Fall 2019 membership is $150 per person, per year, non-transferable, and members can register for a maximum of three full courses per semester. A full course is one 6–8-week course or two 4-week courses. Financial Aid is available.
- Course Registration: August 25-September 8. You will be sent a link to register on line.
- Add/Drop Period: September 20-30. If you wish to change your registration, you will be able to do so between these dates.
- September 20: Orientation for presenters and new members
- September 27: First day of classes
Fall 2019 Course Catalog
Classes run for four- to eight-weeks, as noted below. Classes are held on September 27- November 15 (Note that individual classes may vary slightly), on Fridays at 9:30am, 11:05am, 1:45pm and 3:20pm unless otherwise noted.
During registration period you will be sent a link to register. Registration for special events happens separately, two weeks prior to each event. You cannot register for them ahead of time.
The course developers and the presenters are solely responsible for the content and the presentation of the course material. Vassar LLI does not preview or audit the content.
Registration for Special Events is on a first come first serve basis, if the class has a limit. Two weeks before each special event you will be sent a registration link to sign up.
Fusion Dance-Thursday, October 3, 6-730pm, Kenyon Hall 134Special Events-[click event title for more information]Limit: 15
This workshop will help participants understand and be inspired and learn about different cultures through dance. The cultures we will be looking at are: Flamenco (Spain), Bharatanatyam (India), West African, modern (USA) and Chilean and Latin Caribbean dances.
The goal of this workshop is for students to be able to get an understanding, learn the differences, similarities, histories and cultural aspects of each dance style. My aim is that each participant will leave with love, inspiration, understanding and excitement to learn more about cultures and dances from around the world.
Anna Mayta is a dance improviser, choreographer, and instructor. She graduated from Empire State College in June 2001 with a BA in Dance in Education. In November 2008, she received a certificate to teach yoga from Svyasa Swami Vivekananda Yoga University in Bangalore, India. In 2006, she was awarded a dissemination award from the Dutchess County Arts Council in Poughkeepsie, New York. Anna has been teaching, performing, and choreographing for over 15 years, and has developed two programs throughout this time period. One is teaching the Spanish language through movement; the other is fusion dance, which centers on the incorporation of African, Classical Indian, Flamenco, Modern, and Latin dance styles. Additionally, she has taught for The National Ballet of Zimbabwe in Africa, in England, and in the greater Boston Area, and is currently working in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Visit to Storm King Art Center-Thursday, October 10, 9:15-3pmSpecial Events-[click event title for more information]Limit: 45
STORM KING ART CENTER
1 Museum Road
New Windsor, NY 12553
Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre outdoor museum located in New York’s Hudson Valley, where visitors experience large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions under open sky. Since 1960, Storm King has been dedicated to stewarding the hills, meadows, and forests of its site and surrounding landscape. Building on the visionary thinking of its founders, Storm King supports artists and some of their most ambitious works. Changing exhibitions, programming, and seasons offer discoveries with every visit.
Storm King Art Center nurtures a vibrant bond between art, nature, and people, creating a place where discovery is limitless. Committed to supporting artists and stewarding its landscape, Storm King connects with visitors through dynamic exhibitions and programs.
Please note: This is a first come first serve event to a maximum of 45 seats. There will be a bus leaving the South lot at 9:15 am. The bus will depart Storm King Art Center at 2:00pm and arrive to the South lot about 3pm. The bus is NOT handicap accessible and participants may have to walk up to 3/4 of a mile at the art center. There are ticks in the area - so use insect repellant and sunscreen. There will be a $20 per person fee for this event. More information will be sent to the members accepted.
Diana Salsberg is Chair of the Lifelong Learning Institute special events committee. Diana has a background in art and worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of projects including a film “The Dark Crystal,” and was also a Vassar College employee in the Development office.
Where Lines Are Drawn-Thursday, Oct. 17, 6-8pm, Blodgett AuditoriumSpecial Events-[click event title for more information]Limit:
Sean Hemmerle's photographs of international zones of contention were taken from 2004-2007. His architecture and landscape images from Israel/Palestine (“Green Line”, “Security Barrier”), Cyprus (“Green Line”, “Atilla Line”), Northern Ireland (“Peace Wall”), Berlin (“The Wall”), the Mexican/US border (“La Linea”) and the remains of the “Green Line” in Beirut, are persistent flash points of ideological schisms that, once deemed intractable, are made concrete.
"In each location, the line I have visited spawns blight. To live adjacent to one of these divides means to live with the constant threat of violence on devalued real estate. Many such homes are abandoned or destroyed. Neighborhoods falling within the route of these interfaces are often forgotten. Today, these walls are in need of our scrutiny and dialogue if we are ever to fully comprehend their consequences and assess our shortcomings, so as to alter our trajectory."
Sean Hemmerle is a New York based photographer whose work ranges from international conflict zones to shuttered industrial towns in the US. His conflict images span ten years, 9/11 in New York, to Kabul, Baghdad, Gaza, Juarez, Cyprus, Belfast, and Beirut. Closer to home, Hemmerle has created photographic projects that reflect the pathos and poetry of American Rust Belt towns in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Gary, Troy, and Poughkeepsie. He is a recent recipient (2019) of a National Endowment of the Arts grant for his photos of Poughkeepsie's Fall Kill.
What You Need to Know About Italian Wines-Thursday, October 24th, 6-7:30pm, Kenyon Hall 134Special Events-[click event title for more information]Limit: 35
An entry level presentation, introducing the various styles of Italian wine, including red, white, rose, sparkling and dried grape wine(passito). Learn the general style of Italian wines and how you can successfully pair them with your foods, in order to get the absolute best flavor out of your food and wine experience. Two different wines will be served to help illustrate classic Italian wines versus wines made for the American market
There will be an additional $6 charge per person for wine costs.
