Liberal Arts


This free, hands-on workshop will guide you through the process of shaping your idea into a class suitable for any adult audience. Focus will be on course development, preparation and delivery. Understand how adults learn and what OLLI-USF resources are available to you. Learn how to prepare presentations, manage groups and get your ideas across in an entertaining yet effective manner. Practice and feedback sessions will help you gain confidence and improve your course. Bring ideas for what you might teach.

Who are those brave men and women walking next to politicians and presidential candidates? What else do they do? Join Special Agent Michael Horn for a discussion of the origin, history, and development of the U.S. Secret Service. He will begin with the inception of the Secret Service and continue through the evolution of its protective and investigative missions in the modern era.
We take in the world and understand it through the information conveyed by our senses. Let's examine what we know and think we know about the senses of smell, touch, taste, hearing and vision. We'll do this in an interdisciplinary fashion, considering art, literature, evolution, anatomy and physiology, both normal and abnormal. Starting by reviewing what we learned in school, we'll finish up by considering recent advances in our understanding of the sensory systems.
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Calling all "I can only draw stick people" artists. Yes, YOU! Learn the basic secrets used in drawing and painting, not only shells but just about anything. Mistakes? We love 'em. So, don't wait. Ignite that creative spark that is uniquely yours! Learn about design, color mixing and the use of shading and overlapping to make a 3D painting. The instructor will distribute art supplies at the first class (Cost $50.00 payable to the instructor at the first class).

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Brew, bottle, taste and judge beer from start to finish. We'll use some simple equipment and an easy-to-follow recipe to make our own beer. Along the way we'll explore local and online resources for this widely popular new activity. Just imagine -- you could have your own Oktoberfest any time of year!
Peek behind the scenes as The Florida Orchestra rehearses Brahm's Symphony No. 1 and other masterworks before weekend performances. Meet at the side stage door of the Straz Center for a brief backstage tour and pre-rehearsal talk in the lobby. Participants will have the opportunity to speak with guest conductor Gemma New in a Q & A format during the break or immediately following the rehearsal.
What kinds of speech and expression are protected by the First Amendment? Where--or should--we draw the boundary between church and state? How do we balance the rights of an accused against the protection of citizens and the needs of law enforcement? In an age of intrusive technology, is there still a meaningful right to privacy? Join in a thoughtful discussion of critical civil liberties issues.
From a bullied, insecure 14-year-old contemplating suicide to a TV spokesperson alongside Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley, John Carleo knows that nothing in our lives need hold us back. He will inspire you to believe that we are all born to win, no matter our age or past experiences. Carleo, a well-known fitness spokesperson, operated a dance studio in Pittsburgh for decades before moving to Florida.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

If you fear that you're forgetting more and aren't as "sharp" as you used to be, fear not. Research shows you can optimize your brain function with health-improving activities and brain games. Practice memory techniques, learn about non-pharmaceutical research, and share solutions to the challenges of aging. Tweak your cognitive abilities in this informal setting and have fun playing games to enhance memory, language and reasoning skills.
In this chair-assisted yoga class, learn to align gentle movements with your breath, aiding flexibility, balance, stress relief and relaxation. Participants will become familiar with poses and simple stretches that can be incorporated into daily life. The course includes breathing and meditation techniques that support all areas of the body and contribute to a better night's sleep. All yoga equipment will be provided.
Continue learning to speak German with a focus on frequently used verbs and phrases. Increase your skill in grammar as well as vocabulary. If you did not take the introductory class but have a basic familiarity with the language, you may enjoy stretching yourself with this course. Optional text: Easy German Step-by-Step by Ed Swick, $16.00
Afraid to start writing? Develop a deeper understanding of the writer's craft. We will cover essential components of creative writing such as setting, conflict, plot, characters and dialogue. Upon completion of the course, you should be better equipped to begin the process of writing your own work. Begin your own adventure as a writer with the advice of a seasoned pro.
The island nation of Cuba has had an influence on music out of proportion to its size. With West African and Spanish roots, Cuban music is rich in rhythm, emotion and religion. Savor the musical flavors of the island. Sample the traditional music of Cuba with live and recorded performances, introduce yourself to renowned Cuban composers, and see some of the percussive instruments that help give this music its unique rhythms. You'll be dancing in your seat!

