Liberal Arts


Transport your imagination back to World War II as you examine the genre of historical thrillers. Share your insights on Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason, A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell, and Pegasus: A Novel by Danielle Steele. Get the most from class discussion by reading these novels before the course begins. All are available at area libraries or may be purchased for less than $10 each.
Imagine Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as a poem. What's the difference between a speech and a poem? Is a poem a powerful piece of art if it lacks simile, analogy and metaphor? Explore the world of poetry with Tampa's Poet Laureate, James E. Tokley, Sr. Learn about his approach to the craft of poetry and his evolution as a poet.
Peek behind the scenes as The Florida Orchestra rehearses Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 before weekend performances. Meet at the side stage door of Tampa's Straz Center for a brief backstage tour and pre-rehearsal talk in the lobby. Participants will also have the opportunity to speak with TFO Music Director Michael Francis in a Q & A format during the break or immediately following the rehearsal.
The Florida Aquarium is not just about fish! It is actually a wonderful place to learn some basic birding skills and get some practice identifying different herons, egrets, ducks, and birds of prey. We will spend time in and around the Aquarium, and will also take a boat ride out into Tampa Bay.
Indulge your fascination with gems and jewelry as you examine their value in today's marketplace. That item lying hidden in a jewelry box could be tomorrow's treasure.
We are in the grip of a public health emergency, the opioid epidemic. View real life stories regarding opiate abuse, then discuss the local impact and potential solutions with federal partners and community professionals. This film screening and community forum is a part of the Middle District of Florida (MDFL) court's strategic plan to combat opiate use through enforcement, prevention and treatment.
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.
For more than a century, the Italian Club has represented the hopes, dreams and aspirations of Italians in Tampa. Let the authentic aromas and tastes of traditional Italian cooking fill your senses as these Italian Club cooks prepare a holiday feast in their beautiful club building in Ybor City. Over the course of four weeks, enjoy an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert in convivial surroundings with a rich history. There is a $25 materials fee for this course, payable to the Italian Club at the first class meeting.
Examine the role of infections in human history from plague to Zika--their impact on war, religion, migration, art and literature. You will also learn about the science, medicine and people who made our modern lifestyle possible.
Over the last 100 years, the process of dying has evolved from an event commonly occurring at home to one that mostly occurs in the sterility of an institution. Learn what you can do to die according to your wishes and what rights you have relative to physician-assisted death. Explore the impact of palliative care and hospice on the end of life, and look at the spiritual aspects from the point of view of patient and family.
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.
We grow older by the minute, and every minute it seems as if there's a new gadget to help us live longer and better. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and voice-activated devices hold great promise to improve the aging experience and to keep people in the home setting 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 and support your family members and caregivers.
Mandarin may be the official language of China, but this huge country has dozens of different ethnic groups that speak hundreds of languages and dialects. These groups have distinct cultural and religious practices, although historically they have also shared certain traits. Discover the status of ethnic relations in past and present China with the expert guidance of the instructor's own research there during the last 30 years.
Have you wondered how OLLI works so well as a volunteer organization? Learn everything there is to know about OLLI, look at what is unique about OLLI's demographic, and peer at a possible leadership role for yourself. Join a class team, choose a project suggested by the OLLI Board, and benefit from mentoring by a board member. You will leave with enough solid knowledge to give an interview about OLLI. Be ready for hands-on experience, a fast pace and lots of fun!
New York sports writer Red Smith once observed, "Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." We don't use typewriters anymore, but popular local author Roy Peter Clark writes "?the world is a storehouse of writing ideas. As you gain proficiency with each tool, and then fluency, the art of writing will make you...a better person." Explore these tools and free the writer within. Required text: Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark ($15.99). Optional: Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg ($14.95).
Do you wonder about your family history? We will take you beyond basic genealogy courses to help your research. Discover the many resources available on the internet, searching tips and tricks, and sharing your history online.
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.
Demographics, water, energy, and climate change will have a major impact on the U.S. and its role in the world no matter who is president or which party controls Congress. Will the U.S. recognize and adapt to the challenges? We will examine the effects of protracted conflicts on our foreign military policies and discuss strategy options focusing on our policy on Syria and the Iran Nuclear Agreement.
Are you fascinated by the British monarchy and its captivating history? Join in examining the themes, methods and ideas in three plays centering on the English throne. They are: Edward II by Christopher Marlowe ($13.95); Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot ($9); and King Charles III by Mike Bartlett ($14.95).
Your inner storyteller and actor will emerge as you start each session with seated improv exercises and memory games, writing prompts and songs. Recount your life experiences and compile them into songs and stories. In the final session, experience the thrill and challenge of performing your original work.
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.
Continue learning to speak Italian. Say ciao to some grammar and insights into the Italian way of life. If you did not take the beginning Italian Conversation course but are somewhat familiar with Romance languages, you may want to try this if you are willing to put in a little extra effort. Required text: Italian Now!, Level 1, by Marcel Danesi, PhD, $18.99.
Examine two of the most important, relatively recent U.S. Supreme Court cases. The first, Griswold v. Connecticut established the right of privacy. The second is Bush v. Gore, the case that decided the outcome of the 2000 election.
See the relationship of the Emancipation Proclamation to earlier congressional acts and learn why the constitutional protection of "property" was not an issue. Get a brief but global look at the 2017 immigration executive orders and why constitutional protections are an issue.
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 for matching your wits and aptitude against experienced players. We'll provide a 2017 National Mah Jongg League card.
Why is nature healing? What happens to us when we're in nature that makes it beneficial to our health? How do we take advantage of nature's medicine? Overwhelming scientific evidence shows us that nature heals. Many countries are using this information to help their citizens stay healthy longer without medications. We will use the fox walk meditation technique to help us connect to the earth. We will wander the landscape and use healing methods to help ourselves and others. We will feel the sun on our faces and touch the earth. Note: this class has elements of earth-based spirituality.
If you are a "cat-lover," do you limit yourself to house cats? How about the other 39 kinds of cats in the world, like tigers, cougars, panthers, etc? There are as many as 10,000 privately owned tigers in America, as well as many other wild cats who are "pets." Learn how this came about plus many amazing facts about these beautiful predators.
World War I may have ended in 1918, but the violence it triggered in the Middle East still hasn't come to an end. Arbitrary borders drawn by self-interested imperial powers have left a legacy that the region has not been able to overcome. Learn about this continuing crisis from Jack Tunstall, a distinguished military historian, a faculty member in the USF history department, and the executive director of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society.
The Romantic Era followed the French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon in European History. The tumultuous life of French writer and political figure Victor Hugo reflected many of the historical forces at play during this era. We will consider his biography and writings in the context of the fascinating era from 1815 to 1848.
Lecture and discussion will focus on the structure of America's unique system of government and the ideas and historical development that engendered its establishment.