Marta Marchetti-Kandl, is the owner of Marta's Vineyard, a fine wine and spirit store in Poughkeepsie.
She holds the Diploma of Wine & Spirits(DWS) from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust(WSET) an internationally accredited wine/spirit school, based in London. Marta also holds the Certified Wine Specialist certification. She has worked at two of the area's largest liquor stores and worked as the Wine and Spirit Director of a Boutique liquor store in Greenwich, CT. She regularly holds wine and spirit education seminars at Marta's Vineyard, and has presented to the local Pirindello Institute, Locust Grove, and Culinary Institute of America.
What happens when, long-partnered and no longer youthful, we are suddenly left alone and uncoupled? Author Pamela Hull will discuss her book Say Yes! Flying Solo After Sixty, a book that embraces the will and the spirit of such a challenge. It is the narrator's intimate recountings of loss and aloneness, but also of possibilities for a thrilling, reconfigured reality, an abundance of bountiful awakenings for wishful readers who may become heartened and emboldened. Question and answers will follow her talk.
Say Yes: Flying Solo After Sixty-A Reading-Tuesday, October 29, 3-4:30 pm, Blodgett AuditoriumSpecial Events-[click event title for more information]Limit:
An interior designer and painter, Pamela Hull wrote her first book Where's My Bride? at age sixty. This venture was to be a one-time effort, a tribute to a remarkable man and marriage. However, as the endeavor unfurled, she unearthed a deep love for writing narrative.
Ms. Hull's essays and poetry have been widely published in literary journals such as The Bellevue Literary Review, Ars Medica, Lumina, Blood and Thunder, and North Dakota Quarterly. Her recent book SAY YES! Flying Solo After Sixty explores how neither age nor being alone is an impediment to living a rich life, a significant work for men and women of all ages.
In her current work Moments that Mattered the author writes stories of ordinary experiences that were passed over or dismissed but in recall hold clues to lifetime behaviors, attitudes, choices.Her two children were born on the East Coast and raised on the West. Despite bicoastal lures, the author chooses to reside in Manhattan for the grand adventure of flying solo in a great city.
Flex Your Memory to Master Names and Faces-Wednesday, October 30, 6-7:30pm, Blodgett AuditoriumSpecial Events-[click event title for more information]Limit:
We are all in the business of building relationships, and that starts with remembering someone’s name. Getting a name right inspires confidence from the outset and helps others remember you—a powerful advantage in any personal or professional situation.
Come learn why we often retain many details about the people we meet but forget their names almost at once. Engage in fun, imagination-based exercises that teach you how to make names stick. Understand why “flexing your memory” is as vital to your health as diet, exercise, and rest.
How Could I Forget You! A Creative Way to Remember Names and Faces by Brent Sverdloff. Books will be for sale for $20 (cash or check) at the event.
A practitioner of trained-memory methods for 40 years, Brent Sverdloff has helped countless students and professionals across the country improve their powers of recall. His popular book—How Could I Forget You! A Creative Way to Remember Names and Faces—has garnered him interviews with Forbes magazine and many other media outlets. Learn more at FlexYourMemory.com. Brent is also an adjunct professor of Spanish and communications at Marist and Columbia-Greene Community College.
Voice Over: Now Is Your Time-Monday, November 11, 6-7:30pm, Kenyon Hall 134Special Events-[click event title for more information]Limit: 30
In what could be the most enlightening 2 hours you’ve ever spent, this class will show you how you can actually begin using your speaking voice for commercials, films, videos, and more. Most people go about it the wrong way. In this introductory class, you will learn about a unique, outside the box way to break into this creative, fulfilling, and potentially lucrative industry. Voice-overs can be managed on your own terms, on your own turf, in your own time, and with minimal overhead! Whether you choose to pursue voice-overs part-time or full-time, this could be the game changer you’ve been looking for.
James Seawood is a New York based voice talent and teacher. He has brought his signature sound to commercials for a myriad of brands and organizations including Nike, Army West Point, The City of Charlotte, Cholula Hot Sauce and MGM Las Vegas Casino. James enjoys helping others bring their voice to life and inspiring people to pursue their passions, especially voice-over. Join James for a fun-filled and informative evening!
Technology and EthicsFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 25
Technology & Ethics is an overview and discussion of ethical problems related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Social Media, Autonomous Vehicles, Blockchain and other new and evolving technologies. The course emphasizes critical thinking about the effects of technology on humans and the global environment. Issues are taken from current news reports and books. The issues are discussed from the perspective of how these technologies affect our day to day lives, and how they might be regulated.
Mr. Stoddard is a retired computer systems architect and teacher living in Poughkeepsie, New York. He has a BA degree from the University of Rochester and a performance certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He worked at AT&T for 38 years as a computer programmer, manager, technical specialist, and systems architect. In 2019, he developed and taught a course in Technology & Ethics at Ashesi University College in Ghana, West Africa.
In advanced industrial economies, farming has a tiny fraction of employment and value added. Yet in the Hudson Valley, historic landscapes dotted with picturesque farms enhance scenic beauty, and local food adds to health, soil regeneration, and the quality of life. Farm markets and CSAs bring local farmers into daily contact with residents and tourists, and links with chefs develop distinctive regional cuisines. This course provides insight into the importance, history, and the future of Hudson Valley agriculture. Guest speakers will address topics including young farmers, environmental impact, economic impact, and quality of life, plus the future of agriculture.
Hudson Valley AgricultureFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 25
Ann Davis, Economic Professor at Marist College; Regina Armstrong, retired urban planner in NYC. Presenters will include Profs. Jeff Walker (Vassar College), Josh Simons (SUNY), Jennifer Phillips (Bard), and representatives of local farming, economic development, and other knowledgeable experts.
