An In-Depth Look at the Winter 2020 Semester

Greetings OLLI students,

We have an exciting winter semester coming up! There’s music, science, literature…even sports! We also have a few new faces joining us such as musician Robert Wyatt and former TV/radio producer Bernadette Harrison. We hope you’re looking forward to the next semester as much as we are.  Below is a preview of some of our winter lectures and courses.

Registration is now open. Click here to register.

Bernadette Harrison

Bernadette Harrison

The Mass Media Machine: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers

# WPF1

Friday, January 10

10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

 

Welcome to the noisy news world of the 21st Century.  The 24/7 constantly updated news cycle never sleeps and, as a result, you may not either.

As a news-talk producer for most of my 35-year career, I hope to help you filter through this highly opinionated, hyperbolic new media bombarding you throughout the day and night.  Ideally, by the time you exit “The Mass Media Machine,” your eyes and ears will be finer-tuned for seeking the actual news in the news story.   Especially as the 2020 presidential campaigns heat up.

Whether you are a fan of CNN, Fox, MSNBC, or prefer print over radio, or both, today’s ever-powerful news companies are motivated to seek your attention for one reason – financial gain. At the end of the day, it’s all about money.  Let’s uncover a dozen or so take-aways in our get-together so to sharpen how you consume news. Consider these:

  • What two highly addicting emotions are often scripted into the news – though not always intentional?
  • What makes a story worth reporting?
  • Anyone remember Walter Cronkite – and why do few current TV journalists follow his style?
  • Where is the line between news and entertainment?
  • Do you hear the biased language occasionally weaved into a newscast?
  • What happens during the year-long news cycle (particularly the dip in August?)
  • Is John and Jane Q. Public just marketing material used to sell soap ads?
  • Why do some stories go missing from a lineup?

Unfortunately, I could go on.  In fact, I will – on January 10th!

 

Irving Labovitz, J.D.

Irving Labovitz, J.D.

Current Contentious and Confusing Legal Battles

# W8R1

Thursdays – Jan 16, 23, 30; Feb 6, 13, 27; Mar 5, 12

2:30 – 4:00 p.m. (begins at 2:00 p.m. on Jan 16)

 

If you think the Winter semester will be boring…think again. It appears likely that the Supreme Court may be stressed with emergency appeals by both the Trump administration and the President individually, or by Democratic-based challengers, depending on the  lower court “winners”,  in imminent or pending early litigation involving: the Emoluments Clause; the President’s financial records and tax returns; Congressional subpoenas of Special Counsel Mueller’s Grand Jury testimony and exhibits; Congressional subpoenas demanding testimony of pivotal members of the Trump administration and related parties; Trump Organization records as to monies paid to alleged paramours of the President; and a multitude of additional equally “hot button” issues.

All legal and constitutional “roads appear to now lead” to a prospective impeachment effort by the House and any follow-on trial before the Senate.

‘You could not make this stuff up’!

As Mr. Spock would likely say…”I invite you to join my OSHER students to go where no class has gone before”.

 

Margery Marcus, Ed.D.

Margery Marcus, Ed.D.

Royals Who Rocked the World: From the Tudors to the Windsors

# WPM1

Monday, January 1

11:30 – 1:00 p.m.

 

Please don’t tell Queen Elizabeth II that her claim to the British throne may be in question.  Her distant ancestor Henry VII may have been the culprit who murdered the rightful heirs to take the throne for himself. Even if it has never been proven, it is fun to consider. And while we are considering the role of the Tudors in English history, don’t forget the great passion of Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn which changed the religion of the entire country.

While the Tudor line ended with Elizabeth I, the Stuart heirs had their own issues (a beheading for one thing).  Next, the German House of Hanover gave England five Georges, one who lost the American colonies, and one who changed the family name to Windsor.

No rest for the newly minted Windsors though. They have dealt with an abdication, WW II, messy love affairs, divorces, deaths, Brexit and Boris.

Join me for a look at 500 years of British royalty from Henry VII through baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the newest royal. I tell their family secrets!

 

Neil Katz, Ph.D.

Neil Katz, Ph.D.

Emotional Intelligence: Grow older; Grow wiser; Lead by example

# W1M2

Monday, January 27

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

 

Do you want to give a lasting free gift to your children and grandchildren that will pay dividends every day of their life?  Educate them about the importance and skills in emotional intelligence!!!  Studies show that our baby boomer generation has much more emotional intelligence than the younger folks of today who spend most of their life on the computer and smart phones.  This entertaining lecture, heavily populated with illuminating film clips and stories, will make you feel better about yourself and your age, and give you critical information to pass on to your loved ones.

 

Yoko Kothari

Yoko Kothari

Piano Music by Beethoven and His Followers: Chopin and Liszt

# WNS1

Saturday, January 25

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

 

Happy 250th Birth Year, Beethoven!

Beethoven is one of the most influential composers in history. Nearly all subsequent developments in classical music owe something to his work. He composed incredible amount of music in his 57 years of life; 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 16 string quartets, 32 piano sonatas, to name a few. By the middle of his life he was almost totally deaf and had yet to produce his most profound works.

Celebrating his 250th birth anniversary year in 2020, this program features the piano music by Beethoven including his famous Moonlight Sonata, as well as music by Chopin and Liszt, who were inspired and influenced by Beethoven.

 

Stephen Kowel, Ph.D.

Stephen Kowel, Ph.D.

Electricity Wars: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and Marconi

# W1R6

Thursday, January 30

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

 

Who invented radio? The Russians credit Popov, the Italians and most Americans celebrate Marconi, the British hailed Lodge, but the US Supreme Court decided that Nicola Tesla actually invented radio. Sadly, Tesla died months before their decision.

Marconi gained the upper hand and became the dominant entrepreneur in radio by being the first to install his wireless stations on ships, resulting in miraculous rescues, most notably, the Titanic sinking, where more than 700 people were saved by ships alerted by Marconi wireless. (Ironically, Marconi and his family were scheduled to sail on the Titanic, cancelling at the very last minute.) A sensational British murder case of the day involved a Scotland Yard detective who raced across the Atlantic to intercept the perpetrator on another ship, with the entire chase managed by wireless.

Thomas Edison made sure that the first electric chair was powered by alternating current, hoping that the first grisly electrocution would convince the public that AC was too dangerous for general use. He even arranged public electrocutions of small animals to demonstrate the great threat posed by AC. In a last-ditch effort, Edison’s company, by then known as General Electric, actually filmed the dispatch of a grown elephant at Coney Island.

How ironic that today so many of our household implements, including LED lighting, computers, televisions, cell phones, alarms, and all battery-powered appliances, run on direct current. Today, electric automobiles running on batteries are gaining traction (pun intended).  So we have to convert AC to DC in every room.

 

Robert Milne

Robert Milne

The Saloon Piano Player Forum: Play or Perish

# WPS1

Saturday, January 11

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

 

Ragtime: it was that “o-la-la” and “kick-up-your-heels” music that transformed America from stuffy concert halls to “Oh-you kid!” and was literally considered to be “shameless music with jungle instincts” by the high-society swells. Everyone loved it, and that’s exactly why the syncopated rhythms rolled over the naysayers like an uncaged tiger on the dance floor.

“But it’s the music of the devil!” screamed the ministers, which only added fuel to the “devil be damned!” attitudes that gave new life to moderate girl, now unleashed and uncensored to do what she liked. “Where is she?” wondered her parents, but everyone knew where she was. She was out dancing somewhere.

