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.
Deepen your knowledge of these topics: the origination of stock options and how institutional investors fit them into their portfolios, technical and fundamental analysis, and how economists use economic models to try to project market movements. This course is a sequel to Economics of Modern Investing, but that is not a prerequisite. No specific financial products are discussed or sold.
We'll have more fun with the dulcimer in this third level course. Learn about the arpeggiated style of playing and how to incorporate it with chord melody style, refining flat picking, finger picking and Aolian Mode. We'll learn this as we play lots of songs. Prerequisite: Beginning Mountain Dulcimer Parts I and II
Peek behind the scenes as The Florida Orchestra rehearses Schubert's Symphony No. 5 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 cellist and guest conductor Lynn Harrell in a Q & A format during the break or immediately following the rehearsal.
Balance, connect and harmonize the hemispheres of the brain with this gentle technique that uses different hand positions and that can improve memory. It's a proven way to increase brain capacity, focus, and concentration. You will be able to feel relaxed, yet alert. Please bring a mat to lie on, as we will be outside.
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.
We will look at the growth of civil society during the Yeltsin years and early Putin years. We will discuss the involvement of the US Agency for International Development in supporting Russian civil society and examine the increasing limitations placed on international support by President Putin. We will look at how Russia's civil society organizations are faring as a result. Finally, we will consider what the current state of Russian society portends for the future.

Enthusiastic beginner or experienced writer? With full support, create a new piece of writing: short fiction, memoir, the chapter of a novel, or a narrative essay. Meet with other dedicated writers every other week for instruction; the next week, write and revise at home at your own pace. Discuss work-in-progress in small groups with encouraging feedback and one-on-one coaching. We share our work through email and a private Facebook group, so a computer is essential.
People often express the desire to have some control over the conditions of their end stage of life. But laws can make these decisions confusing and difficult. Learn about the pertinent Florida laws and to what degree they permit people to take control of their end of life experience. We will discuss current state of Florida forms, including advance directives, designation of a healthcare surrogate and living wills. There will be an opportunity to practice your important "Conversations" with your family and physicians.
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. Required text: Easy German Step-by-Step by Ed Swick, $16.00
Lloyd's of London rates working on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Even the smallest mistake can result in an accident. You need to keep your head on a swivel, trust others and understand the danger when working on a carrier's flight deck. Coordination and precision are key. Learn about both the perceived chaos and the well-thought-out system behind deck operations.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

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.
This course will focus on the issues faced by law enforcement, the courts and corrections in dealing with the crime problem, using lecture and discussion along with games and an in-class murder mystery. In order to see crime and justice up close and in action, we may tour the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab, visit an area shooting range, view a weekend first-appearance court hearing and visit the Orient Road jail.
A need for better understanding of East-West cultural differences has surfaced along with the increasing pace of globalization. Explore the traditional and modern values of the Chinese people in three significant phases of life: the college entrance exam, marriage customs and aging. The goal: to increase mutual understanding by comparing the lives of ordinary Chinese and Americans in these and other challenging areas.
This two-week class focuses on the rich history of Cuba, current US-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.
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.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

During Napoleon III's reign in France and following the European revolutionary activity of 1848, hundreds of exiles, representing the tumultuous worlds of politics and the arts, fled to the English Channel islands of Jersey and Guernsey. These Proscrits' writing and advocacy of causes while in exile is a fascinating tale.
Learn how to play the exciting game of Mah Jongg, a game of Chinese origin with American National Mah Jongg League Inc. rules. Learn how the game is played and achieve proficiency in the basics. Four players play at each game. Two additional players rotate between playing in turn and observing. Mah Jongg is a game which teaches players how to overcome rigid thinking by changing the goal in the midst of play. We'll provide you a 2017 National Mah Jongg League card in large print.
Economists used to have a pretty good idea about the policy implications of a Republican or Democratic administration. The Trump era, however, defies neat categories and requires us to re-think the implications and impact of this administration's policies. Consider, along with a trained economist, the potential economic outcomes of Trump's policies towards: international trade; immigration; environment; tax reform; infrastructure; national debt and health care.
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.