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

This two-week class focuses on the rich history of Cuba, current U.S.-Cuban relations, and the future of the island nation. Join Rudy Fernandez to explore Cuban history, economy, and culture with insights gained from many trips to the island his family knew so well.
The Middle East, located at the crossroads of continents, is the home of the world's earliest civilizations and the birthplace of major world religions. It also contains critical natural resources. For these reasons, it is ripe for exploitation, colonization and a clash of cultures that has endured for millennia. It also helps explain our fascination with the region. Explore the diversity of cultures that characterizes the Middle East as you consider its attractions, cultures, food and languages.
Enhance your quality of life and have fun learning some new moves: a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests dancing can reduce the risk of dementia by 76%! The physical, mental and social benefits of dancing are greater than with most other activities. You'll find learning both line and couples dances is fun and easy, no partner needed. Classes may be videoed.
Florida gardening comes with special challenges -- and opportunities. Climate, soil, location and personal preferences are all variables to consider in your home's landscape, which can add to or detract from its market value. Learn basic design principles and elements; conduct a site analysis, discover Florida-friendly landscape materials and planting principles. With field trips to inspire you, create a landscape design for your home!

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

The number of U.S. adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled over the last 20 years. An estimated 30.3 million U.S. adults have diabetes, but 1 in 4 of them are unaware of their condition. Join board-certified endocrinologist Dr. Archani Swami to learn more about diabetes, risk factors and healthy habits for diabetes prevention.
Your only limitations on discovering Tampa Bay are the amount of time you have and the money you want to spend. This course will cover museums, attractions, restaurants, theaters, parks, and yearly events, including the large nearby attractions such as Busch Gardens. We will tour a local attraction.
How do you find the most up-to-date health information to help you make informed healthcare decisions for you and your loved ones? According to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of adults in the U.S. have searched online for health-related information in the last year. Sometimes online searching results in inaccurate information. Join Jacyln Castek, Manager of Tampa General Hospital's Library Service and Angie Novak, Medical Librarian, and learn how to evaluate websites for quality, credibility and reliability.
This course presents a fun, concise overview of the financial markets. We will discuss the history and basics of investing, tax and estate planning and the fundamentals of managing your own investment portfolio. Learn about the forces that influence market direction while challenging conventional Wall Street wisdom. Update your understanding of tax and estate laws in order to help you prepare for April 15th. Learn ways to protect and preserve your wealth for you and your beneficiaries. No specific financial products are discussed or sold.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Have you heard about the benefits of meditation (better sleep, improved health, less stress) but don't know how to start? Learn to weave meditation and relaxation into your daily life. In each session, do a brief warmup stretch, settle into a comfortable position (seated or reclined), and practice a meditation technique with the instructor's guidance. Then have some time at the end to talk about your experience. Leave with instructions for guided meditations so you can practice between sessions.
Who hasn't been buffeted by life's storms and wondered how to go on? Motivational speaker Avi Davidson is a University of South Florida student working on a bachelor's degree in Behavioral Healthcare. He will narrate the journey resulting from a life-altering trauma he suffered as a teenager.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

What do Harry Bosch and Doc Ford have in common? Both iconic detectives are the creations of Florida novelists Randy Wayne White and Tampa resident Michael Connelly. We'll start by exploring Doc Ford's time in Central America and on Sanibel Island in White's Sanibel Flats. Then, meet Harry Bosch in his first outing in Connelly's The Black Echo. Read the novels before coming to class to consider how setting is more than a backdrop with these novels.
If you ever played any kind of flute in the past (c-flute, recorder, piccolo, kena, native American flute, etc.) and still have it in the back of your closet, grab it and start those lungs, fingers and brains working, just for fun. The instructor will provide music or you can bring your own: she requires only that that you are able to read musical notation and bring your flute. Bring a music stand if you have one. No matter how long it's been since you picked up your instrument, you are welcome.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

