Liberal Arts


With the guidance of an archaeologist, explore the history of Florida's native peoples and the amazing communities they created around Tampa Bay. After an introductory session, tour a different archaeological site each week and hear the stories behind these enduring places. Visit Safety Harbor Mound in Safety Harbor, Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg and Portavant Mound in Emerson Point Preserve, Palmetto.
Are you ready for the new hurricane season? Yes, you've seen the list of supplies you need to have on hand. But what about possible evacuation if necessary? Where to go? How far? Whom to stay with? Hear speakers from the Emergency Management departments of Tampa and Hillsborough County. Feel at ease knowing you have all the information needed to prepare your individual plan and figure the best options for you.
OLLI members bring experience, wisdom and humor to the aging process. And there is no better place to discuss the choices seniors face than in this course with fellow travelers. Explore the realms of family, finances, housing, health, marriage, cohabitation, intimacy, spirituality and more as you try to imagine a future which could be radically different from the present. Consider your future while sitting safely in the present along with thoughtful contemporaries.
Five different flags have flown over Florida. Learn about them, the use of semaphore flags, hear a panel discussion with Service personnel on the flag's connection with patriotism and take a tour of the flag exhibit at the Tampa Bay History Center.
Anyone can learn the ins and outs of basket weaving and have fun doing it. Become familiar with these terms: twining, three-rod-wale, spokes and weavers, reed gauge, locking coils, crimping and more. You will start weaving on an 11-spoke base that is already assembled to get familiar with handling reed. Then you can progress to a 12-spoke creation. You will start and finish at least one basket. Wear clothes that you don't mind getting wet, or a swimsuit if you want to weave in the pool.
If you've always wanted to be the perfect host or hostess for a party in your home or your favorite restaurant, look no more. This course emphasizes practical arrangements and etiquette for parties you've always imagined: afternoon teas, wine tastings and more. Bring your own ideas and requests. You will be ready to present a short plan for your upcoming perfect party.
Airplane design, robots, even Velcro are examples of innovations drawn from discoveries in the natural world. Let's explore the field of Biomimetics, which applies underlying principles from the natural world to solve complex human problems. Each week, we'll consider a problem in nature, then discuss the actual applications designed by engineers. See how basic scientific research can ultimately result in new technologies and advances in fields such as engineering, medicine and science
See the gradual evolution of the U.S. Supreme Court in relation to questions of racial equality in its three most important relevant cases. We will examine the landmark Dred Scott (1857), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. the Board of Education (1954) cases.
Film specialist Harriet Deer will offer her insights on the cast, production, themes and cultural significance of seven films being presented Sunday afternoons at the historic Tampa Theatre. Dubbed one of America's 21 wonders by Life magazine, the theatre is a magnificent setting for viewing classic films.
Whether you take photos with your phone or prefer a camera, learn how to improve your images from an award-winning, globe-trotting photographer. Consider composition, framing and the end product, not computer photo manipulation. We will critique your own images, so bring samples of some of your favorites and some that failed. They can be prints or on your iPad or laptop.
This workshop is designed for intermediate and advanced writers and teachers of writing. Swap tips on how writers can work on a computer more efficiently and creatively, collaborate with others and share feedback, all without buying new software. Come prepared to share tricks that have worked for you or make specific how-to requests from other experienced writers. Bring a thumb drive to class. SKILL LEVEL C in Microsoft Word required.
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.
Hablemos Español. If you have been exposed minimally to Spanish or if you have taken a basic class, this class is for you. Work on mastering words you can use for travel and in everyday situations. Expand your verb vocabulary and practice conversation. Develop useful strategies to increase your language proficiency. Required text: Learn Spanish the Fast and Fun Way, by Gene M. Hammett and George Thatcher, EdD, $29.99 or less.
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 it's unique rhythms. You'll be dancing in your seat!
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.
Archaeologists uncover artifacts made by people long ago, but only through scientific research can we learn about who these people were and how they lived. Hold in your hands artifacts such as stone tools, pottery and shells and understand what aspects of Native American life these artifacts can reveal. Hear about three local sites that have yielded valuable information about Florida's history and the importance of preserving them: Harney Flats, Weedon Island and Crystal River.
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.