Mentor Training for the College Application ProcessFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
The VC LLI is proud to partner with a new program, CAP Mentors. CAP Mentors is offering a training course for adult volunteer mentors in the college application process. The class is open to non-LLI and LLI members, and a separate application is required. Once trained, mentors are matched with local high school students who are beginning the college application process and are expected to mentor their student for approximately one year (the typical length of the process.)
Meditation and MindfulnessFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 25
In today’s tumultuous world, with its media overload and daily stress, it is important to find ways to relax, focus and be with whatever life brings with balance, clarity and compassion. Using meditative practices, music and wisdom teachings of different traditions, we will work together to grow our compassion, increase our equanimity and our ability to live fully in the present moment. Together we will develop practices that we can incorporate into our lives. This course is open to beginners and seasoned meditators.
Classes will include periods of sitting and walking meditation and readings from well-known meditation teachers such as Jon Cabot Zinn, Thich Nhat Hahn, Pema Chodron, Jason Shulman and David Cooper
Linda Cantor & Ed Rosenberg have been co teaching Meditation and Mindfulness classes at Marist CLS for the past six years. They have 40 years of meditation experience between them. Ed has completed a 4-year intensive meditation program with Jason Shulman and Linda completed a multi-year meditation training program with David Cooper. Both Linda and Ed have attended many week long silent meditation retreats with teachers in the Buddhist tradition. They continue to have regular meditation practices and participate in sanghas.
The Beatles: A Magical Musical Tour, Part IFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Where were you on February 9, 1964? If you were like millions of other Americans, you were glued to your black-and-white television sets watching the Ed Sullivan Show as four British lads from Liverpool made their debut on American TV. Yeah, yeah, yeah! It was the night music and so much more changed in America. This class will utilize numerous musical and video clips from the era to explore the Beatles' early years, 1962-1965, focusing primarily on their music, but also looking at their influence on culture. (Part II of this course to be given at a later date).
The retired publisher of the Poughkeepsie Journal, Barry Rothfeld is an active member of the Dutchess County non-profit community, serving as vice chair of the Vassar Brothers Medical Center, past chair of the United Way and on the boards other organizations including the 1869 Bardavon Opera House. He has taught classes at Marist College's CLS, including "The Beatles,” guitar instruction and media-related courses. He also has taught journalism at a number of colleges.
The Actors and Directors LabFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 15
Designed for actors and directors of all levels, Mr. Simon will direct an introductory basic workshop using the personal technique he has used at his award-winning SIMON STUDIO (currently in its 41st year in NYC). Included will be physical and vocal (production and diction) warm-ups, improvisation, sensory exercises, character development, cold reading, audition technique, live and on-camera monologues and scene study (contemporary, classical and scripts from new playwrights)
A graduate and founding member of Robert Brustein's Yale Repertory Company, Roger directed/acted for NY Shakespeare Festival, London's Royal Court Theatre, Dublin's Abbey Theatre, Lincoln Center, BAM, La Mama, Roundabout, Juilliard Opera, L.A. Theatre Center, Williamstown, as well as in films.
Elected to Notable Names in American Theatre, directed the world premiere of Mihai Grunfeld and Sarah Levine Simon's THE DRESSMAKER'S SECRET Off Broadway, teaches at his Simon Studio (since 1978) in New York City.
TimeFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: Unlimited
A mathematician and an archaeologist explore various cultural and scientific views of time and the importance of accurate time-keeping to peoples around the world.
John McCleary is a Professor of Mathematics and Lucy Johnson an Emerita Professor of Anthropology at Vassar College. They taught “Time” for a Vassar College Course many years ago and are reviving and revising it for VCLLI.
Lucy Johnson is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Vassar College and Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the Vassar Lifelong Learning Institute. She is an archaeologist with a focus on New World studies and on the relationship between people and their environments as mediated by technology.
Introduction to HoneybeesFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 7
Honeybees 101 will introduce the class to everything you wanted to know about honeybees, but were afraid to ask.. It will explain basic honeybee anatomy and activities. It will also provide a basic explanation of the activities of beekeepers.
I was a beekeeper for four seasons. My bees died over the last winter, which is a common experience for beekeepers. I no longer have any hives. I have decided to try to help the honeybees in another way, as a sort of advocate for them. In my opinion, they are special, and are the top of the insect world. I hope, in whatever way I can, that presenting this class will help them.
Introduction to Book ArtFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 20
“Book art” refers to books made by artists in which content is not limited by words alone. This class explores “the book” as a medium for a wide range of artistic expression. We will discuss how utilizing and expanding our concept of “book” challenges traditional methods of storytelling and enhances communication. Using a variety of materials (paper, wood, cardboard and materials of their own choosing) participants will have the opportunity to experiment with making book art themselves.
Students will provide their own glue stick(s), double-sided tape, scissors and ruler. Instructor will provide all materials for first class and all paper for subsequent classes
Pam Wright is an art bookmaker and poet. For twelve years she taught creative writing to men in the Dutchess County Jail, and several of her books came from that work. She is interested in the interplay of text and material and the way in which an artist’s book can express what words cannot. She works with a small collective of bookmakers in Dutchess County. Some of those artists will be participating in teaching this class.
Tai Chi Yang Style: Eight FormsFriday Courses, 9:30–10:45am-[click course title for more information]Limit: 15
The aim of the course is to introduce Tai Chi Yang style and help the learners to have the basic skill of Tai Chi Yang style’s 8 forms.
Xiaodong Smith is an instructor of Chinese language, culture, Tai Chi and Zen tea. She learnt and practiced Tai Chi, Zen tea from Chang Hui Buddhism master in XiShan Buddhist Temple in Guangxi, China during 1982-1985. For more than ten years, Xiaodong taught foreign students at Fudan University in Shanghai and managed a cultural organization.