Who were these guys that played it? Keyboard maestros smoking cigars emerged in every corner saloon across the continent, wearing pin-striped shirts, stick-pin ties and boaters, and the dance was on. Nothing could stop them from playing it, not even the wrathful warnings coming from concert pianists in top conservatories who proclaimed that “ragtime is filth!” could impede its spread. For ragtime was here now, and it changed America’s musical landscape forever.

Bob Milne is one of the last holdovers from the saloon piano days, having played twenty-five years in barrooms and emporiums before becoming one of the most sought-after concert pianists of our day. His playing and stories of the era will fascinate you.

 

Benito Rakower, Ed.D.

Benito Rakower, Ed.D.

The Isolating Dilemmas of Life in Film

# W8F3

Fridays – Jan 17, 24, 31; Feb 7, 14, 21, 28; Mar 6

1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

 

The films in this course deal with a problem first noticed in the Modern world that began in the 1920s – some say 1922.  The long-established beliefs about the world, society and relationships were challenged in art, literature, and even physics.  To be ever new and current, film had to depict this situation where the familiar world was becoming totally out of sorts.

The films in this course have a strangeness that comes from situations in which “there are no rules.”  In Ride the Pink Horse – 1947 – Robert Montgomery goes to a New Mexico border town to find out what happened to his pal after the War.  He finds a place whose surface ordinariness conceals a world so compromised and cynical that it he misses the meaning of the one seemingly innocent and kind relationship he has.  A young Mexican girl tries to help him.  He never understands why.  When the audience does understand, it is as though we know nothing about human motivation.  One of the truly great, American noir films that has been dormant for decades until recent re-discovery.

In differing ways, each of these films explores this theme.  Don’t Look Now, with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland, examines a good and successful marriage beset by an incomprehensible event.

 

Robert Wyatt

Robert Wyatt

Judy Garland: Climbing Over the Rainbow

# WPF2

Friday, January 10

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

 

Enjoy your fantasies and remembrances as American music specialist Robert Wyatt takes you through Garland’s extraordinary life. Film clips will be abundant, starting with The Broadway Melody of 1938 and moving through 1944 blockbuster Meet Me in St. Louis, The Harvey Girls, Cole Porter’s gem-ridden The Pirate of 1948 and the sizzling A Star is Born, the 1954 masterwork which became her last bravura film. TV specials like the 1962 The Judy Garland Show with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, the specials that featured Robert Goulet still basking from Camelot, and of course, the prized duos with daughter Liza Minnelli, will stimulate your evening.

 

Harvey Granat

Harvey Granat

Academy Award Winning Songs When You Could Still Sing Them

# W1RO

Thursday, February 6

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

 

Did you ever wonder what ever happened to the great Academy Award winning songs we loved and sang over and over? I thought it would make for an interesting program to take the audience through the highlights of those good times and good songs through live performance and rare video clips of some of our greatest entertainers. We all like to sing along and there will be plenty of opportunity to do so.  Of course, we’ll also look at when and why it changed and where is it likely to go!

 

Harvey Granat

The Golden Age of Broadway Part 3

# W4W4

Wednesdays – Feb 12, 19, 26; Mar 4

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

 

I have enormous respect for the people who created The American Songbook and have had the opportunity to do programs on these 4 greats, interviewing people closely associated with them.  This gives me the chance to present unique programs sharing stories audiences have rarely heard along with the great songs.

I discussed Harold Arlen with his biographer, Andy Propst and followed his career from singing in the synagogue where his father was the cantor to writing some of our most memorable songs.

I did 2 programs with Marvin Hamlisch’s widow and she told me stories about him that I will never forget; from his touring with Streisand, his entertaining 4 Presidents and his great deeds of humanity.

My Musical Director in New York is the son of Dorothy Fields. So, you can imagine the wonderful things I’ve learned about this extraordinary songwriter who was the first woman to win an Academy Award.

I produced Sammy Cahn on Broadway and through my friendship with him was able to observe the genius at work and appreciate the talent that led to 4 Academy Awards.

I want to share all these experiences with my audiences at FAU and take them “behind the scenes” of our great American musical heritage.

 

Mark C. Schug, Ph.D.

Mark C. Schug, Ph.D.

Economic Episodes in American History: An Economic Analysis of Key Events in America’s Past

# W4M3

Mondays – Feb 17, 24; Mar 2, 9

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

 

A historian’s primary obligation is to help people today understand the past in the way that the people of the past saw it.  We know how things turned out and that knowledge can drain the drama out of historical stories.  The final outcome – the Americans and our Allies won World War II – seems inevitable.

But nothing is evitable.  At all times, the people of the past were facing choices with limited information.  It was their present.  Imagine how separating from Great Britain must have appeared to people at the time.  The British were the strongest military power of the age.  They had boots on the ground, a mighty navy, and an immense war chest. The Americans had an inexperienced, underfunded, ragtag army.  The outcome of the war was anything but certain. And yet, they defeated the mighty British.   The world turned upside down.  How could that happen?

The American Revolution lecture titled: Why Did the American Colonists Fight When They Were Safe, Prosperous, and Free? is set for February 17, 2020 at 12:00 noon.  It will be followed by three others with connections to today:

  1. Were the Robber Barons Really Robbers or Barons? (Google and Amazon today?)
  2. Who Desegregated Major League Baseball: Jackie Robinson or Adam Smith? (Race and capitalism today)
  3. What Insights Does Economics Provide to Immigration in the United States? Implications for Today

I sure hope you will join us and gain some new insights into our rich heritage.

 

René Silvin

René Silvin

All That Glitters Is Not Gold: The Perils of Being Too Rich

# W1RC

Thursday, February 27

10:30 – 12:00 p.m.

 

It is easy to believe that the very wealthy, who may appear fascinating and enviable on the surface, also have peaceful, happy lives. However, the February 27 class will have a closer, more intimate look at 6 extremely wealthy women who had tragic lives and lonely deaths. To authentically illustrate these sensational yet tragic stories, I use dozens of glamorous pictures, newsreels and clips from movies and documentaries.

I will strive to make the presentation entertaining and informative while revealing personal anecdotes about Ann Woodward, Christina Onassis, Barbara Hutton and Gigi Jordan; all of whom I knew well. The story cannot be told without also including Leona Helmsley and Sunny von Bülow. Together these 6 ladies definitely prove all that glitters is not gold.

 

Gary Wiren, Ph.D.

Gary Wiren, Ph.D.

Golf’s Most Interesting Characters Throughout the Game’s History

# W1RD

Thursday, March 5

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

 

The stories about the game’s greatest players–Vardon, Hagen, Jones, Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, and “Tiger”, and others have often been told and are known even by the general public.  But what about golf’s real “characters,” the ones who may have performed incredible feats or done strange things, overcome great odds, or were just plain weird yet quite interesting.  Yes, the sometimes thought to be staid game of golf has attracted individuals who have taken the expected behavior of the game and turned it upside down, often in a very funny way.  Others had more sad results.  Expect to hear stories about some people you never knew existed.  You will be surprised!

At the conclusion I will share my five most important tips in 60 years of teaching, followed by Q&A.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Conversation with David Head, Ph.D.

This fall semester David Head, Ph.D., will present his second lecture at OLLI Jupiter titled “George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy: How the General Rescued the American Revolution in the War’s Waning Days,” on Monday, November 25 at 12:00 p.m.  Professor Head teaches history at the University of Central Florida and is the author of “Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic” (University of Georgia Press, 2015) and the editor of “Encyclopedia of the Atlantic World” (ABC-CLIO, 2017) and “The Golden Age of Piracy: The Rise, Fall, and Enduring Popularity of Pirates” (Georgia, 2018). His new book about George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy and the end of the American Revolution, will be available during his lecture.  We look forward to Professor Head’s upcoming lecture and are excited to have him back with us.