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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.
Take a 500-year journey tracing the presence of Black people in Tampa Bay. We will explore: the role blacks played in Spanish exploration of Tampa Bay, the role of African-Americans during the three Seminole Wars in Florida, the liberation of enslaved blacks in Tampa on May 5, 1864, the Reconstruction in Tampa, the genesis of the historic Central Avenue district, and how life changed for Tampa Blacks after the June 11, 1967 shooting death of 19-year-old Martin Chambers. An optional walking tour of the historic Central Avenue district ($15 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under) will be offered after the class meetings.
Get an insider's view of Florida's judicial system from a distinguished Circuit Court judge. What common misperceptions have been represented in the media? This interactive class will give you the opportunity to share your ideas with the judge and not be found in contempt!
Margaret Atwood writes, "The page waits, pretending to be blank." Have you always wanted to write your story but haven't found the time or discovered how to follow where it leads? Stories hide: in the back of a closet, in the cracks on a coffee mug, in the creases of a catcher's mitt. They need excavation. Bring your own story to life, exploring the tools of structure, narration and reflection to build bridges between yourself, your reader and the world outside your door.
The Nazi Wehrmacht ran on paperwork, evidenced by the complicated maze of forms necessary for soldiers to travel in the Third Reich either on leave or on official business. They were stopped at many points and ordered to "Show me your papers." Matt DiPalma is a former marine sergeant, collector of historic documents and author of the book German Military Travel Papers of the Second World War. He will tell us about the lives of these soldiers and will show us original documents from his own collection, displaying some of the WWII German military paperwork.
You know you have that story in you, those fascinating characters, that mysterious twist. But how to turn potential into reality? Learn from a successful writer of novels and short stories what actions will get you started: how to develop the story line and players, and what steps will take you through the entire rewarding process, all the way to publishing and marketing.
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

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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.

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Explore ways of seeing the environment through landscape paintings, from ancient times to the Dutch countryside to the American frontier to Cezanne. Then examine how we see ourselves through the Venus de Milo, figures in the Sistine Chapel and the Jaume Plensa sculpture outside the Tampa Museum of Art. Finally, we will consider Picasso's work from schoolboy sketches to Guernica, his cry against the Spanish Civil War.