Williams’ WomenFriday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Studies of “The Glass Menagerie,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and “Summer and Smoke,” paying particular attention to Amanda and Laura in “Glass,” Blanche and Stella in “Streetcar,” and Alma and Nellie in “Smoke.” Students are expected to read all three plays and participate in class discussions.
"Unknowns, ... but Unforgettables"Friday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Studying the Revolutionary War, we often focus on names like Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, among others. They each had one thing in common: none fired a weapon in battle. But wars also need brave men and women capable of inspiring those serving under them to perform incredible acts of heroism. Without this "other" type of leader, the war could never have been won. Thru the years, many of these names have faded into obscurity. It's time now to dig them out, retell their stories, and put them back in history's spotlight.
Bob has presented at all of our local LLI's and has appeared as a guest lecturer at the FOFSD, Ft Montgomery, Henry Wallace Center, Poughkeepsie Lions Club, local Historical Societies, the West Point Club, Mohonk Mountain House, the NJ Revolutionary War Roundtable, among others. A graduate of Cornell and Columbia Universities, Bob served two years in the Army, followed by 30 years with IBM.
Leaving Home: Migration in an Ever Changing WorldFriday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Many factors have influenced global migration through the 20th into the 21st centuries. War, economic inequality, environmental catastrophes, technological innovations have all been push/pull factors driving migration. In this course we will look first at immigration to the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century. We will then fast forward to examine current issues in forced migration in Europe and Latin America and how they affect the U.S. Finally we will look at how we can prepare students to explore solutions to issues related to mass migration in the future.
Kathy is a retired librarian from Vassar College and an active member of the VCLLI Curriculum committee
Rebecca Edwards, VC. The Exclusion Era (1882-1943) and Origins of Modern Immigration Policy.
Miriam Cohen, VC. The Old Way was not so Old and the New not so New.
Juris Pupcenoks, Marist. Global Migration and Its Impact on the U.S.
Joe Nevins, VC. Migration from Mexico and the Northern Triangle.
Mihai Grunfeld, VC. Leaving Romania: a Reading and a Personal Story.
Lisa Paravisini-Gebert, VC. Endangered Islands: Climate Change, Rising Sea Levels, and Environmental Refugees.
Erendira Rueda, VC. Immigration Law and Its Impact on Children and Families.
Maria Hoehn, VC. Forced Migration, Displacement, and the Liberal Arts.
America Enters the Industrial Age: 1814 to 1914Friday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 30
We will discuss the transformation of agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce during
this period. Particular attention will be paid to the antebellum slave economy and its
relationship to modern capitalism. We will also examine the relationship of rising US
naval power to the economic success of America at home and abroad.
Graduated US Naval Academy in Annapolis and served as a Navy Pilot and Legal
Officer in three US Navy Squadrons; retired as Commander. Extensive post-graduate
studies in history. Has taught at Dutchess Community College and Vassar LLI.
The Nature in FoodFriday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 16
We intuitively understand our food comes from nature, but science and commerce sometimes obscure the connection. Our class explores historic and cultural origins of selected foods as well as their nutritional and environmental impact. We will (1) increase our understanding and appreciation for the role nature has in our health and happiness; and (2) explore our consumption choices and how they impact our well-being both as individuals and in aggregate as the dominant species on earth. Participants in the Spring 2019 session are welcome to "repeat" this class, which contains new materials and perspectives.
Rob Cohen is a farmer who practices sustainable agriculture and a technology consultant focused on helping non-profit organizations leverage technology. His lifelong interest in science, history, and historic foods shaped his unique approach to staying connecting to nature while living and working in an increasingly unnatural environment.
Move with the FlowFriday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 35
Move with rhythm and flow. Encourage circulation and expand breath capacity. Enjoy fun coordination and balance practices. Ease anxiety and uplift the spirit. This seated and standing course draws from simple tai chi and qigong movements, mindfulness practices and the movements of nature. Suitable for people living with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s symptoms as well as carers. — “I love your inspiring classes, Kele. You are a sympathetic, wise, and a tower of strength. My balance is so much better. Thank you.” (Christine C., living with Parkinson’s) "Goodbye Parkinson's, Hello Life" by Alex Kerten
Kele Baker is a Level 2 teacher with the National Qigong Association, and a board member with The Healer Within Foundation. She is a Holden Qigong senior instructor, a Tai Chi Easy facilitator, and a certified Alexander Technique teacher. While living in the UK, Kele led Tai Chi Easy and qigong classes for Parkinson’s UK support groups. Kele is now based in Dutchess County, and pleased to be able to help people with general aches and pains, cancer and Parkinson’s Disease improve their quality of life, and enjoy greater physical, mental and emotional equilibrium and wellbeing.
Drawing from Observation with Charcoal and PastelsFriday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 16
Drawing from observation in charcoal and working in color compositions with soft pastels are the mainstays of this course. Both beginners and more advanced students will be given individual instruction to help them develop their own artistic expression. There will be still life material available each week.
Additional materials: a box of soft pastels with a color range including primary and secondary colors, charcoal sticks, kneaded eraser, drawing pad for work with pastels and charcoal [about 11'x17'' or larger]
Marilyn Price attended Cooper Union, majoring in painting. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts at N.Y.U. and also did graduate studies at N.Y.U. and Columbia University in painting and art history. She chaired the Art Department at Columbia Preparatory School for 29 years, teaching drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and art history. She moved to Dutchess County in 1994 and continues to paint, make pottery and show her art.