Dr. David Head

What inspires you about your current research?

I love having the opportunity to get to know the people I study. Some of them are already well-known, such as George Washington. Others deserve to be better known, such as Robert Morris, the Superintendent of Finance, a government position before the Constitution that was analogous to treasury secretary and president combined. Still others are justifiably obscure, but it’s no less meaningful to root around in their papers, getting to know them. For example, my new book talks about a young lieutenant named Benjamin Gilbert of Massachusetts. He kept a diary and included entries on his…let’s say, his not entirely wholesome ways of alleviating boredom in camp. He didn’t change the outcome of the war. But it’s such a privilege to learn about someone’s life from the distance of so many years. I love it!

 

What do you think students will enjoy most about your lecture on George Washington?

Students will be amazed how close the Revolution came to collapsing even after the Americans won the war’s last real battle with a decisive victory at Yorktown in October 1781. The peace treaty wasn’t finalized for another two years, and in the meantime, fiscal problems crushed the new nation while suspicions between soldiers and civilians burst into the open. The American Revolution was a glorious victory for the glorious cause–in the long run. But at the moment, the war’s ending was far from happily ever after. Now, that sounds a bit dark, so cheer up: I’ll also have jokes about George Washington, who was hilarious when he was frustrated, which he often was when dealing with troublesome officers, slow-moving politicians, and soldiers who refused to behave according to his lofty expectations.

 

What attracted you to teach for OLLI at FAU?

I love sharing my research with people outside a formal university setting. UCF is an enormous school, and I teach a lot of students. Sometimes, the routine of lecturing and grading wears on me, so I find it rejuvenating to talk to people with a genuine passion for history. Lifelong learners are the best! They never ask if something will be on the test or complain about grades.

 

Tell us something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you.

I really enjoy the movie The Little Mermaid. My kids have been watching it a lot this summer, sometimes twice a day, and although at first it seemed a bit much, I love putting it on for them. My daughters, ages two and four, wear their Ariel costumes. It’s so cute! My favorite character is King Triton. I’ve started developing elaborate theories about the under-the-sea-world’s political system. Like: Ariel has six sisters and none of them are married, but the king doesn’t seem concerned. Does rule pass to daughters and not just sons? These are the things you start to wonder on the twentieth viewing.

 

Please go to https://www.fau.edu/osherjupiter/ to register.  A book signing of Dr. Head’s new book, “George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy,” will follow the lecture.

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A Conversation with Minx Boren, M.C.C.

This fall semester Minx Boren, M.C.C., will present a four-week course titled “Your Memories, Wisdom and Blessings,” on Tuesdays beginning November 12 at 2:15 p.m. Minx is a Master Certified Coach Credentialed through the International Coach Federation. She is a lifelong journal-keeper, author of four books of poetry, co-author of eight books for women and has had two books published by Blue Mountain Arts: “Healing Is a Journey” and “Friendship Is a Journey.” Since 1994, she has been designing, developing and facilitating innovative programs that support health and balance, reflection and achievement. Minx shared with us the things that inspire her and why she wanted to share her expertise in journaling with OLLI members. We are excited to have Minx teach for us this semester, and we look forward to upcoming lectures and courses in the future.

Minx Boren, M.C.C.What attracted you to teach for OLLI at FAU?

I have been taking classes – in music, politics, literature, art and so much more- at Lifelong Learning since it first opened. I want to be able to contribute to this wonderful initiative that supports and enriches the lives of so many.

 

What inspires you?

Human initiative and ingenuity and creativity and determination all inspire me. In the midst of all too many doom and gloom concerns about the state of the world, what gives me hope every day are the millions of possibilities, many in the infinite realms of what we don’t yet even know we don’t know, that might yet be possible.

Positive Time Zone

To Date, what Professional Achievement are you most proud of?

There are three that tie for first place: serving on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation of Florida since 2007. Being a 2013 recipient of the Giraffe Award – presented by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce to women who “stick their neck out for others.” Serving as president of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches in 2013-14.

Minx at Kanta Elephant Camp

What do you think students will enjoy most about your topic?

As we grow older, our lives become more and more rich with experience, memories, wisdom, and blessings. Taking the time to name and reflect upon the fullness of our years can shift our outlook about past, present, and future to a more abundantly gratifying (and useful) perspective.

 

Minx Boren will be teaching a 4-week course “Your Memories, Wisdom and Blessings: Chronicling Life Moments” starting Thursday, November 12 at 2:15 p.m.  Registration is limited to 30 students so please register early.

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A Conversation With Gary from Palm Beach Dramaworks

Gary Cadwallader

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute students are my favorite students.  Our goal with Dramawise classes at OLLI Jupiter is to unlock the mysteries of performance literature, to examine the story arc and characters for universality, and to discover how a play, no matter when it was written, might still speak to humanity today.  PBD prides itself on presenting the best dramas possible, with the best designers and actors. We extend that passion to Dramawise, examining all facets of our season productions. The Dramawise class is an opportunity to learn and express insight into not only the story itself, but how the story might shed light on who we are as human beings. Storytelling is the core of humanity, and good literature holds a mirror up to society. I am constantly amazed by OLLI students and their astute observations about the play’s conflict and character relationships.  OLLI students are well-educated and eager to learn as much as possible about the play, the playwright, and the universal connections the play makes, while bringing their own real-world experiences to the discussion.

For this season, I am excited about all of our productions, but I’m most excited about two productions, Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and the musical A Light in the Piazza. Streetcar is one of the penultimate classics of the 20th century and important in the pantheon of great American literature.  There is so much to unpack in this play: class, culture, and power, to start.  A Light in the Piazza is probably on the most underrated musicals of the last 15 years.  While it won 6 Tony Awards, it is rarely produced due to its challenging score.  I look forward to discussing with OLLI students both the story (based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer) and the dazzling music. Even more interesting is the fascinating life of Piazza’s composer Adam Guettel, grandson of musical legend Richard Rodgers and son of Mary Rodgers, who wrote Once Upon a Mattress.  I think our Dramawise discussions will be vibrant!

I look forward to my return to OLLI Jupiter this season and sharing insights and conversation with knowledge-driven students!


Be sure to check out Dramawise’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” on Wednesday, October 16 at 2:15 p.m.  Tickets are $20/member; $20/non-member.

Posted in Uncategorized

African Adventure

This summer, longtime OLLI Advisory Board Member Lisa Troute participated in an amazing African safari adventure.  We enjoy hearing about spectacular travels from our OLLI students and wanted to share Lisa’s journey.

By: Lisa Troute, OLLI Advisory Board Member

Africa!  The Dark Continent, full of mystery and wonder, and so alluring.  I responded to that allure in August, beginning my journey with Odysseys Unlimited Tours in Johannesburg, South Africa.  “Joburg,” as it is known, is called the “City of Gold,” after the gold rush they had there.  It is South Africa’s largest and most diverse metropolis and is now a bustling travel destination.

There were 20 in our group, and we toured Johannesburg’s infamous district of Soweto. Originally a collection of townships established by segregationists in the early 20th century to house black laborers, the “Southwest Townships” (from which the “Soweto” acronym derived) were the site of some of South Africa’s most visible and violent anti-apartheid riots. After decades of civil unrest, and the eventual repeal of apartheid in the late 1990s, Soweto has now turned into a sprawling residential area with dwellings ranging from crude corrugated metal structures with rocks to hold down roofs, to brick and mortar homes. There we saw the home of former Archbishop Desmond Tutu and visited Nelson Mandela’s home, now a museum.  It still bore scars from the Molotov cocktails that had been thrown at it.