One writer called short stories "a hand grenade of ideas." Reading some of your favorite authors . . . or meeting new ones, learn what makes a "great" short story, and have fun along the way! A varied selection of stories and authors will form the basis of our readings. No textbook is required. Stories are mostly accessible on the internet or copies will be provided by the instructor. Authors will be representative of a diverse range of nationalities.
Eugene Debs, who was born on the threshold of the Civil War and would die in the wake of World War I, was the face of the nascent U.S. labor movement and American Socialism. We will look at his life in the context of an American industrial revolution that would generate not only factories and machines, but also burgeoning cities, rapid immigration, robber barons, market-driven imperialists, nostalgic populists, reform-minded progressives and misguided social Darwinists.
"Fake News" was 2017's phrase of the year, and there's certainly no shortage of it during 2018! With the proliferation of sources offering "alternate facts," this course will help you learn how to identify "fake news" items when you see them, understand who created them, and why. Become a savvier media consumer! We will discuss current examples and timely material each week.
Many biological treasures wash up on Florida's beaches. Learn how to identify and classify common seashells, egg cases and exoskeletons in this hands-on, classroom-based course. Expand your understanding of the diversity of life on and beneath our sands.
Join a skilled artist and educator in this hands-on workshop. Meet several of the animals who call The Florida Aquarium home, and practice your drawing skills while learning about their special features and adaptations. No artistic experience necessary! Paper and pencils will be provided. Bring your own if you prefer.
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright proposed the adjective Usonian instead of American to describe his vision of buildings using natural materials, an open concept and energy efficiency. Conceived in the 20th century, the Usonian house displays organic architecture at its best and easily adapts to a 21st-century family's lifestyle. Wright coined the word "carport" to describe an overhang for sheltering a parked vehicle.
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.
The most precious time you can spend with your grandchildren is the time you spend, one-on-one, reading. And it begins when they are infants! Discover little known gems to share with your grandchildren, learn how to read actively with them, and extend your interaction from the books you read to other activities. Through demonstration and active participation, you will leave with a new appreciation of this quality time with your grandchildren.
Since Socrates suggested that "an unexamined life is not worth living," in this class, we will explore the implications of the choices made by several gods and goddesses to learn what they have to teach us today. Greek ideals of individual freedom, government, beauty and truth resonate with us today. Let us discover what ancient Greek mythology has to show us about the way we live now.

Have you ever felt hopeless about having your voice heard by your elected officials? Learn how to have the impact you've always wanted. Practice writing and speaking to legislators and the media using the proven methods of RESULTS, a nonpartisan, international citizens lobby created to inspire the political and public will to end poverty. Enjoy the satisfaction of feedback from someone you never thought you could reach. Apply your new skills to any issue about which you feel passionate.
No dieting, minimal exercise. Too good to be true? No! Learn how to be even healthier than you were in your 30s and 40s. Discover which diets can adversely affect your health. Hear which herbs, spices and foods can help battle inflammation and deal with blood pressure and hormonal issues. Understand how to incorporate a minimal amount of exercise into your lifestyle. You will be able to invent a healthy eating plan for yourself even if you lead a busy life, thus looking and feeling better than ever.
It's 1891 and the elegant Tampa Bay Hotel reflects the opulence of turn-of-the-century America and the vision of rail mogul Henry B. Plant. Join curators and an architectural historian to explore conservation efforts to maintain this National Historic Landmark -- now the University of Tampa -- and its remaining original artifacts. Tour the building and study the public rooms, the stunning minarets and the adjacent Plant Park. Enjoy pictures of the restoration projects. Prepare for extensive walking.
Do you love to listen to poems read aloud with skill and feeling? Have you ever wished you had the confidence to read a poem aloud, revealing meaning, expressing feeling and bringing delight to your listeners? This class will give you some basic techniques and skills that will add another dimension to your enjoyment of poetry. Bring copies of a favorite poem to the first meeting and begin immediately to explore your new skills.
Nurture your inner playfulness, draw on spontaneity, and get even more creative! We may re-envision famous movie plots, eavesdrop on a wolf's conversation from Little Red Riding Hood, or follow Alice down the rabbit hole. Bring a pen and be prepared to have fun.
