Courses for Winter-Spring 2012

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Location: Noble Horizons Learning Center
Times: Monday, 10am-noon
Dates: Jan 16 - March 12
Sessions: 9

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The History of American Literature in Eight Short Stories


Join us for a fast-paced, fun, but no less comprehensive survey of American literature from its post-colonial first shoots through the burgeoning nineteenth century and up to the twigs of the twentieth. In nine weeks (that is, an introduction plus eight short stories), we’ll ring the changes of the American experience from Nathaniel Hawthorne to William Faulkner, Bret Harte to Flannery O’Connor, Henry James to Lorrie Moore.

These is a fee of $10 for class materials.

Instructor: Mark Scarbrough
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Location: Noble Horizons Learning Center
Times: Monday, 2-4pm
Dates: Jan 16 - Feb 20
Sessions: 6

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The Psalms as Great Literature


The biblical book of psalms contains 150 documents, which communicate profound human emotion running the gamut from darkest despair to jubilation in military victory. We will begin by considering some of the distinguishing aspects of Hebrew poetry and go on to study representative samples of various categories of psalms including: individual and group laments, psalms written for royal occasions, liturgical and historical psalms. They will be explored in relation to their cultural and historical background and their relevance to contemporary society.

Instructor: Richard Taber
Location: Scoville Library
Times: Tuesday, 10am-noon
Dates: Jan 17 - Feb 21
Sessions: 6

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Bad Mistakes and Very Bad Mistakes, Part II


This year’s course examines further significant mistakes that have impacted US and European history. The course will continue with the same theme as the original course but with emphasis on strategies that went wrong. In this course we will address the following:

Removal of the Acadians from Nova Scotia at the Beginning of the French and Indian War
General Cornwallis' Southern Campaign in the American Revolution
Aaron Burr's Expedition to Somewhere
Napoleon Bonaparte; Elba to Waterloo, two sessions
Area Bombing of Dresden, Germany in WW II

Instructor: Thomas Key
Location: Noble Horizons Learning Center
Times: Tuesday, 2-4pm
Dates: Jan 24 - March 6
Sessions: 7

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The Art of Bel Canto


This program will offer a cornucopia of beautiful singing, beginning with a historical video, ”Great Voices of the Century”, which contains selections by Bjorling, Callas, Caruso, Corelli, De los Angeles, Pinza, Ponselle, Price, Tebaldi, Sutherland, and many others. Special programs will then offer extended scenes from recitals and operas with Callas, Sutherland, Pavarotti, as well as current operatic stars including Fleming, Netrebko, Hrovostovsky, and Hampson. One or two complete operas, choice of Bellini, Donizetti, or Rossini will conclude this program of beautiful singing.

Instructor: Robert Julien
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Location: Geer Village
Times: Wednesday, 10am-noon
Dates: Feb 15 - Apr 4
Sessions: 8

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Play Reading


The play reading class will study plays of William Inge. No play reading experience is necessary. Just come and enjoy yourself. Participants should obtain a copy of Four Plays by William Inge. Inexpensive used copies of this book may be ordered from abebooks.com or Amazon.com .

Instructor: Rosemary Farnsworth
Location: Noble Horizons Learning Center
Times: Wednesday, 10am-noon
Dates: Jan 18 - March 21
Sessions: 10

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Searching for Shakespeare and The Tempest


The main interest of the course will be a complete classroom reading of The Tempest, along with a sampling of scholarly opinions, filmed versions, and plenty of time for discussion. This play will be one of the main stage productions this summer by Shakespeare & Company in nearby Lenox, Massachusetts. As usual, we will have the opportunity to see it there together in the (ah!) summer, and talk with at least one of the actors. Participants should bring to the first class an ANNOTATED edition of the play, which is available in paperback and will be for sale at the Oblong Bookstore in Millerton.  As a counterpoint to the film "Anonymous" there will be a presentation of Michael Wood's  film "Searching for Shakespeare." Who knows, we may find him! 

Instructor: William DeVoti
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Location: Scoville Library
Times: Wednesday, 2-4pm
Dates: Jan 25 - Feb 15
Sessions: 4

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Personal Information Management In the Cloud


As our data, our communications, our banking and more move away from desktop computers and into "cloud" computing, personal information management becomes both easier and more complex. We will discuss issues related to privacy, branding (e.g., marketing your self or your organization), and more generally using social media, as well as explore some basic tools available to help you find and re-find information online. Note: people attending this class should already definitely enjoy some of what the Internet has to offer!

Instructor: Katherine Rand
Location: Geer Village
Times: Thursday, 10am-noon
Dates: Jan 19 - March 15
Sessions: 9

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Great Decisions 2012


This year's course will address the following topics, selected by the Foreign Policy Association: Middle East realignments; promoting democracy; Mexico; cybersecurity; exit from Afghanistan and Iraq; the state of the oceans (the impact of climate change); Indonesia; and energy geopolitics. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase the FPA briefing book, and will be encouraged to engage actively in this discussion-based course.

Instructor: Everett Briggs
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Location: Geer Village
Times: Thursday, 2-4pm
Dates: Jan 26 - Feb 2
Sessions: 2

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Art and Artists During the Civil War


Painters, sculptors and photographers reflect the build up to Civil War, the war itself and its aftermath. We will look at the works of Fitzhugh Lane, Winslow Homer, John Rogers, Augustus Saint Gaudens, Matthew Brady and others.

Instructor:
Location: Geer Village
Times: Friday, 10am-noon
Dates: Jan 20 - Feb 10
Sessions: 4

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The Essay:  Moral Philosophy for Our Times


From the time of Montaigne, the essay has been the most versatile literary form:  less concise than poetry, less elaborate than the novel, and more personal than other nonfiction.  This course will examine the style of the essay by such stellar practitioners of the genre as John Updike, Louis Menand, and Dwight Macdonald and find, quite likely, embedded in their essays their notions of how things ought to be. 

Instructor: John O Malley
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Location: Geer Village
Times: Friday, 10am-noon
Dates: Feb 17 - March 9
Sessions: 4

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Exploring Headlines


We live in a time when new technologies, advances in science and the increasing influence and interdependence of countries upon each other
effect the economic, political and social life of our country. Increasingly The United States will be required to take its part in this new world order. The responses we make to these responsibilities will influence our success or failure in the years ahead.
Using the weeks headlines as a basis for discussion we will express our thoughts and ideas, becoming our own “editorial writers” as we explore, question and understand the news of the day.

Instructor: Jerry Simonson