Aging in place, at home, is how most of us would prefer to live out our days. Learn about emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, voice-activated devices and telemedicine, which hold great promise to improve the aging experience and to keep you in your home for as long as possible. Learn how to discern quality service and value in this marketplace. Explore the tools and insights you need to make informed choices for you, your caregivers and your loved ones.
Pay tribute to Florida's forgotten heroes: the names of some adorn highways and landmarks while others broke barriers. Meet Alexander Darnes, who rose from slave to physician; uncover the story of Frank Adamo, hero of the Bataan death march; meet Mary Lou Baker, who kept the legislative home fires burning during World War II, and Marjorie Carr, zoologist and environmental activist. Learn how they helped shape the Florida we live in today.
Recipe for understanding foreign policy issues of the day: read a little background material in advance, view expert testimony in class, discuss. Great Decisions 2018 topics include: the waning of Pax Americana?; Russia's foreign policy; China and America: the new geopolitical equation; media and foreign policy; U.S. global engagement and the military; South Africa's fragile democracy; global health: progress and challenges. Required text: Great Decisions Briefing Book, ($30).
He was born 150 years ago, designed hundreds of structures over his 70-year career, and was recognized in 1991 as the "greatest American architect of all time." Explore Frank Lloyd Wright's most significant work from the earliest Prairie designs to the last Usonian buildings, in both the residential and commercial arenas. Ten of his creations were nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status.
Start with Stonehenge. Check out architectural gems such as the Colosseum, lovely Gothic cathedrals, a Venetian country house and a grand English estate. Then travel to the wild curves of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. By the time we're done, you will be able to tell your friends which world-famous architectural masterpiece is the granddaddy of the U.S. Capitol building.
In this class, we will examine General Douglas MacArthur's life with a focus on his service record in World Wars I and II and his leadership in the Korean War so that his legacy doesn't fade away just yet.
Those little green peas on your dinner plate? They were key to understanding genetics. A chain of fascinating discoveries and rediscoveries form the basis for the discovery of DNA, and the modern science of Genomics. Examine the impact of the Human Genome Project and how it has affected evolution and even human migration. Explore the role of Genomics in revolutionizing medicine and witness the ways in which science now approaches human health, behavior and disease.
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 specifically designed 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.
Become a more informed traveler as well as a better citizen in this overview of the geology of different areas of the United States. Learn about glaciers, springs and wells, earthquakes, hot spots, mountain making, volcanism, sedimentation and other geological processes. We'll discuss travel planning and what to bring to make your travels more rewarding so you can better appreciate the geological features you'll find along the way.
Do humans have a meaningful role in the Universe? And if so, what is that role? To try to answer that question, you'll examine evidence supporting the latest theories of space and time, and cosmological and biological evolution. You'll even ponder the meaning of meaning! Your goal will be to try to fit humanity into the current picture of reality, and consider if humans have a meaningful role.
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, enabling you to arrive at your own conclusions about global warming and climate change. You will also be able to confidently engage in social discussion on the topic. No scientific or technical background is assumed or required.
How did Irish republicanism evolve from the ideals of the United Irishmen in the 1790s to the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922? This period saw multiple uprisings and campaigns of violence against British rule by Irish rebels at home and abroad. As the cause of Irish freedom was embraced by Irish-American immigrants at least as intensely as Irishmen and women back home, the role of Irish America will be an essential aspect of the course.
Seize the opportunity to learn more about the world's second largest monotheistic religion, which has about 6 million adherents in the U.S. Learn the basic tenets of Islam, its articles of faith and practice, and dispel common misconceptions. We'll discuss some social, historic, and legal aspects of the faith, with emphasis given to women in Islam, terrorism and Islamophobia. Gain an appreciation for the contributions Islam has made to the modern world.
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.
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: Italian Now! Level 1, by Marcel Danesi, PhD, $18.99.
Learn the best tools and resources needed to help identify birds and what field marks to look for when identifying birds. We will spend three classes in the field practicing our newly learned skills and using those tools. Finally, we will spend our last class at one of the top birding spots in Florida--Fort De Soto--looking for seasonal migrants. We also will learn about "citizen science" projects and conservation issues regarding Florida birds. Note: class meetings are at varied locations and may require long walks. Field trips may be an hour's drive: expect class meetings will run into the afternoons.
We have approximately 100,000 military and civilians on the Korean Peninsula today plus countless Americans who are married to Koreans living permanently in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). American presidents since Clinton have declared a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable. Draw more informed conclusions about the reality of the U.S. vulnerability and available options.
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.
The uncertain economy makes it challenging for the retired investor to generate needed income. Today's markets present challenges--interest rate and credit risks in particular--that should be considered when evaluating investments. We will discuss the realities of investing for retirement income in a low interest rate world and how the current economic environment can affect investments. This workshop will educate investors, not sell investment products.
What seemed a "boys' book" in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was a glimpse into what really took place on Huck and Jim's journey down the Mississippi River. Far from being a "boy's book" or a racist novel, the work is an attack on racial inequality. Explore how Twain used humor in his writing to portray inequality - even on the raft. Read then bring to class any edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain.
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.
Discuss the notion that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience on earth, perhaps not for the last time. Share your ideas about the nature of spirit, human and animal existence and intermediate states between lives from different religious and scientific perspectives. Learn about advance care directives, living wills and hospice. Consider funeral arrangements for yourself, loved ones, and even pets. Take this opportunity to articulate your honest thoughts about death and the afterlife.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Resiliency, also known as adaptive coping, is a skill associated with higher quality of life and longevity in seniors. Because it is a skill and not a static personality trait, it can be strengthened like a muscle. And like the muscles that help reach physical goals, resilience can help you achieve your goals for well-being. Discuss the research on resilience and discover another key to satisfaction in those "golden years."
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.
How can the arts, particularly literature, take us on the human journey into the heart of tough social issues including globalization, exploitation, racial violence, "justice" as enacted by legal systems, immigration and racism? Little Bee by Chris Cleave and The Chamber by John Grisham explore difficult subjects through the lives of fictional characters. Read both books ahead of class then join our thought-provoking discussions.

