Wednesday 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.

Bonnie Jo Campbell's Mothers, Tell Your Daughters

Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, Bonnie Jo Campbell's third and most powerful short-story collection, gives us struggling men and resourceful women in meth-addicted contemporary southwestern Michigan. "With grit and reverence," one reviewer wrote, "this story collection is gorgeous in its honesty." Come join this conversational, participatory, and reader-centered class for "moments of grace." Ms. Campbell plans to join our final class either virtually or, if possible, in person. For our first class, please read "Sleepover," "Playhouse," and "Tell Yourself," pp. 13-46.

Class text: Bonnie Jo Campbell, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, New York: Norton, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-393-35326-6

Instructor: Don Daiker, Professor Emeritus of English and noted Hemingway scholar, has written and spoken about Campbell's fiction.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: online

Everything You Wanted to Know About Computers and Cell Phones

What is a smart phone? What is cloud computing? Is there a difference between a tablet and a laptop? Can you explain WiFi and cell connection? Kindle versus iPad? What is Bluetooth?

Instructor: Kevin Rinn is Director of IT at Lighthouse Youth and Family Services.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: online

Salt and Pepper

All you ever wanted to know about salt and pepper—ancient and modern history—and their roles in microbial, plant, and animal physiology, social culture, and the Civil War.

Instructors: Anne Morris-Hooke is Professor Emerita of Microbiology with a passion for salt. Alfredo Huerta is Professor Emeritus of Botany with a passion for everything. Hardy Eshbaugh is Professor Emeritus of Botany whose professional expertise includes: chili peppers, flora of the Bahamas, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 9:00–10:15 am
Location: online

Visit Palestine: Land of Sumud and Hospitality

Many Americans visit the Holy Land, but limit their time in Palestine (the West Bank) to a couple of hours in Bethlehem. This beautiful land has so much to offer beyond Manger Square! Join me in exploring its culture, history, holy sites, cuisine, recreational activities, and legendary Palestinian hospitality.

Instructor: Susan Brogden’s career entailed positions at several area universities and non-profits. In early 2018, she spent three months in the West Bank, living and working as an international observer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Since her return, she has worked as a regional coordinator for Churches for Middle East Peace, seeking to broaden Americans' understanding of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and to advocate for a just peace for both Israelis and Palestinians.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 10:45 am–12:00pm
Location: online

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

It is easy to assume that what was painfully learned in the twentieth century would make tyranny less appealing in the twenty-first. But recent events may have caused us to wonder: have the lessons learned about tyrannical forms of government been carried forward with us into our political and social lives today? We will examine these questions in this course by discussing together the main ideas in Timothy Snyder's short book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century. In advance of each class session, class members will read and think about a short section of the book. The class session itself will consist of video material that will illustrate the key historical events and concepts raised in the book, and then we will discuss them together.

Class text: Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, Tim Duggan Books (1st edition, 2/28/17), ISBN-10: 0804190119; ISBN-13: 978-0804190114

Instructor: Alan deCourcy is the former Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor Emeritus of Religious and Pastoral Studies, Mount St. Joseph University.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: online

Active Transportation 101 and You

Heard the phrase “active transportation” and wondered what it is? Learn about this topic and how you can become more active, especially as an older adult. Be prepared for some hands-on work, as well as presentations that provide theory and practice. Joining us will be: Julie Walcoff, a Senior Planner with Toole Design Group, who has assisted Ohio communities with Active Transportation planning; and Catlin Harley, who manages the Ohio Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School and Active Transportation Programs.

Instructor: Carol Kachadoorian is a transportation planner whose work encourages older adults to be physically active. She is a seasoned instructor specializing in livable streets.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 10:45am–12:00pm
Location: online

Hands-on with Google Photos

See how effortlessly your lifetime of photos can be backed up, organized, easily accessed, and then shared using Google Photos from any authorized computing device connected to the internet. It’s fabulous, it’s (almost) free, and it’s fun. Students will need a Google/Gmail account and password. While this is an online class, students should have their smartphone, tablet or laptop available for using Google Photos during the class.

A digital copy of the recommended text: Learn Google Photos by Chris Guld, will be sent to you ahead of the first class. To facilitate a hands-on experience, this class is limited to 12 students.

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

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 12:30–1:45 pm
Location: online

Wednesday Brown Bag Lecture Series

Come, learn, and enjoy. Meet three local artists, explore Kentucky’s worst disaster, and smell the roses. Join us for this ILR tradition.

March 31The Long Road HomeMichael Clements is retired after serving as CEO of Critical Care Services, Inc., for 30 years.

April 7What Art Teaches Us About Great Customer Service Mary Furie owns a business based in Loveland, Ohio, called Quality Assessments Mystery Shoppers. Clients hire her to find out what their service is from the customer perspective.

April 14Harriet Beecher Stowe in Cincinnati: The Making of Uncle Tom’s CabinRebecca Johnson is Director of the Center for Public History and a Professor at NKU. She has worked for the National Park Service, the Western Reserve Historical Society, and recently managed the Delhi Historical Society.