Garden Design with Native PlantsFriday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 20
This course will provide an overview of commonly accepted outdoor design principles, including order, unity, and rhythm as applied to scale, color, texture and other characteristics. From there, we will move beyond solely visual consideration towards an understanding of our local ecosystem and how that might work in terms of our outdoor spaces and our own connection to the land we live on. Using slides, we'll analyze existing native gardens and examine some of the most popular native plants. Depending on the weather and the desire of the class, we may visit some campus plantings composed primarily of natives.
Carlie has been gardening in the Hudson Valley for the last couple of decades, beginning with fruits and vegetables, then including perennials, shrubs, and trees, and finally to an interest in native plants and the effect of our outdoor environment on our own sense of health and connection. She recently completely a Certificate in Landscape Design at the New York Botanic Garden.
Women and Revival of the Hudson RiverFriday Courses, 11:05am–12:20pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
The Hudson River has experienced a great revival in the last 50 years due to the work of numerous people and organizations. Course members will learn about extraordinary Hudson River heroines that played an important part in restoring the Hudson River and are part of our regional history. We will also meet women who are leaders in their fields today to hear about and discuss how they are currently working to improve the health and resiliency of the Hudson and beyond.
Cara Lee has enjoyed a 40-year career in conservation as an advocate, land manager, policy innovator and educator. Between 1984-2001 Lee was the environmental director for Scenic Hudson, shaping policy related to Hudson River fisheries management, utility impacts, water withdrawal and water quality issues. In 2001 Lee joined The Nature Conservancy to lead a collaborative project to protect the 90,000-acre Shawangunk Mountains. Lee holds a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University.
Animation: Beyond the CartoonFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
When we think of animation, what comes quickly to mind? Disney? Bugs Bunny? Popeye? But how familiar are names like Winsor McCay, or Norman McLaren or the Hubleys? This course covers the development of the animated film, from its independent beginnings in 1906, through its early studio periods (Disney, the Fleischers, Warner Brothers, etc.), finally focusing on the non-commercial, largely unseen work created by independent animators from around the world. Discussions will explore techniques, style and issues of art and commerce, among other subjects. Since most of the films are short, film screenings will take place during class time.
Sybil DelGaudio was Professor of Radio/Television/Film at Hofstra University and served as Dean of its School of Communication. She has written journal articles and books on film history and theory. Combining animation and documentaries, she has directed two products for public television: Animated Women and Independent Spirits. Both films have been shown on PBS stations around the country and at international film festivals, garnering festival prizes as well as an Emmy for Animated Women.
The Peopling of the AmericasFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Did people first come to the Americas from Asia or Europe? By foot or by boat or by spaceship? In this course we will investigate when and by whom and by what route the Americas were populated. Scientists today believe that the Americas are the major land mass most recently populated by humans, while many Native American groups firmly believe they have always lived here; Caleb Atwater thought Mississippian sites were founded by one of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, others have additional ideas. We will look at such theories and their proponents before focusing on today’s scientific theories.
Lucy Johnson is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Vassar College and Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the Vassar Lifelong Learning Institute. She is an archaeologist with a focus on New World studies and on the relationship between people and their environments as mediated by technology.
Magic for the Family20Friday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 12
Have you ever seen your grand children’s eyes light up with wonder at the completion of a magic trick? Have you watched their amazement when a coin is made to disappear and subsequently is pulled from the back of his/her ear? Or, when he/she has picked a card from a shuffled deck and you immediately identify the card?
Over the course of the sessions, using common household items and some simple props, you’ll learn the techniques to accomplish the above and lots more - misdirection, how to lie effectively, what to say, how to act.
Cost: Up to $20 for props.
Andy Weintraub has a PH.D. in economics from Rutgers University and was a professor of economics for thirty-five years. Can you think of a better qualification for a magician? His interest in magic predates his study of economics and, sometimes, you can't tell whether he's talking economics or magic. He's also the founder of The Rhinebeck Theatre Society and The CENTER for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, having served as president for both of those organizations.
Dancing with the Goddess at Mid-Life & BeyondFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 20
Instructor will introduce the concept of the Crone Goddess (or Dark Goddess) from various cultures emphasizing Her role throughout human history. This aspect of the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother & Crone), misunderstood and feared in our contemporary world, relates to the taboo subjects of aging and death and to how women are treated and viewed at midlife and beyond. Class discussion, group writing, and movement activities will invite the Crone Goddess into one's inner world and honor the wisdom of this powerful archetype to promote self-empowerment and emotional wellness. Class will be informative and encourage personal reflection, growth, and sharing.
P.M. Vincenza Dante, LCSW, is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. Her work in mental health spans 30 years in hospitals, outpatient mental health centers, nursing homes and schools. Recently, Vincenza retired from the Arlington School District where she was a School Social Worker. Her lifelong interest in spiritual traditions and healing arts has led her to Nepal, Tibet & India and she has had a meditation practice for 25 years. Ancient Goddesses fascinate her.
Reading Literature through a Darwinian LensFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
First Seven Weeks: September 27-November 8
This course investigates how literary art reflects--and reflects upon--principles of evolutionary biology. Literature explores relationships between human organisms and their environments, physical and cultural. Fictional characters compete for mates, resources, and status; they employ both cooperative and coercive strategies, both honest and deceptive tactics. Not infrequently, they discern and protest biological constraints to human experience. In sum, they confront choices and problems much like those in real life, enabling readers to rehearse behavioral options and ponder social complexities. Prior knowledge of evolutionary biology is not expected. Readings will include excerpts from scientific literature, short stories, and poems.
Professor of English at Marist College, Judith Saunders has taught interdisciplinary courses linking evolutionary biology with the study of literature. She has published journal and book articles applying Darwinian Literary Critical ideas and methods to texts by Franklin, Hawthorne, Whitman, Thoreau, Freeman, Hurston, Lawrence, Huxley, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Collins, and others. She is the author of two book-length interdisciplinary studies, the first on Edith Wharton and the second “American Classics: Evolutionary Perspectives.”
