Gandhian Studies in Gitam University, India.

April 14The Chinese New YearDan Sinetar directs the Global Partner Summer School and leads a variety of International Students and Scholar Services programs and initiatives at Miami University, including the International Student Center. Angel Luo is a Miami University student from Guangzhou, China. She is a senior majoring in marketing and emerging technology in business and design, and minoring in human capital management and leadership.

April 21Dashain and DeepavaliSaruna Ghimire is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Gerontology. Her research focuses on health in late life and understanding the social determinants of healthy aging in the global context and among minorities in the U.S. She is a native of Nepal. NOTE: This session will be held from 11:15 am–noon

April 28Eid Al AdhaNoha Eyada graduated as a medical doctor in Egypt specializing in oncology and hematology. Noha currently works at Hoxworth Blood Donation Centers through the University of Cincinnati.

Coordinator: Rowen Creech studied graphic design at Indiana University before becoming Program Associate for ILR.

5 Fridays: March 31–April 28; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: Virtual
Location: Online
Note: Session on 4/21 will be held from 11:15 am–noon

Unlocking the Secrets of Origami

Modern origami is many things: an engaging activity to delight children, a leaf unfolding from a bud, a useful medical device (think stents for heart patients), or the folded wings of a communication satellite that unfurl in outer space. Lastly and most importantly, it can offer mental stimulation for older adults. All cognitive resources are used while creating a work of origami, thus giving the brain a rest from debilitating and stressful thoughts. In addition, the act of following instructions stimulates audio and verbal memory.

Instructor: Christine McCullough has a consuming interest in all things origami which began in high school and has continued off and on for nearly 60 years. She has taught gifted children for over 15 years at Super Saturday and summer campers at Seven Hills School in Cincinnati.

5 Fridays: March 31–April 28; 10:45 a.m.–noon
Format: Virtual
Location: Online
Supply Fee: $15, payable with registration; supplies will be mailed prior to class

How to Create Music on Your Computer for Beginners

Have you always wanted to compose music but were limited by the lack of music theory, resources, and time? Now’s your chance to try it for yourself and perhaps become the music composer you have always wanted to be! We will cover the basics of composing music, mainly by ear, using computer software (Studio One 5) designed for that purpose. Music theory and the ability to play musical instruments will NOT be part of this course. It’s all about letting your heart and right side of your brain (the creative side) take over. Topics will include hardware/software requirements and the music they can create, what is a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and how to use it to make music, musical instrument options available for purchase and for free, general guidelines for mastering your musical composition for optimal sound, and online resources available such as tutorials, courses, etc.

Instructor: Alfredo Huerta, Professor Emeritus of Biology, taught botany and general biology for over 28 years and has now become an avid, theory-free music composer.

5 Fridays: March 31–April 28; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: Oxford, Boyd Hall, Room 228


This recurring philosophy arose again in 19th century Europe and spread to contemporary America. It focuses on the discrimination of individual persons, their suffering and domination. It is prominent in the literature and politics of our time.

Instructor: Jack Sommer taught philosophy at Miami University, Western College, and short appointments at several other schools. He prefers older students because of their experience and thought, which he has enjoyed through ILR for 15 years. His experience includes two years with the Army engineers during the Korean War and many years writing a book, Moments of Soul: An Inquiry into Personal Attraction, in which he tries to understand mind, personal identity, honor, and faith, all connected and dependent on our need for others.

5 Fridays: March 31–April 28; 12:30–1:45 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: The Knolls of Oxford, Boardroom

Mandala Quilt Making

Making beautiful fabric mandalas is easy and rewarding. Don’t be intimidated by these complex-looking designs; if you know how to sew, you can do this! We will use a simplified process of creating the mandala’s eight 45° wedges that uses no protractors, no compasses, and no curved piecing. You will also learn simple template techniques, how to use fabric with symmetrical images, and a mirroring technique for a kaleidoscope effect. When finished, you will have a beautiful mandala that will make you smile at the beauty you’ve created. NOTE: A list of supplies to bring or purchase will be emailed upon registration.

Instructor: Linda Kramer is an artist, quilter, and teacher. Linda studied art at Miami University and was an art teacher before becoming the Director of Communications at the College of Engineering and Computing, and is now retired. Her art quilts have been in regional, national, and international juried shows and exhibits.

5 Fridays: March 31–April 28; 12:30–2:30 p.m.
Format: In person
Location: Hamilton, Berkeley Square, Haith Dining Room

Writing Your Hometown

Would you like to write about your hometown? In this course, we will write memoirs about different aspects of where we grew up. What was your street like? Or did you grow up on military bases? Do you remember a corner store? Did you trick-or-treat? Participate in Easter egg hunts? Walk to school? We will work in the writer’s workshop format, providing positive critiques of each other’s writing—what wonderful aspects stand out, and what could use some clarification. Come prepared for a lot of participation and in-class writing!

Instructor: Julia Miller has taught undergraduate philosophy at Stony Brook University and the University of Cincinnati. Her research focuses on memoir, embodied experiences of traumatic brain injury, and creative expressions of bipolar disorder. Dr. Miller has published poetry and creative nonfiction in a variety of journals and anthologies, most recently Kaleidoscope: Exploring Literature & the Fine Arts Through Disability, Dreamers Creative Writing Year 1 Anthology, and two Jack Walker Press anthologies in their Voices series.

5 Fridays: March 31–April 28; 2:15–3:30 p.m.
Format: Virtual
Location: Online

 Midday Matinees: Who’s on First? What’s on Second?

Baseball and movies became American national pastimes simultaneously. Did these new forms of popular entertainment reflect the conditions and beliefs of society? Did they echo and reinforce them or question, protest, and advocate for change? Or did they merely provide an escape by substituting the stadium for the streets and the reel world for the real world? In the lineup are movies of different genres from the silent era down to our own day. Please watch the movies beforehand, obtaining them from a library, online on YouTube or Internet Archive, or through streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

March 31The Busher (dir. Jerome Storm, 1919), 63m: A young pitcher in the bush leagues gets a chance in the majors. Headin Home (dir. Lawrence C. Windom, 1920), 70m: The Babe Ruth story, with Babe Ruth playing himself.

April 7Take Me Out to the Ballgame (dir. Busby Berkeley, 1949), 93m, with Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly: Two turn-of-the-century baseball players who work in vaudeville during the off-season run into trouble with their team’s new female owner and a gambler.

April 14The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (dir. John Badham, 1976), 110m, with Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor: Tired of slave-like treatment, star Negro League pitcher Bingo Long takes a band of barnstormers through the small towns of the Midwest in the 1930s.

April 21A League of Their Own (dir. Penny Marshall, 1992), 128m, with Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Hanks: During World War II, two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to make it succeed.

April 28Field of Dreams (dir. Phil Alden Robinson, 1989), 107m, with Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan, Burt Lancaster: An Iowa farmer obeys a voice to turn his cornfield into a place where dreams can come true.

Instructor: Sante Matteo, Professor Emeritus of Italian Studies, has taught film and literature and has participated in many ILR courses.

5 Fridays: March 31–April 28; 2:15–3:30 p.m.
Format: Virtual
Location: Online