If you've always wondered about what your family ancestors were like, this course is for you. Get started on your genealogical path and learn the basics: how to find sources, handy websites and programs, the puzzles of DNA, and other tips and tricks.
You've heard about the benefits of yoga, mindfulness and meditation -- now it's time to do it! The gentle poses you will practice are designed specifically to stretch muscles, strengthen bones and bring flexibility to the joints. Yoga helps improve body posture, ease of movement and balance. Mindfulness and meditation help relieve stress, relax the body and quiet the mind. Get ready to improve your health while also having fun.
Discussions about universal human rights and democracy can get very personal and emotional. These themes seem to touch the core of our individual history, our values and culture. When the conversation is expanded to the international community, the difficulties to reaching an agreement multiply. Is the recognition of universal human rights irreconcilable with respect for particular cultures? Required readings are mostly from essays by UNESCO members and are available online.
Join Rev. Wayne Maberry, Director of Pastoral Care and Clinical Pastoral Education at Tampa General Hospital, for a lecture on advance directives. By planning ahead, you can create written instructions about your future medical care in the event you are unable to express your medical wishes. This lecture focuses on a brief history of advance directives, the benefits of having an advance directive and provides you with an opportunity to complete an advance directive.
No dieting, minimal exercise. Too good to be true? No! Learn how to be healthier than you were in your 30s, 40s and 50s. Discover which diets can adversely affect your health and which foods can keep you healthier, more energized. Identify the herbs, spices and foods to battle inflammation, deal with blood pressure, cholesterol and even hormonal issues. Understand how to incorporate minimal exercise into your lifestyle. You will be able to invent a healthy eating plan for yourself even if you lead a busy life.
Call it clutter, hoarding, or being a pack rat, but some people do struggle with having too much "stuff" and not being able to get rid of it. You might be curious about how a home can become like the incredibly overcrowded houses on TV. Or you might want some solid suggestions on how to organize your own living space. If your possessions own you rather than the other way around, learn some skills to lighten your life.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941 began a war that lasted nearly four years, created by far the bloodiest theater in World War II. The renowned eastern front was characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life due to combat, starvation, exposure, disease, and massacres. We will engage in the debate over who deserves the credit and blame for the largest military confrontation in history.
Learn about accepted, nonpolitical scientific information regarding the relationship of fossil fuel energy utilization to greenhouse gas formation and, by association, to global warming. We will examine and challenge the facts, the data and the models to enable you to arrive at your own conclusions about global warming and climate change. You also will be able to engage confidently in social discussion on the topic. No scientific or technical background is assumed or required.
This course will be a friendly gathering of people who enjoy considering newsworthy events together. We invite you to join our talented communicators as we engage in discussions on the pressing topics of our time. Class participation is an integral part of this course: you will be invited to help select several topics and your opinions are welcome. We will identify current issues, consider them in all their complexity, and then move on to consider possible solutions. Topics will range from domestic to foreign affairs as well as Florida-specific and women's issues.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Welcome to the most advanced (to date) Italian course and to OLLI's Italian "famiglia." Discuss all things Italian as we encompass much more than just language. If you are reasonably comfortable speaking the language and know basic grammar, this course is for you. You should be able to conjugate regular verbs in all three conjugations in the present indicative, present perfect, imperfect and future tenses and in the imperative mood. Required text: Learn Italian the Fast and Fun Way, 4th ed., by Danesi, $29.99.
Bob Marley's reggae music is known and loved internationally. But how much do you know about Jamaican history, culture, the music and its African origins? Explore the history of Jamaican music, its themes of social issues, love and peace with Lasana Bandele, a recording artist. Review the influences of ska and rocksteady and the Jamaican contribution to world-wide music and culture.
Here's a chance to learn and practice the fundamentals of resistance training, core strength and stability, and functional balance for ease in movement in daily activities. The instructor will demonstrate proper form and technique, and you will be able to practice and improve under her watchful eye. You will use resistance equipment and your body weight in the exercises.
This course will allow you to learn more about a topic of great personal significance--you! You will listen to and read published and unpublished life stories; then you will begin work on writing your own. The sessions will focus on childhood, family history, relationships, children, work (volunteer or paid), and personal sorrows and victories. This popular course is for beginners interested in turning their memories into family heirlooms or even works of art! This class is limited in size, so register early.
Attention, intermediate Mah Jongg players: join us to improve your skills and learn more strategies for both offensive and defensive play. You will become a better contender by matching your wits and aptitude against experienced players. We'll provide a 2018 National Mah Jongg League card.
Move beyond the skills you developed in the OLLI beginning mountain dulcimer course. Explore several pieces of music in depth, master new songs and learn new techniques in a fun, relaxed environment. Once registered, you will receive information on purchasing music for the course (approximately $10-15). Prerequisite: Completion of beginning OLLI course or experience playing the mountain dulcimer.
The unholy drought is over. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) returns after a 14-year absence. The original Bad Boys of Abridgment squished all 37 plays, plus a few sonnets to boot, into a 90-minute time-lapse performance of some of the greatest theatre of all time. This season, Jobsite dusts off the Chuck Taylors, dons the doublets and delivers a fair number of pratfalls, terrible puns, mis-readings and madcap capers for this chaotic, comprehensive dash through The Bard's greatest hits. Pre-show lecture by David Jenkins, artistic director of Jobsite and one of the three performers of the production.Fee: $31.50 * Sun., 3/24 * 3:00 p.m. pre-show lecture, 4:00 p.m. curtain * Shimberg Theater * STRAZ-David A Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts * 192XOSTSE0971