Practice makes perfect! Or at least, better. With some lecture and sample hands, keep playing the style of bridge that you may have learned in the beginning OLLI class or elsewhere. Study more principles of this popular game. Master conventions such as Stayman, Blackwood, negative doubles and transfers. There's plenty of time for questions--and plenty of answers will be forthcoming.
Deepen your understanding of Transcendentalism through studying entries in Emerson's journals. In his journals, Emerson reveals himself to be a very down-to-earth person: sometimes cranky, sometimes angry, sometimes insulted by criticism. Yet in this earthiness, it is possible to observe the development and maturity of his philosophy. Handouts will be provided. Optional text: Emerson in His Journals, by Joel Porte.
"There's nothing left to say about love; Shakespeare has said it best and first." Whether you agree with that sentiment or not, join us to explore the practical application of the bard's timeless wisdom to life and love in the 21st century. Allow the words of the master to expand and deepen our relationships with friends, family and loved ones. Follow the experiences of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet; then compare your experiences of the many types of love to theirs. Read, write, watch and discuss with fellow lovers of Shakespeare's most iconic characters.
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 engage confidently in social discussion on the topic. No scientific or technical background is assumed or required.
No need for a book -- we'll talk! Learn the present tense of the most useful verbs, as well as the vocabulary for numbers, colors and articles. Practice contractions and prepositions. Introduce yourself in Spanish. You will be ready to communicate if you visit a Spanish-speaking country and are eager to learn more about this romance language. A dictionary of your choice is required.
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.
Join this artistic collaboration to create unique artwork during a 1-day workshop. Explore different mediums and creative techniques to grow as a visual artist. Share your artistic journey with other makers and build your artistic network in the process!
Revisit the troubled Central American nation of Nicaragua in the 1960s to 1990; the Somoza regime, the opposition Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), and the Contras who waged war on the Sandinista government, aided by the Reagan administration. We'll consider the Iran-Contra affair and other foreign involvement, recalling the names that dominated the headlines: Reagan, North, Ortega, Somoza and many others. Finally, we'll assess Nicaragua's current situation.
Albert Einstein wrote, "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want your children to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Although hundreds of years old, fairy tales are still relevant today in the lives of our youngsters. This course will focus on the importance of fairy tales in the emotional and intellectual development of children.
Consider the promise and potential of recent leadership changes in southern Africa. Zimbabwe has a new leader after forty years of President Mugabe: will new leaders bring about genuine political, economic and social progress, or will it be more of the same? Meanwhile in South Africa, the African National Congress voted to remove President Jacob Zuma from power. Will that country be back on the path toward Nelson Mandela's dream of a multi-racial, democratic, peaceful South Africa?
Is poker gambling? Does it keep your brain agile? Can you really make money playing a game like Texas Hold'em? Learn how to read other players and tell when someone is lying -- and not just at the poker table. Practice basic skills and the psychology of the game. Discover how to apply the principles of poker to negotiations and decision-making in "real life." Poker is not all about luck!
Tune up those vocal chords and let it all out. Singing is a scientifically grounded method for learning and remembering a foreign language. In this informative and fun course, learn up to 20 songs, a cappella. Don't worry about potentially being off key. All levels welcome.
Imagine a variety of crises that presidents have faced: key resignations, economic collapse, foreign threat or domestic disturbance. How did each president handle the situation? Did his response make it better or worse? What about the crises facing our current president? How strongly should a president's ability to handle a crisis contribute to our choosing a chief executive? We'll step into the Oval Office to consider all this and more.
Join Margaret Miller for a brief history and tour of Graphicstudio, an art and education collaborative between artists and staff at USF. The tour will include discussion of some groundbreaking works by leading artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Los Carpinteros. The talk will be followed by a printing demonstration.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men. Every year 180,000 men will get prostate cancer, and 40,000 will die from it. In language any lay person can understand, Dr. Raymond Paltoo, a respected urologist, will present information on the causes, the research and the current treatment of the disease.
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.
Explore and discuss the paranormal while keeping at least one foot firmly planted on the ground. Participate in exercises in numerology, past life regression, psychometry and remote viewing. Realize your natural abilities in these areas and apply them to your everyday life. Learn to trust and use these abilities, taking the myths and mystery out of the paranormal.
