Thursday Classes

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.

But the Bible Says...! Explore the Bible from its Origins to Today

Originally composed in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, the Bible covers the history of the world from creation to the spread of Christianity in the first century CE, but has undergone immense changes over time. To understand the history of the Bible in its various forms and translations for various audiences, we will explore the history, philology, and politics involved in creating "the" Bible. Please note: this is not a Bible study class.

Class text: A course reader PDF will be sent via email.

Instructors: Judith de Luce, Professor Emerita of Classics, knows a thing or two about the challenges of translation. Paul Allen, retired U.S. Naval Commander and civil servant, has an interesting connection with the King James Version of the Bible.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: online

A Journey Around the Mediterranean

Take a trip around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea from the west with Spain, Gibraltar and France, to Italy in the middle, and then to the east with Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt. Learn about the history, geography, and points of interest in this region that were so important to the development of Western civilization and remain of great interest today.

Instructor: Sidney Soclof is Professor Emeritus at the California State University, Los Angeles, and has authored textbooks and numerous eBooks. He has expertise in history and geography and very extensive travel experience.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 9:00–10:40 am
Location: online

Why Talk About End-of-Life Issues?

Let's be honest… it's difficult and uncomfortable to talk about end-of-life issues. Why do it? Because it's the best gift you can give to your family. We will have an open and honest discussion, reflecting on our own lives, and talk about meaning-making as we outline our own life story. Topics covered will include hospice and end-of-life choices, funerals and memorial services, and grief care and support. We will also review a to-do list of "87 things that must be done by the survivors" Our preplanning/family conversations will minimize the strain that will be placed on our loved ones.

Instructor: Karen Fleming has served as a Parish Pastor and Health Care Chaplain, currently serving at Ohio Living Mt. Pleasant in Monroe.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: online

Unlocking the Secrets of Origami

Modern origami is many things. It can be an engaging activity to delight children; it can be a leaf unfolding from a bud; it can be a useful medical device (think stents for heart patients); or it can be the folded wings of a communication satellite that unfurl in outer space. Lastly and most importantly, it can offer cognitive 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 fifteen plus years at Super Saturday and, recently, summer campers at Seven Hills School in Cincinnati.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: online
Supply fee: $10, payable with registration; supplies will be mailed prior to class.

Ulysses S. Grant

From Point Pleasant, Ohio, to the White House: Ulysses S. Grant was the General who won the Civil War for the Union, but that is only a fraction of his life and his person.

Instructor: Deb Price is an active volunteer with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and is always willing to share her knowledge.

4 Thursdays: April 1–29; ; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: online

Agriculture in Butler County and Beyond

Agriculture is big business in Butler County and the surrounding counties. It is also an educational focus of our school systems. As a follow-up to the subjects presented last fall, the following areas are hopefully of interest also.

April 160 Acres and 60 Thousand Guests, Our Story of Agritourism PerseveranceJeff Probst, Blooms & Berries Farm Market.

April 8Dairy Farming: From Traditional to a New Way to Produce Dairy Products; How it Works, Why We Do It!Joe Streit, Double J Dairy Farm.

April 15FFA: Future Farmers of America & BeyondKari Roberts and Carley Snider, Talawanda High School Agriculture Teachers and FFA Advisors; Kellie Beiser, Edgewood High School Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor.

April 224-H: Head, Heart, Hands, and Health into the FutureEmily Kahrs, Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, The Ohio State University Extension, Butler County; and Erin Simpson-Sloan, Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development, The Ohio State University Extension, Butler County.

Coordinators: Richard Daniels is a retired CEO of McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford. J.T. Benitez is the O.S.U. Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Butler County.

4 Thursdays: April 1–22;10:45am–12:00pm
Location: online

COVID-19: The Saga Continues

In this class, we’ll discuss the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from both historical and scientific perspectives, comparing it with previous influenza pandemics and explaining the role of pneumonia, which is what often kills people with both of these diseases. We’ll also explore how the new COVID vaccines work, as well as how they were developed and tested.

Instructor: John Stevenson, Professor Emeritus of Microbiology, retired from Miami in 2015 after 41 years of teaching and research focused on immunology and infectious diseases.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 12:30–1:45 pm
Location: online

You Are What You Read: Don Quixote, Part II

Early in Don Quixote Part II (the 1615 "sequel" to the 1605 Part I), Cervantes writes: "Second parts are never very good." But this particular second part is an exception to the rule as Cervantes moves from a focus on satire and explorations of narrative possibilities to a true metafiction: a fiction that has itself as a subject. Don Quixote even recognizes himself as a literary character at the same time that many others in Part II, as readers of Part I, tailor their responses to him according to what they have read. (Reading Part I of Don Quixote is not a prerequisite for this class, but is helpful for understanding Part II.)

