Thursday Courses

Fall Registration has closed. SEE YOU SOON!

Whether you’re across town or anywhere in the world, relax and enjoy ILR this fall—October 4 through November 5. New this semester—your choice of virtual, hybrid, and in-person classes!

All courses are scheduled in local (Ohio) time, which currently follows Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). Note that EDT ends on November 7, 2021.

NOTE: At this time, Miami University requires face coverings indoors at all times, regardless of vaccination status.

Global Neighbors: Building Intercultural Relationships

More than 1,800 international students from nearly 70 different countries call Miami home. Learn more about this community, international education, the benefits and challenges of studying abroad while developing skills to connect across cultures and build meaningful relationships with those different from you. Participants will have the opportunity to join a program that matches community members with international students for the purpose of friendship and cultural exchange.

Instructor: Dan Sinetar currently works in Miami University’s Global Initiatives department coordinating programs for International Student and Scholar Services and managing the Global Partner Summer School.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 9:00–10:15 am
Format: Classroom
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 228


History and Understanding of Color

How did humans progress from taking mud and applying it to cave walls to having hundreds of different pigments to choose from? The class will learn the history of color, properties of specific hues, and the theory of mixing. One or two colors will be addressed in each class. Students will have the opportunity for hands-on work in class or on their own time.

Instructors: Jean Vance is a Visiting Professor in the Humanities and Creative Arts, Miami University, as well as a painting instructor at the University of Cincinnati.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 9:00–10:15 am
Format: Classroom
Location: M.U. Police Services Center, Room 123
Supply fee: $15, paid with registration


You Don’t Like Opera? You Will After This!

Opera gives you all the arts rolled into one: theatrical storylines, full orchestras, dance, stunning visuals, and, above all, the best voices in the world—all at once in the same theatre. Think of it...opera presents more notes at a time than any other form of music—full orchestra, chorus, and soloists—all going full blast at the same time.

Prepare to be introduced to the beautiful, soaring, powerful, spine tingling, hair raising, thrilling, breathtaking arias, duets, trios, quartets, sextets, choruses, and magnificent orchestral pieces from operas that have brought immense pleasure to everyone who has heard them. You will understand why this form of music has been around for centuries.

Operas composed by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Rossini, Bizet, Wagner, and other best-known composers will be presented—four operas each meeting. While context will be provided for each piece we listen to, our main goal as listeners and students will be to enjoy the music rather than its history. No deep analysis, just opera’s most extraordinary music presented in its context.

Instructor: Thomas Schaber has been an opera lover since 1964.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 9:00–10:15 am
Format: Classroom
Location: Peabody Hall, Leonard Theatre


Developing Your Ideas on Issues of Today

In each of three sessions, we will examine a current issue. The discussion intent is to learn more perspectives and adapt initial thoughts using the new information. Via email, each participant will be provided core reference materials as printable attachments or links to websites. The first week will center on “Encouraging and Safeguarding Voting” using materials from The National Issues Forum. At the end of the first session, participants will vote to select second and third session topics from these ProCon.org website options: “American Socialism,” “Cancel Culture,” “Historic Statue Removal,” and “Mandatory National Service.”

Instructor: Larry Orcutt is a “rocket scientist” spending most of his 40-year career with the U.S. Air Force as an all-source intelligence analyst and strategic planner.

3 Thursdays: October 7–21; 9:00 am–10:15 am
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or VOALC, Room 111


Dress from 1820-1920: A Sampling

What people wore, how they acquired their clothes, and how major events influenced what they wore in the 19th and early 20th centuries are the topics for this class. Nineteenth century undergarments, images of the McGuffey/Hepburn families, dress during the Civil War, mourning practices, and the move from custom-made to ready-made clothing will comprise the subjects for the five class periods. Common threads will weave these seemingly distinct topics together.

Instructor: Sara Butler, Professor Emerita of Art, Miami University, taught History of Costume for over 20 years. She is currently on the Boards of the Butler County Historical Society and ILR and is vice-chair of the ILR Curriculum Committee.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 10:45 am–noon
Format: Virtual
Location: Online


Medicine Bottles and Tins and Their Contents

Preparations sold as medicines have had a checkered history. Some have been safe and effective, others have been neither. Until 1906, “Buyer Beware!” was an appropriate warning for some medicinal products, and this may be true to this day. We will examine representative bottles and tins and explore their contents.