Great Old Opera Singers You Should Listen ToFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
One critic said of the singer Elisabeth Rethberg that he didn't know that such beautiful sounds could come out of the human throat. Another critic said of Conchita Supervia that she's “the best reason not to commit suicide: If you do, you'll never hear her sing again.” Yet another singer said of baritone Titta Ruffo that his wasn't a voice: "It was a miracle." We will listen to arias sung by these and other great singers, (Rosa Ponselle, Alexander Kipnis, and Feodor Chaliapin) as well as learn about their lives and careers through anecdotes and movies.
Warren Boroson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College and has been on the staffs of various newspapers and magazines. He has written over 20 books and taught at schools in New Jersey and New York.
A Mystical History of the Hudson ValleyFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
An exploration of the esoteric spiritual history of the Hudson Valley. Topics that we will explore include Iroquois and Algonquin traditions, the role of Freemasonry in local Revolutionary War events, the development in New York of modern Spiritualism, Mormonism, and other religious movements, and the occult revival of the late 19th Century and its impact in the region. Many other related ideas into modern times will be explored as well. A fascinating look at the spiritual connections of our region.
Dr. Nathan Rosenblum is a Professor of Esoteric Studies with degrees in English, History, and Metaphysical Philosophy. He has published numerous pieces in a variety of genres (fiction, non-fiction, poetry) and has also done work in music, art, and the theater. An ordained interfaith minister, he is a Theosophist and Ceremonial Magician who regularly lectures at spiritual conferences and other venues. He has released numerous CD and DVD recordings and can be reached at www.theserpentrises.com.
Plant-Based at Any AgeFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
A plant-based diet can help prevent and reverse diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. It's the future of healthcare — it's never too late to move towards a plant strong lifestyle. We’ll learn the health benefits of a plant-based diet, nutritional information most of us never learned growing up — and why our Standard American Diet (SAD) has not served us well. We’ll view an incredible documentary, enjoy lively discussions, learn new ways of eating that are surprisingly sumptuous — with no cholesterol. We'll take home tools needed to maintain that plant powered knowledge we absorb from this course.
Sande is a master-certified vegan coach and educator. She penned a column for the Poughkeepsie Journal called 'Living & Being Vegan' and is the author of "OBLIVIOUS; A Vegan Memoir," and “Living & Being Vegan; How Veganism Heals Your Body, Mind and Spirit.” Her multi-media presentation, “How Veganism Heals,” has been enjoyed by groups at various venues. An activist, yoga teacher, student and animal lover, Sande strives to live a healthy, sustainable, compassionate life.
Healthcare: The future is NowFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Healthcare providers will discuss how technology has changed healthcare. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, technology and innovation are at the forefront of treatment. Technology has made the impossible possible, but there are also limits and things take time before they can become a reality. Find out how local healthcare experts are using technology to manage your care.
John Nelson is director of Public and Community Affairs for Health Quest. His responsibilities include media relations, external communications, community outreach, social media, government relations support, corporate philanthropy and more. One of John's goals is to bring the many excellent specialists within Health Quest -- surgeons, cardiologists, oncologists, neurologists, nutritionists and more -- into the community. This fosters connections and breaks down barriers many people feel when faced with making healthcare choices in their lives.
Alone in the Universe?Friday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
In addition to the inhabitants of Earth, are there other examples of life in the Universe? What can astronomy do to answer this fundamental question? This course will examine the most practical lines of inquiry. Although these begin with more extensive exploration of our own solar system, even more promising investigations look further afield. Astronomers are developing increasingly powerful methods for characterizing the thousands of known extra-solar planets, for searching for signs of life, as well as for discovering new “Earth-like” worlds among the (probably) hundred billion other planets in our Galaxy.
Fred Chromey is Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at Vassar College, where he began teaching in 1983 and directed the Vassar College Observatory until 2016. Chromey earned a BS in Physics from St. Joseph’s College and a PhD in Astronomy from Harvard University, and taught for several years at Brooklyn College prior to his arrival at Vassar. He has 45 years of research.
Resilient CommunitiesFriday Courses, 1:45–3:00pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Climate change calls us to think about what it takes for our communities to withstand extreme weather, power outages, and the more mundane stresses associated with the sense that something is just out of whack. A resilient community is one that bounces back from extreme events and maintains quality of life under pressure; it is also a community that is capable of effective action to reduce its footprint and build prosperity. The interdisciplinary field of resilience has come to life since Hurricane Sandy, integrating architecture, design, engineering, communications, and community development. This course reviews principles, success models, and strategies that can be applied in Hudson Valley communities. We will learn how to evaluate community vulnerabilities, develop resilience plans, and link resilience with local self-reliance and public health. Participants may sit in on one or more community workshops run by Sustainable Hudson Valley in Poughkeepsie.
Readings: Jonathan F. P. Rose, The Well Tempered City
100 Resilient Cities program website www.100resilientcities.org
Opera as Politics IVFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
We continue our immersion in Opera as Politics as Part IV looks at governmental, sexual, economic, and religious politics as expressed and reflected in opera. A close examination of important operas, with special focus on the major works of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and a look at the current state of opera as a political vehicle are part of the course curriculum. We will experience operatic video performances in class as political themes are developed. Previous attendance in this course is not required, no technical musical knowledge is needed, and familiarity with opera is not assumed.
Chuck is developing a syllabus examining the intellectual, political and artistic history of Western Europe from the Enlightenment to the present. He has been presenting his popular multi-semester classroom series on Opera as Politics at Vassar and many other area LLIs, is a guest lecturer at Bardavon and has been a lecturer at the Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society.