We also visited the Hector Pieterson Memorial & Museum – a monument to the Soweto uprising which figured prominently in the struggle against apartheid. It was here that 13-year-old Hector was among those young students shot and killed in June, 1976 while protesting the government’s order that school instruction be delivered in Afrikaans despite the fact that most teachers weren’t comfortable with that language. We met a local Sowetan, Antoinette, Hector’s sister, and listened to her personal stories, both of her participation in the Soweto uprising and death of her brother, and of what life is like today in this township. It seems that even the mourners attending the funerals of those slain in 1976 were shot at (and some were killed) during graveside services for their loved ones.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

A flight brought us to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and our historic hotel, The Victoria Falls Hotel, built by the British in 1904, and where the people from Downton Abbey would have felt quite at home.  The hotel sits less than two miles from the mighty Victoria Falls. The entire town was built to the support the hotel, and grew from there into a tourist destination. Victoria Falls, called “the smoke that thunders” by the natives, was first encountered in 1855 by explorer David Livingstone. As the first European said to have set eyes on the falls, Livingstone immediately claimed them for Britain’s Queen Victoria. With its 300-foot deep gorge and thundering spray, “Vic” Falls is a wonder of the natural world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the world’s largest waterfall.

Black rhino

From Vic Falls we had our first game drive in an open-sided safari vehicle in search of the highly endangered black rhinos. With our guide, we spotted many animals before seeing the elusive black rhino who didn’t appear to be a bit afraid of our safari vehicles.  Later that day, we embarked on a “sundowner” cruise on the upper Zambezi River, where, as the sun set, we looked for wildlife along the river’s banks and enjoyed an excellent dinner and spectacular sunset on board our boat.

Another day we traveled by bus to a local grade school, where we met with teachers and students who treated us to a performance of traditional music and dance, and gave us a tour. Our tour director facilitated the donation of school supplies and books we had all brought to give to the school.  Later, I took an optional helicopter ride over Victoria Falls. It was exciting, wonderful and memorable.

Elephants

Some of us also went on an Elephant Encounter on a protected preserve of 5,000 acres. The elephants there had been used to give rides or used for farming, and were being “rehabilitated’ to someday return to the wild. We rode in a safari vehicle, walked thru brush, then came upon the elephants while a guide stood by. There was also a man with a gun in case it became necessary to scare off other wildlife by shooting into the air, or to shoot a poacher. These wildlife preservationists take poaching seriously!

Then we were on to Botswana, where we checked into the beautiful Chobe Lodge.  Outside our room was a warthog and his mate, and monkeys were all around!  Later, we took an afternoon boat safari on the Chobe River, where we encountered hippos, crocs, giraffes, water buffalo, impalas, some of the park’s 450 species of birds, and dozens of elephants that roamed the shoreline.

Zebra

Chobe National Park boasts one of the largest concentrations of game in all of Africa.  Located near the meeting of four countries (Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe), Chobe covers 4,500 square miles of protected parkland. Its diverse terrain attracts an exceptional array of wildlife, including the world’s largest elephant population (some 90,000-120,000 elephants call Chobe home), zebra, lion, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, and buffalo, as well as a wide variety of birds. Near the end of our morning’s safari we saw a pride of lions. The “roads” in the park are merely the tire tracks of other safari vehicles, and they are very dusty.

Village in Namibia, house made of termite mound mud

One morning we had the opportunity to take an excursion into the neighboring country of Namibia to visit a village there.  Namibia is the second least densely populated country in the world, having just over two million people living in a vast area the size of Germany and France combined.

A local guide met us.  There was red dirt (iron) everywhere because of the severe drought they are having. Homes were built of termite mound mud, and the people in the village were primarily grandparents and small children because the working age adults and school age children were at work or school, which could mean weeks at a stretch away from their families because they have to travel so far. There were cattle and goats being tended by the few men, and some women making baskets and things to sell. No one seemed to mind that we were walking about and taking photos because the money we spent on baskets was their income.

The girls in this culture are especially important because their husbands, the sons-in-law, are the ones who take care of the girl’s parents. The sons will one day take care of their wives’ parents, and move to their village.  The men get their “growing up” advice from their uncles or, if none are available, from other village males, not from their parents.  Communities are strong.

There was a huge baobab tree in the village, and the people believe that it has medicinal properties. New babies are bathed to the neck in the ash of the baobab fruit for good health, but the head is never bathed in this ash because they don’t want the kids to get hydrocephalus. I’m not sure there is a scientific basis for this, but it is interesting.

After leaving Chobe, we went by coach to the Livingstone Airport where we boarded our privately chartered aircraft for the one-hour flight to the landing strip of the Royal Zambezi Lodge, adjacent to Lower Zambezi National Park. We had to be careful not to take more than 33 lbs of luggage aboard the plane, which is the only way to get to the Royal Zambezi Lodge unless we wanted to drive for many hours on dusty, unpaved roads.

Zambia’s 1,600 square mile Lower Zambezi National Park is one of the last stretches of pristine wilderness in all Africa – and as a place where our safari guides could drive off-road and get us up close to the animals. With the Zambezi River, abundant game on the valley floor, and the Zambezi Escarpment as a backdrop, the Lower Zambezi National Park offered a dramatic setting for game viewing, as did our lodge, where animals roamed freely on the grounds.

Lion

The southern end of Zambia is known for its 100-strong elephant herds, unusually large prides of lions, plus buffalo, water-buck, antelope, impala, crocodile, hippo, kudu, wart-hog, eland, and leopard, among other wildlife; and where ebonies, hardwoods, figs, and acacias preside over the mineral-rich grassland. The Lower Zambezi National Park forms a massive sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage site where we enjoyed unparalleled game and bird viewing – and rarely saw other safari-goers. We watched as game wandered along the floodplain or submerged in water just feet from our safari vehicles.

Leopard

Here we were “glamping,” with tent-like accommodations that had screen sides with roll down canvas. We were given stern warnings not to exit our cabins at night unless we called for an escort because of the elephants, hippos, baboons, monkeys and other animals in whose presence we were dwelling.

One afternoon we took a motorboat safari and saw crocs, hippos, elephants, and more.

Giraffes

Each evening we dined family style outdoors under the full moon on the deck of the main lodge. We heard an elephant next to our cabin, and hippos bellowed all night, just yards away. I loved it all!  Such a special place.

We saw a water buffalo carcass, and nearby were two lions, a young male and a female.  We furiously snapped photos as they ambled to the river from their feast, drank, then casually walked past our jeep, relieved themselves, and disappeared into the tall grasses for a nap.  What a thrill!

Termite mound

Our afternoon game drive was even more exciting that the morning one.  Our guide stopped to change a tire.  While he did that, the ladies in the group actually lined up to go behind a large termite mound—otherwise known as a bush toilet!  Following that, the guide spotted a worried baboon and took that as a sign to drive off road and up a rocky hill. Then we saw an elusive leopard.  That was so awesome!  Once again, cameras were clicking!!

Another morning I went on a bush walk. We rode a safari Jeep to a waterhole, and walked from there, with an armed guard (who would fire into the air just in case some animal needed to be chased away) while our guide explained the tracks we saw. We saw elephant tracks and where an elephant had slept overnight. We saw the tracks of impala and zebras, and learned whose droppings were whose. We saw zebras and many other animals, learned about the healing qualities of some plants, about the rocks in the dry riverbed, and more. It felt good to begin to understand this part of nature and be part of it. That night, as I lay in bed listening to the calls of the wild animals, I realized that I’d never before felt such peace and contentment. It was a blissful feeling that I will always remember.