Speaker: Howard Mancing is Professor of Spanish Emeritus, Purdue University.

Class text: Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, translated by Edith Grossman, HarperCollins/ECCO, 2005, ISBN: 0-06-093434-4

Instructor: Charles Ganelin is Professor Emeritus of Spanish University with a specialization in Cervantes and other writers of the period.

5 Thursdays: April 1–May 6; 12:30–1:45 pm NOTE: Course extends post-term
Location: online

More Real Stories of the American Revolution

Have you ever wondered what the experiences were of the “forgotten heroes” who fought in the Revolutionary War? One such hero, Daniel Morgan, was known as the “Old Wagoner” during the French and Indian War, but became one of the most respected tacticians and leaders of the American Revolution. He was involved from the very beginning of the war, starting at the siege of Boston and the invasion of Canada, and he continued being a leading figure through two of the most crucial turning points of the war. He was consistently present in the fight for freedom as we became an independent nation. Learn about this amazing pioneer, soldier, rifleman, and hero of the American Revolution whose accomplishments have been largely forgotten by modern history. This course will be an integration of both military history and human interest.

Instructor: Mark Holland is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. He is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution as well as a living history reenactor.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 12:30–1:45 pm  
Location: online

Making Life Senior Friendly

This course is about some simple, easy, and mostly inexpensive things that can be done around the home to make it more "senior friendly." Examples include making computer screens easier to read and keyboards and mice easier to use. Other examples are day clocks that tell day and date and voice-activated devices such as Amazon's Echo. Also mentioned will be pill reminders and automatic dispensers.

Instructor: Sidney Soclof is Professor Emeritus at the California State University, Los Angeles, and has authored textbooks and numerous eBooks on travel. He has expertise in history and geography and very extensive travel experience.

1 Thursdays: March 25; 1:00–2:30 pm NOTE: Course held pre-term
Location: online

Have Wheels, Will Seek Nature*

If you are using a walker, wheelchair, or pushing a stroller and wish to experience nature strolls in Oxford that are accessible, join us for three sessions. First hike meets at the Black Covered Bridge parking lot on Bonham Road by the Leonard Howell Shelter. Maps to future hikes will be distributed at the first hike.

Instructors: Barbara Eshbaugh is a nature lover wishing to share and learn about our local natural treasures. Donna McCollum will lead one hike. She is responsible for installing the ramp at the Ruder Preserve.

3 Thursdays: April 1–15; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: As listed in course description above
NOTE: Class is weather dependent. Rain will postpone, and rescheduling will take place via email.

Nantucket Baskets: An American Heritage

In the 1850s, baskets were everyday essentials and taxed as part of an inheritance. This is when men stationed on lightships off Nantucket Island created the strong and expensive Nantucket baskets. Some original antiques now sell for thousands, but in a world of plastic, selling new Nantucket baskets requires blending tradition with artistry, evolving design, and new materials. This class begins by looking at how a variety of baskets get started, how those differences affect designs, and how to identify quality basketry. Next, we’ll review the Nantucket design and early baskets. The class ends with examples blending new materials with traditional techniques.

Instructor: Stephen Goettsch is a working artist who has been making and selling Nantucket baskets for 22 years after taking courses in Miami Craftsummer.

3 Thursdays: April 22–May 6; 2:15–3:30 pm NOTE: Class extends post-term
Location: online

Woodstock Redux

This course will take a retrospective look, using lectures as well as audio and video presentations, at the Woodstock Music Festival held in August 1969, including the planning, logistics, musical acts, and social and cultural impact of the event. Note: Students are cautioned that media used in this class may include brief nudity or foul language.

Instructor: Paul Allen, Retired Commander, U.S. Navy and retired civil servant, has lived in Oxford for 26 years.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: online

My Scotland – Slowly

Tartans and Scones and so much more! Sail and walk with me to visit Islay, Iona, Fingal's Cave, Mingulay, Skye, Hirta, Lewis, Fair Isle, and the Shetlands. In the Orkneys, we'll visit the World Heritage Site (Maes Howe, Skara Brae, Ring of Brogar, and Ness of Brogar) and go into chambered cairns (Cuween and Rennibister), brochs, earth houses, and tombs. Each class will also highlight at least one of Scotland's gems (e.g., Loch Lomond).

Instructor: Lois Philips is a retired Miami administrator who lived in Scotland and travelled extensively there.

5 Thursdays: April 1–29; 4:00–5:15 pm
Location: online