April 21QPR Gatekeeper TrainingKristen Smith is Prevention Coordinator for Envision Partnerships and Coordinator of the Butler County Suicide Coalition. She has worked with teens throughout her career. Many face mental health crises. Suicide has touched her personally as well.

April 28Local Suffragette MovementSam Ashworth serves as Board Chair of the Butler County Visitors Bureau and is a member of the Advisory Committee of Heritage Hall in Hamilton.

Coordinator: Marlene Esseck is a retired educator from the Lakota Local School District.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 12:30–1:45pm
Location: online

Cincinnati Memories Armchair Tours

Walk with me (via PowerPoint) as we visit historic locations around Cincinnati learning interesting facts as well as weird, wild stories. From Fountain Square, Lunken Airport, Anderson Ferry to Spring Grove Cemetery and Hamilton County's five (or is it six?) court houses as well as Ida Martin's home on Mt. Adams, we'll cover miles and miles, but I guarantee your feet won't hurt and you won't get tired!

Instructor: Jeanne Rolfes is a native Cincinnatian, retired nonprofit administrator and a Cincinnati Preservation Association volunteer since 2000. She developed four virtual tours of Cincinnati ("Cincinnati Memories") and has given 450+ presentations, reaching more than 3000 individuals.

4 Wednesdays: March 31–April 21; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: online

In and Out of This World with Ray Bradbury

The year 2020 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ray Bradbury, arguably one of the most influential speculative fiction writers of the twentieth century: "Almost no one can imagine a time or place without the fiction of Ray Bradbury....His stories and novels are part of the American language." ~Washington Post "There is no simpler, yet deeper, stylist than Bradbury. Out of the plainest of words, he creates images and moods that readers seem to carry with them forever." ~San Francisco Chronicle What was it like to grow up in bucolic Green Town (Waukegan), Illinois, at the turn of the twentieth century? What might happen if a ferris wheel ran backwards? What's the "flash point" at which books burn? How might Martians react to explorers from Earth? This class will focus on selected works, which range from the nostalgic and futuristic to the terrifying. Short stories, radio broadcasts, and film clips will be discussed.

Class texts: Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales, ISBN: 0-06-054242-X; Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury, ISBN-10: 0-553-27753-7; ISBN-13: 978-0-553-27753-1

Instructors: Mike Griffith is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Theatre with a focus on Scenic Design and Dramatic Literature. He is a long-time member of ILR and has taught courses on a variety of topics, including The Works of Sam Shepard, Model Making, and The Golden Age of Radio. He has been a Sci-Fi addict since he was 12 years old. Bill Hardesty, Professor Emeritus of English, has taught a number of literatures, including science fiction. He has also written articles on the sub-genre of alternate history and on a number of SF authors, including Samuel R. Delany and Iain M. Banks. He discovered SF in the local library at an early age and has been addicted to it since.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: online

Universal Healthcare in the U.S. and Progressive Energy Policy

These two topics mean different things to different people. With the new administration, there is likely to be political activity and considerable discussion on these topics. My goal is to get beyond the rhetoric and look at the real issues.

Universal healthcare means to provide healthcare access for everyone. Where are we right now? What are the real costs and what are some useful decisions government and society can make to pursue some goals for change?

What are the facts about this country’s energy policies and actions today? What are realistic possibilities for actions to pursue regarding new energy policies that look to the future?

There will be three classes on the first issue and two on the second with plenty of time allotted for participation. This class is not a “sales pitch” on where to go in the future, but rather, a presentation of facts followed by plausible scenarios used to stimulate discussion.

Instructor: Rich Daniels is a retired CEO of McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford. 

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 2:15–3:30 pm
Location: online

The HeART of Making Photographs

Taking photographs of family, travel destinations, or one's backyard are enhanced by compositional skills. Whether taken with a phone or a digital single-lens reflex camera, photographs capture stories and moments large and small. Using both online and hands-on interactive formats, participants will see examples and make photographs targeted to specific compositional skills each week as well as post pictures to give and receive feedback. The instructor will provide ideas of underexplored local destinations for photography that can be safely visited. Please note that this class will meet online for four weeks followed by an optional fifth week photo shoot outdoors in Oxford, safety and weather conditions permitting.

Instructor: Barbara Rose is a retired Miami professor whose longtime passion is photography. Her photographic journey is to move from snapshots to images that convey stories and beauty of people and places.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 4:00–5:15 pm
Location: hybrid, as noted in course description

Film Noir: A Study in Black and White

Based upon German Expressionism and severe camera angles, directors began to explore the darker side of America's "mean streets" through cinema beginning in the late 1930s. Through discussion, we will investigate the origins, themes, characters, moods, and cinematography of film noir. Movies featured will include Double Indemnity, Maltese Falcon, Laura, Out of the Past, and Touch of Evil. Please obtain and watch each movie before class. These are well-known films and should be available through various means including YouTube (full film), other streaming services, local libraries, and purchase options such as Amazon.

Instructor: Doug Iden is a big fan of movies and musical theater and loves to talk about both.

5 Wednesdays: March 31–April 28; 4:00–5:15 pm
Location: online