Gondola going up Table Mountain, Cape Town

Cape Town, our final stop, is on the southern tip of South Africa, and is the most popular destination in Africa.  We began our explorations at Table Mountain, and rode a cable car up 3,500 feet to the summit for phenomenal views of Cape Town.  The cable car rotates as it ascends, so wherever you stand, you get to see all views.  Water used on top of Table Mountain is carried up in tanks under the cable cars, and helps stabilize the cars in the wind.  Wastewater is similarly transported down the mountain.

African penguins

From there, we rode along Chapman Peak Drive, an engineering feat because it runs along scenic False Bay and parts have literally been blasted out of rock, then continued on to Boulders Beach, where we visited a unique colony of African penguins. From one pair introduced here in 1982, about 3,000 penguins now make their home at Boulders.

On top of Table Mountain with Cape Town below

Cape Point Nature Reserve, comprising 19,000 acres of protected parkland, was our next stop. Here near this unspoiled peninsula, the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet, mountains drop to the sea, unique flora thrives, and bird life flourishes. A funicular took us to the summit of the Nature Reserve for a stupendous view of the meeting of the oceans.  There was a lighthouse, and I climbed up to it, but it was so windy that I was literally blown against a wall!  I took a couple quick photos and made my way back down to the funicular.

Our next excursion that day was to the Cape of Good Hope where we saw 3 ostriches, a male and two females, just walking casually along the road!

Our last day in Cape Town included the historic Malay Quarter with cobblestone streets, brightly colored buildings, and Islamic-tinged flourishes.  Then it was on to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, considered among the finest in the world. Cutting a swath across one thousand acres on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the property was bequeathed to South Africa by wealthy industrialist Cecil Rhodes upon his death in 1902. The gardens planted here are almost exclusively devoted to the indigenous plants of South Africa, approximately 9,000 of the nation’s 22,000 species.  We marveled at the many varieties of protea, South Africa’s national flower.

We also explored the Cape Winelands region, which has been producing wine since 1679. South Africa ranks among the finest wine- producing countries in the world – and some of its best vineyards are just 45 miles from Cape Town.  We stopped at a winery for a visit and wine tasting for our final excursion in Africa.

Despite the very l-o-n-g flights, it was an amazing trip, and one I will always remember with wonder and happiness.

Sunset behind baobab tree

Posted in Uncategorized

Jewish-Christian Dialogue at OLLI Jupiter

Paul Mojzes, Ph.D. (left) and Alan L. Berger, Ph.D. (right)

This fall, Paul Mojzes, Ph.D. and Alan L. Berger, Ph.D. will embark on a four-week conversation on Jews and Christians exploring aspects of this complex changing asymmetrical relationship with the major emphasis on how it was impacted by the Holocaust.

They will examine various theological reflections about the meaning of the Holocaust and other genocides and their effect on post-Holocaust religious reflections and behavior.

The topics that this course will cover includes the following:

  • From enmity and tragic persecution to mutual respect and cooperation
  • Impact of the Enlightenment and the Holocaust
  • Post-Holocaust theological responses to the Holocaust
  • Current challenges to Jewish-Christian relations in the age of nationalism

Dr. Mojzes is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Rosemont College, PA, where served as Provost and Academic Dean. He also taught in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies doctoral program at Gratz College, PA. He is a native of Yugoslavia, where he studied at Belgrade University Law School.

Dr. Berger is the Raddock Family Eminent Scholar Chair of the Holocaust Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies at FAU where he directs the Center of the Study of Values and Violence After Auschwitz.

Did you know that FAU has a Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education? To learn more about the 2019-2020 events occurring at the center, click here.

“Jewish-Christian Dialogue” will be held on Tuesdays starting October 15, 2019 at 2:15 p.m.  To sign up for the four-week course, click here.

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Welcome Back!

Welcome back OLLI members!

The time has arrived to get out your calendar and register for all of the exciting upcoming lectures and course for the 2019 fall semester! We hope that your summer has been filled with fun activities while enjoying the wonderful sunshine.  How quickly summer concludes and our thoughts turn to preparing for the start of a new academic year.  This is always one of our favorite times of the year! We at OLLI love the excitement of beginning each new school year and eagerly await welcoming our students and hearing their great summer stories. We are thrilled to be part of a team comprised of instructors, staff, volunteers and students who want to provide you with the best OLLI program!

Below is a preview of some of our fall lectures and courses. We hope that you like our fall semester selection, and we eagerly wait to welcome you to another wonderful school year!

Fall registration is now open. Click here to register.

Minx Boren, M.C.C.

Minx Boren, M.C.C.
“Chronicling Life Moments: Memories, Wisdom, and Blessings”
# F4T2
Tuesdays – November 12, 19; December 3, 10
2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

I am a lifelong journal-keeper and a stand up and cheer advocate of the joys and benefits of making use of pen and paper to discover oneself on the page. My intention for the course I will be presenting this fall – Chronicling Life Moments: Memories, Wisdom, and Blessings is to offer participants various ways of looking back (and then forward) at their lives.

In the book, Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne, the French writer Colette is quoted as having said just before she died in 1954: “What a beautiful life I’ve had. It’s a pity I didn’t notice it sooner.” I find this statement riveting and a call to action. Using various tools and templates, coupled with the research from Positive Psychology on what it means to live a fulfilling life, the focus of this workshop series will be to encourage attendees to recognize and celebrate the beauty of their own lives while also considering how they might want to shape the years ahead.

Bert Diament, Ph.D.

Bert Diament, Ph.D.
“The Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships: Dealing With Difficult Relatives And Other People Who Stress You Out”
# F1T4
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

One neighbor confronts another: “Who the hell do you think you are?!!! Are you blind?!!! Can’t you see there is a line here?!!! Get on the line like everyone else!!!”

Especially if the “line breaker” was not aware of having transgressed the fundamental rule of waiting one’s turn, this confrontation is experienced as unjustified, provocative and insulting.

At this point, both parties are emotionally aroused and have a similar physiological reaction as our prehistoric ancestors did when they perceived that if they did not take action they were about to become breakfast for a saber-toothed tiger. Or, more germane, these modern characters in our drama are experiencing a similar confrontation as did their Neanderthal ancestors:  Alfonse from one clan believing that Cyril from another clan was invading his territory to steal Suzette, his favorite, when in fact, Cyril just took a wrong turn in the forest.

If the accused raises the ante with a response such as “You really should not get off your antipsychotic medication!!” or, “Is this the way your mother spoke to your father?” or perhaps even worse by using the “F” word, the adversarial hostile interchange between these two individuals, who presumably went to kindergarten and “know better”, would probably escalate and result in reacting as two Neanderthals trying to kill each other.

This lecture will explain how a physiological vestige of an ancient warning system, designed to protect our ancestors from physical harm often sets off a false alarm when there is no real physical danger, and what we can do to mitigate the arousal of our emotional reactions and behave appropriately, as we learned to do in kindergarten.

Ronald Feinman, Ph.D.

Ronald Feinman, Ph.D.
“Five First Ladies Who Had an Impact on American History”
# F1M3
Monday, December 16, 2019
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Five modern First Ladies had an impact on American history during their husbands’ Presidencies and are worthy of attention.  We will examine the following five First Ladies:

  • Eleanor Roosevelt 1933-1945
  • Jacqueline Kennedy 1961-1963
  • Betty Ford 1974-1977
  • Nancy Reagan 1981-1989
  • Barbara Bush 1989-1993

We will examine the major impact of Eleanor Roosevelt, regarded by scholars as the greatest First Lady.

We will examine the cultural and popular impact of Jacqueline Kennedy, often seen as the most glamorous First Lady.