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Buddhism is not a rationale for self-indulgence in "inner peace" nor is it some kind of otherworldly asceticism. It offers guidance for living wisely in our present condition with wisdom and compassion.Buddha taught for 45 years, actively relieving the suffering of rich and poor alike, until his death at 80. We will examine the life of the great Buddhist king Ashoka as a model of wise and compassionate political authority.
What are the ingredients that constitute a "Great" poem? What is the difference between good poetry and great poetry? And why do we relegate some poems to the category of mediocre,or worse? Choosing a different theme each week, we will read and discuss poems and decide on their ratings.
Are you reluctant or even afraid to stand up and speak in front of a group? Learn to speak like a pro using mind mapping technology and storytelling. You may not even need your notes. Practice crafting your speech with stories and then deliver it informally to a group that you can be sure will be on your side.
Discover what scientists are learning about our incredibly beautiful, potentially deadly, and largely unknown universe. Cybersecurity: it is a threat to lose sleep over? Evolution: you have a lot more "relatives" than you ever dreamt about. Be astonished with what makes our bodies human. Take a peek at archaeological discoveries on earth, under the sea, and from outer space. Explore some "Weird Science" to decide if UFO's and Bigfoot are myths, delusions or something ... real.
Explore past conditioning and the unconscious barriers that limit us from being fully present and at peace in this advanced course. We will bring awareness to ego attachment, which can be the cause of unnecessary suffering, anger, sadness and fear. Ongoing students can develop their own style of self-hypnotherapy and mindfulness. Sharon Stoll, Certified Harp Practitioner, will play at each class meeting and share insights on therapeutic music and meditation.
Explore the process of creating colorful art using tiny, tiny beads. The instructor, a self-taught working artist, embroiders on felt using traditional and non-traditional stitches to create a unique sculpture effect. Try it for yourself in a hands-on session! Discuss techniques in bead embroidery and hear ideas for mixed media. Consider turning art into a business.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

We will begin when Tampa did, in 1528, and will journey together into the 21st century. Learn about the disparate groups of immigrants, pioneers and settlers who forged our city's history, then take a four-hour bus tour through Tampa's memorable historic neighborhoods. Hear stories of the people, places and events that brought us to the present day. There is a $35 fee payable by check at the first class to cover the cost of the bus tour.
This beginner to intermediate course offers a set of 17 gentle movements that exercise the whole physiology including the tendons, joints, connective tissue and internal organs. These movements help the mind return to stillness, clarity and wisdom and the body become balanced, relaxed and healthy. Tai Chi is suitable for people of all ages and physical conditions. Participants should wear sneakers or athletic shoes and comfortable clothing that permits movement.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

What are the implications of the Trump administration's management of the federal budget and its impact on the national debt? Take a high level view (no equations!) of these issues in macroeconomics. The Federal Reserve, who manages the nation's money supply, is taking steps to address that debt which is affecting interest rates and prices. Learn more about how the Fed operates, and about tariffs, international trade, and the impact of the Social Security (and Medicare) trust funds running out.
Writer Neil Gaiman observed, "A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick --a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart." Join us to examine the literary elements of the short story genre utilizing a variety of 20th and 21st century short stories and authors including Hemingway, Faulkner and O'Connor. Discover some 21st century authors who are taking the short story genre to new levels. No textbook required, stories online or copies provided by instructor.
Take a look at the buildings in our environment. Then enjoy the theory, history and discussions in this course to become an even more discerning observer of our surroundings. Required text: Visual Reference Guides ARCHITECTURE, by Jonathan Glancey (2010 edition). Used copies available online.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Like a few other friends and allies of the United States, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia prompts controversy. It is clearly not a democracy, but neither is it a police state or a one-man dictatorship. What are its guiding principles? Learn about the country from an OLLI member who served four years there as a senior US diplomat.
Over 50 million consumers in the U.S. and up to 100 million worldwide will use voice assistants in 2018. These devices will play a major role in healthcare and patient education. Explore their strengths and limitations, the companies developing smart devices, then consider how voice-activated devices are being used in clinical trials and senior settings. Interact with two market leaders, the Amazon Echo Show and the Lenovo Smart Display (with Google Assistant).
Virtual reality (VR), an immersive experience, is used for diversion therapy as well as a growing number of clinical applications like pain management. Examine the clinical utility of VR in both acute and long-term care settings, and consider its contraindications. Learn about the leading VR vendors, then explore links on your own. Experiment with several VR viewers including Oculus Go by Facebook. Engage in VR experiences yourself and for your loved ones.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

HIV, Herpes, Influenza, Ebola, West Nile Fever, Dengue and infections endemic to Florida - all are viruses. What is it about their structure that leads us to label them this way? How do they interact with the body to cause disease? How does the human body combat viruses? How can we use what we have learned to get viruses to work for us? Enlarge your understanding and dispel a few myths.
Frank Lloyd Wright was 70 years old when he started designing buildings for Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Over the next 20 years, 12 structures were built to fulfill his vision of buildings rising "out of the ground and into the light." Note the large Water Dome, the shaded Esplanades, stunning chapels and a theater in the round. Study this largest single site collection of Wright's work and then visit the campus.
Not a day goes by when we don't hear or read about a new way to maintain our health or a promising trial of new drugs or familiar vitamins. It's time to review the latest research about how to stay healthy as we age. Put your focus on physical and cognitive health, the benefits of staying active, and the role of strong relationships. Highlight the impact of ageist stereotypes and the importance of tuning them out.