Art Thefts and Forgeries of the 20th CenturyFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Throughout the history of art, many iconic masterpieces have vanished. In 1913 the world’s most well-known masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, was recovered in Italy two years after it went missing at the hands of a poor Italian immigrant, Vincenzo Perugia. Three decades later, Hitler’s art dealer, Hildebrand Gurlitt, looted a cache of paintings that had been stolen by the Nazis. This is just the tip of an iceberg that descends into the deepest criminal underworld where art theft and forgery is not just a business, but a way of life.
Art for me began at Mount Saint Mary College where I earned my bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in art. At the Mount I discovered both a passion for the history of art, and a love for creating it. I belong to the Cornwall Arts Collective and have given lectures related to art history. As an oil painter, I can offer special insight into the methods and techniques used by the great masters.
The Hudson River: Changing Human ImpactFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: Unlimited
An examination of 200 years of human impact on the Hudson River and how it has shaped industrial development, commerce, tourism, and environmental awareness in the valley, as well as the nation, through landscape preservation and public parks; nongovernmental advocacy organizations’ efforts to control pollution and preserve landscapes; legal opposition to proposed developments such as power plants; and creative proposals to manage climate change.
Harvey K. Flad is Professor Emeritus of Geography at Vassar College where he has taught since 1972, chaired the Department of Earth Science and Geography, and cofounded the Environmental, American and Urban Studies programs. His publications have included Main Street to Mainframes: Landscape and Social Change in Poughkeepsie (2009). He has consulted with numerous museums on Hudson Valley history, most recently the New York Historical Society's exhibition "Hudson Rising" in 2019.
A legacy letter reflects the "voice of the heart." Think of it as a love letter to your family. Every legacy letter is as unique as the person writing it. The instructor will give examples written from Biblical times to the present. She will discuss several personal reasons for writing a legacy letter. Our goal will be for each member of the class to write a legacy letter based on assignments and feedback from the instructor and the class. We will have a class limit of 12 so that everyone will have the time to fully discuss their writing.
From Memoir to Legacy Letters: Passing Values from the Stories of Your Life to the Next GenerationFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 14
It’s the LawFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 25
7-week course: September 278-November 8)
The course will examine four major topics within the American legal system:
1. Order in the Court: the structure of the judicial system; the differences between trial and appellate courts; selection of judges.
2. Here Come da Judge: what courts decide; the importance of precedent; the respective roles of judges, lawyers and juries; what happens at trials; the different standards of proof.
3. It’s a Crime: traditional societal goals in criminal justice; Constitutional considerations in criminal justice; classifications of criminal conduct; culpable mental states ("mens rea"); plea bargaining.
4. Let’s be Civil: brief history of the evolution of civil law system; the "common law" then and today; differences between civil law and criminal law; the differences between actions at law and equity actions.
The last 15 minutes of each session will be reserved for participants to raise issues, ask questions, or discuss any topic related to that day's topic or generally to "the law".
Mickey Steiman A.B. Colgate University 1968; J.D. Syracuse University College of Law 1972; Senior trial attorney, Office of Special Litigation, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 1972-1980; 35 years of private practice in Dutchess County; Adjunct Professor, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY (1982-1989)
The Psychology of Well-being and HappinessFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 30
First 6 weeks: September 27-November 1st
This timely course is the study of what is often a life-changing examination of what determines life satisfaction and happiness. Positive Psychology refers to the “intentions, thoughts and actions” that have more impact on happiness than our personal circumstances and the condition of the world around us. Wellbeing and happiness can be increased at any point in life, resulting in emotional and physical improvements in health as well as increased life expectancy. Improvements in managing stress of any sort are also achieved. Through lecture, readings, discussion and individual exercises, life satisfaction and strategies to improve happiness are explored.
Optional Text: The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky
A clinical psychologist with a 29-year career in the local Hudson Valley, Dr. Denise Morett practices privately and consults to local hospitals, nursing homes and schools providing clinical services, lectures and training. She regularly teaches psychology classes at the university level. Her book “LIFELINE” deals with catastrophic stress and coping during the serious or life-threatening illness of a family member. Dr. Morett’s expertise in positive psychology concepts are helping individuals dramatically improve their lives.
Gentle YogaFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 25
First 6 weeks: September 27-November 1st
Please note: I cannot teach on October 11, so that day’s class is canceled.
Class begins with breathing techniques and warm-ups. We will do traditional yoga asanas standing, sitting and on the floor. We could accommodate those who need a chair instead of getting down on the floor. I end each class with a relaxation of about 10 -15 minutes. It will be appropriate for beginners as well as those continuing and deepening their practice of yoga. Participants should bring a yoga mat and a small pillow, wear loose, comfortable clothing and eat only lightly about 2-3 hours before class.
I am a retired special education teacher and have been teaching yoga for the past 20 years. I am certified and have insurance in my field.
The Art of Chinese TeaFriday Courses, 3:20–4:35pm-[click course title for more information]Limit: 40
Description: The aim of this course is to introduce the culture and art of the Chinese tea and help learners to understand the spirit of Chinese tea and have the basic skill to make a cup of soup of Chinese tea.
Students need to pay the tea materials for practicing to make tea soup.
Xiaodong Smith is an instructor of Chinese language and culture. For more than ten years, Xiaodong taught foreign students at Fudan University in Shanghai and managed a cultural organization. Xiaodong taught Chinese language and culture in Dutchess Community College, now is teaching The Art of Chinese Tea in LLI, Vassar.