We will examine the major role of Betty Ford on social issues in her time, both medical and personal.

We will examine the role that Nancy Reagan had on her husband, Ronald Reagan, in both domestic and foreign policy.

We will examine the role of Barbara Bush as the partner of her husband, George H. W. Bush, and her impact also on her son, future President George W. Bush.

David Head, Ph.D.

David Head, Ph.D.
“George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy: How the General Rescued the American Revolution in the War’s Waning Days”
# F1M1
Monday, November 25
12:00 – 1:30 P.M.

The American Revolution didn’t end with the last major battle–the British surrender at Yorktown in October 1781. It stretched for another two painful years of political gridlock, near fiscal collapse, and poisonous relations between civilians and the army.

The presentation tells the story of the war’s final days through a mysterious event known as the Newburgh Conspiracy, when Continental Army officers, disgruntled by a lack of pay and pensions, may have collaborated with nationalist-minded politicians such as Alexander Hamilton to pressure Congress and the states to approve new taxes and strengthen the central government. In the midst of crisis, Washington stepped forward to rescue the Revolution with a speech–and a little help from a pair of new glasses.

Drawing from his soon-to-be-published book, A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution, Dr. David Head delivers a fun and informative picture of how the Revolution almost failed just as it was won.

 

Matt Klauza, Ph.D.

Matt Klauza, Ph.D.
“The Interesting and Tragic Life of Mark Twain”
# F1T1
Tuesday, October 15
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

“The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” Mark Twain, Following the Equator’

Mark Twain was America’s funny-man.  He was able to make entire audiences roar with laughter.  Most people don’t know it, but the real life of Mark Twain (real name: Samuel Clemens) was filled with sorrow from seemingly constant tragedies.  However, somehow, he maintained a comic voice in the literature he produced.

I hope that you’ll join me to explore the tragedies—and the joys—of the life of Mark Twain.

Stephen Kowel, Ph.D.

Stephen Kowel, Ph.D.
“Cyber Insecurity: Attack by Internet”
# F1R2
Thursday, November 7
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Maersk, a major international logistics firm, and Sony, a major entertainment conglomerate, both highly sophisticated companies, have suffered major cyber-attacks. The attack on Maersk, in 2018, that disrupted much of the world’s container shipping for a week, was an unintentional result of Russian efforts to intimidate Ukraine. The attack on Sony, in 2014, that aired volumes of private files and stole movie masters, appears to be retribution for a film deemed disrespectful of the leader of North Korea.

Every one of us is under attack. Unlike other forms of criminal activity, these attacks, even continuing for extended periods, usually go unseen, even after the damage is done. Repair is almost impossible. Hospitals must pay to ransom their files, bank accounts are pillaged, identities stolen. Can our cars be hacked?

As a nation, we must ask serious questions. When is a cyber-attack an act of war? (Is the attack on Google just Google’s problem?) Is it necessary to install trap doors and destructive bots on foreign servers? If we find them on our military servers, should we remove them, revealing that we know how to find them? The implications of a planet connected by the Internet are profound and raise troubling questions about privacy and security never faced before.

Irving Labovitz, J.D.

Irving Labovitz, J.D.
“OBJECTION! Current Contentious and Confusing Legal Battles”
# F6R1 (Full 8 Weeks) # F4R2 (Last 4 Weeks)
Thursdays – October 17, 24, 31; November 7, 14, 21
2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

No Summer doldrums for the Constitution or for the Federal judges tasked to enforce its protections.  Even as I hibernate until awakening in the Fall the conflicts mount.  Will our 2020 census be permitted to inquire into the US citizenship of those being surveyed even though the Constitution unambiguously mandates that only ‘persons’ be counted?  If future gerrymandering litigation re-focuses on alleged violations of Constitutionally protected racial rights as opposed to testing historically partisanship efforts to retain House seats for the state party in power will it reopen viability notwithstanding a recent adverse decision of the Supreme Court.

And what will be the persuasion of the plethora of newly minted Federal judges hurriedly approved by the Senate over the past several months?  Am I better off sleeping through the forthcoming Fall semester?   No, if for no other reason than the optimism provided to me by learned Osher students.

Margery Marcus, Ed.D.

Margery Marcus, Ed.D.
“The Power and Poetry of the Great Greek Tragedians”
# F1R3
Thursday, November 21
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Looking at the title of my lecture, I realize it now it is quite a mouthful. I may have overdone the verbiage in trying to capture the gifts left to us by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, but I did not overstate their talents. The roots of Greek drama run right through these playwrights who practically invented action and suspense. Indeed, every time I go to the theater, I am a reminder of their importance in the history of drama.

Their works hold us breathless. We know what horrors are in store for their tragic heroes, and yet we remain riveted, waiting for the moment when catastrophe (a Greek dramatic term) strikes.  Join me for a close look at works which have remained relevant for thousands of years, reminding us of the universal nature of mankind from ancient times until today.

Paul Mojzes, Ph.D.

Alan Berger, Ph.D.

Paul Mojzes, Ph.D. and Alan Berger, Ph.D.
“Jewish-Christian Dialogue”
# F4T1
Tuesdays – October 15, 22, 29; November 5
2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Two thousand years of a common history rarely produced constructive and even more rarely cooperative and friendly encounters between representatives of Judaism and Christianity. Technically, there is no Jewish-Christian dialogue, but dialogue between specific individuals or groups of Jews and Christians who are trying to learn from each other and advance the cause of mutual respect and cooperative efforts not merely for our own mutual benefit but for the “mending of the world.”  The two of us, a Jewish professor, Alan Berger, and a Christian professor, Paul Mojzes, have befriended each other and in our many conversations concluded—unsurprisingly—that our nation… and even more broadly, our world is facing ominous threats and difficult choices.  These are not the very worst in history for it is within living memory of many in this class that the Holocaust has taken place and there had been many, many persecutions, massacres, deportation, and dishonor,  by mostly by Christianity, the religion that became more powerful and aspired to convert all of earth’s inhabitants into its own ranks.

Over the centuries, we were contemptuous of each other, suspicious of each other, afraid of each other, and isolated from each other even when we lived alongside each other.  Rarely were our encounters civil.  There had been public disputations between religious groups in which the civil magistrates declared a winner; the losers were frequently deported or even executed. Unsurprisingly, such contestations almost never ended well for the Jewish contestants. Then, with the Enlightenment, Jews received more toleration and greater civil liberties. But, it wouldn’t last as utter darkness and evil descended in the form of Nazism and Fascism, whose goal was “the final solution” of the “Jewish question,” namely the total eradication of Jews from the world.

It seemed that the Holocaust had shocked the Christian world, and the entire world with a pledge of “never again.”  The two of us intend to discuss the impact on Jewish and Christian thinking in the post-Holocaust period.  Great progress was made in the relationship between Jews and Christians in the last half a century or so.  Christians admitted their complicity and sought to examine the sources of anti-Semitism among them.  Jews investigated how to deal with the sense of having been abandoned by God and by their neighbors.  We studied together, demonstrated together, supported the establishment and survival of the state of Israel, argued over philosophy and politics, but even worshipped together as we recognized that God is one and we are God’s dysfunctional family.

The going was never easy but now darker clouds appear on the horizon, threatening the very survival of the planet earth and human life on it. Antisemitism, racism, Islamophobia, antagonism toward immigrants is on the rise.  Inhumane treatments, even of children, seem to be condoned as political exigency.  All of this troubles us. We intend to raise questions of how we may proceed together –not riding together toward a beautiful sunset, but at least leaning on each other limping towards a future that does not threaten our core values. Join us for the conversation.