The closeness between Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stems from their early history, going back to the beginning of the First World War. Explore the key decisions that brought about their close relationship and ultimately the successful culmination of World War II.
Discover what scientists are learning about our incredibly beautiful but potentially deadly universe. Visit the strange worlds of relativity and quantum mechanics. Find out what you did not learn at school about dinosaurs. Be astonished with what makes our bodies human. Take a peek at archaeological discoveries on earth under the sea, from outer space and explore weird science to decide if UFOs and Bigfoot are delusions or real.
Explore the issue of social inequality and why it is so ubiquitous. When measuring equality, how does social change occur? Most often, social inequality is based on differences in wealth, sex or race/ethnicity, or some combination of these. Examine the prevalence, consequences and justification of each of these in a search for answers to one of the most troubling topics of our times.
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.

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Indulge in significant snippets of Tampa's glorious but spicy history from the Timucuan's struggles with giant armadillos to the efforts of Jeff Vinik to renovate Tampa's downtown. Survey the events illustrating "Tampa's compassion, intergenerational generosity, delayed transportation efforts and its world class entrepreneurship."
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.
Theodore Roosevelt was a big game hunter and avid conservationist, a man welcome in Mrs. Astor's drawing room and a leader of the Progressive Party, a sickly boy who espoused the virtues of the strenuous life. We will explore the life of our 26th president - a man of extraordinary contradictions - along with some of the people and events that shaped his life.
Welcome to Florida, the "bellwether state." With races for Governor, U.S. Senate, state and federal representatives, ballot initiatives and changes to the state constitution, we can expect a long and complex ballot. As the state's largest media market, billions of dollars will be invested in Tampa Bay to narrow the field of candidates and influence your vote. Learn who is saying what (and why) and who is paying for it as we examine the stuff that is landing in our mailboxes and on local media.
The Middle East is frequently in the news, but many of us lack the background to put that news into context. Obtain that background from a person who has lived and studied many years in the region. After learning about the emergence of Islam in the 7th century, we will consider the economy, particularly the oil market, along with the political issues that preoccupy the states in this region.
Carl Jung wrote, "What we are to our inward vision, and what man appears to be sub specie aeternitatis, can only be expressed by way of myth. Myth is more individual and expresses life more precisely than does science." Let's compare mythologist Joseph Campbell's book, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space, with Jung's use of mythology to demonstrate the wide divide in their approaches to myth as a guide to self-discovery and personal growth.
A former U.S. Federal Prosecutor applies crime scene analysis methodology to unravel the mystery behind the image on one of the most unique and scientifically studied artifacts in human history, the Shroud of Turin. Is it the burial cloth of the historical Jesus of Nazareth, a medieval forgery or something else? Hear an overview of the latest forensic and scientific evidence to draw your own conclusion.
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!

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Tampa Bay welcomes many world religions, but how much do we understand about the culture and traditions of our Jewish, Christian and Muslim neighbors? Take a look at a global, multicultural perspective of these three faiths, their common origins, and their distinctive expressions in America. Learn to analyze them in academic style regarding ideals, practices and institutions.
Gilbert and Sullivan produced hits such as The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore but it was their ludicrous spoof on the British legal system, Trial by Jury, that launched their careers. Join Opera Tampa Singers for an evening featuring this work as well as showcase hits including "Three Little Maids Are We", "Modern Major General" and "Poor Little Buttercup". In her lecture before the performance, Beryl Byles will highlight the influence of Gilbert and Sullivan on American musicals.
During the post-Cold War period, relationships among Russia, the U.S. and NATO have turned into a growing rivalry and confrontation over Russian expansionism. Now the unilateralist views of the new Trump administration cause uncertainty over responses and threats to security for the United States and NATO.
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.

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Your family history is much more than a family tree. When and where did your ancestors live? Learn how to use timeline and mapping software to represent the story of your family visually, using online tools. See, then experience a different online tool each week, gaining hands-on experience using that tool as you create a visual representation of your family history.
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!

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Throughout history, female healers have encountered social, political, legal and sometimes violent and deadly opposition. Learn about the struggles of women healers to overcome these obstacles, starting in medieval times all the way to the present. Witches, wise women, midwives, nurses and physicians -- how did their training and roles evolve through the ages?
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.