FDR & Churchill: A Friendship Forged in Fire-Mondays: September 30, October 7, 21, 28, 11:00-12:15 pmOff-Campus Courses-[click course title for more information]Limit: 50
Mondays: Sept 30, Oct 7, 21, 28, 11:00-12:15pm
4079 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538
Their friendship has been called the most important of the twentieth century. Forged amid the greatest war in human history, it has attained almost mythic status. Today, the relationship between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill stands as an enduring symbol of the wartime alliance between the United States and Great Britain.
June 6, 2019, marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. Churchill declared the operation "the most complicated and difficult that has ever occurred." Roosevelt called it "a mighty endeavor." The largest amphibious assault in history, Operation Overlord sealed the fate of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Regime.
This four-part course explores the arc of their lives and the remarkable story of their friendship and alliance that helped win World War II.
Paul Sparrow is the Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum which is part of the National Archives. He also works closely with the Roosevelt Institute to support the Library and provide interesting programs and lectures to the public. Paul is the former Deputy Director and Senior Vice President for Broadcasting and New Media at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Digital Animations-Wednesdays: October 2, 9, 16, 23, 11:00-12:30 pmOff-Campus Courses-[click course title for more information]Limit: 15
Wednesdays: October 2, 9, 16, 23, 11:00-12:30pm
The Art Effect, Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory
8 N Cherry St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
In this workshop series, you will get to create and animate your own digital puppets. First, you will learn the steps of building a digital puppet as well as a background, in Adobe Photoshop. Once that is completed, the digital puppets will be transferred into Adobe Character Animator, where you will write a short scene and animate your puppets, giving them facial expressions, movements, and a voice.
Finally, you will bring your backgrounds and recorded animations into Adobe After Effects to bring the whole scene together, leaving with a completed short video animation!
Materials Fee $5.00
Sarah Timberlake Taylor has been teaching videography, animation and experimental film for over 4 years. She graduated from, Bard College with a major in Film Production. Sarah has done projection and stage managing for several touring one-woman plays. She often works with documentarian Kevin Schreck. Sarah also works on her own series, Travel Loops, short looping films focused on the cyclical nature of recollections created by departures from our everyday life and routines.
Gentle Walks in the Hudson Valley-Thursdays: Oct. 3, 17, 24, 31: 9:30amOff-Campus Courses-[click course title for more information]Limit: 20
Thursdays: Oct. 3, 17, 24, 31; 9:30am
Join fellow Vassar LLI members for a couple of hours of fresh air, education, and community building as we walk in our beautiful Hudson Valley. This course offers 4 Thursday morning walks each paired with a cultural/educational experience. Participants will meet at the designated location at 9:30 am. (Specific directions will be shared for each walk).
October 3- Walk to the Mohonk Mountain House and tour the historic Mountain House led by Mohonk archivist.
October 17- Walk at the Ashokan Reservoir and talk by Adam Bosch, Director of Public Affairs for NYC Environmental Protection. The talk will touch on the history and future of this over 100-year-old engineering marvel.
October 24- Walk the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and Rosendale Trestle and visit the Women's Studio Workshop for a talk/ gallery tour.
October 31- Walk to Dennings Point State Park in Beacon with a talk at the Beacon Institute's Center for Environmental Innovation and Education
We expect that the participants will be back to Poughkeepsie by midday or early afternoon
David Bloom is a retired special education teacher who has long understood the benefits of walking and a couple of hours of fresh air.
Mark Boujikian – Retired Mental Health Counselor and once upon a time hiker, now walker, who often needs some guilt and a little motivation to break away from his book reading. These walks will hopefully provide that little motivation without the guilt for anyone interested.
Drawing Gymnastics- Saturdays, Oct. 19, 26, Nov.2, 9; 11-12:30pmOff-Campus Courses-[click course title for more information]Limit: 15
Tuesdays Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22; 11-12:30pm
Barrett Art Center
55 Noxon St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Come and exercise your brain with a variety of fun drawing exercises in the galleries of the Barrett Art Center, landmark historic 1840's brick townhouse and former home to WPA artist Thomas W. Barrett, Jr., who founded the Dutchess County Art Association there in 1935 (today known as Barrett Art Center). Over the four weeks, we'll approach a number of subjects in different ways, awakening sleepier parts of the grey matter as we experiment with different media and forms of mark-making.
No experience necessary. Materials Fee: $5.00
Emilie Houssart is a Dutch painter, printmaker and sculptor. She studied and taught at the Charles H. Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy and moved to the Hudson Valley in 2013 where she is currently Resident Artist in Thomas Barrett's historic studio at the Barrett Art Center. She has taught drawing and painting independently since 2007 and is currently an Instructor at the Woodstock School of Art and Fall Kill Print Works.
The HeART of Poughkeepsie Gallery Tours-Wednesdays Oct. 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13 11-12:15 pmOff-Campus Courses-[click course title for more information]Limit: 20
Wednesdays Oct. 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13 11-12:15
Meet at Gallery of the day
A unique and special series of private tours at four innovative galleries in the heart of downtown Poughkeepsie, all adjacent to local restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops. Directors and visual artists will lead tours and provide discussions on the role of the arts in the City's renaissance.
October 23, Barrett Art Center, 55 Noxon Street
October 30, Queen City 15, 317 Main Street
November 6, Gallery 330, 330 Main Street
November 13, The Trolley Barn, (part of Fall Kill Creative Works), 489 Main Street
Each week’s presentation will be led by one of the artists or gallery directors. Joanna Frang, executive director, will provide the program for Barrett Art Center's "New Directions: 35th National Juried Contemporary Art Exhibition." Paoli Bari, a founding artist at Queen City 15 will lead the second week's tour and discussion. Founding Director David Henningsen provides innovative exhibits and performances at Gallery 330. Kate Mitchell, artist and executive director of The Trolley Barn will lead the final tour and discussion.