Benito Rakower, Ed.D.

Benito Rakower, Ed.D.
“The Image That Lingers – 8 Films”
#F8F5 (Full 8 Weeks) #F4F6 (Last 4 Weeks)
Fridays – October 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15, 22; December 6, 13 (No class on November 29)
1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Post-film discussion 4-4:30 p.m.

These eight films are recognized masterpieces, yet rarely shown because of their deep psychological penetration, entrenching imageries within viewers that linger long after the films end.  They do this by showing how people change, radically, when they get the “upper hand” or conversely when they lose it.

Humphrey Bogart begins as a good man and gold prospector.  The glitter of gold wreaks havoc with his soul.  James Mason, in his first major role, is in the IRA.  A hunted man he is compelled to discover the difference between faith and patriotism.

In Sidewalks of London Charles Laughton and Vivian Leigh bring acting to a height never duplicated.  This film, along with the Hunchback of Notre Dame, creates an image of urban life that reveals why people flock to cities.

La Symphonie Pastorale became a second identity for students in high school French classes.  All in all, life is not easy, but always interesting as these films reveal.  One of many unexpected delights is seeing how lithe and nimble Charles Laughton really was, in two of these films.

Hank Savitch, Ph.D.

Hank Savitch, Ph.D. *NEW INSTRUCTOR*
“Paris: The Unplanned and Planned Versions of a Great City”
# F1R6
Thursday, December 5
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

“Paris,” said Hemmingway, “is a moveable feast” and, we might add, that feast changes with time.   This lecture brings Paris up to date by illustrating how new development complements and contrasts with old Paris. The recent fire at legendary Notre Dame and its reconstruction is just one of the many points of interest covered. We explore how Paris can be looked at anew and in a larger context. While we cannot bring you to Paris, we can show you how you might better understand its wonders and why it endures as the “city of light.”

BIOGRAPHY

H.V. Savitch, Ph.D is a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center (Washington, DC) and Affiliate Professor at FAU’s School of Urban & Regional Planning.  Savitch is also Emeritus Brown & Williamson Professor, University of Louisville.  He served as co-editor of the Journal of Urban Affairs and has written thirteen books and more than 100 published articles. His co-authored volume, Cities in the International Marketplace received the best book award on urban affairs by the American Political Science Association.

Professor Savitch has worked extensively in Paris and elsewhere in France.  He has lectured and taught at the Ecole National des Ponts et Chaussées and urban institutes at the University of Paris.  His writings on Paris are published in both French and American outlets.  Other posts include a research assignment at the National Center for Scientific Research (Bordeaux, France) and a Fulbright award at the Maison Mediterranean des Sciences de l’Homme (Aix-en-Provence, France).  Savitch also served as consultant to former mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, the Department of Housing & Urban Development, the Mayors’ Urban Summit, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and local governments.

Mark C. Schug, Ph.D.

Mark C. Schug, Ph.D. (Panel Chair)
“All-Star Panel of Economists Ask: How Can Ethics, Economics, and Entrepreneurship Help You and Those Around You Live a Fulfilling Life?”
# F1T6
Tuesday, November 5
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Are commercial pursuits and private enterprise compatible with people living fulfilling lives?  Some voices in today’s political arena and in the media say the answer is no!   Is it true that free markets (or capitalism) in the United States is evil?  Is there a connection between ethics, free markets, and wealth creation?  Can ethical behavior and entrepreneurship go hand in hand?  You are invited to attend our panel discussion to explore these timely questions.  We will make sure there is time for plenty of questions.

The All-Star panelists are:

  • Daniel Gropper, Florida Atlantic University, Dean of the College of Business
  • Professor Keith Jakee, Economics, Florida Atlantic University, Wilkes Honors College
  • Professor Kanybek Nur-tegin, Economics, Florida Atlantic University, Wilkes Honors College
  • Professor Mark C. Schug, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Emeritus and FAU Adjunct Professor of Economics

Kurt Stone, D.D.

Kurt Stone, D.D.
“From West 44th Street to the Sunset Strip: The Algonquin Round Table Goes Hollywood”
#F8M5 (Full 8 Weeks) #F4M6 (Last 4 Weeks)
Mondays – October 21, 28; November 4, 18, 25; December 2, 9, 16
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

During the 1920s, there was no wittier, more acerbic gathering of literate souls than the playwrights, poets, and publishers who haunted, the famed Algonquin Hotel, located at 59 W. 44th Street in Manhattan. At any given lunch one might find such wags as Dorothy Parker, George S. Kaufman, Alexander Woolcott, Harpo Marx, Robert Benchley and Robert Sherwood.

When Round Tabler Ben Hecht received a cable from fellow Algonquinite Herman Mankiewicz, reading, in part, Will you accept three hundred per week to work for Paramount Pictures… Millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Hecht quickly “went Hollywood,” moved into the “Garden of Alla” on the Sunset Strip, won an Academy Award for Underworld and his cynical colleagues soon followed.  They quickly changed Hollywood forever.

In this course, we will view 7 of the best – if not best known – movies written by the hard-drinking cynics of the Algonquin Round Table. Their stories, scripts and films would forever change and spice up Hollywood films. The first film we shall screen, 1994’s Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994), will introduce us to the unforgettable members of the Algonquin Round Table.

  1. “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle” (1994): A film about Dorothy Parker, the heyday of the Algonguin Round Table and a circle of friends whose barbed wit, like hers, was fueled by alcohol and flirted with alcohol and despair. ‘
  2. Ben Hecht: “Topaz” (1933): Screenplay by Ben Hecht, starring staring John Barrymore and Myrna Loy in which the “great profile” plays a naïve schoolteacher who gets a lesson in how the world really works.
  3. Dorothy Parker “The Little Foxes” (1941): Bette Davis and Herbert Marshall star in the story of the moneyed, conniving Hubbard clan in the early 20th century South. Nominated for 9 Academy Awards.
  4. Hecht & MacArthur “The Scoundrel” (1935): Noel Coward stars as a ruthless publisher who dies in a plane crash but is given a one-month extension on life in which he must find one person to mourn his passing in order to get into heaven.
  5. Robert E. Sherwood “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” (1940): Raymond Massey and Ruth Gordon. The young pre-presidential Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln gain the respect of their Illinois neighbors as they begin making their way up the political ladder. From Sherwood’s 1938 Pulitzer Prize play.
  6. George S. Kaufman “A Night at the Opera” (1935): Generally considered the best of all Marx Brothers movies, Co-starring Alan Jones, Margaret Dumont and Kitty Carlyle, the future wife of Kaufman’s frequent collaborator, Moss Hart.
  7. Donald Ogden Stewart “An Affair to Remember” (1957): Screenplay by the then blacklisted Donald Ogden Stewart. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr star in one of the all-time great romance films. The basis for many films, including “Sleepless in Seattle.”
  8. Herman Mankiewicz “The Enchanted Cottage” (1945): Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire A homely maid and a battle-scarred soldier fall in love and move to a cottage where they look beautiful to one another – but no one else. Adapted from a play by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero.

Michael Tougias

Michael Tougias
“14 Steps to Strategic Decision Making: JFK and The Cuban Missile Crisis”
# F1T8
Tuesday, November 19
9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Did you know that because of four little-known incidents during the Cuban Missile Crisis we and the Soviets were a whisker away from nuclear war?  And all four incidents were either misunderstandings, blunders, or because of an individual taking matters into their own hands without the approval from Kennedy or Khrushchev.  In my November 19th slide presentation, I’ll discuss these incidents and will also show how President Kennedy’s deliberations were methodical and ultimately successful.  I want the audience to be both entertained and on the edge of their seat to see what happens next, but also to learn the keys to successful decision making whenever you are faced with a significant challenge.