This course contains no sessions

Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Behind the Iron Curtain, despite threats of exile, imprisonment and execution, great works of literature and film were created by daring thinkers. From Chekhov to Gorky, from Jewish writers under Stalin to Ukrainian poets, from Soviet film to Russian science fiction, find out what Russians and Ukrainians have long known: great pressure creates great diamonds. Explore the diamonds of Cold War Soviet literature.
Enjoy lively discussions of poems diverse in style and structure from Florida Poet Laureate Peter Meinke, Tampa Poet Laureate James Tokley (also Hillsborough Poet Laureate), and from award-winning Tampa Bay poets including Silvia Curbelo, Gianna Russo, Erica Dawson and USF's Jay Hopler. Materials will be provided
Who would have thought Tampa possessed such a rich and fascinating history, reaching back some 14,000 years? Join Tampa Bay History Center docents, members of the museum's History Krewe, to explore some of the significant events that impacted Tampa and helped shape it into the city we know today. Topics included in eight presentations: Tampa's first people, the Seminole Indians, Cigar City (Ybor City), the Spanish-American War, the history of Hyde Park, the history of Gasparilla and more.
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 to 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.
Enjoy classic British sitcoms? If you watched Are You Being Served?, As Time Goes By, or Keeping Up Appearances, then you may relish the six light novels E. F. Benson wrote about middle class Brits in the 1920s and '30s. These books, twice dramatized for the BBC, have remained perennial favorites among Brits. We'll provide electronic versions of all six novels in large-print for reading on your iPad, tablet or laptop to inform our discussions and keep you smiling.
Since 9/11, the United States has waged a "War on Terror" with varying degrees of success. In this course, we'll examine the history of terrorist organizations; the strengths and weaknesses of terror as a tactic; the differences between al-Qaeda and ISIS and the threat they pose to the U.S.; review the successes and failures of U.S. efforts to deal with the proliferation of terrorist groups; and, discuss U.S. strategy and tactics in the war on terror.
Billions of dollars will be spent in 2018 by national and local political advertisers to grab your attention, your support, and ultimately, your vote. Billions more will be spent to influence the way candidates and their campaign platforms are portrayed in news coverage across the spectrum, from the New York Times to Fox News to local newspapers and radio stations, and even micro-geographic blogs.The combination of congressional and gubernatorial elections makes this a critical year for Florida and national politics, and we'll be analyzing the action as the races begin to heat up!
Combine the advantages of physical and mental fitness exercises to produce exceptional fun and enhanced health. Both instructors have worked with older adults for many years. They are experts on how to age successfully. They will demonstrate the exercises and you will enjoy practicing them!
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.
FDR signed the Social Security Act in 1935. LBJ's Great Society created Medicare and Medicaid. Follow the history of these now-complicated laws and regulations. See how they are administered. Examine eligibility requirements for Supplemental Security Income and review retirement, disability and widows' benefits. Hear the latest information on Medicare, the various Medicare programs, and proposals relative to their expansion.
Where did the so-called "alt right" come from? How did white supremacy and white nationalism start in our country? These movements and ideologies are not just Southern holdovers from the Civil War, but go back to the earliest days of U.S. history. Learn about this history and the political, economic and theological underpinnings of white supremacy in our nation.
Read out loud and share informally some of the most beautiful and moving poetry in the English language. Discuss Thomas's turbulent life and artistic process. To enhance the depth of the voices Thomas created, engage in oral readings of his works in the Readers Theater format. Selections will include classic single poems "A Child's Christmas in Wales" and "Under Milk Wood."
This follow-up to our Watercolor: Through New Eyes course introduces new exercises to help you experience the joy of color and expand upon the motifs of your earlier class assignments. Learn about exciting variables and effects that are unique to this art form and apply the lessons learned to your own compositions. Prerequisite is Watercolor: Through New Eyes
Learn basic watercolor techniques in this hands-on course. We will discuss tools, brushes and paper as we experience the properties of paint, color and composition to help you create your own work. Beginner through intermediate water colorists welcome. Initial cost of materials and supplies is approximately $100; a list of required supplies will be provided upon registration.
Want to play a greater role in your own healthcare? The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force develops recommendations for and against a number of routine testing procedures including the controversial use of PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) to screen for prostate cancer. Discover the process which is followed in developing evidence-based recommendations for various cancers and major chronic diseases, and make up your own mind!
Stop and smell the grapes! Enhance your wine-tasting experience, revive the classic tradition of toasting and gain tips for organizing parties. Priscilla's "the right way to easy wine enjoyment" concept combines etiquette with wine basics. Join us for an interactive, practical and fun wine experience, including an insider wine purchasing tip to save you money. Then practice what you've learned as we finish with a single bottle wine tasting and light hors d'oeuvres.
Come to a peaceful, comfortable studio where you will learn to integrate yoga into your wellness routine. We will build on your past yoga experience by addressing your individual questions and incorporating your goals into the overall program. Our focus will be on standing posture and moving from one posture to another. Stretch, breathe and meditate your way to increased health!