Instructor: Karl Mattox is a retired botanist with a longtime interest in antiques and most recently specializes in medicinal bottles and tins. Ben Mattox spent most of his career at Talawanda High School teaching biology, botany, and various science classes.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 10:45 am–noon
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online or Boyd Hall, Room 228


Any Two-Year-Old Could Do That!

Using the examples of fifteen artists, we will examine abstract and contemporary art to gain a greater understanding of what these artists did and why. We will learn that these art forms are very serious approaches to creativity and not just the scribbles of a child. No supplies are necessary, just an eye for color and imagination.

Instructor: Cathy Fiorelli has been an artist her entire life in a family devoted to the fine arts. Just like the artists in this course, she began as a realistic painter and evolved into abstract works. She currently uses oils, acrylics, and original prints. She is a member of Arts Alliance Painters and Women’s Art Club of Cincinnati and is represented by these regional galleries: Purple Paisley in Covington, Kentucky; Pop Revolution in Mason, Ohio; and Trumbull Gallery in Warren, Ohio.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 10:30 am–noon
Format: Hybrid
Location: Online and VOALC, Auditorium


Idealism

Idealism is a method of knowing by thinking of a perfect model, whether or not it can exist. Some philosophers have created an ideal society (Plato), or an ideal person (Nietzsche), or ideal knowledge (Spinoza), or an ideal solution to a problem (John Dewey). Some criticize idealism for misleading us in the “real” world (Santayana: materialism and James: pragmatism). What are some ideal models and do they help us understand?

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

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 12:30–1:45 pm
Format: Classroom
Location: Boyd Hall, Room 228


Top 10 Causes of Death in the U.S.

We will discuss 2020’s top 10 causes of death in the U.S. and their impact on our society. These diseases include: heart disease, cancer, COVID-19, accidents, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, and kidney disease.

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

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 12:30–1:45 pm
Format: Virtual
Location: Online


Welsh Hymn Singing Festivals in North America: Gymanfa Ganu

Sing with hywl (great gusto and spirit)! Over the years, Welsh immigrants have brought their strong choral tradition to North America. This group singing (mostly now in English) continues in large 500+ person conventions to small chapels with a handful of sincere singers. Learn how this stirring tradition of public singing festivals started and continues to this day (even in Ohio), while listening to examples of the music as well as the inspiring stories behind their creation.

Instructor: Michael Hieber, Miami University Emeritus, taught a variety of art and integrative studies courses on the Middletown campus for 35 years. He has a passion for singing at Gymanfa Ganu (Welsh hymn singing festivals). Since 2001 he has sung at nearly 60 across North America as well as the largest in Wales in 2010.

4 Thursdays: October 7–28; 12:30–1:45 pm
Format: Virtual
Location:Online


Smart Grocery Shopping: Make the Trip Count!

This is a foodie alert. The pandemic made shopping for groceries and getting food products to our homes more difficult this past year. In this “back to the basics” class we will learn ways to turn a whole chicken into four different meals; use one bag of dried legumes as an entree, salad, and soup; and get creative with shrimp in the shell. Using many more topics and foods, John and Michael will demonstrate ways we can be more effective shoppers and cooks.

Instructors: John Pierce is the Director of Culinary and Nutritional Services of Ohio Living, Mount Pleasant. Michael Kalbaugh is the head chef at Ohio Living, Mount Pleasant.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: Virtual
Location: Online


Let’s Play Online Trivia

We will form teams of four to six people and play a weekly trivia contest. This is a fun opportunity for trivia novices and experienced players alike.

Instructors: Paul Allen, Commander, U.S. Navy (retired) and retired civil servant, has lived in Oxford for 29 years.

5 Thursdays: October 7–November 4; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: Virtual
Location: Online


Hooray for Hollywood Musicals

When Hollywood transitioned to creating sound movies in the late 1920s, the musical emerged and quickly became a very popular genre. After an initial discussion about the development of original, integrated Hollywood musicals, we will analyze five movies including the landmark film The Wizard of Oz, plus Singing in the Rain, Gigi, Victor/Victoria, and The Greatest Showman. These films should be readily available from libraries, streaming services, or online stores. Please watch each week’s movie before class, starting with The Wizard of Oz for week two; week one will be an introduction to the course.

Instructors: Doug Iden is a longtime movie lover who enjoys discussing films almost as much as he enjoys watching them.

6 Thursdays: October 7–November 11; 2:15–3:30 pm
Format: Virtual
Location: Online
NOTE: This class extends post-term