Kennedy secretly audio recorded over 100 hours of meetings on the Cuban Missile Crisis and studying those transcripts during my research into my bestseller Above & Beyond was key to gaining insights into the steps the President made to come to a successful outcome.  Much of the book is also told through the eyes of the U-2 Spy Plane Pilots who put their lives on the line flying over Cuba during the crisis, and how one of our pilots made the ultimate sacrifice when a Soviet surface to air missile hit his aircraft.

Gary Wiren, Ph.D.

Gary Wiren, Ph.D.
“Fascinating Stories of the Hidden Values in Playing the Game of Golf”
# F1T3
Tuesday, October 22
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Playing golf is an activity considered by some as being of questionable importance and may even be a waste of time.  These same “naysayers” are overlooking the many personal values that can be found from participation in the game.  Those values can best be recognized when hearing the stories of golfers who have experienced them.  Confidence, Perseverance, Honesty and Courtesy easily will be realized by all who golf as values that solidly are connected to the game.  Each time a golfer tees up a ball to play, he/she will face any one of those in addition to many others.

In this presentation, you will see and hear about famous players who have faced such situations and how they handled them.  These inspirational stories also will demonstrate Integrity, Humility, Responsibility, Sportsmanship, and other positive principles that can be both amusing and educational. When revealed they lend a strong positive statement to golf, the game of a lifetime.

Posted in Uncategorized

OLLI Danube Trip

 

By: Lisa Troute, OLLI Advisory Board Member

Imagine floating down the beautiful Danube River on a riverboat, exploring history along the way!  Well, that’s exactly what 32 friends and family of OLLI did from June 26-July 9, 2019. These lucky people sailed with Dr. Jeffrey Morton on a fabulous excursion through the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.  (Some OLLI members also took pre or post excursion trips to Germany, Poland, or Budapest.)   What a grand experience it was, as the food, the service, the tour guides, and the scenery were all superlative—and punctuated with amazing lectures from Dr. Morton who provided the background and history of the storied places we were seeing!

Lisa Troute and the OLLI’s tour guide, Zsanett (Jeanette)

Dr. Morton’s five excellent lectures, distributed throughout the cruise, took us from the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg reign, WWI, WWII, the Cold War, and finally to the political and economic status of the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.  These lectures were especially meaningful since we were visiting the places he talked about.

In Prague we visited Stare Mesto (Old Town), the fabulous Charles Bridge with historic statues on each side, and a castle. In a Prague garden, we heard from a local professor who told about his personal experiences during the communist takeover, and the events surrounding the fall of the Iron Curtain.  History truly came alive!

From Prague, we took a bus to Cesky Krumlov—a well preserved medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We visited Mauthausen, one of the Nazi’s first large-scale concentration camps—and the last to be liberated.  It was sobering to see the barracks, the gas chambers,  the crematorium and the 180,000+ names of those who had perished there.

Durnstein in the Wachau Valley of the Danube

Floating through the Wachau Valley, we admired the stunningly beautiful landscape of sculpted hills, vineyards and medieval towns on both sides of the Danube that comprise this UNESCO World Heritage Site. A stop at Krems included a visit to Gottweig Abbey, a still-active monastery that has been sitting on a hilltop overlooking the unspoiled Wachau Valley since 1072.   Another stop was at Durnstein, a charming little town with cobbled streets and a distinctive blue church, and then it was on to a winery.  Winzer Krems is part of a wine cooperative of all the wine growers in the region.  And of course we tasted the wines while learning about the area’s wine heritage.

Vienna was our next stop, boasting 1,000 years of Jewish cultural history—including a period in the 18th century, when more Jews lived there than anywhere else in the world. The city has seven synagogues (among them Europe’s oldest), a Jewish Museum and an Old Jewish Cemetery where the stones are practically atop one another.

OLLI members: Donna Adair, Lois Steinberg, Marcia Halpern, Lisa Troute (seated)

While walking past the Imperial Palace, home to many generations of the Habsburg family, we saw Lipizzaner horses from the famed Spanish Riding School trotting around one of the castle’s courtyards.

But what is Vienna without music?  One evening we went to Kursalen Vien, a palace built in 1865, and thrilled to the music of Strauss and Mozart.  Vienna has many palaces, and we toured the expansive summer estate of Habsburg royalty, Schoenbrunn Palace (whose name means “beautiful spring”). It features 1,400 rooms, meticulously maintained gardens, and an architectural legacy that stretches back to the 17th century.  It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Man at Work” —the most famous statue in Bratislava

Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital, known for its picturesque setting at the foot of the Little Carpathian Mountains, is the smallest of the four capitals we visited. It was once the seat of power of neighboring Hungary.  One evening we broke into small groups and joined local Slovakian families for dinner in their homes.  This interpersonal connection allowed us to glimpse everyday life along the Danube.

The Grand Circle Foundation usually includes school visits in its tours, but because it was summer vacation, a teacher came on board to talk about the educational system She explained the exams that were necessary to graduate from high school, and the exams needed to get into a university, which is free to those who qualify.

Another interesting opportunity was riding a communist era bus, which took us to the border between Slovakia and Austria.  Two parallel roads ran side by side, about 10 feet apart with a no-man’s line of grass or low bushes in between.  Many died trying to bridge those few yards.  Today, there is only grass and some bushes between the two borders (roads). Until 1991, it might have felt as if there were hundreds of miles between the two roads as people looked across at each other with guns drawn.

Castle Hill in Budapest

In Budapest, a bus tour took us to both sides of the Hungarian capital that straddles the magnificent Danube River. Buda, the western (hilly) side features Castle Hill, complete with ramparts that protected the massive castle complex. Destroyed during World War II, the palace has been restored and it is now a museum.  We also went to a hill in Buda overlooking Pest, the eastern (flat) side of the capital. From here, Russians fired down into the city during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.  Bullet holes can still be seen on some buildings.

Natural connected underground limestone caves lie beneath Castle Hill. There, a hospital was created. The Hospital in the Rock had tended to scores of sick and wounded during World War II, and again during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. In the Cold War era, it was outfitted as a nuclear fallout shelter. Today, it is a museum, with over 200 wax figures in period clothing, military uniforms, bandaged patients, and vintage medical equipment, giving visitors a feel for the intensity of the work performed here.

Beyond all the wonderful places we saw, we learned much about the history, culture, and people of the places we visited.  Our guides were well informed and eager to share and make our experiences memorable.  As an added bonus, we got to know other OLLI members and make new friends.  Thank you, OLLI, for the opportunity to take this wonderful trip!!

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Kind Hearts and Coronets

By Benito Rakower, Ed.D

Many people regard this as their favorite film.  Its flawless wit, brilliance and acting never stale nor seem dated.  It shares with “Casablanca” the virtue of repeated viewings, each with the original freshness.

Set in Edwardian England, it recounts the methodical manner in which an ignored and rejected member of an aristocratic family plots his revenge.  He does this to secure his legitimate place in the line of succession.  That, of course, means eliminating everyone who stands in his way.

Essentially, the film recasts Shakespeare’s “Richard III” into a modern comedy of manners.  That the greatest English film comedy could be based on a criminal enterprise is itself an astounding tour de force. It is impossible not to relish the polish, refinement, and poise of the villain/hero.  The film is also a stunning portrait of what makes the English “English”.

Dr. Rakower will teach a six-week course, “The Sense of the Ridiculous in Film,” starting on Thursday, May 16 at 1 p.m.

To register, click here.

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